New York – Post-SXSW, most of us are either in recovery or sick of hearing about it, but whatever your stance on the validity or value of the festival, you can’t argue that there’s still worthwhile artists at the festival to experience. Yes, it’s a corporate world out there, and for struggling bands that don’t have big brand backing and buzz it may be hard enough to cover travel and room & board, but if you can get through all that there’s still some valuable community and experience to be had. If you come out of the festival with no good stories or memories, then maybe you need to re-evaluate anyway. Tragedies aside, of course; there’s nothing more sobering than being reminded we are not invincible, and that we still need to keep our minds right to be safe, to look out for yourself and others. All that said, we’d like to think there is still a higher ratio of giving and sharing than taking away when it comes to large gatherings of creative like-minds, and our girl Ilyse kept us all connected to what was good at SXSW.
Her coverage turned me on to a bunch of new bands that I was glad to know about. My highlights of her highlights:
Danny Brown – Ilyse touted “Drinkin and Smokin” as a standout track during his set, but then during my further explorations I found this collaboration he did with Purity Ring, and they go so surprisingly well it blew my mind.
July Talk was a “hidden gem,” and for me they are like the new pop incarnation of when Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell got together and made a couple albums’ worth of beautifully composed \paradoxical songs.
The Happy Jawbone Family Band – if I didn’t know any better, I would have thought this was a band from the 60s I had never heard of before.
Solange Knowles – she’s one of those acts that is big but still seems to do her own thing with DIY attitude and a grounded perspective on life, so much respect to her.
Outside of south by, we had Sarah on scene in Chicago for the Hideout’s SX sendoff show, with standout band Basic Cable who “devoured the stage with their heavy garage rock.”
Also pre-festival, our co-presents with My Social List was also a lovely gathering of like-minded creatives, and was a fitting pre-festival kickoff for some (as well as ringing in another year around the sun for your truly). One of the highlights was Bambara, who helped make the night stellar.
Danish singer MØ did a cover of Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There,” effectively turning it into a song I actually enjoy. She also just released an album that Caitlin reviewed called No Mythologies to Follow, which sounds like it has more jam on it worth checking out.
Chicago blues rock outfit Bailiff shared the catchy “Shake My Heart Awake,” a tune that speaks to the frustration of feeling unsatisfied, and needing to effect change to find something that is satisfying.
Irish post punk industrial noise pop band September Girls have announced their first US shows in conjunction with a debut album out now. With their recent releases, this five-piece named after a Big Star song is taking the whole emerging goth pop thing and doing it better.
Clipping. Is an experimental electronic hip hop collective out of Los Angeles – check out their new single “Work Work,” featuring fellow L.A. rapper Cocc Pistol Cree.
Remixes and re-workings certainly seem to be becoming more and more prevalent lately, with another good one being from Loston - a producer from Perth, AU who has become through his remixes of James Blake and Sampha, and now he’s released an alluringly chill flip of Banks’ “Waiting Game” from the Divergent Soundtrack.
Mobile, AL singer/songwriter So Brown paints authentic portraits of small town south with clever rhythms and an honest approach, in a nostalgic delta blues style. “Daughin Island” this is off her debut album, Point Legere, out on Earth Day –April 22. This is music back to the roots of music.
Bambara – “Nail Polish”
Basic Cable – “Blonde Ambition”
July Talk – “Headsick”
September Girls – “Heartbeats”
Happy Jawbone Family Band – “Fistful of Butter”
Bailiff – “Shake My Heart Awake”
Connan Mockasin – “I’m The Man, That Will Find You”
MØ – “Say You’ll Be There”
Solange – “Lovers In The Parking Lot”
Danny Brown – “25 Bucks” feat. Purity Ring
clipping. – “Work Work”
Banks – “Waiting Game” (Loston remix)
Pillar Point – “Dreamin”
So Brown – “Daughin Island”
Bonus Vid: Black Angels new clip for “Evil Things”
Photo Of Danny Brown By ilyse Kaplan