SXSW 2008 Bands Preview
I’m going to SXSW this year. And this time I’m going for the whole thing- Interactive, Music, and Movies. There are rumored to be 1,300+ bands that are going to be there this year. I’ve gone through the trouble of using my good taste for your benefit by highlighting who I think some of the best shows to catch are going to be. Now, there is no official list of bands from SXSW and the ones that are posted have been done unofficially- so expect changes and an addendum as some of the bigger bands get added to the roster. In the mean time, go through here and start earmarking the bands you want to see.
A Place to Bury Strangers – Shoegaze electronica. These guys broke and are huge now, you just don’t know it.
Black Moth Super Rainbow – Psychadellic / experimental. Imagine if Of Montreal was less theatrical and more the soundtrack to some Berkeley School of Film’s masters’ project.
Broadcast Sea – They’ve got a decidedly DC post-punk sound. But they’re from Austin so they can write a solid hook without compromising integrity. Really good stuff – one of the bands I’m most excited to see.
Butane Variations – Avant-folk tunes. Kind of ballady. I get a lot of the Beatles more self-indulgent moments out of this combined with some of the Make Up’s sexed-up falsetto vocals. Get a couple drinks in me and I’ll be all about these guys.
Caspian – Post-rock instrumental band from Massachusetts. I’ve been into these guys for a while and they do what they do well. And what they do is tastefully weave climatic rock in with articulate, guitar-driven recitative.
Car Stereo (Wars) – If you didn’t know any better, this would be indiscernable from Girl Talk. It’s a mashup group that takes songs that you and your mom both recognize and, like, mash them up. I’m looking forward to them just for boogie purposes, but the dudes need to differentiate.
Cloud Archive – “20 minutes of music shoulding sound this convincing.” Cinematic and vast instrumental rock with a keen feeling for tension.
Consider the Source – We’re going to call this screamo just because these are all really short descriptions. They’re not going to win any indie-scene points but I like ’em just the same because they seem like the can rock out and they site both Far and Quicksand as influences. Good stuff.
The Counterlife – They’ve got a very Virginia-hardcore sound. Poor recording job, but I smell the promise under the muddy guitars.
Dokkebi Q – London/Japan/Korea Death Dub. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. This is awesome. These guys’ trajectory is parallel with the coolest electronic music being produced right now. So so good. They can’t do enough of that classic dub oscillating delay- and they do it a lot.
Dreamend – From Chicago and they sound like it. A little Milemarker mixed with some Deerhunter, a xylophone and a cello, and some mescaline to make things a little more groovy.
Film School – Film School is awesome- I actually just picked up their new LP on Beggars Banquet. Low, melancholy sounds from California. Steady beats, smooth vocals, and sturdy bass accentuated with overly-deliberate synth. Severely suggest you enjoy them with me. DOWNLOAD Two Kinds.
Genghis Tron – I saw these three gents at Dudefest here in Indy before Pig Destroyer and they brought the house down. Aside from having an awesome name, they do the rarely attempted metal-tronica sound with surprising success.
Junkie XL – All the way from Amsterdam, this electronic producer is going to shiver some timbers and pry some hips from the wall. He does one of my favorite Unkle remixes in addition to having a stellar discography himself.
Holy Fuck – These guys were heavily featured at SXSW last year but I didn’t get to see them. They do an amazingly cool thing- fully syncopated electronic (sounding) music without the aid of synths or midi. Mind-blowingly difficult to pull off and they do it well.
Loquat – Martini lounge indie rock with a gentle (and good-lookin) chanteuse up front.
Night of Pleasure– Heavily overdriven, drenched in feedback garage rock with solid enough riffs to pull off the megaphone vocals like a champ. Imagine Birthday Party/Nick Cave making out with a punk-rock chick in the smoky basement of that kid you went to college with. I anticipate these guys impressing the hell out of me.
Pinstripe – These dudes are pretty. Looking and sounding. I hate to say it, but they channel Coldplay with better hair and indie rock sensibilities. If nothing else, I want to see these guys for the talent that will be in their audience.
Russian Circles – See my earlier post dedicated to these guys, but they are an absolutely phenomenal rock force without peer. I’ve never seen so few guys rock out with such ferocity and fervor. This is number 1 on my list.
Sleepmask – Excellent 80’s influenced (but not sounding) Gothwave. I’m thinking Cocteau Twins and Skinny Puppy conducted by Robert Smith.
Under – Downtempo, rainy day martini music. Actually, they sound very similar to Zero 7.
The official band list has finally be released. GO HERE.