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sxsw

Real Estate – “Crimes”

 

Pairs Well With…Grizzly Bear, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, The War on Drugs

 

Somehow, Real Estate pulled off a dramatically fuller sound by subtracting.  Real Estate’s debut and follow-up Days stood out for their density, but it’s evident through the first track, “Hard To Hear”, that the band is letting every note ring – less is more is certainly the case here.  Atlas acts as a dreamy pop album recorded by a rock band, an understated yet weighty achievement.  The pace is slow and meaningful, picking up to a bounce at most.  Atlas is hazy, yet not quite psychedelic.  This middle ground ends up a beautiful listen and its nice to see a talented group of songwriters push over the ‘new buzz band’ hill with such grace.  Real Estate are spending most of the year on the road with a week-long California run in August followed by a European festival run, US club tour and even a couple runs in the UK and South America this fall.

The Range – “Washingtons”

Pairs Well With…Bonobo, Sampha, Four Tet

 

Down-tempo and innovatively patient, The Range’s Nonfiction is a slow burner that uses repetition and build as the cornerstone of its musical statement.  It’s a dramatic one, formed out of nothing to only be engulfed in sound.  Each part of The Range’s music is spotlighted before another layer is added, allowing the ear to hear every texture, so precisely placed.  Avoiding pop, 4/4 forms, The Range takes his cues more from the heart than as a pure technician.  This type of layering likens The Range more to post rock than down-tempo EDM, replacing a traditional band format with pads and keyboards without losing a sense of soul.  The Range has followed up this year with an EP, Panasonic, that focuses more on off-backbeats than the harmonic one of Nonfiction, a pivot with sharper, extroverted results. 

Roosevelt – “Montreal”

 

Pairs Well With…Classixx, Chromeo, Washed Out

 

Electronic producer/performer Roosevelt mixes together dance and pop music like an alien who doesn’t know any better.  Disco beats and synth pulses drive Roosevelt’s 2013 EP Elliot, but the artist’s hushed, yearning vocal takes the four-track effort into unique waters.  Extroverted and introverted melodies play right up against one another and the mix is surprisingly natural.  While this could seep into moody territory at anytime, Roosevelt instead keeps something upbeat within every second.  The final track “Sea” sounds borderline hopeful at times, but in a matter-of-fact rather than a lofty way.  This bridge of indie pop and dance beats puts Roosevelt in at an interesting intersection, a place where fans from both end may multiply right in the middle as Roosevelt preps a full-length due this year.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 153
 
Here’s a little break in our Lollapalooza action this evening for some primo post-SXSW recommendations from the spreadsheet that won’t give up.  Highlights:
 
Real Estate (9) - Atlas acts as a dreamy pop album recorded by a rock band, an understated yet weighty achievement.  The pace is slow and meaningful, picking up to a bounce at most.
The Range (7) - Each part of The Range’s music is spotlighted before another layer is added, allowing the ear to hear every texture, so precisely placed.  Avoiding pop, 4/4 forms, The Range takes his cues more from the heart than as a pure technician.
Roosevelt (7) - Disco beats and synth pulses drive Roosevelt’s 2013 EP Elliot, but the artist’s hushed, yearning vocal takes the four-track effort into unique waters.  Extroverted and introverted melodies play right up against one another and the mix is surprisingly natural.
Rodney Crowell (6) - Texas country veteran Rodney Crowell has looped together Southern pop shine and rootsy songwriting into 2014’s accessible, rambling Tarpaper Sky.  There are a few moments that are relatively sparse (“God I’m Missing You”, “Famous Last Words of a Fool in Love”) and hit the gut as hard as Crowell’s classic catalog.
Roky Erikson and the Hounds of Baskerville (6) – Roky Erikson is another Texas legend, but of a whole different sort.  His 70s and 80s psychedelic rock work holds up in 2014 as Erikson takes his gothic, grungy tones on the road with his five-piece, the Hounds of Baskerville.
Real Magic (5) – Dramatic synth tones drive Real Magic’s debut record Deep Breathing.  Heavy and thick, Deep Breathing takes an 80s new wave sound and twists it into something new.
The Reverend Kathy Russell (5) – Austin mainstay and innovative DJ The Reverend Kathy Russell deals in jungle break-beats and hip hop swerves, good times all around.

