« March 15, 2013

SXSW Wednesday Showcases

By Chase Hoffberger

Richie Hawtin Presents

Loco Dice

7pm, Bungalow

At 42, Richie Hawtin holds court as an elder statesman among modern DJs, a purveyor of minimalist trance who helped pioneer Detroit's underground scene. "We'll see where this [EDM] explosion's at in 10 or 20 years," he told me last month. Still, Hawtin claims some favorites. Among them, Oxford-raised Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (né Orlando Higginbottom) earned his reputation as one of the most entertaining Euro house and electro-pop DJs on the scene after the release of last year's Casablanca Records debut, Trouble. Montreal-based techno composer Tiga learned to mix music from his father, who took his son through tours of India as a kid. 2009's Ciao! proved the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Fellow Canadians Azari & III pop "Manic," danceable electro landscapes on last year's self-titled debut, a tribute to Toronto's fabled underground scene. The vets take last licks: Loco Dice, Hawtin's longtime German-based partner in minimalist crime, last slammed down a healthy dose of wobs, throbs, and bass on 2011's Harissa. – Chase Hoffberger

Saustex/Cosmica Showcase

Piñata Protest

7:30pm, Karma Lounge

Hickoids/Saustex jefe Jeff Smith leads a parallel life as a promoter/record label boss. As with his music, Smith's business shenanigans reflect a trashy Tex-punk vibe. He's teamed with L.A. boutique label/management firm Cosmica in mixing Latin flavors. Lubbock's Beaumonts specialize in country rowdiness that suggests they're as much Waylon Jennings' offspring as Shooter. The Hickoids follow with hay-flingin' Tex-punk monkeyshines. Austin's Churchwood ooze a seedy blues-punk glamour that would do the Gun Club proud. The fuzzy, two-man garage bashing of Mexico's the Copper Gamins would make Jack White swear someone leaked his and Meg's outtakes, while Guatemala's Gaby Moreno's dramatic pop en Español awaits movie soundtrack placement. San Antonio's Piñata Protest may be Earth's first punk/conjunto hybrid, and L.A.'s La Santa Cecilia suggests a transgender Nick Cave gone cumbia. – Tim Stegall

Sounds From Uruguay

Malena Muyala

7:30pm, Speakeasy

One of the smallest countries in South America, Uruguay possesses one of the continent's most varied music scenes. Daniel "Tatita" Marquez leads a percussion-heavy outfit called Mukunda, which combines its frontman's specialty, traditional dance music called Candombe, with Latin jazz. Malena Muyala, one of her country's most revered singer-songwriters, boasts a repertoire including tangos, waltzes, and milongas. She's become internationally known through festival appearances in Europe and South America, as well as through her work with Franny Glass, alter ego of young folk-pop artist Gonzalo Deniz, who won Best Alternative Pop Album at Uruguay's Music Graffiti Awards for his third LP, last year's El Podador Primaveral. A quartet helmed by Juan Campódonico, Campo mixes indie rock, electro, and folk with tango and cumbia to create a pop sound that's surprisingly sophisticated. One of Uruguay's most inventive artists, Martin Buscaglia explores an impressive array of styles and rhythms, earning him comparisons to David Byrne, Prince, and Gilberto Gil. Known for his histrionic stage presence and a seemingly unwieldy, yet highly listenable, mix of hard rock, funk, jazz, and Latin rhythms, Max Capote makes his U.S. debut. Uruguay's longest running rock group, El Cuarteto de Nos, has won multiple Latin Grammys and can fill arenas throughout South America. – Jim Caligiuri

Music From Ireland

Kid Karate

8pm, Maggie Mae's Gibson Room

This crop of young Irish acts offers one of the strongest national contingents. So Cow, the only Galway group among a host of Dubliners, opens in power trio form, as found on its upcoming third LP, while still retaining the lo-fi noise-pop sound of principal Brian Kelly. Kodaline delivers melting, passionate pop seemingly streamlined for soundtracks, the quartet swooning anthemic on upcoming debut, In a Perfect World. The band to watch on the bill, Kid Karate chops a raw fury that hearkens Death From Above 1979 and Jack White. The guitar-and-drums duo's debut LP, Night Terrors, is set for release this year, with lead single "Two Times" already garnering attention. Behind the trio's debut effort, Yeah Nothing, and a series of 7-inches, Squarehead lays out an array of perfectly pitched classic garage pop, set against fellow Dubliners Delorentos' melodic guitar bursts that mark the quartet's third album, 2012's Little Sparks. Funeral Suits closes out with the fourpiece aiming epic and dark on debut Lily of the Valley, scarring dramatic guitars with electronic cuts. – Doug Freeman

