SXSW

SXSW Song Of The Day: Tallies – Easy Enough

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

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Toronto band Tallies make jangly, buoyant dream pop reminiscent of The Cocteau Twins and The Sundays, with singer/guitarist Sarah Cogan’s voice especially bringing to mind that of Sundays’ singer Harriet Wheeler. This is, of course, a very good thing.

The band just released its self-titled debut album this past Friday (via Hand Drawn Dracula) and will soon be heading out on a tour in support of it that culminates in a stop at SXSW in March. In the meantime, the band will be playing a hometown record release show at The Drake on February 1 alongside Sahara and Carmen Elle. Go check that show out if you get a chance and check out the video for “Easy Enough” below:

SXSW Song Of The Day: Be Forest – Bengala

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

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A forest can be a beautiful place, but venture into the forest late at night and it can also get pretty dark and a bit unsettling. Fittingly, Italian shoegazers Be Forest seem to have found the right mix of beauty and darkness on their upcoming album Knocturne (out February 8 via We Were Never Being Boring).

Lead single “Bengala” is a perfect example of this, mixing a dark, moody tone with a bit of lightness. The band themselves have described the track as “The spotlight that lights up the stage after the curtains open; a celestial body which at the moment of its impact allows us to glimpse our surroundings — it’s the brightest point, the north of the compass.”

Come this March, Be Forest’s compass will be pointing South By Southwest as the band heads to Austin to play a show (or several) during the week. Check out “Bengala” below:

SXSW Song Of The Day: Moving Panoramas – Baby Blues

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

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Photo credit: Mike Manewitz

Today, SXSW released their third announcement of performers (and largest so far) for this year’s festival, taking place from March 8 – 17. And while there are quite a few notable names, including Edie Brickell and New Bohemians, Illuminati Hotties, Priests, and Toronto’s own Doomsquad and Odonis Odonis, we’ll take the opportunity today to shine the spotlight on an Austin based band from that list – Moving Panoramas.

Led by frontwoman and songwriter Leslie Sisson, the band will be releasing their sophomore album In Two on February 22 via Modern Outsider and playing a bunch of shows at SXSW in support of it. “Baby Blues” is the lead single off of that album, a breezy, driving little number that opens with a lyric that almost sounds as if it were describing SouthBy itself: “Here we are/Another year/Same time, same spot.”

Yeah, that about sums it up – just a couple of months to go before all the SXSW devotees are in that same spot at the same time again. Looking forward to it.

SXSW 2018 – The Recap: Favorites, Surprises, etc.

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

Starcrawler, March 15, 2018

The 10th Year. That is pretty crazy. At this point, I have spent over 100 days in Austin. I have spent over a month at the Sheraton on 11th. All because of this little tech and music festival in the heart of Texas.

This year was an invigorating year. I don’t know why. Everyone at SXSW just seemed happy to be there. There were the crazy years from like five years ago when Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga and Springsteen were all at SXSW, but really, that was not what SXSW is about. I’m very glad the organizers of this festival has withdrawn from that type of booking. It’s now looking more like what it was when I first started (which probably still looked different than it did when people first started going, but whatevs).

Anyways, we polled the people at the Panic Manual about their experience.

Best Act

Paul: While it was great to revisit old favourites like Gaz Coombes, The Wedding Present and Low (whose Tuesday night set of church organ driven arrangements of their latest material had me feeling like I was stuck inside an episode of Twin Peaks all night – in a good way, of course), I’ll go with London’s Shame as one of the best among the new acts I caught.

Derek: Toss up between Meute and Superorganism. I’m hoping both continue to churn out new stuff.

Gary: Between Nubya Garcia and Albert Hammond Jr, which oddly were among the first and last shows I saw this year.

Ricky: Two acts I really enjoyed (but have already seen before) were Cut Copy and Young Fathers. Those are unfair because I knew what I was getting into. Three acts that made huge impressions on me were Meute, Shame and Gangs of Youth. I’m a sucker for anthem rock and saw Gangs of Youth twice so I might go with them, although Shame was definitely a 1b.

Most Disappointing Act

Paul: LuxDeluxe. They’re talented enough guys, but something about their performance just didn’t gel for me. Points to the singer for dancing so hard though.

Gary: Yes I was paying attention… but I can’t recall anything that was disappointing enough for me to bother to write about it. Even ShitKid was disrespectfully charming. Perhaps the band that me and Paul walked into at the Driskill?

Ricky: Not sure what the hell Porches ever did to give them a closing slot for a day show. Was not interesting at all.

Most Pleasant Discovery

Gary: Gordi. I have always thought that sunset and an inanely-smiling crowd are prerequisites to a wholly entertaining show. Her singing was transporting enough to forget that I was bathed in molecules of rotting hipster garbage from the high-rise next door.

Paul: Meute was the most fun and put on an amazing show, though I’ll also give a shout out to a band on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of mood and energy – Holy Motors from Estonia. Their Mazzy Star gone spooky Spaghetti Western vibe made for a nice, chill break in the middle of Friday afternoon.

Derek: Meute were fantastic. I wouldn’t think that a German techno marching band (complete with uniforms) would be a thing I’d bug out to, but they had an amazing energy that had the crowd moving.

Ricky: Meute was amazing. Everyone has already said that. Aside from them I would say my most pleasant discovery was going to the China showcase, seeing a psych-rock act named Fazi and then watching a bunch of old Chinese people in winter vests dancing it up as if their lives weren’t pinned down by some overwhelming suppressive communist regime or something.

Anything new or notable about SXSW this year?

Paul: The continued downsizing of SXSW from the excess of a few years ago has continued into this year’s edition and it seems to be a good thing – the lack of huge big name headliners means a lot less FOMO and frees you up to explore a bit more.

Another trend I noticed was a large number of great female performers this year, including Starcrawler, Fruit & Flowers, Wye Oak, Anna Burch, Superorganism, Boytoy, Ex-Girlfriend and Rachel Bloom (of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), just to name a few. When I first got to Austin (or maybe it was at the airport before I even left – Monday was a long day) I noticed a woman wearing a t-shirt that said “The present is female” and based on what I took in at SXSW this year, that statement would appear to be true.

Derek: It definitely felt smaller and the lack of huge headliners was noticeable.

Gary: Austin remains as lively and friendly as ever, but it’s an odd mix of care-free and hyper-vigilance that is new. Ever since the truck accident they have been scaling back, first pedestrian barricades on 6th to thin the crowd, then dump-trucks full of sand at intersections as precautions. This year the new fire regulations and enforcement were really thorough, although fewer venues remembered to check my camera bag. Glad to see that even as our world spins out of control, it still needs music.

Ricky: The bands seemed smaller this year. When Rae Sremmurd is the biggest act, you know they have scaled it back a bit. I really liked that. Also, they were a lot stricter with capacity levels. Often times you would line up to get in to find out its only half full.

All in all, an amazing year. Here’s a spotify playlist of some of the bands we saw.

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