South By Southwest

Concert Review AND SXSW Preview: Milk & Bone, March 1, Mod Club

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Talk about multitasking – a review and a preview all in one. Milk & Bone are a duo from Montreal who have just recently released their sophomore album Deception Bay. I personally knew nothing about them until I saw a friend suggesting people should go to the show. I hadn’t been to a show all year and I figured it would be a good idea to prep myself again for going to a show because in a few days I’ll be seeing about 40-50 bands and I don’t want to be traumatized from that.

My friend had described them as one of those “pleasant Spotify bands” that would show up in your “electro pop” playlist. The funny thing is after witnessing the show, it’s actually kind of true. I don’t know what that means but it made perfect sense.

Accompanied by a minimal light show, the duo played a rather long (over an hour) show that highlighted their talent. It was really hard for me to categorize their music, which is one of the things I try to do for some reason. The first part of the set was more low key dream pop and reminded me of Au Revoir Simone if Au Revoir Simone had listened to Massive Attack. Just as the music seemed to tire on me, the second part of their set was a mix of slick R&B tracks and more electronic focus, but like, not raging Calvin Harris at a tropical night club vibe – more like, if Calvin Harris was playing to a room of introverts kinda dance vibe. Through it all, one thing is clear: these two ladies are very good at vocals. No karaoke wars with them!

The show actually left me kind of confused. Are they a dream pop band? Are they an R&B band? Maybe they are a bit of everything. Maybe all new bands are a bit of everything because when they were kids it was the 2000s and all the genres blended together. How crazy is that? I’m so old.

Anyways, it was a very pleasant show and had a bit of everything. The packed crowd definitely enjoyed it and I was glad I was able to make the trek to the Mod Club to see them.

They are also at SXSW! here are their sets:

Mar 12, 2018 8:00pm @ Bungalow
Mar 15, 2018 1:10am @ The Sidewinder Outside
Mar 16, 2018 9:00pm @ Swan Dive Patio

SXSW Song Of The Day: Victim Mentality – Way Of Steel

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If I learned one thing from the recent Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, (other than the fact that a lot of people are kind of obsessed with whether or not Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are romantically involved) it’s that South Koreans love their metal.

The sight of a 13 year old guitarist shredding his ass off as he played a variation on Vivaldi’s “Winter” followed by a brief performance by heavy post-rock band Jambinai made for perhaps the most metal Olympics closing ceremony ever. So while the most heavily hyped Korean acts playing SXSW this year are likely the K-pop ones, the presence of retro glam metallers Victim Mentality is also welcome as they represent all that’s heavy in their homeland.

Victim Mentality play the very metal Dirty Dog Bar on March 15 at 9:00pm. Go see them and then grab a slice at Hoek’s next door for the full Austin metal experience.

SXSW Song Of The Day: Common Holly – Nothing

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A short blurb featured on Common Holly‘s Bandcamp page reads as follows: “Music 4 u – Hope it’s not too sad – Oh well”. It’s a good line – funny, while also a somewhat fair assessment of the music made by Montreal’s Common Holly AKA Brigitte Naggar. I’d argue it’s just the right amount of sad though. “Nothing” is a good example – there’s a bit of a melancholy tone to the music and lyrics, but it has a certain sweetness to it as well. Besides, sometimes you just want to wallow in sadness for a bit. You know how it is.

Common Holly plays Swan Dive on March 16 at 9:30. In the meantime, if you’re in Toronto and not going to SXSW, she’s playing a show this Wednesday (February 28) at Velvet Underground opening for Phoebe Bridgers.

SXSW Song Of The Day: Cut Worms – Till Tomorrow Goes Away

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In his guise as Cut Worms, Brooklyn’s Max Clarke has shown that he knows his way around a catchy tune. “Till Tomorrow Goes Away” is one such tune – a seriously Harry Nilsson-esque tune that inspires toe-tapping and head-bopping, at least in this writer.

Along with his official and unofficial appearances in Austin during SXSW, Clarke will also be taking Cut Worms out to Willie Nelson’s Luck, Texas Ranch as one of the acts at this year’s Luck Reunion, the side festival outside of Austin that has occurred concurrently with SouthBy for the last few years (and which just announced it’s lineup today).

Cut Worms plays Barracuda on Thursday, March 15.