SXSW Film Review: Joe Buffalo (2021, Amar Chebib)

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

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Credit: Liam Mitchell

“To me, skateboarding was definitely like a saviour,” says Joe Buffalo at the beginning of this film, and after seeing his story unfold over the course of Amar Chebib’s short documentary, it’s hard to disagree with that statement.

Joe Buffalo tells the story of its protagonist’s life, from his experiences in the residential school system to his run ins with the law (“Jail damaged my spirit”) to his struggles with addiction. But while his story is certainly tragic, the film doesn’t dwell too much on that, choosing rather to focus on the importance of Buffalo’s “saviour” and how pivotal skateboarding has been for him. In fact, some of the most impressive and memorable moments in the film are the shots of Joe Buffalo in action on his board.

With Joe Buffalo’s career on the rise and him turning pro after skating for 35 years, the film ultimately ends off on a positive note, looking hopefully towards the future.

SXSW Review: Jambinai, Dasom Baek

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

JAMBINAI

SXSW Online 2021 is unlike any edition of the festival that has ever gone before and fittingly, my start to SXSW Online was also a little out of the ordinary.

While I’d normally start off the festival by arriving in Austin, getting the lay of the land, maybe grabbing a Shiner Bock or a Lone Star and then heading off to the nearest venue, this year all I needed was just the click of a mouse to start things off. And thanks to the folks at the Korean Traditional Performing Arts Foundation, I got things off to a good start with two short but sweet sets from Dasom Baek and Jambinai.

Starting the showcase off was Dasom Baek, whose unique sound brought together traditional Korean instruments, loops, and literally the sound of water in a bowl to produce something that was beautiful and at times almost hypnotic.

The shift in tone from the simple beauty of Dasom Baek’s performance to the much denser sonics of Jambinai was not an insignificant one, though their sounds were also complimentary and Jambinai’s set was just as beautiful in its own way. And also heavy. Oh so heavy. The band’s heavy post-rock sounds, inspired by traditional Korean music and played on a mix of standard rock band setup and traditional instruments were definitely a strong way to kick off the festivities for the afternoon.

As I’ve already mentioned, this year’s fully online edition of the festival is uncharted territory for SXSW and while there are benefits to this format (everything starts on time, solid sound mix, and the pro-shot videos mean every seat is the best seat in the house), one obvious drawback is the limitation of having all of the music sets condensed into a shorter time window, which leaves an act like Jambinai, prone to epic-sounding, sprawling compositions, at a little bit of a disadvantage. Whereas in normal SouthBy times, the band would be playing multiple sets a day to enthusiastic crowds, here they only had one shot that I don’t think even lasted 15 minutes. Still, they definitely made the most of the window of time they did have, putting on an absolutely stellar performance and for the uninitiated who were tuning in to this stream, there’s no doubt Jambinai surely made a few news fans out of some of them.

SXSW Preview: Hazy Sour Cherry – No Fun

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

hazy

Hazy Sour Cherry is a Japanese band from one of my new favorite record labels, Damnably Records.

According to the band’s bandcamp site, “All members are in their mid-twenties and met in an underground music scene in the Shimokitazawa Tokyo”. That sounds like an underground scene I want to investigate. Their tunes show influences from surf rock to indie pop, and this tune with the chant vocals, the hand claps and the low-fi guitars certainly channels all that.

They are playing the Damnably Showcase on Friday Check it out!

Song of the Day: Su Lee – All The Noise

Posted on by Ricky in Song of the Day | Leave a comment

allthenoise

One of the nice things about technology these days is that you can just randomly make your own music video and put it on the internet and gain a fanbase. This is exactly what South Korean singer Su Lee did last year for her track “I Just Dance”, one of my favorites from last year.

There’s a lot of angst and anxiety and introspective thoughts brought up in all her songs, which may or may not be a Gen Z or whatever they are thing, still it has captured my attention. She is extremely talented and you should check her out.

Check out the video for “All The Noise” below.