Song of the Day

Song of the Day: Evening Prayer (Jens Lekman)

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I had often entertained the idea of the aftermath when the libretto of the Requiem is set to the jibing synthesizer opera of the 80s from the likes of Vangelis. It isn’t THAT the melodies would conflict with the ultimate goal of the text. The sheer imagery of a titanic clash between two quintessential ideas of their times would give you hibbie-jibbies that resonates across 300 years. When I heard Jens Lekman’s Evening Prayer, it brought that same sense of delight – some one had finally put 1.50814 and 8.49186 together! “So that’s what it would feel like if I listened to someone’s battle against a tumor as the back-up singers belted highlights more fitting to open a 90s sitcom”. It is just interesting and even refreshing. Like having Confucius reciting the Analects in the rhythm of Gangnam Style. Yes, I felt no immediate sense of guilt, taking pleasure in a song about suffering. In fact, the lyrics were set from a time when the tumor had been removed and made material by the plastic grace of a 3D printer. “It looks lunar”, Lekman writes. Perhaps. Or perhaps it was just the lyrics reflecting on how awkward, uncomfortable, and foreign the whole situation was.

SXSW Song Of The Day: St. Tropez – Democracy

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Photo credit: Sanja Marušic

“Democracy,” the lead single off of Dutch garage rockers St. Tropez‘s upcoming EP Debate, is an in-your-face, short and sweet slice of political rock and roll, offering up “the band’s vision on fear, populism, debate, naivety, nationalism, hope, politics, immigration and democracy” all in less than two minutes.

The accompanying video features a masked, enigmatic figure wandering through deserts and empty highways, but where is he headed and what does he want? Is he searching for democracy? Is he perhaps a personification of democracy itself? Is he maybe just some dude in a shiny suit and a cowboy hat who’s looking to buy some ice cream or something? All good questions …

Debate is out February 23 and the band will be playing shows through February and March to promote it, including a few appearances in Austin for SXSW.

23 Feb – Oedipus, Amsterdam
25 Feb – 8 MM, Berlin
27 Feb – Shacklewell Arms, London (EP release show)
08 Mar – Good Room, New York City
10 Mar – Piano’s, New York City
16 Mar – Dutch House, SXSW
18 Mar – Sidewinder, SXSW
22 Mar – Silverlake Lounge, Los Angeles

SXSW Song Of The Day: Sungod – Cahokia

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Another week, another list of performers announced by SXSW. This week, we focus on Sungod, one of the many Austin-based acts playing the festival who aren’t actively choosing to escape the bustling madness of their city during SXSW.

Like fellow Austinites S U R V I V E (who will also be playing SouthBy), Sungod’s sound is dominated by synthesizers, however Sungod take things in a more psychedelic/spacerock direction, as exemplified by their 2015 single “Cahokia.” It seems likely the band should have some new material ready in time for SXSW and if it sounds anything like this eleven and a half minute jam, I’m definitely interested.

SXSW Song Of The Day: Spiral Stairs – Dance (Cry Wolf)

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Photo by Steven Simko

As the 2017 edition of SXSW approaches, more announcements, both official and unofficial, are starting to come out and last week, SXSW dropped a few more names. Among those names is former Pavement guitarist Scott Kannberg, aka Spiral Stairs, who will be appearing at SouthBy to promote his upcoming release Doris And The Daggers. The album includes contributions from members of The National, Broken Social Scene and Shudder To Think while lead single “Dance (Cry Wolf)” features an appearance from Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle in the video.

Doris And The Daggers is out March 24 on Nine Mile/Domino.