Denton, Texas-based band Lift To Experience has had a bit of an interesting history. After playing the 2000 edition of SXSW, the trio signed to London-based label Bella Union and went on to release only one album. That album, 2001’s The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads, would go on to attain a certain cult status, although the band seems to have gained more of a following in the UK than they ever did stateside.
Now, all these years later, the band is back with a reissued, remastered version of the album and playing a couple of shows for SXSW 2017, including one in a church, which seems somewhat fitting for a band that made a post-rock/shoegaze concept album about the second coming of Jesus Christ in Texas.
Check out “Just As Was Told,” the Slint-esque opening track from that album below:
Though her SXSW bio page may say that she’s from Austin, we Canadians know where Whitney Rose is really from. Regardless of her origins though, the P.E.I. born and previously Toronto-based musician does a great job of capturing that authentic old school country sound to an extent that I’m sure a lot of Texans wouldn’t mind claiming her as their own. Unless they’re one of those “welcome to Austin, don’t move here” types, in which case, they probably won’t be in town for SXSW anyways, so whatever.
Check out ’50s-style slow dance number “Bluebonnets For My Baby” from Whitney Rose’s latest release South Texas Suite below:
Late in 2014, Ricky mused laconically about where the 70s-energy of Temples would be in 2017. Let’s review: “The Golden Throne” from Temples was a compelling track from the moment it opened with an exotic guitar theme. It never let up and held an extremely tight composition throughout the rest of the disco-hued track. Well, here we are now and I’m happy to report that they aren’t bagging groceries, and they’re not going anywhere fast.
That was a compliment. Still dishing out their brand of “name theme, expand theme, and radiate”, we find that they aren’t limited to courting throwbacks. In the new track “Certainty,” Temples wears a new-found joy that conjures some of the same magic, had the jingle from Futurama’s Game of Tones been piled into phyllo pastry layers in a confectionery. Despite the new sound, you can forget about finding a signature. Apparently, their stamp is not in a melody or tempo, but the metaphysical sense of “GLORY”. I believe that’s two for two now, and I only hope they continue to write along this trajectory. Yes, I borrowed from Ricky shamelessly without trying to figure out why their music is interesting. Bite my shiny metal amygdala.
I have had a limited sampling of German pop music, introduced to me by a German (whose first choice when working late was, oddly, Commodores’ “Nightshift”…) and while I’m not well-versed enough in music to identify or explain it, the opening minute of “Precipice” instantly reminded me of Germany.
Curiously, then, Sun and the Wolf is composed of three Berlin transplants from New Zealand. It may be the cautious and deliberate pace, or the minimalist sound space. And of course once you set eyes on the style of the music video, the diagnosis, “hell will have to freeze over before North America considers this kosher” is all but cemented. It is nonetheless an interesting and oddly addicting track. I just can’t agree with the leotards though. Never leotards.