SXSW Song of the Day: DE FACTO – Legend Of The Four-Tailed Scorpion

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

Today sees another announcement from SXSW highlighting the latest round of musical acts set to play Austin next month. And unsurprisingly for an Austin-based festival, there’s a fair number of acts from the Lone Star State on that list, including Austinites such as Blushing and Farmer’s Wife.

One name in particular that sticks out in the latest announcement is DE FACTO, the El Paso dub group formed in the late ’90s by Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala (of At The Drive-In/Mars Volta fame). Rodríguez-López and Bixler-Zavala will also be in town promoting Omar and Cedric: If This Ever Gets Weird, Nicolas Jack Davies’ documentary on the duo’s “artistic and personal relationship,” which looks like it should be a good one.

Check out “Legend Of The Four-Tailed Scorpion,” the lead track from DE FACTO’s 2001 album Légende du Scorpion à Quatre Queues, below.

SXSW Review: iLe, March 15, Radio Day Stage

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment


For the most part, I think the Grammys are useless and pretty much a poor indicator of anything in terms of the music I particularly like. However, in the context of international music, where there are less yardsticks I am aware of that can be used to assess quality, The Grammys could be of moderate use.

When I saw that Puerto Rican musician iLe was playing the Radio Day Stage at SXSW, I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but when I saw that she was Grammy approved then I was like “sure, why not?” That was a good decision.

In Austin to promote her new record Nacarile, Ile put on a fun afternoon show that had the crowd moving inside the cavernous stage that is Ballroom A

iLe sang tracks that included ballads, synthy pop numbers and what I can only describe as tropical vibe tunes, all while dancing what I think is salsa or something Caribbean on stage.

A pleasant time.

Song of the Day: Benedictus, Requiem in D minor (WA Mozart)

Posted on by Gary in Everything | Leave a comment

I have not listened to Mozart’s Requiem in full for over a decade. It is an oddly morbid thing to have surfaced randomly… or perhaps it’s just on my shuffled playlist?

As it is wont to do, the internets is full of opinions on which is the most “definitive” version. I can’t fathom sitting down and researching, note for note, the different character and performance caliber of modern interpretations from Marriner to Karajan to Celibidache to Herrewghe, while faced with something so categorically assigned to call out a range of emotional instead of analytical reflexes. There is the requisite loss, anguish, march, and lamentation. But I’d argue it has sublimity sprinkled everywhere, as well.

One of my favorite sections is Benedictus. “Crowd pleaser” being a somewhat inappropriate term here, it may be the next best thing to having flights of angels sing you to your rest.

Song of the Day: Superorganism – Solar System

Posted on by Gary in Everything, Song of the Day | Leave a comment


Once in a decade or so I like to return to the founding ethos of Panic Manual: we review anything and everything under the sun so long as it is (arguably) tasteful. So I will share a few words about a recent NPR interview with Superorganism‘s singer, Orono.

Let’s first get some observations out of the way. This was clearly not a pleasant morning for some anchors: to hear the words “people did not quality for tax relief” spoken on the newsreel and grind your teeth on the fumbling utterance of “NO, that’s not it” on the following sentence, is one too many hard boiled eggs to swallow at 8AM. For someone who thanks dudes for edibles, Orono seems to genuinely appreciate having them for breakfast right before an interview. Lastly, the tension on air as the host, Daniel Estrin, tries in vain to elicit responses, is so diametrically opposite to the basic tenets of edibles even though you could indeed cut it with a knife.

Superorganism is of course the London-based pop band that brought us the pre-pandemically infectious likes of “Everybody Wants To Be Famous” back in the heady days of 2018, with their eponymous debut album. We thoroughly enjoyed their show at SxSW that year in support of that album.

With the new album, World Wide Pop, in hand, I suppose this interview was meant to be promotional. If I were to pinpoint an exact moment when I realized this could have been much better as a video interview, it was:

D. ESTRIN: I have to say, you know, when I first listened to your album, it kind of felt like the musical equivalent of TikTok. It was that…

ORONO: I don’t know if that’s a compliment or a dis.

And then it became more awkward:

D. ESTRIN: As a lead singer of a band in your early 20s with this music that just mirrors this strange internet world we’re living in, you know, what would you tell our listeners who maybe are a little bit older than you?

ORONO: I would just be like, I hope you like this record. If you don’t, that’s fine. I don’t really care.

It could have been great to scrutinize facial micro-expression at 4K and see if that shot across the bow did damage, or bounced off everyone and is still hours later pinballing around in the recording chamber sound-absorption-be-damned, like a laser beam trapped in a hall of mirrors. They do sound a lot more frenetically electronic and sampled on this album, perhaps that departure from the first album was meant to be the focus of discussion. Regardless of whether or not I read too much into this interview, I’m just glad to hear evidence that energy (and edibles) both remain strong in music.

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