Friday, March 18, 2005

Best of SXSW, Part Dive

Rules, rules, everyone talkin' 'bout rules. We have rules here in the Vinyl Mine. Always wear your protection; be anxiously vigilant towards germs and always clean your needle thoroughly after use. By protection, I meant headphones and by germs I meant dust - you cheeky monkey. Of course by needle, I meant... oh... forget it.

What? You means MP3 blogs rules? Well, let's break them all today.

Number 1 rule - never complain about your health or job. Since I'm not at work today because of my health, I'll limit my gripes to the former rather than the latter. Every cold, virus, flu, infection what have you seems to have characteristics that when you share them with others, they go - "oh yeah, I had that too" and strangely, it's always different each year. This year's "visitor" consists of a constant low-level headache, a foreign tasting goop in the back of the throat, a fumey sinus (fumes being created by that foreign goop) and infrequent sneezes that give you a Mike Tyson 1-2 body and head shot simultaneously. I hates it, Batman, makes it go away.

Rule number 2 - Never bleg. Never, ever, ever, bleg. Blegging is for cooties. But, I admit that I don't know it all and my tastes are just my tastes. If I missed a band you thought deserved more mention, just throw a comment in the ol' comments section. It will only take 45 minutes to load. Blogger has a head cold these days as well, doncha know.

Rule Number 3 - If someone yells stop or goes limp, the fights over. Oh sorry, wrong movie. But I am limp. It's because I'm sick! Really!

And with that TMI - its part five (or part 2 of Friday) from SXSW's massive collection of free and legal MP3s. These are the ones I'm a keepin - in a "mix CD" order:

"Night of The Arrival" - Jud Newcomb - There are tons of these Sufjan/Sam Beam/Devendra/etc influenced types. Here, the singer sings a sweet song to himself about a woman waiting for a mystery train.

"Flashes and Cables" - Centro-matic - Disregarding the lousy band name (what? was Jam-a-rama taken?), this is a good bridge into a more uptempo feeling. With that Wilco/Americana/80's College Rock feel, the song combines lyrics and chord progressions and a song bridge made for singing along (ba-ba-da-ba-dum) into a wistfulness that will certainly bring back memories years from now of being holed up in my apartment resigned to this year's head cold.

"Gigolo" - The Crash - Finns recall Emotional Rescue era Stones and late 70's Phillie disco which y'know in retero-spect doesn't sound so bad these days.

"Pan American Blues, Pt. 2" - Papercuts - A band with that afternoon Jeweled Antler sound taken out of the country and plopped into an empty practice space with only a Galaxie 500 tape to listen to during breaks. Soars in the chorus.

"Hollow" - Fires Were Shot - Opening at the Copa tonight, this looks to be the band you want to time your your first hit of acid for (Samadha for the second hit).

"Huddle" - The Go! Team - Remember that boy-girl band from several years back that was in the Disney stable? They did that treacly bubblegum song and rode around in a video on yellow scooters. I think the girl was pregnant. It was like the most annoying moment of that year, I think. The Go! Team are the revenge on those types of bands.

"Thirteen" - The Resentments - The statutory love that dare not speak its name as a gravely voiced adult sings an alt-country song of lurve to a pubescent girl. Usually, these things are wonderfully sleazy (remember The Original Sins? I do). But with lyrics like"Remember what we said about Paint It Black" and "Would you be an outlaw for my love" make it oddly platonic and cloyingly sweet. Jud Newcomb (above) is in this Austin band.

"The Money You Have Maybe Too Little" - Oxford Collapse - I've been digging my old Meat Puppets records lately so everything seems to sound like the Pups including this band even if the vox are falsetto-tuned and it tends more towards jamband than punk. That said, I'll forgive them their future embarassments if this comes up on the Shuffle every so often.

"happiness and misery" - Tywanna Jo Baskette - A girl with a guitar, some Bedroom Walls MP3s, a spacey voice and a song that sits so directly right in front of you that you swear its on its a ghost dog on its haunches begging for a treat. And ain't that a name for the ages? Nashville singer-songwriter that you're gonna have to keep your eyes on.

"Go Go Evil" - DMBQ - You have to follow a haunter like that with some Japanese acid rock, right? Warning! Warning! Extended Jam in Progress! Do not download unless you actually watched and liked the entire Alvin Lee sequence in Woodstock the Movie!

