Sunday, March 15, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 3/15/09

Some of you may be aware of this little music festival happening in Austin this week. It's called South by Southwest, or SXSW for short. It's merely the biggest music festival in the nation, a place where bands hope to achieve superstardom, or at least some interest from major labels. This year's lineup seems overall to be a little less exciting than in years past. I don't know whether to blame that on a struggling music industry, or if the overall economic downturn is at fault. Still, that doesn't mean the event is a total flop. On the national level, you can check out Primal Scream, Indigo Girls, Peter Bjorn and John, and the reunited Superdrag, among others. If you're wanting to support the local guys, here are a few of your best bets:

  1. "Now Now", St. Vincent
    Dallas' own blogster darling is going to be down there promoting her upcoming effort, Actor. She'll be playing two official shows: the first will be at the Central Presbyterian Church (interesting choice of venue). Then on Friday, you can catch her at Antone's.

  2. "Even Born Again", Sarah Jaffe
    There are two local acts that I feel have the best shot at getting a lot of buzz this year. Ms. Jaffe is one of the acts. More than any other performer I have ever seen, she has the skills to shut the audience up and make them listen. She does not do this through any obvious means of cajoling the audience. The only thing she has to do is sing and play; her haunting vocals and talented backup band do the rest of the work. She'll be playing Friday Night at The Parish.

  3. "Finding It Hard", The O's
    The O's are the other band that I think has the potential to be a buzz band. On the surface, the formula seems unlikely: get two guys together playing guitars, banjos, steel guitars, and kick drum. Here's the catch though: through good harmonizing, excellent musicianship, and great songwriting, The O's create an exciting atmosphere with every live show. The band has always sounded fresh, never forced. Both John Pedigo and Taylor Young have put years of blood, sweat, and tears into their music. I would be ecstatic if the hard work finally paid off for these two exceptionally cool guys. Catch them Saturday at Mother Egan's.

  4. "Fat Girls", THe BAcksliders
    Why this band is not playing an official SXSW is beyond me. No band in Dallas puts on a more consistently fabulously dirty rock and roll spectacle than THe BAcksliders. Instead of official shows, the group will be playing two Saturday shows. One will be at the Electra Beauty Lounge, and the other will be at Trophy's. I don't know if there'll be a cover charge, but even if there is one, pay it. You know you want that dirty rock and roll.

  5. "Snow in June", Little Black Dress
    You can catch the band at Mother Egan's at Saturday night, along with Shibboleth, The O's, Here Holy Spain, and The Crash That Took Me, all part of the Idol Records showcase. Technically, Little Black Dress are on Exploding Plastic Records, a subdivision of Idol headed by The Crash That Took Me's Dylan Silvers. But I'm getting too technical here.

  6. "Gypsy Woman", Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights
    Why, Dallas Observer, why? Why did you put your showcase directly against the Idol Records showcase? Couldn't you have done a Friday night show instead? You're forcing us to choose between two excellent local music showcases. Anyways, JT&NL will be headlining this sweet showcase at Habana Bar. I Love Math, Bosque Brown, and Telegraph Canyon round out the Observer showcase. By the way, Mr. Tyler and the boys need not worry about being signed. They're already on F-Stop Music, a subdivision of Atlantic Records.

  7. "Minor It Down", True Widow
    If Little Black Dress isn't enough local shoegaze for you, then you can also catch True Widow's set Friday night at The Independent. What, no Menkena or Jack with One Eye?

  8. "Let's Hit the Town", AwkQuarius
    I still have not caught a proper AwkQuarius show (even though the "PPT" set at the DOMA showcase was essentially just that). Either way, these are two of Dallas' finest rappers, and they'll be playing Thursday night at Backyard Social.

  9. "My Girlfriend Is a Rock", Nervebreakers
    If I were to predict this band's likelihood of getting signed to a major label, it would be somewhere between slim to none. Still, the fact that these pioneers of Dallas punk are reuniting is a pretty damn big deal, even if only to those in the DFW area. The band will be playing two non-SXSW shows. Their first show will be the Owl Tree Friday Party at Owl Tree Roasting; the band will go on at 5 in the afternoon. Then Saturday they'll play at Antone's Record Shop. In case you can't make it to Austin, fear not. The Nervebreakers will do a show April 11th at Club Dada, with Spector 45 opening for the band.

  10. "She's Wasted", Airline
    I'm a little confused if the Red Gorilla Music Festival is part of SXSW or separate from it. Either way, they'll play the Dizzy Rooster at 8 p.m. on Thursday. I'm sure they'll play plenty of tunes from last year's Farewell Republica, a CD that grows on me with each listen still.

By the way, I'm still trying to compile a thorough list of bands playing parties, free shows, and so forth. Please, please, please send me whatever info you may know. As for info on actual SXSW shows, feel free to visit for details.

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