I have to thank Donewaiting for alerting Gorilla Vs. Bear (and subsequently alerting myself via Google Reader) that the SXSW website is offering bios and select mp3s of the artists who are hauling their asses down to Austin, TX for the sole purpose of getting their performance on. A year ago, I made it a personal goal to haul my own ass to SXSW to watch said performances, but unfortunately I’ve placed paying my rent at higher priority than paying for a plane ticket to Texas. C’est la vie, I suppose.
Bumping up my disappointment level is a list of performers which includes a few bands/artists that I’ve been down with since the days of writing for pop-culture blog Totesumbrellas, as well as some new favorites who have been sneaking their way into my ears…and my heart. So without further ado, I present “IT’S THE MONEY SHOT!!‘s not-quite-guide to SXSW”. Sure, this is a list of songs you’ve probably seen on other blogs. But it’s also a list of people who I think are “totally fucking brilliant”.
PINK NASTY – Away Message (YSI) : Back in the day, I asked Ms. Nasty in an interview how her performance at SXSW 2006 went. She replied, “It was ok. I hear the sound was over amplified, and that makes me pretty pissed cuz that was my big shot. Haha. I hear Elijah Wood was there and he’s the one person on the planet I wanna make out with.” Given her absurdity and sense of humor, I fell even more in love with her after that interview. It’s funny to think that my love started with a cover of Usher’s “Burn”, appearing on the rather incredible Indie Translations of Usher project. In fact, without Pink Nasty I wouldn’t know that Usher drinks 2 gallons of water every day (and therefore must piss a lot). And without Pink Nasty the world wouldn’t have such a grand “Neo neurotic female pop rock” album such as Mold the Gold. (- BUY IT – SITE IT – SPACE IT – HYPE IT -)
TELEPATHE – Chrome’s On It (YSI) : Word is that a certain member of the ITMS!! clubhouse is remixing Telepathe, which excites me beyond belief. This should have been preceded by the fact that Telepathe’s alone excites me beyond belief. A combination of hip-hop, dance, experimental, and electro elements, I can only define Telepathe’s sound as delightfully odd, unpredictable, and surprisingly relaxing. While the group resides in Brooklyn, they’ll be touring throughout America with The Kills starting in late April. So if you’re missing them at SXSW, don’t fret my pet! Telepathe may be appearing on a stage near you. (- BUY IT – SPACE IT – HYPE IT -)
GEORGIE JAMES – Need Your Needs (YSI) : I swear I’m not biased because my friend Shervin took the photo for their album art. I really like Georgie James. No, really. The combination of former Q and Not U drummer John Davis and singer/songwriter Laura Burhenn is quite lovely, particularly when they harmonize together (ex: “Henry and Hanzy”). “Need Your Needs” and “Comfortable Headphones” are just so catchy that I can’t take it. (- BUY IT – SITE IT – SPACE IT – HYPE IT -)
JENS LEKMAN – The Opposite of Hallelujah (YSI) : Do I really need to justify the awesomeness of Jens Lekman? You know I’m all about the Swedes when it comes to music, and this particular Swede holds a special place in my heart. (- BUY IT – SITE IT – SPACE IT – HYPE IT -)
BASIA BULAT – In The Night (YSI) : While I was purchasing a DVD of The Dark Crystal at Kim’s on Broadway, I was anticipating the eye-roll from the obnoxious cashier. Then I noticed something sitting on a shelf near the register. It was a copy of Basia Bulat’s Oh My Darling, and I quickly wondered why the fuck I didn’t own it. Slapping myself for not keeping up with Basia’s career after her incredible sweetness during our interview, I quickly grabbed the album and placed it on the counter next to my DVD. I think respect for my supreme taste in music must have prevented the notorious eye-roll from my Kim’s cashier, so I should thank Basia for that. The following day, my eyes were directed to the video for “In The Night”. Initially I was thrown off by it’s similar “boner-fodder for furries” vibe to Bat for Lashes’ “What’s A Girl To Do?” video, but by the time the choreographed skeleton dance moves came in around 0:50…I was ready to pack my bags and head to the party of weirdos thrown by Basia in the forest. You know? So I could sing along! (- BUY IT – SITE IT – SPACE IT – HYPE IT -)
OH NO! OH MY! – Walk In The Park (YSI) : This is yet more evidence of my lack of ability to keep up with any band or artist’s career. I interviewed them back in the day when they were “just a couple of guys sending out CD-R’s.” Yet how did I miss Oh No! Oh My!’s Daytrotter session? The session featured three previously unreleased songs, but none of those quite surpass the sing-along value and simplicity of “Walk In The Park”, the tune that made me fall in love with the band in the first place. But of course it’s ALL great. In my own words, “They could sing about kittens falling to their death, and the sound would still make me happy.” (- BUY IT – SITE IT – SPACE IT – HYPE IT -)
PIGEON JOHN – Weight of the World (YSI) : My introduction to Pigeon John came through a promo mp3 of “Higher?!” off of his latest release on Quannum, Pigeon John & The Summertime Pool Party. Given how often his iTunes album review mentions the word “corny” you can probably get a sense of how much credibility he has as a rapper. However, the review seems to imply that it’s refreshing for John to be self-aware of his lack of cred, unlike someone such as say…will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas. Along with his lack of cred comes a complete lack of the redundancy that’s making today’s hip-hop so stale. (- BUY IT – SITE IT – SPACE IT – HYPE IT -)