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This post is bit of a diversion for this blog, which is usually me babbling on about tech.

SXSW starts this Thursday, and I’ll be attending. You can catch me speaking on a funny panel called “How not to be a Douchebag at SXSW”, which Ed Huntsinger is hosting. But hey, it won’t be about tech. So maybe you won’t like that.

SXSW Interactive is great, but it’s like work to me; I always have to be on and make connections with people for work. Sometime around next Tuesday, the music portion of the event will start, and it’s a blissful mix of music, people, and madness.

I’ve spent the last couple of days or so going through the torrents for SXSW Music. 646 songs on the first one, and another 309 on the second torrent.

You can grab both of them here if you want to download them. They’re huge, but worth it.

As is the case with most submissions, about 90% of it is crap, but if you’re willing to sit through and listen to the music there’s a wealth of wonderful artists here.

Here’s my top 15 or so, in no particular oder

Allo Darlin- My Heart Is A Drummer

Something like the 60’s, yet reminiscent of Sing-Sing and some of the more country inspired 4AD artists.

ELEW – Mr. Brightside

Eric Lewis, AKA ELEW is a mindblowing pianist, playing what he likes to call Rockjazz on piano, He’s played TED, our own DNA Lounge. This is his cover of Mr. Brightside by the Killers.

The Golden Filter – Hide Me

Blissful, female vocal based, bouncy disco-electro perfect for the dancefloor.

The Heavenly States – Oui Camera Oui

A terrible recording with little to no dynamic range that reminded me of early Julian Cope.

Kill The Noise – All Too Vivid

I’d expect to hear this song at 1015 (a house club here in SF) at about 3:30 in the morning. Incessant, bouncing, house beat with heavily vocoded nothingness on top. Who just bought an access virus? You did, yes you did.

Lights – Saviour

This is what it would sound like if Canada tried to produce the LA Wall-of-sound pop sound. Female Vocals, Big, big bridges and choruses. Expect to hear this on MTV soon. I love this piece of pop aside from the minor Auto Tune glitches that exist all over it. Nice harmonies, but the lyrics? Forget it. It’s pop.

Luder – Sing to Me

I think I picked these guys because I’ve been on a strange metal bent lately (I blame Jack Black and too many late night PS3 sessions of Brutal Legend). Unfortunately this sounds like a goth band trying to complete for vocal bandwidth with slayer. It sort of works.

Maren Parusel – Dear Love

The likeness of Maren’s voice to Feist is what does it for me here. Breathy female vocals on a solid rock background with minimal rhythm guitar. A string quartet pops up unexpectedly to lift the chorus.

Margaret Cho – Eat Shit and Die

Can’t go wrong with Marget Cho.

Minipop – Precious

Minipop is the sort of breathy, reverb laden beauty that attracted me to bands like Love Spirals Downwards and whatever Project Records was vomiting up in the 90’s. The thing here, is that Minipop throws away all of those pretentious for perfect, blissed-out shoe gazer wonderfulness. I saw them at the Independent in SF last year and fell in love with them on the first listen. It helps that the singer is a 5’2″ elf-like creature. Loads of delay, lots of chorus. Love it.

Noush Skaugen – Run Baby Run

Guitars meet keyboards with a driving bass that reminds me of early Jesus and Mary Chain, but there’s far too many drums to really make the comparison hold true. The sort of music you’d want as the wind rips through your hair at 80mph down the highway.

Resplandor – Downfall

A reincarnation of Slowdive. Wall of guitars everywhere. I feel like I’m back in 1992. Excellent stuff.

Ruby Isle – So Damn High (Will Eastman Club Edit)

Big, giant kick drum and vocal samples everywhere. Electro at it’s most base.

Sex with Strangers – New City Anthem

Think first album Shiny Toy Guns with far less production and a bit of Human League thrown in for fun.

Sofia Talvik – Jonestown

Think Suzanne Vega and the Sundays coming together, without all that needless strumming of the 12-string. I won’t go to see her play at SXSW, but I’d listen to it with the lights out.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 at 4:56 pm and is filed under conferences. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


4 Responses to “SXSW!”

  1. 1 adamjackson

    wow. I can't believe you went through that many songs. Your love of music exceeds anything I could imagine for someone who's not working for a record label.

    You doing the full thing this year like you did last year?

  2. 2 netik

    Seekrit: I used to work for a record label many years ago and absolutely love music with every fiber of my being.

    And yes, doing the full thing. All of it!

  3. 3 Jay Cuthrell

    This is really helping me round out my must see lists. Thanks!

  4. 4 Mike Schwartz

    John, I’d really like to talk to you about OpenID Connect 1.0. It would be not that hard to enable people to use their twitter handle as an OpenID Connect 1.0 identifier (versus their email address). We’d just have to write the binding in SWD to XRI, and figure out how to register the current users in XRI. This would also have the advantage of opening up the @netik:disqus  namespace to other organizations and websites (sorry… ending twitter’s enlightened despotism in the management of this namespace…) In terms of operation of the XRI global registry, there are three options in front of the XDI.ORG board. But if this solution was synergistic with Twitter, you might want to express your preference there. I’ll be in the Bay Area for IIW the week of 5/1. Or contact me via email (or twitter) and we can talk ahead of time.


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