Québec City Festival d'été

Besnard Lakes

8pm, Swan Dive

Canada's only French-speaking province turns up in full force with its Québec City Festival d'été, even though summer months are still but a dream in Austin's chilly spring. The diverse lineup opines that the Québécois are a musical tour de force, offering a taste of vastly different musical influences. Despite plucking its name from a bluesy jam, Québec City quartet Ain't No Love packs the full arsenal of a dance record – two MCs, a producer, and a flourishing vocalist. Francophone Senegal transplant Karim Ouellet fuses reggae with strummed folk sensibility, tous en Français, with latest album Fox still hovering near the top of Canadian charts after a November release. The Besnard Lakes pack a wallop from a two-person outfit, recalling the grandeur of ELO, while Montreal trio Le Matos closes, giving melancholic New Wave a revival in the vein of Boys Noize and Kraftwerk. – Abby Johnston

Volumen/Ache Producciones


8pm, North Door

Mexico's Volumen/Ache Producciones unleashes a wide array of cross-border musical flavors. Rumored to contain members of Plastilina Mosh, the masked marauders in Monterrey's A Band of Bitches scored big with last year's The Pre-End of the World Soundtrack, whose alien disco cumbia hybrid "Noreste Caliente" oozes irresistible hilarity. Brothers Arturo and Jose Antonio Tranquilino named Yokozuma after a Man Show clip of one guy farting on another guy's face; the Mexico City duo's guitar-and-drum distillation of pizza and bong-fueled classic rock displays similar levels of reverence. Multiple Latin Grammy winners Molotov import a platinum-selling blend of raunch and revolution, scaring the border security teeth-gnashers in your life with anthems like "Gimme Tha Power" and "Frijolero." – Greg Beets Media Group

Slim Thug

8:15pm, the Main

Hip-hop heroes come to Austin from far and wide, but Texas still pushes some of the toughest talent in the game. Evidence stands in this jam-packed showcase from mixtape hub and SF2 Media Group, which blends Bayou City brawlers like Luke Duke, KAB, Young Von, DeLorean, Propain, Le$, and Mookie Jones; Fifth Ward native HoodStar Chantz; and The [DEF]inition EP architect UZOY with such Texas luminaries as local Die Slo Entertainment director Sertified; Dallas' Good Nights & Bad Mornings architect Snow Tha Product; and Ohio import Doughbeezy, whose 2012 release Blue Magic features contributions from Charlie Boy and UGK boss Bun B. The muscle comes in the middle, eightpiece League of Extraordinary G'z rolling straight-up royalty in their native ATX, where December's The Fixx EP still echoes from every corner of East and South Austin. At close, there's Candy Paint & Texas Plates reconstructionist Killa Kyleon. Don't mess with Texas. – Chase Hoffberger

Enabler PR

Rough Francis

8:20p, Holy Mountain

Photographer/publicist Graeme Flegenheimer founded Enabler PR last year in Burlington, Vt., at the ripe old age of 20. Though now based in L.A., Enabler's showcase kicks off with Burlington's own Rough Francis. Brothers Julian, Urian, and Bobby Hackney Jr. initially formed the calamitous garage-punk sextet to pay tribute to their dad and uncles' Detroit proto-punk band, Death. Santiago, Chile, duo the Holydrug Couple compels sky-sweeping contemplation with its atmospheric living room psychedelia, while Amherst, Mass., fourpiece California X gleefully immolates the Connecticut River valley with spaced-out noise rock on its new self-titled Don Giovanni Records debut. Following last year's acclaimed End of Earth mixtape, Antwon returned this month with In Dark Denim. The San Jose, Calif., rapper combines pop-culture piracy with overdriven electronic glitch against a bleak lyrical backdrop. Philadelphia-based Waxahatchee principal Katie Crutchfield augments the sparse acoustics of last year's American Weekend with indie-pop instrumentation on the just-released Cerulean Salt, but Crutchfield's distinctive voice and evocative lyrics remain the centerpieces. Vocalist Mish Way of White Lung conjures the rebel punk spirit of lead Avenger Penelope Houston. Supported by guitar textures leavened for maximum drama, the Vancouver quartet's 2012 album Sorry speeds by like a screaming ambulance brigade. – Greg Beets