Ricoshei (5) – I could only dig up a one-minute preview of an original Ricoshei track, but the dark and stormy electronic pop song “Perfect Like You” had enough emotional heft to it wonder if the LA duo has more up their sleeves than down-tempo House mixes.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 153

 

Here’s a little break in our Lollapalooza action this evening for some primo post-SXSW recommendations from the spreadsheet that won’t give up.  Highlights:

 

Real Estate (9) - Atlas acts as a dreamy pop album recorded by a rock band, an understated yet weighty achievement.  The pace is slow and meaningful, picking up to a bounce at most.

The Range (7) - Each part of The Range’s music is spotlighted before another layer is added, allowing the ear to hear every texture, so precisely placed.  Avoiding pop, 4/4 forms, The Range takes his cues more from the heart than as a pure technician.

Roosevelt (7) - Disco beats and synth pulses drive Roosevelt’s 2013 EP Elliot, but the artist’s hushed, yearning vocal takes the four-track effort into unique waters.  Extroverted and introverted melodies play right up against one another and the mix is surprisingly natural.

Rodney Crowell (6) - Texas country veteran Rodney Crowell has looped together Southern pop shine and rootsy songwriting into 2014’s accessible, rambling Tarpaper Sky.  There are a few moments that are relatively sparse (“God I’m Missing You”, “Famous Last Words of a Fool in Love”) and hit the gut as hard as Crowell’s classic catalog.

Roky Erikson and the Hounds of Baskerville (6) – Roky Erikson is another Texas legend, but of a whole different sort.  His 70s and 80s psychedelic rock work holds up in 2014 as Erikson takes his gothic, grungy tones on the road with his five-piece, the Hounds of Baskerville.

Real Magic (5) – Dramatic synth tones drive Real Magic’s debut record Deep Breathing.  Heavy and thick, Deep Breathing takes an 80s new wave sound and twists it into something new.

The Reverend Kathy Russell (5) – Austin mainstay and innovative DJ The Reverend Kathy Russell deals in jungle break-beats and hip hop swerves, good times all around.

Ricoshei (5) – I could only dig up a one-minute preview of an original Ricoshei track, but the dark and stormy electronic pop song “Perfect Like You” had enough emotional heft to it wonder if the LA duo has more up their sleeves than down-tempo House mixes.

SXSW/Lollapalooza 2014 Crossover Artists – OEB’s Sunday’s Picks
 
Rounding the band on our Lollapalooza pre-coverage, over ten bands gigging at Lollapalooza Sunday also drew a top recommendation write-up from OEB for SXSW 2014.  This actually covers most of the day, so here’s a good start for planning a festival route across Grant Park this day.
The rest of the week will see new recommendations from OEB for this year’s Lollapalooza, after which we’ll head west to San Francisco’s Outside Lands Festival.
 
Sunday
12:15 – Kongos - Palladia
1:00 - Gemini Club – The Grove
2:15 - NONONO – The Grove
3:00 - London Grammar – Lake Shore
3:30 – RAC – The Grove
4:45 – Chromeo – Bud Light
5:30 – Flosstradamus – Perry’s
6:45 - Childish Gambino – Bud Light
6:50 - Bronze Radio Return - BMI
7:15 - Young the Giant – Lake Shore

8:30 - Chance the Rapper – Perry’s

SXSW/Lollapalooza 2014 Crossover Artists – OEB’s Sunday’s Picks

 

Rounding the band on our Lollapalooza pre-coverage, over ten bands gigging at Lollapalooza Sunday also drew a top recommendation write-up from OEB for SXSW 2014.  This actually covers most of the day, so here’s a good start for planning a festival route across Grant Park this day.

The rest of the week will see new recommendations from OEB for this year’s Lollapalooza, after which we’ll head west to San Francisco’s Outside Lands Festival.

