SXSW 2013 Spreadsheet 160:
I’m running to 35 Denton in a few minutes, but first another grouping of bands featuring two collectives fronted by the same guy…only at SXSW. Highlights:
Deer Tick (10) - With the addition of Deer Tick on the SXSW roster, frontman John McCauley completed a trifecta of bands he’s part of (Diamond Rugs and an “…And Friends” set round it out). His main unit should be his loosest one if you’re picking from the bunch; Deer Tick tends to especially let it rip when they hit Austin’s streets year after year.
The Flaming Lips (10) - Led off by “Look…The Sun Is Rising”, The Lips have truly made a 180-turn from The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi, so it’ll be interesting to see how their over-the-top stage presence melds with muddling, psychedelic grooves. This new shift, which still maintains what has become ‘The Flaming Lips sound’, visceral grooves amid seemingly distant, but deceivingly personal lyrics.
Diamond Rugs (7) - Bringing together songwriting and musical bases from such disparate sounding bands gives Diamond Rugs a loose, psychedelic pop feel, like friends jamming while the tape is rolling.
Ed Tullett (7) - Taking a few cues directly from Justin Vernon and co., Tullett switches between ambient, falsetto-driven melodies and an accessible, modern rock drawl, which is a nice balance given the strong connection to Bon Iver’s stylistic approach.
Donora (6) – The twee pop melodies of Donora have a way of building their songs into mini-anthems, addictively upbeat with a emotional reach towards the stars. Donora will likely be featuring songs from their latest EP Play Nice, a pretty five-song collection that sees the band leaning closer to catchy pop/rock than ever.
Ducktails (6) – The side project of Real Estate’s Matthew Mondanile, Ducktails is mostly ambient, indie pop, synth-driven soundscapes that build off of relatively minimal grooves. Ducktails’ latest single is “Letter of Intent”, a breezy, temporally psychedelic funk adventure that shows that Mondanile can pull off a wide-range of textures between his two bands.
Emily Bell (6) – An exciting Austin upstart, Emily forgoes introducing herself as some sort of sappy singer-songwriter on her debut track “Back to the Way I Was”, instead going for a burn-burning rave-up led by rootsy, Americana percussion and neo-soul horn lines.
George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic (6) – A real godfather of his own sound, Clinton and P-Funk are heading to SXSW to kick out the R&B soul jams that has influenced so many young musicians that’ll be gigging at the bars next door. I’m betting P-Funk’s set won’t be some experimentations from a new record, rather look for a 80s throwback, serious party vibe.