SXSW Overflow: Day Twelve/Thirteen (Kaade, ElectroFoam!, Hurricanes of Love, MTPOTSBWY, & More)
It’s kind of a light day today, for Day Twelve of SXSW Overflow Fest at Super Happy Fun Land, so I’m going to go buck-wild crazy and do two days’ worth of writeups, all at once. I’m a honey badger, yo.
ahem. Sorry. I’m just feeling a bit slap-happy at the moment, having crammed 80 or so bands into the past two weeks or so (on top of the other stuff I have to do besides). Anyway, here’s what’s on tonight, Tuesday, March 20th, up at SHFL:
FRANK MCGREGOR: Um. Wow. This one caught me somewhat off-guard, I have to say. I saw the “ren faire” note on the SHFL Website but figured they were kidding…and no, they’re not. Frank McGregor, aka Sound 7(?), is an honest-to-God Renaissance Festival-style troubadour, playing delicate music on what sounds like a lute or something related while solemnly spinning tales and poems from various histories and legends.
There’s no actual singing going on here, mind you — it’s more like storytelling with musical accompaniment, and that’s pretty neat to hear. Also interesting is the way McGregor mixes in Celtic legends with legends and stories from other traditions, including the Hopi. Oh, and whatever instrument it is that he’s playing, he’s doing it beautifully.
KAADE: And no, McGregor’s not alone. I’m not sure if these guys work together or not, but flautist Kaade is definitely in the same mold, playing sweet, ethereal melodies that have a definite Celtic bent (at least to my ears) and which he says are inspired by “Faeries, Trolls, Selkies and other mystical beings.”
I can’t really speak to that, myself — never seen a faerie or a troll, sadly — but the music itself is pretty wonderful, in a New Age-y/Celtic kind of way. And yes, again, this guy plays the RenFest, too. Don’t hold it against either one of ’em, okay? Heck, I love the place, myself.
LES RACQUET: Yes, the name “Les Racquet” may look familiar to the keen-eyed readers out there; that’s because I wrote about ’em right here, in the writeup for Day One of the Overflow Fest. I won’t rehash that once again — go here to read what I said the first time around — but I do want to give a virtual high-five to the band for stopping back through a second time. Very cool.
Believe it or not, that’s it for tonight — light, like I said. So, on we go. Now, for whatever reason, the Overflow Fest skips tomorrow, Wednesday, March 21st, and jumps straight to Thursday, March 22nd, aka Day Thirteen, aka The Last Day of SXSW Overflow Fest 2012. Dunno why there’s that “blank” day in-between, but eh. Here goes:
ALL GIRLS: Hrm. Okay, that’s weird timing, I have to say. Per their FB page, it seems that All Girls Lie are no longer “All Girls Lie,” but will now be going by the name And So It Goes.
Unfortunately, I can’t find anything to listen to, by either name/incarnation of the band. So your guess is as good as mine as to what they sound like. shrug.
ELECTROFOAM!: The one thing I keep coming back to with Lawton, OK’s ElectroFoam! is early Damone; female vocalist/lead guitarist Jody Bailey makes me think of that band’s singer/guitarist Noelle, not least of all because she’s got a roughed-up, tomboy-ish quality to her voice, but also because the guitars ride the line between poppy punk and streetwise metal.
Oddly, the track that impresses me the most is the acoustic track “Regrets,” which is pretty much just Bailey spitting embittered lyrics over a fast-strummed guitar line, with bandmates Mikey Hevr and Jon Michael Jackson doing gang vocal backups. The whole thing makes me think of One Small Step For Landmines, and it’s a great freaking song, in spite of being as minimal as it really could possibly be. Check it out, below:
And hey, in case you miss ’em at SHFL, the EFF! kids are playing in town a second time, Friday, March 23rd, over at Bohemeo’s…
HURRICANES OF LOVE: Okay, now I have no fucking idea what’s happening, and yet, I’m kinda liking it. Bostonians Hurricanes of Love (which might only be one-man-band Frank Hurricane; can’t tell for sure) describe themselves as “psychedelic folk music,” but what I’m hearing, at least — from their 2011 EP Spiritual Thangz is more like cracked, silly, stoned-as-hell psych-hop, like cLOUDDEAD but with guitars, keys, and real-live drums instead of decks.
Oh, and every song’s about weed and being gangsta. No, I’m not kidding. And believe it or not, it is entertaining, in a bargain-basement Blackalicious kind of way. Take a listen:
MAY THE PEACE OF THE SEA BE WITH YOU: I’ll admit I was a little disappointed to discover that this “nautical thrash-folk” puts the emphasis firmly on the “folk” part of the equation — I love me some sludgy, storm-tossed, nautically-themed thrash, I have to say — but labels aside, May the Peace of the Sea Be With You is pretty great on its own right, making me think of local Houston folk-punks Days N’ Daze.
The band rambles along, noisy and shambling, like an Appalachian hillfolk band that’s broken into a music store and appropriated a bunch of loud electric instruments, then proceeded to stand on a cliffside somewhere and play like mad.
It’s a little old, now, but the one thing the band’s got online is their rough mixes from maybe-released EP Landfather:
INVISIBLE CIRCLE: Closing out the whole shebang, then, there’s Invisible Circle, which is mostly NY-dweller Dave Kadden but apparently includes a whole slew of other folks live — not sure what the band will be like for this particular show, mind you.
The band’s FB page bills the group as “Psych drone songs and jams,” and they’re pretty much dead-on, for once. The tracks I’ve heard so far are dense, hypnotic, seriously psychedelic chunks of floating, droning noise, paired with chanting that sounds (to my relatively untrained ears) a lot like Native American music mashed-up with mantras in Hindi.
And that, folks, is it. All done — by the end of Thursday, the SXSW Overflow Fest will drift off into the ether, not to be seen again ’til around this time next year. At least, I hope that’s the case; I dunno what the crowd was like this year, since I’ve been eaten alive by work…sigh. But here’s hoping Brian, Olivia, & the rest of the Super Happy Crew keep it up, because Houston needs a cool, quirky little SouthBy safety-valve like this.