 

Sunday

12:15 – Kongos - Palladia

1:00 - Gemini Club – The Grove

2:15 - NONONO – The Grove

3:00 - London Grammar – Lake Shore

3:30 – RAC – The Grove

4:45 – Chromeo – Bud Light

5:30 – Flosstradamus – Perry’s

6:45 - Childish Gambino – Bud Light

6:50 - Bronze Radio Return - BMI

7:15 - Young the Giant – Lake Shore

8:30 - Chance the Rapper – Perry’s

SXSW/Lollapalooza 2014 Crossover Artists – OEB’s Saturday’s Picks
 
Here’s our second SXSW/Lollapalooza 2014 Crossover post, checking out bands on Saturday’s schedule that showcased in Austin earlier this year.  Four bands take the stage by 1:00 on this list, so take your pick on some great ways to start your Lollapalooza Saturday and more.  
 
Saturday
12:00 - The Districts – Lake Shore
12:15 – PAPA - Palladia
12:45 – Jungle – Samsung Galaxy
1:00 - Vance Joy – Bud Light
2:10 - Desert Noises - BMI
6:15 - Foster the People– Samsung Galaxy
6:30 – Typhoon – The Grove

6:50 - Vic Mensa - BMI

SXSW/Lollapalooza 2014 Crossover Artists – OEB’s Saturday’s Picks

 

Here’s our second SXSW/Lollapalooza 2014 Crossover post, checking out bands on Saturday’s schedule that showcased in Austin earlier this year.  Four bands take the stage by 1:00 on this list, so take your pick on some great ways to start your Lollapalooza Saturday and more. 

 

Saturday

12:00 - The Districts – Lake Shore

12:15 – PAPA - Palladia

12:45 – Jungle – Samsung Galaxy

1:00 - Vance Joy – Bud Light

2:10 - Desert Noises - BMI

6:15 - Foster the People– Samsung Galaxy

6:30 – Typhoon – The Grove

6:50 - Vic Mensa - BMI

SXSW/Lollapalooza 2014 Crossover Artists – OEB’s Friday Picks
 
As OEB continues to slowly evolve this summer, next week takes us west on I-90 from Newport, sights set to Chicago, Illinois.  Lollapalooza takes over Grant Park next week, August 1-3, bringing along key 2014 artists in pop, rock and dance music.  
Over twenty-five (!!) artists at Lollapalooza this year also received top marks as part of Operation Every Band–SXSW 2014.  Eight of those are set to perform Friday, including a conflict between Roadkill Buzz Choir and San Fermin fifteen minutes into the festival.  Decisions…  
 
12:00 - Roadkill Buzz Choir – The Grove
12:15 - San Fermin - Palladia
1:00 – Temples– Bud Light
1:45 – Lucius - Palladia
3:30 – Warpaint – Lake Shore
3:45 – Hozier - Palladia
7:15 - The Kooks – The Grove

8:45 – Phantogram – The Grove

SXSW/Lollapalooza 2014 Crossover Artists – OEB’s Friday Picks

 

As OEB continues to slowly evolve this summer, next week takes us west on I-90 from Newport, sights set to Chicago, Illinois.  Lollapalooza takes over Grant Park next week, August 1-3, bringing along key 2014 artists in pop, rock and dance music. 

Over twenty-five (!!) artists at Lollapalooza this year also received top marks as part of Operation Every Band–SXSW 2014.  Eight of those are set to perform Friday, including a conflict between Roadkill Buzz Choir and San Fermin fifteen minutes into the festival.  Decisions… 

 

12:00 - Roadkill Buzz Choir – The Grove

12:15 - San Fermin - Palladia

1:00 – Temples– Bud Light

1:45 – Lucius - Palladia

3:30 – Warpaint – Lake Shore

3:45 – Hozier - Palladia

7:15 - The Kooks – The Grove

8:45 – Phantogram – The Grove

Polica – “I Need $” // “So Leave”

 

Pairs Well With…Gayngs, Phantogram, Bat For Lashes

 

After catching up with Polica at SXSW 2012, the Minneapolis space-rock band has followed up with the form-fitting Shulamith, a record both weirder and more accessible than the band’s splendid debut, released just a year prior.  The quick buffering of the band’s catalog is great proof of Channy Casselle and friends’ powerful songwriting ability.  Two drummers, a bassist and electronic atmospherics make up the palette of Polica’s foundation, a deep, sexy and salient territory.  This is what psychedelia sounds like in 2014 and we are all better for it.

