Hard to believe it, I know, but today (Tues., March 23rd) is actually the second-to-last day of the SXSW Overflow Fest, hosted for the past thirteen days by the kindly people at Super Happy Fun Land. The list is a little bit lighter than they've been 'til now, but from what I've heard of the bands, it's actually one of the most promising lineups so far. On top of that, I've actually heard the latest full-lengths from a couple of the bands listed below, so I've linked a couple of real-live tracks from 'em...
[Note to Bands: I'm including the MP3s solely so folks can more easily hear what you sound like, and if you want 'em down, just say the word, and they're gone. Cool? Cool.]
Anyway, here's what I think about the people playing tonight:
THE SEEDY SEEDS: The Anniversary, only with more noodly keys and banjos? What the fuck? Okay, wait, I take that back -- actually, this is nearer to The Postal Service with banjos, or maybe Mates of State, or...hell, make that a combination of all three. The Seedy Seeds wed sweet, bumping keys and rhythms to banjo and accordion, then throw gorgeous melodies and earnestly-dueling indie male/female vocals on top of that, and the resulting amalgam is both fairly unique and pretty damn cool.
I think "Winter 04" is going on the next mixtape I make, seriously. In fact, you can check it out for yourself:
The Seedy Seeds - "Winter 04" (from Count The Days)
Heck, the more I listen, the more I become convinced these folks are one of the best bands playing the Overflow Fest. Gold star, y'all.
PEASANT: I can't really say why, but listening to Peasant's Damien DeRose makes me think pretty inescapably of actor Michael Cera. The music's just got this delicate, fragile, bedroom-sounding quality to it that seems like it'd be tailor-made to play over shots of goofily-smiling Cera running down the street or sitting moodily on a front porch or something... Okay, that may sound a bit weird/creepy, but hey, that's what it evokes. Beyond that, the music's quite nice folky indie-pop with some occasional piano-heavy moments that come off like Ben Folds fronting Iron and Wine (and I mean that in a good way).
Check out a track from the band/guy right over here:
Peasant - "Into The Woods" (from Shady Retreat)
BAD ASSETS: These three Californians play rangy, bluesy/countrified garage-rawk that most brings to mind -- for me, anyway -- locals The Tyburn Jig, in that both bands cobble together amalgams of old-school country, blazing rockabilly-esque garage, and a fair helping of Nick Cave creepy. And for what that's worth, it ain't bad...
MONDO DRAG: Whoa, maaaaan. Trippy, heavily, heavily retro-sounding psych-rock, all swirling and hazy and sunstroked. To my ears, Iowans Mondo Drag sound like they dropped through a hole in time; they make me think at various times of late-night '70s AOR jams, Blue Cheer, The Doors, and (more contemporarily) of folks like Arbouretum. Against all odds, this stuff's kind of addictive; I find myself nodding and foot-drumming along.
KIERNAN MCMULLAN: Sweet-voiced, jangly singer/songwriter folk, and while I had high hopes for this Ireland native (gotta represent The Homeland), Kiernan McMullan doesn't really pull off anything all that new, sadly. It's decent stuff, particularly the quieter, more mellow stuff (the funkier, louder stuff, while well-done, is only "meh" for me), which sounds at its best like Dashboard Confessional, but you've heard it before. Sorry...
FALLING LISA: From San Antonio, Falling Lisa is another one-man(er, -woman)-band, this time more atmospheric-sounding and less folky than most of what I've heard lately. That can be good or bad, honestly -- I'm liking the bluesier songs ("Ruby Diamond", for one), but the more noodly, jazzy/experimental tracks don't do it for me...
I know, I know -- how dare I drag folks away from the Overflow Fest? Can't help it, I'm afraid, because I just don't have time for a second "full" post today, and there're a couple of entertaining-sounding shows going on, nonetheless:
BugGirl/Golden Axe/The Delta Block @ Walter's
This one bears mentioning not only for headlining rockers BugGirl, who grab hold of legendary countrymen AC/DC and graft onto it a woman with pipes that'd make most metal singer-dudes shrivel up and crawl away. They're pretty fucking badass, at least if you're into hard-rockin' songs about booze, cars, and, er, rockin' out. Plus, they've got local near-legendary instro-metalists Golden Axe opening for 'em, and they're a band I'm enjoying more these days not only for their ridiculous guitar-playing skill but for the fact that they've got a song named "The Cliffs of Insanity." Niiice.
Followed By Static/Somosuno/Fiskadoro @ Avant Garden
Another good one, this time featuring cool Lake Jacksonians Fiskadoro, who do this quirky, murky, tribal-sounding, almost hypnotic thing that, quite honestly, makes perfect sense coming from the land of Chlorine Way. Plus, there's Austinites Followed By Static, who play stark, mostly lo-fi-sounding post-punk stuff that stalks along like it knows where the hell it's going, even if you don't.
That's all for now; more to come...
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