South By Southwest

SXSW Preview: Third Round Of Bands Analyzed

Posted on by Paul in South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Another day, another round of bands announced for this year’s edition of SXSW and your friendly neighbourhood Panic Manual is here to tell you who we think is of interest.  This is who we are.  This is what we do.  On to the bands:

Ash – A Panic Manual favourite.  They will rock out.  They will be a lot of fun.  That is all.

Camera Obscura – Glasgow’s finest.  Tracyanne Campbell and co. are ready to charm us all with their lovely indie pop.

Prince Paul – Occasionally also known as Chest Rockwell, this is the man behind such gems as Gravediggaz, Handsome Boy Modelling School, and the first few De La Soul albums.  Why would you not want to go see him?

Skid Row – Yes, you heard right.  Skid. Freakin’. Row.  Sure, Sebastian Bach may be conspicuously absent, but still … 18 and Life?  Youth Gone Wild?  I Remember You?  Yes, please.

TOY – Psych-heavy, shoegazey indie rock from London.

Chad Valley – Another Panic Manual fave, Hugo Manual’s one man electronic solo project looks like it may even eclipse his other gig fronting Jonquil.  Catchy and trippy. 

Vampire Weekend – Hey look!  They’re back.  It seems like a long time since the band unleashed their sophomore effort Contra on the public, but I guess they did have to deal with that cover art lawsuit thing.  So yeah, they’re back.  Rejoice.  Or don’t.  It’s really up to you I suppose.  


SXSW Preview: SXSW announces new list of bands playing, we analyze.

Posted on by Ricky in South By Southwest | 2 Comments


Once again, South By Southwest (SXSW) has announced a new list of bands playing in 2013 and since this sort of stuff makes for really easy and thoughtless posts, we figure we would take a look at the new announcements and comment on it.

Alien Ant Farm – No doubt they are in Austin to celebrate the 12 year anniversary of their greatest success, a cover of Smooth Criminal, originally a song by Michael Jackson. To their credit, they had a great music video. What ever happened to this kid?

Allo Darlin – This cute English/Australlian four piece group first entered our hearts a few years ago with their self titled album. They are back with a new album. I’m excited to see them with new material.

Aloe Blacc – Aloe Blacc was fantastic when I saw him live in August, and I have no doubt he will shine at whatever showcase he will have in Austin. I really hope he writes a song called “I Need A Dollar (no longer)” or something.

Bonobo – This English electronic act is a favorite of Brian, one of our writers who has since disappeared since he created offspring. In his honor, we shall go to this show, which is probably going to end up being pretty good.

JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound – JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound have positioned themselves to be the break through act at next year’s SXSW if they haven’t done it by then. Energetic shows and fantastic music are two key components to success and JC Brooks and company has it in droves.

Charli XCX – Charli XCX will be following in the footsteps of Ellie Goulding and Marina and the Diamonds, two other notable UK pop/female acts to test their talents in Austin before launching a full scale invasion of North America.

DJ Yoda – If this guy just remixes Star War soundtracks, I would give his show a highly favorable review.

Everything Everything, The Enemy – Two UK acts you didn’t know still existed until you saw their names on this list. I hope their new material is good.

Fuck Art, Let’s Dance! – German band with arguably the best band name ever.

Hayden – If you are wondering where all the girls went during a certain time slot, it’s probably the time when Hayden is playing.

The Heavy – Phenomenal live act will once again bring their soul-rock interpretation to Austin. They were a highlight last year, don’t miss them this year.

The Joy Formidable – The hard rocking duo will bring their stadium ready rock to Austin once again. Probably one of the last times you get to see crazy eyes perform in a small environment. These guys are primed and ready to take the world over.

Ed Kowalczyk – Ex-Live member will attempt to sing solo material over drunken requests of “lightning crashes”, “I alone” and maybe “Lakini’s Juice” for the diehard Live fan. We’ll see how long he lasts before he breaks. I will attend just to say I’ve heard the term “and her placenta falls to the floor” over loudspeakers.

Lianne La Havas – Mercury Prize nominated singer-songwriter looks like a lock to play her jazz influenced music in that church in Austin that I have never been to.

Little Boots – It’s been three years since Little Boots wowed the world with her catchy dance tracks and her love for the tenori-on. She’s back now and I am quite excited to hear her new material.

Los Claxons – Me and Paul really hope this is the Klaxons singing their tunes Mariachi style. Atlantis to Interzone to Juarez. Or something.

The list goes on and on, check it out here

SXSW Preview: We lazily analyze the first round of bands

Posted on by Ricky in South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Of Monsters And Men

Because we love South By Southwest and once again, we will be attending this little music festival in Austin next year, we feel obliged to tell you that the first round of bands have been announced for SXSW next year. Click here for the full list, but here are some bands that interest us.