2012 Review: Representing the electronic pop corner of the Gayngs gang, Polica is getting ready to release their debut LP early next year.  Polica features Channy Casselle, formally of roots band Roma di Luna alongside a bassist and two percussionists.  The bass carries the two tracks released earlier this year with interesting electronic dynamics adding color and a sense of space.  “Dark Star” features auto-tune turned up to “Bon Iver” to add a little more mystery to their already deep sound.  Though we’ve only gotten a taste, I buy what Polica is selling and can’t wait to see what these guys are all about in 2012.

The Pollies – “Good For Nothing” (live)

 

Pairs Well With…The Head and the Heart, Deer Tick, Alabama Shakes

 

So, it looks like The Pollies have been laying low since last summer with SXSW being one of the only shows on the Muscle Shoals band’s agenda.  The good news is that time was spent in the studio – hopefully a follow-up to the band’s solid debut Where the Lies Begin.  For now, check out what had us hopeful last year:

2013 Review: Muscle Shoals, Alabama is one of the best hotbeds of musical talents going right now.  Out of the fray comes The Pollies, a band that must have spent some time studying at the Wilco song camp last year while recording their debut record Where The Lies Begin.  Opening with a salvo of vocal harmonies that bleeds into waves of understated feedback, “Good For Nothing” is quite a revelatory introduction.  Where The Pollies break away from their Chicago brethren is the Southern grit that infuses the record, whiskey-soaked vocals holding the notes for a half-second longer than expected, almost unwilling loosen their grip.  Most of these songs come from a rootsy, Americana place, led by acoustic guitar and a healthy share of kick drum.  While The Pollies’ style invites them into a crowded alt country field at SXSW, I could see these upstarts catching some waves next week in Austin.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 152
 
I wrapped up my bottom-half Newport Folk recommendations this afternoon, so what better time for a Post-SXSW breather before Lollapalooza takes over OEB’s coverage for a week.  Highlights:
 
Polica (9) - Two drummers, a bassist and electronic atmospherics make up the palette of Polica’s foundation, a deep, sexy and salient territory.  This is what psychedelia sounds like in 2014 and we are all better for it.
The Pollies (7) - Where The Pollies break away from their Chicago brethren is the Southern grit that infuses the record, whiskey-soaked vocals holding the notes for a half-second longer than expected, almost unwilling loosen their grip.  Most of these songs come from a rootsy, Americana place, led by acoustic guitar and a healthy share of kick drum.
Parquet Courts (6) – The rambunctious punk rock grooves of Parquet Courts are loosely dismembered on the band’s latest, 2014’s Sunbathing Animal.  The twists of feedback give Parquet Courts a classic, analog sound, vaguely experimental and oddly catchy.
Polytype (6) – Electronic pop artist Polytype lives within a mysterious air, best displayed on single “Cyclone”.  The circular nature of the title applies to the winds of harmony that builds in this patient R&B track.

Peking Duk (5) – Australian producer Peking Duk deals in builds and drops, but there is an increased level of detail in his big-tent dance music.  In another way, deep, technical minutia isn’t need for sing-a-longs and big beats.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 152

 

I wrapped up my bottom-half Newport Folk recommendations this afternoon, so what better time for a Post-SXSW breather before Lollapalooza takes over OEB’s coverage for a week.  Highlights:

 

Polica (9) - Two drummers, a bassist and electronic atmospherics make up the palette of Polica’s foundation, a deep, sexy and salient territory.  This is what psychedelia sounds like in 2014 and we are all better for it.

