SXSW 2011 Wrap Up

The Flashbacks

While SXSW is generally for the unknown discoveries, there were of course some blast from the past sets. Nineties revival at it’s peak lately, the real nineties rolled through Austin with a live performance by Meat Puppets at Waterloo Records. Going through all their past hits as well as newer cuts from their upcoming album, Lollipop to a very sunburned audience, the band has aged well musically with experience and possibly made some new fans who hadn’t gone deeper into their discography. That said, while Meat Puppets gained fans, The Bangles certainly lost some at SXSW. After nearly an hour wait for the iconic pop band finally came out on stage at Cedar Street Courtyard. Losing half the crowd to go see TV on the Radio, The Bangles may have lost some fans’ eternal flames, however playing a generally solid set to the restless crowd.

 

hip hop: kanye west, lil b + diddy + ofwkta, grillade + big krit, wiz khalifa

house shows: secret mountains / mazes

flash backs: meat puppets, the bangles

big names: james blake, tv on the radio

collabs nite jewel + dam funk

overseas: Pacific!, BRAHMS, boxer rebellion, summer camp

la sera, dirty beaches, foster the people, naked and famous, gobble gobble, twin shadow, darwin deez, tristen, cloud nothings,

The House Shows

A huge draw for my trip to Austin, was the fact that so many locals opened up their homes and backyard to strangers and bands. While, they do get a little weird, that’s all part of their charm. From home brewed kegs to taco bars in people’s kitchens, Austin’s true hospitality shines through with these shows. Amongst the slew of nameless local bands which seemed to focus on either heavy psych rock or loud noise jam bands, there were shining gems of touring bands that made appearances as well. Baltimore band Secret Mountains (formerly The Owls Go) played several sets throughout the week,

The Hype Bands

The bands everybody has “got to see”, the ones on the top of the blogosphere charts, the ones that will hit mainstream and you “knew about it before everybody else” or ultimately fade into the past without notice or a second album. Cults/tennis/

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The Everyday Visuals Astound with New Album

The Everyday Visuals are more than just a band that hails from Boston, but they can also be viewed as a ‘listening experience’. Recently recieving a copy of their newest self titled record, ‘The Everyday Visuals’,I was immediatly drawn to what they were selling. This album blew away any expectations I had going into it.

The record starts off with ‘Intro (Morning Star)’  which is a nice soft start to what is about to come. It hits you with a ‘bang’ but not in the way you would expect it to. It feels a bit like Fleet Foxes at first, but The Everyday Visuals certainly make this sound their own. Taking it up a notch is ‘Limb From Limb’ that will have listeners out of their seat dancing. ‘ Florence Foster Jensen’ contains the most beautiful harmonies that I’ve heard in quite a long time. They are literally flawless.  The members voices are meant to go together. Its obvious.

 ‘I Can’t Stop You’ is a nice ballad that seems like it would be the perfect Sunday morning song. ‘Heal Me’ which has quickly become my favorite song on the record really brings out the  beauty in singer’s Christoper Pappa’s voice, which adds to the overall depth of the record. ‘I’ll Take it All in Stride’ puts emphasis on everything The Everyday Visuals are about. Amazing vocals and harmonies, infectious guitar sounds and smooth keyboard playing which I wish there was more of in this world.

‘Boom! Boom! Boom!’ is a song that will catch your attention immediately. I think the title really explains it all. Mixing indie with folk,this song is perfect. ‘Restless Heart’ reminds me of an old Ryan Adams song which is an extremely good thing to remind someone of.  The overall vibe of the song and  with Pappa’s voice coming in and out is beautiful and well crafted. The same goes for ‘Daydream Ghosts’ which is another song that can only be described as perfect. ‘Driving’ is a lovely soft song that brings out more silky vocals and acoustic guitar picking. ‘Peers’  will have your foot tapping for sure, ‘Its too much to bare’ sings Pappas as his voice fades into the distance. The album ends with ‘It’s All I Can Do’,  a sweet little acoustic song that makes for a brilliant ending to a more than astonishing record. In all honesty, if I put together my ‘Top 10 of 2009’ right now, The Everyday Visuals would be the number 1 spot.  This record is filled with brilliant melodies and catchy tunes that only get better with every listen.

Listen to The Everyday Visuals at their MYSPACE

Watch The Everyday Visuals Video for ‘Boom! Boom! Boom!’