"rice cake rabbit soul" - Dawn of the Replicants - And the songs just keep on getting weirder and "crunchier" (thanks South Park). I know this will become my new ear worm and there's nothing I can do about it. ricecakerabbitsooooow-oooll...

"Old Fashioned Morphine" - Jolie Holland - Although the songs on the SXSW download site have to be originals, you'll recognize this as a rework of an classic blues song by a woman with what can only be unrequited love for Tom Waits. Unlike Mr. Waits, Ms. Holland's voice though makes me want to rub my ears against her velvet gloves. And it has a shout-out to William Burroughs (and keeping with the current Friday night recreational drug meme).

"Lottery Winners on Acid" - The Crimea - Puppy love is like a drug too. The song captures that thought perfectly if not literally. If you could eat songs, this would be a tastey brownie.

"Ohh La La" - Ditty Bops - A more folky Tegan and Sara with promo pix that scream jailbait even more so than T&S but this song is capital-M Mah-tore (as my 8th Grade Geography teach useda say) and could just as easily be put on the closing credits for Deadwood as it would for The OC.

"The Story Of" - The Heavenly States - Some retro-swirly folk pop for y'all repleat with power chords, power violin and power guitar leads and even power vocal hook (the "Hey! Hey! Hey!" part). One of the bands that would be on my dance card if I were in Austin this weekend. They unfortunately open for Nicholai Dunger (shudder, getting sicker, fast - get the Motrin).

"Take These Thoughts" - Chris and Thomas - Well, the Kings of Convenience are playing elsewhere tonight so if you can't get in you might want to check these guys out (they open for the Ditty Bops). A nice plucked mandolin hook in this one.

"This Isn't It" - Giant Drag - So after all that ethereal folk pop and such, its time to get a little bit pop, a little bit grunge. I'd probably get tired of this L.A. "cool" band but this song sneers and cocks it hip at you just so that you feel like Annie Hardy's confidant and maybe that cool will rub off on you if only for three minutes. Breeders fans, take note.

"starting five" - dios malos - This came up on the Ipod shuffle twice. I think someone is trying to tell me something cuz it takes several tries to sell me on this type of jangly diddy pop. Foward onto Fluxblog.

"Swimming" - Gretchen Phillips - Just a smidgen of Teen Beat Happening Jad Fair Esmirelda weird (okay, alot more than a smidgen) infects the lyrics of this girl-with-a-guitar and a mad queer crush on a fellow swimmer. Reportedly (well, according to her website), an influence on Le Tigre and Pansy Division.

"Girl Talk" - Starky - OK, now its time for that infectious proto-Top 40 song from the vaguely punk band from Sydney with the awful name which probably dooms all their hopes and dreams of success. Might as well enjoy them now, eh?

"Vampire Beats" - The Mai Shi - They may think they're avant-experimental but this song is one slab of LOUD FUCKING DRUNK BAR ROCK.

"Televise" - Calla - No, you can't chill out now. Get the fuck up. Watch the golden watch go back and forth. You are getting sleepier yet oddly more energetic. You are shifting from side to side as if in a zombie trance. Moohaahhaa.... Dance, puppet, dance - dance the dance of modern destruction!

"No Name" - Picastro - Not exactly chill-out - its way too jagged and dissonant but certainly a breath catcher. Go get a drink of water, you and tell those people at the bar to SHUTTHEFUCKUP!

"New Slough" - The Blue Van - Epic garage-psyche Danish blues-rocker makes for a great pre-encore (what we used to call the final song in the set) raver.

"I Love You Cuz I Have To" - Dogs Die in Hot Cars - They win our "best band name ever" award (the prize is a PETA shirt). Ska-garage UK collective looking for some SXSW buzz. Buzzzzzzzzzzz. There.


Anonymous said...

excellent post!!! did you check out "Asleep in the Sea" or "Volcano, I"m still Excited!"

they're both excellent groups in that collection of mp3's!

Jim H said...

There's a previous posting on Asleep In The Sea - I liked the song a lot. I don't think Volcano was at SXSW 2005 (They were at 2004).

Mr. Grimm said...

13 is a classic song by Big Star, oft covered by Elliott Smith. Unless you were kidding, and I missed it...

Thanks for the SXSW analysis. Lots of good stuff!