Every year at SXSW, Latitude 30 hosts the British Music Embassy, focusing on showcasing the best and brightest offerings from the British Isles and every year it’s one of the Panic Manual’s favourite spots to check out. And while most of Latitude 30’s schedule for this year has yet to be revealed, the Wednesday lineup presented by BBC Introducing and PRS for Music Foundation has been announced.
Of note on that lineup is young Ripon based folk singer Billie Marten, who has been getting some attention across the pond as of late with her latest single “Bird.” It’s an earlier song of hers that caught my attention though – “Ribbon” features Marten’s voice floating above a gently hypnotic acoustic guitar. Give it a listen.
Billie Marten plays Latitude 30 at 10:00 on Wednesday, March 16.
I love checking out random shit from other countries at SXSW. You never quite know what to expect. Japanese rock night at SXSW is always one of the highlights. Japanese people really go all out when they are in a rock band and it makes for a super fun show.
A new band, they are an eight piece ensemble that, well, let’s just copy and paste the PR email so I don’t have to bother paraphrasing:
WagakkiBand is an 8-piece band that fuses Shigin, poetry recitation rooted in Japanese traditional performing arts, Wagakki, traditional Japanese musical instruments, and rock music to bring a fresh and yet authentically Japanese live show.
Not quite sure what an un-authentic Japanese live show is, but whatever. The video looks pretty crazy and I’m willing to bet their show case will be as well. Mark this one down on your calendars and check this out.
A few years back, I first became enamoured of the music of the Tuareg people, sometimes referred to as desert blues, which blends traditional sounds and electric guitar. Of the notable names of the genre, Bombino stands out as one of the best. Not just an incredibly talented guitarist, he also puts on a top notch show, having held his own while opening for such heavyweights as Amadou & Mariam and Robert Plant.
The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach was on board as producer for Bombino’s last album Nomad, and for his latest, Omara Moctar has teamed up with perhaps a more intriguing collaborater with Dave Longstreth of Dirty projectors fame producing the upcoming album Azel (out on April 1 – no joke).
Apparently the recording sessions involved a bit of experimentation in the studio, with the introduction of a reggae influence (and the coining of the term ‘Tuareggae’) and Western vocal harmonies to Bombino’s sound. Despite all that, it still sounds unmistakably like Bombino.
Bombino will be playing a few shows around Austin for SXSW before embarking on a North American tour that starts off in Toronto on March 22 at The Horseshoe Tavern. Check out the lead single “Inar” below:
Jambalaya (On the Bayou) was a 50s country number by Hank Williams. The pace reminds one of exactly those meandering and circuitous swamps, and the lazy glance of alligators as they bobble between the cypress trees waiting to catch you unawares while enjoying a beer and jambalaya with your “cher ami-o”. You would think injecting rock energy into this kind of music would be very difficult. Enter Dash Rip Rock. With a high-octane, high-proof repertoire spanning 30 years and 13 albums, not to mention their Louisiana roots, this was almost second nature to them. Although I’d argue there is no speed slow enough for me to ever understand the lyrics – it’s a little like listening to Newfoundlanders (and I don’t mean it in any negative way).
This Jambalaya cover, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. Since being inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2012, Dash Rip Rock had put out a few more albums, the latest one is titled “Wrongheaded”, which we will no doubt find on the set list when they play at SXSW. While I can’t even begin to articulate the difference between roots rock, country rock, and Rock rock, I look forward to being enlightened while turning temporarily deaf.