South By Southwest

SXSW Song of the Day – Prima Queen – Butter Knife

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It’s quite convenient (and annoying) that SXSW often takes place around the same time as NCAA final four, because there is quite a startling amount of similarities. Hear me out.

As a basketball fan, you watch the NCAA Final Four tournament to watch for the future. Who in this breakneck tournament will stand out? Who will be the next Steph Curry? Who is the next Luka Doncic? You watch this tournament analyzing players – Do they have handles? How’s their shot? Do they defend? Is it natural or does it have too much of a hitch (like Michael Kidd Gilchrist). Anyways, you are not looking at the end result, but you are looking at the components that can make someone successful in the next stage of their career.

SXSW is like the NCAA final four, but with music. Aside from the 3 story Doritos stage ten years ago, SXSW is about the next big thing. Part of the fun of it is to look at bands and wonder: Are they gonna be massive? Do they have it? Surely most bands can write one catchy tune, but sometimes out of that you have to wonder if there’s enough there – Do they have a foundation? How’s the song writing? How’s the charisma? It’s one of the most fun parts of being a music fan (and a terrible part of being a musician I suspect).

Anyways, having heard Prima Queen‘s “Butter Knife”, I was very excited. An American-Brit collaboration (just like the 1700s), this duo’s song has a bit of everything – spoken poetry, a harmonized chorus and a string section that just wraps up the song in a nice tidy package and forces you to recognize that this band might be one to reckon with. For me, all these little touches get me excited to see them live. It sounds like a song far more mature than a group that’s only been around a few years should be able to achieve.

SXSW Song of the Day: Steam Down – Overcome

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It’s likely no mistake that both of Steam Down‘s official SXSW showcases are scheduled to start at 1:00am – not only does the London jazz/hip hop collective make the kind of music that will surely keep the party going well into the wee hours, but they also seem like they’d be a hard act to follow, so might as well have them close out the venues each night.

Check out the video below for Steam Down’s latest single “Overcome” featuring TINYMAN, Germane Marvel, and Afronaut Zu.

Steam Down play Sellar’s Underground on March 16 at 1:00am and The British Music Embassy @ The Courtyard on March 18 at 1:00am.

SXSW Song of the Day: Soul Glo – Gold Chain Punk (whogonbeatmyass?)

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Metal and hardcore have not really had the biggest presence at SXSW in recent years, but luckily for those who like things on the heavier end of the musical spectrum, there’s still a few such acts that manage to make their way onto the lineup each year.

One of those acts that I’m looking forward to seeing in action at this year’s SouthBy is Philadephia’s Soul Glo. The band will be heading to Austin in support of their latest release, last year’s Diaspora Problems. Check out the video below for the album’s lead track “Gold Chain Punk (whogonbeatmyass?)”

Soul Glo plays Elysium on March 18 at 10:00pm.

SXSW Song of the Day- The Chairs – Rollin’ On

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SXSW 2021 was a strange one – right in the middle of a pandemic, all acts were asked to deliver a virtual concert for SXSW attendees to view at home. As odd as that sounds, several bands got extremely creative and left a real mark on the viewers. Norway and Taiwan in particular come to mind, with all the bands from those countries taking a problem and creating an opportunity.

One of the more memorable showcases came from Taiwanese band The Chairs. The trio put together a great set of music in what I can only describe as an indoor fishing warehouse. The setting was unique and the band’s blend of low-fi/tweeish music featuring Mandarin, English, Hokkien and Japanese really left a mark.

Luckily, the band finally makes their way to Austin this year. I’m excited to see what they bring.

The Chairs play Elysium on March 14 at 9:00pm.