Music That Matters Vol. 42: My SXSW Flashback Hour…The Early Years, The Twilight Sad, Foals, Hot Club De Paris, iLiKETRAiNS and many more

Nothing compares to Austin. 6th Street, Stubb’s BBQ, South Congress, Austin Hotel, Spider House Coffee, endless music. Even the airport reminds you it’s the “Music Capital of the World.” I visit once a year and it’s for all of the above. SXSW coincides with Spring Break and St. Patrick’s Day. A belated Mardi Gras of sorts but fewer sparkly beads and less nudity.KEXP broadcasted live from Austin City Limits for 3 days (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3) and it was very difficult to leave for day parties.

It’s a pretty sweet life when your main troubles are worrying about making it in time to see Mew’s outdoor show after hanging with Iggy backstage. Well, he was hangin’, I was watching. And is 4x enough times to see Mew in a week? No, never.

Iggy-SXSW-Shannon.jpg
Iggy Pop, courtesy of Doron Gild

I go to SXSW to discover new bands and see them for the first time, especially if they’ve never played in the States before. But always take the time to see my current (loyal) faves like Mew (again) and Peter, Bjorn & John (finally).

Mew-SXSW-Shannon.jpg
With Mew, courtesy of Doron Gild
Peter Bjorn & John-SXSW-Shannon.jpg
Peter Morén, courtesy of Doron Gild

Weeding through a thousand or so bands is difficult. I have my own criteria and put my feelers out there to see who are the buzz bands. This podcast features only 15 of them. (I’ll have more of them on my next one.)

I love The Early Years and couldn’t wait to finally see them live. I’ve included the live at KEXP version of their song, “So Far Gone” as the first track on this podcast. Very appropriate as they kicked off our live broadcast for SXSW.

The Early Years-SXSW-Shannon.jpg
With the Early Years, courtesy of Doron Gild

My absolute favorite new live band at SXSW is Foals. I describe them as The Rapture meets Cold War Kids. What energy! Get ready to dance. Hot Club De Paris played immediately afterwards and I couldn’t believe I saw two really fantastic bands in a row. Bands need a way to stand out from amongst 1000 others and they both did so well I didn’t think anyone could follow. I was wrong.

I caught The Twilight Sad at Mohawk on my first night and later in the week when they played a Scottish showcase. I already knew I wanted “And She Would Darken the Memory” on the podcast since I would wake up in the morning singing it, humming it, thinking it. I can’t wait to hear their LP. Be sure to catch them on tour with Aerogramme. You won’t be disappointed.

Girl bands. Not really girl bands but bands with girls. One band name that’s quite deceiving is The Victorian English Gentlemens Club, which features a girl drummer, girl bass player and a male lead singer. Then we have the Pipettes, who I saw at Filter’s courtyard party with Mew, Mando Diao and the Fratellis. The Pipettes have a few guys in sweater vests with monogrammed initials. Three cute girls lead them in sassy pop songs and wear matching ultra-feminine polka dot clothing. So so sweet! And the crowd was mesmerized.

Music That Matters 42: My SXSW Flashback Hour (MP3)

1. The Early Years – So Far Gone (Live @ KEXP in Austin) (their album is on Beggars Banquet)
2. Foals – Hummer (Transgressive)
3. Hot Club De Paris – Sometimesitsbetternottostickbitsof
eachotherineachotherforeachother (Moshi Moshi)
4. The Holloways – Dancefloor (TVT)
5. Mohair – Stranded (in the Middle of Nowhere) (Grunion)
6. The Pipettes – Your Kisses are Wasted on Me (Memphis Industries)
7. The Victorian English Gentlemens Club – Ban the Gin (Fantastic Plastic)
8. Stoney – Jailbird (Red Alert)
9. The Twilight Sad – And She Would Darken the Memory (Fat Cat)
10. The Cinematics – Break (TVT)
11. Frightened Rabbit – Be Less Rude (Hits the Fan)
12. The Faintest Ideas – Dexter’s Got a Sinister Heart (Magic Marker)
13. The Kissaway Trail – 61 (Bella Union, Etch n Sketch Records and Playground)
14. Sissy Wish – Do What They Say (Sissy Music)
15. iLiKETRAiNS – Terra Nova (Beggars Banquet)

Please send major praise/minor criticisms or vice versa my way: shannon@kexp.org.

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