(Here are found words, pictures and videos from the SXSW adventures of P. Nick Curran and Addison Post)
My introduction to South by Southwest came last night at a co-op loft show near University of Texas’ campus. A girl in a pink tutu sat alone under a streetlamp sipping a forty on a pile of broken beer bottles.
The thing about THE NATIONAL is that each of their albums has been the kind of thing that's taken me a few listens to get a real handle on and more listens still to really start to love. I mean that as a compliment: Alligator was one of the best albums of the last decade. But this particular tendency makes it difficult to form snap opinions of their new songs in isolation (especially when they debut via NBC's streaming video player and its inherent poor audio quality).
OMG, dudes, it's a week before DROPKICK MURPHYS begin their annual St. Patrick's Day hometown stand. And, this being an Olympic year, it's also the release of another Live on St. Patrick's Day CD/DVD, on the band's Warner Bros-distributed label Born & Bred. And, this being an early-Easter year, it's also about a week and a half before Opening Day.
The good thing about the new SHE & HIM video for "In the Sun" -- the teaser track from the all-star duo's forthcoming Volume Two (due March 23 on Merge) -- is th at it's all Zooey Deschanel, all the time, and M. Ward gets exiled to cutaways in which he fiddles with his blackberry.
The even-better thing about the new video? Zooey being paraded ar's ound a darkened high-school in dance routines reminiscent of American Idol group karaoke, Glee showstoppers, and Britney in her Catholic-schoolgirl phase.
This past Tuesday, in the midst of the messy snowstorm, our friends over at On a Friday presented a show at Great Scott featuring New York's GROOMS. We weren't there or anything, but judging from these videos (shot by one Addison A. Post), it sounds like the 90s revival is continuing apace. More below.
Lesson to lesser metal bands: there's no need to stop at just covering an Ozzy song. If you're gonna re-do an '80s classic, go hard or go home: put on the pirate blouse, rent a pornstache, crank up the smoke machine, and set the focus on soft. To wit, the video for Shadows Fall's version of Ozzy's "Bark at the Moon":
Our sister station WFNX scored an exclusive living-room-style acoustic show with TEGAN AND SARA, who stopped by the Ames Hotel in Boston on Saturday before their Orpheum Theater gig. The sisters played for an audience of about 20 listeners (and us) -- but fear not, if you weren't among the winners, we've got video right here.
"Hansel and Gretel Re:Imagined" | MassArt Pozen Center | January 13, 2010
Video-of-video -- especially when it's Flip video of a major-scale video installation -- is never gonna cut it. That said, we had to do something to gesture at how good the Zebbler-curated "Hansel and Gretel Re:Imagined" VJ showcase was.
. . . he gets weirder. New album promo for his "lost" third album Close Calls with Brick Walls contains no music -- probably not a bad idea; it was released a few years ago in Japan, and we recall it being pretty just OK. But the video does include Andrew's interpretive-dance recitation of the Darth-Vader-uses-the-dark-side-to-throw-shit-at-Luke scene from The Empire Strikes Back, this time starring a toy santa, a blow-up lobster, and a big white dog.
Pretty & Nice - Capsules from Julian Furtak on Vimeo.
This past week, star pupils PRETTY AND NICE and rookies-of-the-year candidates MYSTERY ROAR played at the Middle East upstairs. Our friend Julian Furtak of the local blog On a Friday was there to capture moving (and still) pictures.
For every Taylor Swift, Avril Lavigne, and Britney Spears -- that is, for every 15 year old who submitted to the studio system, allowed herself to be made-up and songwritten into superstardom -- there's 10,000 who did all of that and still didn't make it. Before she was old enough to drive, Waltham's NOELLE LEBLANC was hanging out in basements with a local producer and singing other people's songs.
PASSION PIT REMIX LADY GAGA + BEYONCE's "TELEPHONE." For those of you who think that Passion Pit is a passing college fad, well, this probably won't change your outlook. But it's another brick in the wall for those of us who are anticipating a full-on top-40 pop assault from the Pit. We're teasing, but only a little bit, because we have some undivulgable inside dope about who is shopping for Michael Angelakos's beats these days.
Last week, Joanna Newsom announced her new album, Have One On Me, via a cryptic webcomic on the Drag City site. And so on Monday, she previewed some of that new material at a show in Australia. It sounds more accessible than most of Ys to me, but not necessarily in a bad way. More new songs down below (hat tip to Stereogum), titles unknown at this time.
On Tuesday, longtime OtD favorite M.I.A. tweeted the above video with the message "THERES SPACE FOR OL DAT I SEE." As it turns out, the song is called "Space Oddyssey" and will be on the next M.I.A. album (the one with the Verizon customer service people on it). The song, according to reports, is a repsonse to a New York Times travel piece calling Sri Lanka the number one "place to go" in 2010 - something she wasn't too happy about.