The Pollies (7) - Where The Pollies break away from their Chicago brethren is the Southern grit that infuses the record, whiskey-soaked vocals holding the notes for a half-second longer than expected, almost unwilling loosen their grip.  Most of these songs come from a rootsy, Americana place, led by acoustic guitar and a healthy share of kick drum.

Parquet Courts (6) – The rambunctious punk rock grooves of Parquet Courts are loosely dismembered on the band’s latest, 2014’s Sunbathing Animal.  The twists of feedback give Parquet Courts a classic, analog sound, vaguely experimental and oddly catchy.

Polytype (6) – Electronic pop artist Polytype lives within a mysterious air, best displayed on single “Cyclone”.  The circular nature of the title applies to the winds of harmony that builds in this patient R&B track.

Peking Duk (5) – Australian producer Peking Duk deals in builds and drops, but there is an increased level of detail in his big-tent dance music.  In another way, deep, technical minutia isn’t need for sing-a-longs and big beats.

Obey City – “Take It Back”

 

Pairs Well With…Trippy Turtle, Flume, Cashmere Cat

 

Brooklyn electronic artist Obey City’s sound is dance music by form, but the details and layering demand a listen beyond a late night lounge.  Funk-fueled rhythms are spliced and diced, falling off the beat unexpectedly.  That anticipation pulls like a rubber band, tensely laying an undercurrent of mystery and grace.  Hip hop and R&B both find homes in Obey City’s originals, down-tempo twists and turns with an artist’s precision.  Above all, Obey City’s mostly wordless music has soul.  For digital creations, the warmth is admirable and a quality that keeps me digging for more songs he has gotten his hands on.  In addition to a handful of loose singles, Obey City has three EPs out, two solo and the latest, 2014’s Shochu Sounds, a collaboration with Japanese electronic artist Seiho.

Panama – “Always”

 

Pairs Well With…The Temper Trap, Miike Snow, The Naked and Famous

 

While the upbeat pop hooks of tracks like “Always” are the initial draw, the Australian band’s tracks are deeper than surface beats and melodies.  Mid-tempo dance beats are complimented by droned-down synths on tracks like “How We Feel” and “It’s Not Over”, shading the light within Panama’s music.  EDM elements are sampled at will through Panama’s pop filter – this band is accessible to both an indie and club crowd.  More shine than soul, Panama avoids being too distant through new wave bass lines and specks of electronic experimentation - little things that connect created music to a natural ear.  “Always” is definitely the standout amongst Panama’s ten or so recorded tracks, an anthem that could close any set, any day.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 151
 
I’m sneaking one in this Sunday evening to spotlight a pair of electronic-based artists who find warmth in a many times cold genre.  Highlights:
 
Obey City (8) - Funk-fueled rhythms are spliced and diced, falling off the beat unexpectedly.  That anticipation pulls like a rubber band, tensely laying an undercurrent of mystery and grace.
Panama (8) - Mid-tempo dance beats are complimented by droned-down synths on tracks like “How We Feel” and “It’s Not Over”, shading the light within Panama’s music.  EDM elements are sampled at will through Panama’s pop filter – this band is accessible to both an indie and club crowd.
OWSLA All Stars (6) – This one is a little hard to rate, but reports called out some OEB favorites like Hundred Waters and What So Not showcased at OWSLA’s SXSW event.  Skrillex’s label is on a hot run in 2014 and hopefully the collaborative nature of the OWSLA All Stars leads to some mixed multi-artist studio tracks.

Paper Diamond (5) – Beat maker and EDM collaborator Paper Diamond’s long EP Paragon is fairly minimal for a dance record, letting disco synths and thick bass lines carry the artist’s poppin’ take on House/R&B.  Down-tempo trance plays a big part in the record as well, especially succeeding when the beat dissipates.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 151

 

I’m sneaking one in this Sunday evening to spotlight a pair of electronic-based artists who find warmth in a many times cold genre.  Highlights:

 

Obey City (8) - Funk-fueled rhythms are spliced and diced, falling off the beat unexpectedly.  That anticipation pulls like a rubber band, tensely laying an undercurrent of mystery and grace.

