SXSW Overflow 2011: Day Six (Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, Aficionado, Janka Nabay, The Demon Beat, & More)

Six days in, and god-knows-how-many to go… Next installment of the Super Happy Fun Land SXSW Overflow Fest tonight, and things are looking a bit busier than they have up to this point; see here for the evening’s full schedule, with times & everything. Here’s who’s playing, somewhat in order of impressiveness:

THE TERROR PIGEON DANCE REVOLT: Heard tons and tons of good things about these folks, so I was tentatively expecting to be flat-out knocked down by whatever they came up with…and yep, that’s exactly what happened. The NY “collective” of musicians play ecstatic, yell-along pop songs that bridge the gap between the over-the-top goofy sweetness of Lisa’s Sons or Atom And His Package and the arena-sized sound of The Arcade Fire; think The Polyphonic Spree if they were less smiley-happy and
“Snowday!,” in particular, is fucking awesome — “These are my neighbors! These are my neighbors!”:

snowday! by theterrorpigeon

See this band, y’all.

AFICIONADO: See, it’s bands like this that make me glad the Overflow Fest exists, because I never would’ve even heard of these Albany, NY-dwellers otherwise, much less heard the frantic, bitterly sharp indie-rock they make. Think the vitriol and fire of Cursive’s Tim Kasher or early Say Anything!, melded with a frontal piano assault, some excellently atmospheric organ sounds, and a Harvey Danger-like sense of fuck-it-all youthful abandon.

JANKA NABAY: Whoa. Now this is a music-maker who’s traveled a long, strange road to get to SHFL tonight… Janka Nabay‘s from Sierra Leone, and if the press materials are to be believed, he’s modernized an ancient type of music from the region called “bubu” that, at least in its current form, incorporates surprisingly minimalist metallic percussion, retro-sounding keys, thumping, flat beats, and half-sung, half-spoken lyrics over female backing vocals (oh, and was apparently “appropriated” by rebels in the Sierra Leonean conflict).

It’s intriguing stuff; not necessarily something I’d listen to every day, no, but still pretty neat, especially if you’re into African or tribal-sounding music. Check out a taste below:

THE DEMON BEAT: Hrm. I’m a little put off, for one thing, that to hear any of the tracks on the band’s Facebook profile, I have to “Like” the band — counter-intuitive, I’d say, since I can’t claim to like a band ’til I’ve heard ’em, right? Anyway. In spite of my annoyance at their bad usability on FB, The Demon Beat ride a very cool line, balancing between all-out retro-rock on the one hand (see full-length Shit, We’re 23) and more thoughtful, bluesy psychedelia on the other (see new EP 1956). The latter’s definitely harder to get a handle on, moving slowly and deliberately and low-key like it does, but it shows the band can do more than just blaze away, garage-rock-style. Mind you, when they do blaze, it’s pretty goddamn cool — see “Crawl” for proof.

LOST COVES: Don’t be put off by the godawful album art; this Brooklyn bass-and-drums duo makes some very cool, atmospheric spacerock that thunders and soars high above the clouds, practically touching the stars with their fingertips before catching fire. The vocals wail and spiral, while the hyper-distorted bass rides a turbulent melodic line and the drums jump between stomping/crushing metal and almost dub-y moments. Close-your-eyes-and-sway music for the psych heads.

RICH AUCOIN: Not sure what I was expecting this to be, but…well…okay, so a funky, ’80s-colored disco-funk dance party was not it. Wha…? That said, Rich Aucoin (who I think is one person, although the music definitely sounds like it requires a full band) pulls it off surprisingly well, getting my feet tapping and head nodding, especially on tracks like the more New Wave-y “Undead.”

BLASTOIDS: Quirky, messy, half-spastic yet still somehow interesting electro-tinged pop (although that term’s used a little loosely, here). Blastoids aren’t really my cup of tea, personally, but they craft some neat organic-electronic chunks of melodic noise…

That’s it for tonight; head on over to the Super Happy if you get a chance, ’cause it’s a pretty impressive slate of bands, seriously.


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