Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hello SXSW! It’s nice to finally meet you.

Every year I have to hear it from my brother: “Dude. You have to take off work this year and come to south-by-southwest. Seriously. No, seriously. Quit saying ‘next year!’”

Well this year I finally did it. I head out tomorrow after work for the ATX. What changed my mind finally this year? A little group from Stockholm called Miike Snow. A friend of mine suggested their self-titled album to me last summer and I was hyped immediately! It’s indie pop, I think; trendy and catchy, but you won’t find it on your top 40 radio station…at least not yet! Their beats and synth’s and keyboards are great for working out and perfect for running. This was the first single, I think:

Yes, I realize that was weird. I’m just hoping the lead singer isn’t as boring live Friday night as he is in this “Animal” video. Tracks I love for running: Cult Logic and Plastic Jungle. Tracks I love for the sake of loving music: Animal, Burial, and Silvia. Ahhhhh, Silvia. This was the one that got me hook, line and sinker. It’s so hypnotic and trancelike and just awesome. I’m not even entirely sure what it’s about, but if I had to guess…it’s about a guy who misses his ex. A lot though, so I’m thinking the split is still very fresh. I could be totally wrong. Who cares, the way the song is structured you can’t help but want to bust a move. Or maybe I just can’t help it.

This video is much less weird, but I’m not entirely sure what a post-apocalyptic storyline has to do with Silvia. And then they set fire to a giant taxidermied jackalope? Hmm. I do like how the one guy is carrying a torch. Get it? He’s carrying a torch for Silvia, his lost flame. I know, I know…you’re such a sap, David. (A little bit of runner’s insight for tonight’s post: at the 2:24 mark watch for a kid running down the street…he’s got a bad case of over-pronation!) If you do like their stuff, you should definitely check out this remix site where you can download some of songs for free, or can just stream them.

Another group I’m looking forward to seeing is We Are Scientists on Thursday. I discovered these guys on Alt Nation-21 back when I had Sirius (I really miss it! I wish they could provide a free service…) last year. The song was Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt…a fast-paced track that is ALSO great for running! Stupid youtube won’t let me embed the video for some reason, so click on the link to see their fairly low-budget video for the song. Another song I’m excited to hear tomorrow night is Chick Lit! If you like Weezer, you’ll like this one! The video is pretty funny, so I’m hoping it’s reflective of their live performances. I like bands who crack jokes during concerts and have a good time on stage. After Hours is another great song with a funny video. And It’s a Hit is another good one to run to.

We Are Scientists

Both of their CDs (With Love and Squalor and Brain Thrust Mastery) are pretty spectacular, so I’m betting I won’t be the only one lining up at The Phoenix for their midnight show! I’ve never been to this venue, nor do I even know where it is in Austin…but I’m excited nonetheless.

Another group on the docket for the weekend is She & Him. My brother is completely in love with the singer of the two-person outfit. Her name is Zooey Deschanel and you might have seen her acting in last summer’s hit indie-flick (500) Days of Summer or in Yes Man or The Happening or Elf or a few episodes of Weeds.

She’s an actress. Turned singer-songwriter. Trying to do what so many others have tried to do (see Kevin Bacon, Keanu Reeves, Billy Bob Thornton, Russell Crowe and the only successful ones: Jared Leto, Jason Schwartzman and Jamie Foxx), she’s using her acting success to help boost a singing career. Only she’s good. Not great…but her adorableness helps her mezzo-soprano voice. (I have no idea what that means, but wikipedia says she’s mezzo-soprano…so it’s gotta be the truth, right?) Wikipedia also says she’s known for her deadpan supporting roles, and after looking up the definition of deadpan I’d have to agree: a form of comic delivery in which humor is presented without a change in emotion or body language, usually speaking in a casual, monotone or very serious, solemn, matter-of-fact voice. Yup, that’s Zooey Deschanel’s style of acting!

The type of music they play seems like something your grandmother would love—meaning it sounds like it would fit in nicely with the always-bubbly 1950s. But it’s catchy enough to have not scared fans away. Plus I’m sure her big, beautiful blue eyes have not hurt ticket sales either.

Wish us luck on being able to get into these venues. Should be a pretty awesome weekend!

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