Operation Every Band

SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 67

OEB went a couple days vacation there, but we’re coming back swinging this week starting this afternoon.  There’s a folky, rootsy element at play here, nice for a lazy Sunday.  Highlights:

Jess Williamson (9) - Musically, Native State is pretty minimal through and through, the plucking of some strings and bass drum rhythms power the majority of these tracks.  This music is raw, pretty without trying to be pretty.
Jade Simmons (7) - There’s no doubt that Simmons is incredibly talented, but it’s an ear for layering fascinating elements on top of her piano artistry that moves rather than just impresses.
J Roddy Walston & The Business (6)  - The Business dropped Essential Tremors last year, shifting their rock-soul sound further into dirty garage corners best shown on impactful opener “Heavy Bells”.  This is at least the band’s 4th consecutive SXSW, so look for a pulsing crowd who’s kept Walston & co. on their Austin agenda.
Jesse Malin (6) – NYC singer-songwriter and SXSW mainstay Jesse Malin is back in 2014, though I’m not sure if it’s a preview for a new release this year or just a chance to play out in Austin.  Malin is a great compliment to any Ryan Adams record, an emotional rock balladeer with a sweet, lyrical touch.
Irene Diaz (5) – Diaz’s 2013 EP I Love You Madly is a very minimal effort, mostly accompanied by acoustic picking and a piano chord or two.  The LA singer-songwriter’s voice shines, especially from an R&B/alt country angle.
JD Wilkes & The Dirt Daubers (5) – The Dirt Daubers have gotten electric and dirty on their latest blues-rock record Wild Moon.  Relatively straightforward in nature, Wilkes & co. impress with raw energy and some killer solos (harp, guitar, keys, et. al.)
Jerry David DeCicca (5) – DeCicca is set to release his solo debut in March and from early tracks, it looks like it will be a dark, minimal blues record.  This introverted approach isn’t too far away in intention from his main work with The Black Swans, but the starkness of DeCicca’s sound is subtly engrossing.

SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 67


OEB went a couple days vacation there, but we’re coming back swinging this week starting this afternoon. There’s a folky, rootsy element at play here, nice for a lazy Sunday. Highlights:


Jess Williamson (9) - Musically, Native State is pretty minimal through and through, the plucking of some strings and bass drum rhythms power the majority of these tracks. This music is raw, pretty without trying to be pretty.

Jade Simmons (7) - There’s no doubt that Simmons is incredibly talented, but it’s an ear for layering fascinating elements on top of her piano artistry that moves rather than just impresses.

J Roddy Walston & The Business (6) - The Business dropped Essential Tremors last year, shifting their rock-soul sound further into dirty garage corners best shown on impactful opener “Heavy Bells”. This is at least the band’s 4th consecutive SXSW, so look for a pulsing crowd who’s kept Walston & co. on their Austin agenda.

Jesse Malin (6) – NYC singer-songwriter and SXSW mainstay Jesse Malin is back in 2014, though I’m not sure if it’s a preview for a new release this year or just a chance to play out in Austin. Malin is a great compliment to any Ryan Adams record, an emotional rock balladeer with a sweet, lyrical touch.

Irene Diaz (5) – Diaz’s 2013 EP I Love You Madly is a very minimal effort, mostly accompanied by acoustic picking and a piano chord or two. The LA singer-songwriter’s voice shines, especially from an R&B/alt country angle.

JD Wilkes & The Dirt Daubers (5) – The Dirt Daubers have gotten electric and dirty on their latest blues-rock record Wild Moon. Relatively straightforward in nature, Wilkes & co. impress with raw energy and some killer solos (harp, guitar, keys, et. al.)

Jerry David DeCicca (5) – DeCicca is set to release his solo debut in March and from early tracks, it looks like it will be a dark, minimal blues record. This introverted approach isn’t too far away in intention from his main work with The Black Swans, but the starkness of DeCicca’s sound is subtly engrossing.

SXSW 2013 Spreadsheet 55:

2013’s first set is an interesting and diverse mix of artists worth a listen and one who I’m putting my money on breaking out in 2013 - Wake Owl.  Highlights:

