Song of the Day

SXSW Song Of The Day: Girl Skin, Darling

Posted on by Gary in Song of the Day, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Photo Credit: Joe Miller

A caramel sweetness and warmth is baked and caked into the name of Girl Skin. So it wasn’t a surprise at all that the Brooklyn-based collective gave a seemingly delicate opening to “Darling”. That was the folksy, dreamy, hazy 70s KodakColor Plus imagery that captured my attention at first.

But like any song worthy of your interest, it has one surprise in store. Just when you thought it would exit via a sugary fade out, this thing makes a “Hey Jude” turn, at almost exactly the same timing as the Beatles’ hit did 50 years ago. To the Beatles’ (and Girl Skin’s) credit, that recipe still works wonders.

SXSW Song Of The Day: More Or Les – Nerd Love

Posted on by Paul in Song of the Day, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Photo Credit: Peter Chapman

Nerd Love is the latest album from Toronto rapper More Or Les and its title track takes a deep, deep dive into nerd life with an unabashed love for and wholehearted embrace of all aspects of nerd/geek culture. The song is a complete celebration of individuality and keeping it real, no matter how nerdy it gets.

And really, it gets pretty deep into it with lyrical references to Revenge Of The Nerds, Arrow, Pokemon Go, the Large Hadron Collider, Star Wars, Star Trek, Power Rangers, Harry Potter, The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, Snuffalupagus, cosplay, and Marvel 2099 (just to name a few) as well as even more visual cues in the music video, including various Marvel characters (Widget!), the Care Bears, Bill Nye, Fox Mulder, Samantha Fox, Doctor Who, The Terminator and Bill Haverchuck from Freaks and Geeks. Yeah, I took notes while watching the video … ’cause I’m a nerd.

On top of all that, Les even throws in a reference to Austin’s unofficial slogan with a nod that’s sure to please any of the Texans who may take in his set at SXSW in a couple months: “Keep it weird – more than just for Austin.”

Amen, More Or Les. Keep on keepin’ it weird.

SXSW Song Of The Day: Shitkid – Oh Me I’m Never

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Photo Credit: Linda Hedström

At last year’s edition of SXSW, Stockholm’s Shitkid delivered one of the most delightful surprises of the week with a show that definitely stood out as a highlight for me. Full of bratty, punky energy and attitude (Gary described her set as “disrespectfully charming“), Asa Soderqvist and her bandmates delivered an exciting and fun performance as she stirred shit up on the tiny stage at BD Riley’s.

And for those who missed it last time or those who are eager for more, Shitkid will be back for another round this year. Check them out if you’re in Austin this March and check out “Oh Me I’m Never” (off of last year’s This Is It EP) below.

SXSW Song of the Day: Sam Eagle, Whistleblower

Posted on by Gary in Song of the Day, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Photo Credit: Jasper Fell-Clark

The kazoo is an under-utilized instrument in the world of serious music. Simply imagining the possibility of Kathleen Battle singing Mein Herr Marquis from Die Fledermaus over a kazoo would be sacrilegious. That ludicrous over-layer of anatine vocalization seems destined for nothing more than comedic effects. Not that millions of youtube videos have not attempted, but what really would happen if your music is strewn through with kazoo?

There is, truthfully, only scant use of duck sounds to link passages here. And as time goes on, while still recognizably duck in essence, they evolve into more rounded individuals worthy of holding our attention. I have no idea whether any of the ducks above are even at all tangentially related to the sounds mixed into those of Essex’s 19 yr-old multi-instrumentalist Sam Eagle. As in some of his other tracks such as 15/8, Whistleblower (again, I caution, no credibly established relation to kazoos), Eagle channels a much faster, lighter, more care-free and jazzy version of Nick Hakim. But just like the latter, I find this is no longer about hitting structures or fulfilling hooks, but more about the sonic journey. I had no idea I would have a new found respect for ducks just by listening to indie jazz. I also have no idea why my head is quickly up to the wazoo in images of a certain stern-eyed blue puppet. Good tunes. But wrong bird, wrong bird.

Sam Eagle will be showcased at SXSW 2019; venues TBD.