SXSW showcase reviews
Reviewed by Thomas Fawcett, Fri., March 27, 2009
Érika MachadoThe Rio, March 18
Érika Machado traveled 5,000 miles to play a 40-minute set to 20 people in a Tex-Mex eatery. Such is the fate of a largely unknown international act performing at a music festival. Acoustic guitar in hand, the Brazilian singer loped through much of 2007's No Cimento, including "Perna," "Tédio," "Canção do Coração," and the title track. On disc, mellow pop melodies are wrapped in an electronic chill, and for several songs here, Machado strummed along with the sounds drifting from her laptop, though the LP's more adventurous Nintendo-biting beats were replaced with acoustic lullabies. Everyone in the Brazilian-dominated room knew one another, and the intimate atmosphere and small stage led to a coffeehouse vibe, most of the crowd sitting cross-legged on the floor as Machado's dreamy voice massaged its gray matter. Utterly unpretentious, Machado and her sleepy, bossa nova-inspired tunes were a world away from the rocking & rolling of Red River. After closing with "Óculos de Grau," Machado met the calls of "Otra! Otra!" with a touch of humor: "Sorry, we don't speak Portuguese," she deadpanned.