Panama (8) - Mid-tempo dance beats are complimented by droned-down synths on tracks like “How We Feel” and “It’s Not Over”, shading the light within Panama’s music.  EDM elements are sampled at will through Panama’s pop filter – this band is accessible to both an indie and club crowd.

OWSLA All Stars (6) – This one is a little hard to rate, but reports called out some OEB favorites like Hundred Waters and What So Not showcased at OWSLA’s SXSW event.  Skrillex’s label is on a hot run in 2014 and hopefully the collaborative nature of the OWSLA All Stars leads to some mixed multi-artist studio tracks.

Paper Diamond (5) – Beat maker and EDM collaborator Paper Diamond’s long EP Paragon is fairly minimal for a dance record, letting disco synths and thick bass lines carry the artist’s poppin’ take on House/R&B.  Down-tempo trance plays a big part in the record as well, especially succeeding when the beat dissipates.

SXSW/Newport Folk Festival 2014 Crossover Artists – OEB’s Top Picks

 

Operation Every Band’s virtual summer tour continues along next weekend with a trip up the coast to Newport, Rhode Island.  The Newport Folk Festival started in 1959 and is storied in musical history.  Dylan, Baez, Seeger, Cash – these names graced Newport’s early rosters, making the seaside Fort Adams State Park hallowed ground when it comes to acoustic (and electric, once controversially) troubadours and ramblers.  In 2014, the legacy continues strong with key sets from some of today’s best singer-songwriters including Ryan Adams, Jack White and Jeff Tweedy.  The lineup is complemented with highlight veterans like Mavis Staples, Robert Hunter and Jimmy Cliff, a weekend that consistently delivers greatness.

 

For OEB, the bottom-half of this year’s lineup is where we’ll be focusing our energy this week.  As always, it begins with a list of artists that showcased at SXSW this year and drew top scores from the OEB crew.  The week will continue with more recommendations, worth a listen whether you are going to Newport this year or just are looking for some new bands to dig into this summer.

 

Friday

12:50 - Mandolin Orange – Quad Stage

1:50 – Phox – Quad Stage

2:05 - The Devil Makes Three – Fort Stage

2:40 - Noah Gundersen – Harbor Stage

 

Saturday

11:00 - Willie Watson – Harbor Stage

11:05 - The Haden Triplets – Quad Stage

3:40 – Lucius – Harbor Stage

5:30 - Kurt Vile and the Violators – Quad Stage

 

Sunday

11:10 - Leif Vollebekk – Quad Stage

11:30 - Ages and Ages – Fort Stage

2:45  - Hurray for the Riff Raff – Quad Stage

2:55 – Hozier – Harbor Stage

MS MR – “Fantasy”

 

Pairs Well With…Oh Land, Adele, Florence & The Machine

 

Since our review last year, MS MR has become kind of a big deal, pulling main stage gigs at major festivals across the world this summer.  Debut LP Secondhand Rapture is wickedly dense for a greyly toned indie pop record.  Minor-key catchiness is such a nuanced art form, one that MS MR just nails in a fiercely unique way. 

2013 Review: For a pop introduction, Ms Mr’s four-song EP Candy Bar Creep Show displays more grey than sunshine.  Drama, fear and confidence all take turns throughout the NYC duo’s debut.  The standout here is the vocal work of Lizzy Plapinger.  Her tone falls somewhere between Florence Welch and Polica, both in volume and inflection.  It makes those big runs that much more powerful after taking most of a track from a perspective of restraint.  Musically, the starting point is minimal electronic pop, but Ms Mr add all sorts of aural flourishes, from the snaps and harmonies of “Dark Doo Wop” and the sweeping strings of breakout track “Hurricane”.  Even if Ms Mr don’t have a full-length in store for 2013 (news is scarce from their camp), expect a crowded showcase as these four excellent tracks gain traction on their own.