Wake Owl (9) - Wake Owl pulls from Laurel Canyon Americana and European folk influences equally, creating a new sound that is still overwhelmingly familiar.
Butch Walker (8) - The choruses shine with fist-pumping/swaying action, but Walker is smart to keep a sense of looseness around the recordings to let his band The Black Widows lay back into cool grooves.  
Wall. (6) – At moments I quite like Wall.’s debut single “Magazine”, but it dragged just a little too much for my tastes.  Fans of Lana Del Rey are going to love these hushed tones and dark pop tunes.
J Roddy Walston and the Business (6) - J Roddy Walston and the Business deliver some serious blues licks on their whiskey-soaked self-titled debut.  I love this band’s 70s-inspired rock and roll attitude on record and would spend a SXSW set with them if only to shake out my dancing boots for a half-hour.
Washington Irving (6) - Washington Irving (a band, not a historical figure) lays down some interesting European folk and modern pop as their backing music, but the highlight of their 2010 debut EP are the distinctive Scottish vocals that carry a sense of authenticity to a weathered tradition.
Wavves (6) – The punk version of sister band The Best Coast, Wavves succeeds in distorted garage punk that is actually disguising tight little pop songs.  Early reports of their upcoming fourth record promise a diverse effort with influences ranging from acoustic melodies and even hip hop – Wavves recently recorded a track for Big Boi’s latest record.
The Wealthy West (5) - Brandon Kinder, also known as the lead singer of OEB highlight act The Rocketboys, has set upon a solo effort in 2011 with the release of The Wealthy West’s debut EP.  The Wealthy West plays laid back folk music with a pop-centric focus that fits nicely in the burgeoning acoustic scene at this year’s SXSW.

SXSW 2013 Spreadsheet 55:


2013’s first set is an interesting and diverse mix of artists worth a listen and one who I’m putting my money on breaking out in 2013 - Wake Owl.  Highlights:


Wake Owl (9) - Wake Owl pulls from Laurel Canyon Americana and European folk influences equally, creating a new sound that is still overwhelmingly familiar.

Butch Walker (8) - The choruses shine with fist-pumping/swaying action, but Walker is smart to keep a sense of looseness around the recordings to let his band The Black Widows lay back into cool grooves. 

Wall. (6) – At moments I quite like Wall.’s debut single “Magazine”, but it dragged just a little too much for my tastes.  Fans of Lana Del Rey are going to love these hushed tones and dark pop tunes.

J Roddy Walston and the Business (6) - J Roddy Walston and the Business deliver some serious blues licks on their whiskey-soaked self-titled debut.  I love this band’s 70s-inspired rock and roll attitude on record and would spend a SXSW set with them if only to shake out my dancing boots for a half-hour.

Washington Irving (6) - Washington Irving (a band, not a historical figure) lays down some interesting European folk and modern pop as their backing music, but the highlight of their 2010 debut EP are the distinctive Scottish vocals that carry a sense of authenticity to a weathered tradition.

Wavves (6) – The punk version of sister band The Best Coast, Wavves succeeds in distorted garage punk that is actually disguising tight little pop songs.  Early reports of their upcoming fourth record promise a diverse effort with influences ranging from acoustic melodies and even hip hop – Wavves recently recorded a track for Big Boi’s latest record.

The Wealthy West (5) - Brandon Kinder, also known as the lead singer of OEB highlight act The Rocketboys, has set upon a solo effort in 2011 with the release of The Wealthy West’s debut EP.  The Wealthy West plays laid back folk music with a pop-centric focus that fits nicely in the burgeoning acoustic scene at this year’s SXSW.

SXSW 2012 Spreadsheet 41:

Getting close to finishing the third round - next big release should be coming sometime next week!  This afternoon’s highlights:

Leif Vollebekk (9): Influences from jazz to folk to rock all bleed into Vollebekk’s music, a singer-songwriter in the vein of Elvis Costello.  
The War on Drugs (9): They don’t sound the least bit retro, more so using the familiar 80’s underpinning for comfortability to surround an experimental soundscape.
Vetusta Moria (7): Every track I’ve listened to has embraced its own direction, from quiet, spaced out post rock to fuzzy and upbeat pop jams.

Ume (6): Austin’s Ume plays a dense and heavy brand of indie rock, like a more pop-focused version of Warpaint.
J Roddy Walston and the Business (6): Down and dirty blues rock from Baltimore, Walston and the boys deliver fist-pumping rock coming from some honest souls.
We Are Standard (5): Appropriately standard musically, this Spanish band does have some nice experimental flourishes throughout their shiny, electronic pop catalog.

SXSW 2012 Spreadsheet 41:


Getting close to finishing the third round - next big release should be coming sometime next week!  This afternoon’s highlights:


Leif Vollebekk (9): Influences from jazz to folk to rock all bleed into Vollebekk’s music, a singer-songwriter in the vein of Elvis Costello.  

The War on Drugs (9): They don’t sound the least bit retro, more so using the familiar 80’s underpinning for comfortability to surround an experimental soundscape.

Vetusta Moria (7): Every track I’ve listened to has embraced its own direction, from quiet, spaced out post rock to fuzzy and upbeat pop jams.

Ume (6): Austin’s Ume plays a dense and heavy brand of indie rock, like a more pop-focused version of Warpaint.

J Roddy Walston and the Business (6): Down and dirty blues rock from Baltimore, Walston and the boys deliver fist-pumping rock coming from some honest souls.

We Are Standard (5): Appropriately standard musically, this Spanish band does have some nice experimental flourishes throughout their shiny, electronic pop catalog.