Alt J – Can’t ignore the most recent Mercury Prize winner

Bastille – up and coming English band named after the infamous French date. Surely they are interesting.

Tego Calderon – is this guy Jose Calderon’s brother? Only time will tell.

Charlotte Church – You are lying if the prospect of seeing Charlotte Church in some divey biker bar doesn’t appeal to you.

Peggy Hsu – Last year we checked out a Beijing band, this year, if only for our native Taiwan photographer Gary, we will check out a Taiwanese act.

Klaxons – Does anyone remember Nu Rave? despite that genre’s predictable yet timely death, you can’t escape the fact that the Klaxon’s put out two wonderful albums and of course there’s always a chance Keira Knightley will be in the crowd.

Thurston Moore – SXSW always has showcases for people you would normally have to see in much larger venues, I guess Thurston Moore might fill that quota this year.

San Cisco – American indie pop band put out some nice EP’s this year, let’s hope they can build on that.

Spain – Holy mother of god Spain is playing SXSW. I love this band. Formed by Josh Haden, son of legendary Charles Haden.

Impressive and versatile list, can’t wait to see what’s next.

SXSW: The Recap – Bests, Worsts, Etc.

Posted on by Ricky in Everything, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Of Monsters And Men

SXSW has come and gone. Once again, we have survived. The Panic Manual crew even did a road trip through New Orleans to Memphis after the fact to prove it. Nevertheless, it’ll be another twelve months til we hit up Austin again and so for now, we can only relive these memories.

In this engaging round-table discussion, we discussed some of our favorite things about SXSW.

Favorite SXSW Moment?

Paul: There were a few … Mr. Muthafuckin’ Exquire spraying the crowd with water bottles throught the entire set, while also asking the crowd at one point whether they “like vagina” (apparently they do), the sound guy at the Roky Erickson Ice Cream Social asking over the PA if there was some way to turn off the band next door (who were kind of terrible), and of course, the unique dance moves of Chairlift‘s Caroline Polachek.

Editors note: Paul will be attending Chairlift at the Horseshoe on Wednesday to witness more dancing.

Gary: When 300 ppl sang to Ben Howard‘s Old Pine in St. David’s and it reverberates like a freaking gospel church choir. Or maybe it didn’t reverb. It doesn’t matter – that’s bliss for all in attendance if I ever saw one.

Ricky: Favorite moment was probably when Jesus and Mary Chain took the stage at the Belmont and did not suck live, because I waited five hours to see them and it would have been awful to have them sound like 2012 Happy Mondays or something.

Derek: Sharing a stage with Built to Spill.

Favorite Non Lionel Ritchie Act of SXSW

Derek: Of Monsters And Men were as amazing as I had hoped they would be.

Paul: Chelsea Wolfe put out one of my favourite albums of last year. Despite a few minor sound issues, she and her band did not disappoint live. Honourable mention to Crooked Fingers, Sauti Sol, Thee Oh Sees, and the mighty Peelander-Z.

Ricky: J&MC aside, The Heavy was spectacular live. Honorable mentions goes to Escort, Clock Opera and Howler.

Gary: Dry the River and Of Monsters and Men fought to a draw. The former for a clean performance and great tracks, and the latter for the mini-tsunami of energy as well as sun-tan lotion that they brought from across the oceans.

Most Disappointing Act

Gary: 1) Lost Lander. The performance was NOT the disappointment, but the sonic differences between the awesome demo Cold Feet and their main thrust of the set at Swan Dive was a big put-off for me. 2) The most half-hearted performance would be Willy Mason and his lethargic zombie band. They practically asked to be hated.

Ricky: Ramesh and Oh See Thees. Ramesh I wanted to see, but his soundcheck was so late that I was forced to leave before he even took the stage. Ironically, I went to see the Oh See Thees, who conveniently forgot they were playing at that time. Of the bands that did play, I wasn’t overly impressed with Blouse, a hyped band that was either too tired for their Saturday night showcase or just don’t have any stage presence.

Paul: Waiting way too long for Nachtmystium to set up their many instruments, then getting bored and bailing before they played their Thursday afternoon set at Elysium. Probably not their fault, but I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get to check out some black metal at SXSW. I’m also slightly disappointed with myself for eating Taco Bell in Austin while surrounded by much better tacos. But still, it was free!

Derek: Disappointed that we couldn’t see Ramesh perform due to problems with the venue/equipment.

Breakout Acts

Derek: Ed Sheeran was a real surprise. I expected a skinny, folksky ginger – instead we were treated to wicked freestyling and beat boxing.

Paul: Of Monsters And Men

Gary: Ed Sheeran. Blew our knickers off with a riotous hip-hop gig – let’s hope his new found form is what the American consumers need.

Ricky: Of Monsters and Men is a popular pick, but I’ll go on a limb and say Howler are primed for big things.

Another year, another great festival. See you next year.