music

« March 15, 2013

SXSW Friday Showcases

By Melanie Haupt

M for Montreal

Blue Hawaii

7:30pm, Swan Dive

Where Thursday's Montreal showcase cartwheeled experimentation, tonight's Arbutus Records-heavy showcase leads with romance and introspection. A slightly sleazy start comes in the person of 22-year-old solo act Mac DeMarco, whose languid raunch-pop he dubs "jizz jazz." Singer-songwriter Sean Nicholas Savage sweetens things with electro-confessional folk on the upcoming Other Life, just this side of twee. Majical Cloudz duo Devon Welsh and Matthew Otto compile intricate layers of samples, synth, and inscrutable lyrics on last year's Turns Turns Turns EP; live shows have an added visual/performance component. Pat Jordache, a former collaborator of Merrill Garbus (Tune-Yards), gets all Boogie Nights on your ass in his post-Future Songs era. Blue Hawaii, a semi-acoustic/electronic boy-girl duo fronted by Ra, also of headliners Braids, creates white sandy beaches tinged with melancholy. No man's an island, but Doldrums, the nom de stage of Airick Woodhead, creates one for himself through his isolation-obsessed samples and bleeps on debut LP Lesser Evil. – Melanie Haupt

Sala De Espera

Jessy Bulbo

7:30pm, The Whiskey Room

Tonight forget about cumbia, Tejano, and reggaeton. Internet radio station Sala De Espera (Waiting Room) serves up the Spanish language underground with a revelatory mix of artists from Latin America. Guadalajara's Pumcayo concocts complex indie-folk compositions with incredible dynamics and rich vocal harmonies akin to the Fleet Foxes, while Panorama from Columbia offers moody, electronic-infused guitar pop. Solo artist Siddhartha broke away from Mexican rock giants Zoé, for whom he drummed, and has found success singing and playing guitar, but Friday he gets rowdy with wild woman Jessy Bulbo. The bass-playing, garage-rock maniac, who often performs topless, remains an important female force in Mexico City's urban rock & roll scene. Her boundless energy and fuck-it-all antics are a tough act to follow, but Argentina's El Mató a un Policía Motorizado (He Killed a Motorcycle Cop) sounds equal to the task with a Hüsker-Dü-meets-Weezer hybrid. Nailing the coffin shut is Rey Pila, the skewed pop creation of former Los Dynamite singer Diego Solórzano, who often sings in a falsetto over music ranging from Motown to synth pop. – Kevin Curtin

Tone Deaf Touring

Orange Goblin

7:45pm, Red 7

Tone Deaf Touring books the coolest hard rock/metal roadshows to come pound your town. This year's showcase boasts the Gates of Slumber, a tank-heavy Indy trio whose Sabbath-inspired doom crunch nods to the Midwest of another continent altogether. KEN Mode follows, a Canadian triad twisting blazing riffs into experimental knots. Hailing from Louisville, Ky., longtime home to music made of sharp edges and deep angles, Young Widows continues the post-punk math metal stream. Led by the non-bionic Steve Austin, bizarro ADD metal icon Today Is the Day mutilates its latest LP, Pain is a Warning. Taking time out from the recent Kyuss tribute/reunion, Queens of the Stone Age bass pounder Nick Oliveri fires up his Mondo Generator. Closing loudly, UK stoner metal stalwart Orange Goblin, known for its crushing live shows, pimps a new concert LP. – Michael Toland

New Atlanta

Trinidad Jame$

8pm, Suite 101

The list of rappers to come out of the unofficial southern capital of Atlanta over the past decade runs longer than a Lil Jon "Yeahhhhuhhhh": 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane, TI, Young Jeezy, Yung Joc, Gorilla Zoe, Cyhi the Prynce, and the illustriously progressive Ying Yang Twins. Keeping that tradition alive in the year 2013 is the flamboyantly materialistic Trinidad Jame$, a charming and charismatic MC whose January debut Don't Be S.A.F.E represents the Trinidad and Tobago native's claim to the next southern rap throne. A slew of young buck ATLiens will try to keep the competition close, namely the barrel-voiced ForteBowie, who released the Something About Bowie mixtape in 2011 and shows up on Jame$' "$outhside," and slick-talking Eastsider Rich Homie Quan, whose October mixtape Still Goin In harks back to B.o.B. before the glamour and glitz. Elsewhere, DJ Speakerfoxxx has a résumé that includes Rittz and Gangsta Boo; Scotty's muscle moves in slow as molasses; and kush-loving quintet Two9 packs an R&B-hued style of rap that picks up where G-Side left off. Sean Falyon, Will Brennan, Rome Fortune, and the soulful RaRa round out this entirely trill bill. – Chase Hoffberger

Sounds of Spain

Pájaro

8pm, Red Eyed Fly

Arriving late to the yearly showcase of Spain's musical exports will mean missing some epically morose love ballads sung by the beautiful Miren Iza. Tulsa's wounded frontwoman will make you believe in love even if she doesn't, tastefully twanged rock et al. SXSW virgin Track Dogs barely qualify as Spanish given its pair of Irishmen, one Englishman, and a guy from Ohio. Nonetheless, its kitchy roots rock, utilizing acoustic guitar, whistling, banjo, ukulele, trumpet, cajon percussion, and resounding four-part harmonies, will set a high bar for the bands that follow, including Pájaro, a Spanish Dick Dale enjoying his career renaissance. Madrid's Supersubmarina on its first American vacation may be a little out of place with its extremely polished power pop oozing boy-band romance. Recalling recent Black Angels' recordings, Cuchillo plays artsy psych-folk, laying mellow vocals over a harmonium drone. Headliner I Am Dive duos up space pop with guitars, laptop, and soft whispers. – Kevin Curtin

South American Heavyosity

Ancestor

8pm, the Jr

As Iron Maiden will tell you, the regions below the U.S. remain ravenous for metal. That's for both homegrown amp-abusers as much as international acts. Six of them come together here. Escape comes from Havana with a harsh, pounding roar and a chip on its shoulder, battling oppression with hammer and tongs. São Paulo's Attomica reels in Eighties metal, trucking in the trad thrash its contemporaries Sepultura left behind. AOR hard rock at its core, Motor boasts a punk edge, reflecting the difficult lives of many of its fellow Mexicans. Belo Horizonte's Eminence likewise mirrors the frustrated rage of its underclass, placing unusually high in Brazil's music competition Skol Rock despite its angry deathcore. Thrashing death powers Havana's Agonizer as well, its frontdude making his high-volume discontent clear. Fellow Cuban killer Ancestor eschews not only politics, but anything else that could be considered reasonable in its traditionally corpse-painted black metal. – Michael Toland

BACK TO TOP ^