SXSW: Jonquil, March 15, Latitude 30

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Austin – Jonquil was awesome. Playing a packed house at the British Embassy, the Oxford group trio brought their keyboard driven soaring melodies to Austin and brought the house down. The band, comprising of Hugo Manuel, Sam Hudson Scott and Robin McDiarmid used keyboards, guitars and the occasional horns to create a fully layered summery sound that only seemed to be strenghtened with Hugo Manuel’s vocals, who seemed to remind me of Elbow’s Guy Harvey. A kickass rocking cover of The XX’s Infinity put a nice finishing touch to stellar show. Check out their debut EP One Hundred Suns, available now off Dovecote Records.

SXSW Review: Pulled Apart By Horses, March 15, Latitude 30

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

Austin – After an excellent yet comparatively subdued set by Jonquil, Leeds based noisemakers Pulled Apart By Horses took to the stage at Latitude 30 and basically tore things up.  Their music had a noisy, punky, chaotic demeanor, full of hardcore style screaming (ie. screamo), abrupt changes, and several riffs that seemed to be almost lifted directly from Rage Against The Machine.  Their stage presence added a lot to the chaotic nature of their set.  They basically threw in all of the stock rock n’ roll/punk moves that are kind of cliche but also work perfectly to get the crowd going – crowd surfing, jumping off their amps, going out into the crowd to sing and climbing up onto the bar, and of course spitting up into the air and watching it land on stage.  They were obviously having fun onstage and it showed.  There was a minor delay after the first song when the power to the mics went out where they got a fan onstage to tell a joke (but if the mic wasn’t working, how would everyone hear the joke?). Later in their set, singer Tom Hudson inexplicably sang a snippet of “Cotton Eyed Joe” as he ran through the crowd.

It was a fun, high energy set that was appreciated by many in attendance.  In fact, it was fun and high energy largely because of the crowd’s reaction.  There was a guy who looked like Stone Cold Steve Austin, but with glasses, who was singing along with many of the lyrics. There was also the aforementioned fan who almost told a joke clearly the most excited to be there, dancing wildly throughout their set.  During the song, “High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive,” there were in fact many high fives given out by the band to the crowd, including one unlucky guy who took a high five to the head because he wasn’t paying attention.  Strangely, he didn’t seem to mind that the band had basically smacked him in the head.  I spoke to Ricky, who had been standing much further back from the stage during their set.  His assessment?  “It was like being hit by a freight train.”  Yeah, it was noisy and chaotic, but in a good way.

High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive by cooperativemusicuk

SXSW Preview: Foster The People

Posted on by Ricky in South By Southwest | 2 Comments

Toronto – Easily one of the most promising bands that are on the verge of a massive breakout, Foster The People is an LA indie pop trio comprised of Mark Foster, Cubbie Fink and Mark Pontius. They recently released a self titled EP that just oozed potential with two glorious a-sides. Houdini, the first track off the record contains inspiring melodies, fun synths and an outrageous gang vocal outro that takes the song to another level. The second track off the EP – Pumped Up Kicks has already been floating around the internet for awhile now and with it’s catchy chorus and lazy summertime bass lines I wouldn’t be surprised if the track gets taken to another level as more and more people tune in. The band will be in Austin to not only promote their EP, but their self titled debut LP Torches which comes out on May 24th. I will definitely be seeing them. Don’t be surprise to see them pull a Temper Trap, another band with an outrageously awesome single that just exploded after a few terrific turns in Austin last year.

Check out Houdini

Here are the SXSW dates:
Thursday 17th, 4:00 PM, Cedar Street Courtyard as part of Filter’s Culture Collide Party
Thursday 17th, 8:30 PM, Stubbs – Official Showcase

Here are some non SXSW dates:
3/8 Santa Barbara, CA SOHO
3/13 Santa Fe, NM Corzon
3/14 El Paso,TX Lowbrow Palace
3/21 Tempe, AZ Sail Inn
3/22 Solana, CA Belly Up
3/23 San Francisco, CA Independent
3/25 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios
3/26 Seattle WA High Dive *SOLD OUT
3/27 Boise, ID Reef
3/29 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court
3/30 Denver, CO Walnut Room
3/31 Kansas City, MO The Record Bar
4/1 Minneapolis, MN 7th Street Entry
4/2 Chicago, IL Schuba’s
4/3 Toronto, ON Lee’s Palace
4/5 Montreal, QC Petit Campus
4/7 Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall
4/8 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
4/9 Brooklyn, NY Knitting Factory
4/10 Philadelphia, PA Kung Fu Necktie
4/11 Washington DC Red Palace
4/17 Indio, CA Coachella
5/30 George, WA Sasquatch

SXSW Preview: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

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Oil portrait by Joanna Marie Care

Toronto – First of all, you know your band is doing something positive when someone does an oil portrait of you. Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr is a two man project composed of Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott. I had been receiving emails about the buzz that the band is generating since last June but because their band name reminded me of Dale Earnhardt, which reminded me of Nascar, I promptly ignored it. How stupid is that?

It was quite stupid. I rediscovered (or discovered?) this band whilst listening to a SXSW compilation. Amongst all the mediocre music you would expect from a compilation of a thousand or so songs, I was delighted to hear a catchy melodic track named Vocal Chords that evoked memories of jogging along the beach, buying a mango milkshake and eating an avocado sandwich. Of course, I have never done this before, but I can live vicariously through someone who has.

While it might seem like I’ve only been gravitating towards summery, breezy tracks that remind me of warmer times, one can’t deny this tracks overall quality. Many bands has done the whole “light folky pop backed by computer dance beats” tracks before, but few tracks come across as catchy as this one. The band’s debut album, It’s A Corporate World comes out April 26th and like all the other bands with albums out this year, they will be taking their show to SXSW. Here are the set time(s):

Wednesday March 16th, The Phoenix, 9PM

Check out the song I was talking about:
Vocal Chords-Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. by TimeOutNewYork