Monday, 24 March 2008

SXSW gets a round up

You're probably aware of the Texan industry frenzy that is SXSW. Every year thousands queue in the street to miss their favourite bands, while down the street next year's biggest thing plays to three cowboys under a hail of plastic pint cups. Glad I saved myself the trouble of actually being there (ish).. Handily most of the line-up post a song on the website's time table to help people pick what gigs they go to, so I've scoured the entire line-up for things worth knowing. All of it, indiscriminately, in case a Mexican opener turned out to be The Big Find. That's a lot of watching loading bars creep across the screen, and a whole load of press releases. What did we learn?

• That every band has a friend with a 10mp camera and Photoshop, so every band photo can look as similar as possible- you know the look, super-smooth skin that's made to look a bit green (example above)

•Bands with shit names are nearly all shit (see above: The Dexateens)

• That nearly everyone in Brooklyn makes pretty good music. Seriously, something in the water.

•That the best bands don't write a press statement. Those that do, especially those listing "Bowie, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem" as their influences, suck beyond belief.

•That those who can, beard. Those who can't, fringe. (as above. again. sorry Dexateens but you really are the purest of average).

88 promising acts became 30 became 16 and finally, my top 10 here. They're all here because they're interesting and stood out- there were bigger bands who you've probably heard of already, and smaller bands who might well be awesome if you like Norwegian metal, but these are the ones that fit the Show Pony's hard line on sheer goodness. Hit the links, there's YouTube footage from the festival wherever possible. Nuff talking, peruse these lot:

Dr. Dog - The Girl mp3
myspace // Youtube: Live at SXSW

Grand Ole Party - Look Out Young Son mp3
myspace // YouTube: Live at Fiesta Del Sol

High Places - Shared Islands mp3
myspace // YouTube: Live with projections by David Horvitz

Jay Reatard - Hammer I Miss You mp3
myspace // YouTube: Live at SXSW

Slaraffenland - Polaroids mp3
myspace // YouTube: Live at Roskilde (very good)

TheDeathSet - Negative Thinking mp3

The War Against Sleep - Blippity Bloop mp3

White Williams - Going Down mp3
myspace //YouTube: Live at SXSW

Woods - Be Still mp3

YACHT - See A Penny (Pick It Up) mp3
YouTube: Live at SXSW

So there we have it. Hopes you likes: next up, Miami WMC, and summer term preview fun.

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