Next week, KEXP is broadcasting live from Austin, TX, during the 2011 South by Southwest Music Conference, running March 16th through the 18th. We are broadcasting from Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop, where we’ll bring you exclusive live sets from Wild Flag, The Head and the Heart, The Black Angels, Yuck, Steve Wynn & The Miracle Three, and more. Between sets, KEXP DJs Cheryl Waters and Kevin Cole will spin music. Here’s a preview of what’s to come:
KEXP’S BROADCAST FROM MELLOW JOHNNY’S (3/16-3/18)
The KEXP performances at Mellow Johnny’s (400 Nueces) are free and open to KEXP listeners, but space is limited. Entry is available on a first come, first served basis. We expect many of the performances to fill up quickly, so come early to get a spot!
Wednesday, March 16th (performances Austin time):
- 12:30pm ‒ The Head and the Heart hit the scene earlier this year and quickly established a following for their folky, alt-country style of indie pop. Their sparse piano and violin arrangements take turns pulling your heartstrings, but it’s the dueting boy/girl vocals that’ll make you ache the most.
- 2:30pm ‒ Yuck are the newest members of the 90′s indie rock revival, but they’ve quickly established their dominance. Fierce guitars and passionate vocals are the driving force behind this unforgettable quartet.
- 4:30pm ‒ Grouplove is now based in LA, but the band came together in Greece and features members from everywhere from California to New York, to the UK. From such fairytale beginnings, it’s no surprise that the music they create is joyous and raucous, a flamboyantly gleeful take on dance-ready indie pop.
- 6:30pm ‒ Wild Flag is a veritable supergroup featuring fine ladies from Sleater-Kinney, The Minders, and Helium, and they’re ready to rock your socks across the room. It’s no small wonder they’ve been selling out shows across the country, with their frenetic live energy and addictive hooks, it’s a near-impossible challenge to resist.
Thursday, March 17th (performances Austin time):
- 12:30pm ‒ Charles Bradley was down and out, performing at a lounge in Bed-Stuy, New York, when he was discovered in 2002 by Daptone Record’s Gabriel Roth. Roth immediately brought Bradley to Daptone’s Studios, where they honed his craft into a debut album that fuses heart-wrenching soul, R&B, and funk with lyrical content that revolves heavily around loss and disillusionment.
- 2:30pm ‒ Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, or O.M.D. are an 80′s new wave/synthpop group that’s seen more incarnations than you can count on one hand. That hasn’t stopped them from being an indelible part of the scene, and with their reformation, they’ve proven that they’re more viable than ever. The pop’s not gone, it just had to take a breather.
- 4:30pm ‒ The Black Angels thrive on the darkness, a sludgy, grimy darkness from which you can’t easily escape. Whether it’s the chugging bass or swirling guitars, The Black Angels’ signature dirge is the auditory equivalent of guerrilla warfare.
- 6:30pm ‒ The Joy Formidable has been making headlines since 2008, but it’s taken three years for a proper album. Fortunately, The Big Roar was worth the wait, layering scuzzy guitars with dreamy vocals that crackle and crash against each other like waves on the shore.
Friday, March 18th (performances Austin time):
- 12:30pm ‒ Steve Wynn & The Miracle Three is an indie rock legend, creating brooding, controlled, yet aggressive music that’s balanced expertly between energy and great production. Along with his backing band of veteran musicians, Wynn drives his unadulterated rock bias home with lyrical prowess and swagger.
- 2:30pm ‒ Violens are a New York-based trio who whirl together influences from all over the map - bits of shoegaze, 60′s psychedelia, and Britpop before a pulsing piano riff lends the suggestion of prog and washes of synths pull back hints of new wave.
- 4:30pm ‒ Jessica Lea Mayfield specializes in a dark, brooding form of singer-songwriter gloom, mournfully strumming and crooning, baring her soul for all to see. Her debut was produced by Dan Auerbach (of The Black Keys), who injects just the slightest hint of the blues into her acoustic stylings.
- 6:30pm ‒ John Vanderslice has been a consistent, prolific force in independent music; defiantly DIY, fiercely proponent of the analog aesthetic, and incredibly independent, going as far as to create his own recording studio. On his latest, he throws all that to the wind to record with the Magik*Magik Orchestra, a full symphonic ensemble that complements his style rather than overshadowing it.
SXSW RADIO DAY STAGE (3/19)
In addition to the Mellow Johnny’s performances, KEXP is proud to join like-minded independent stations KCRW, The Current, KUT, WFUV, and Bogota’s Radiónica to help curate the official SXSW Radio Day Stage on the fourth floor of the Austin Convention Center in Ballroom D, where festival registrants can grab a drink, connect to free wi-fi, relax and enjoy performances by showcasing artists in between sitting in on panels and workshops. On Saturday, March 19, KEXP presents three bands on the Radio Day Stage:
Saturday, March 19th (performances Austin time):
- 12:00pm ‒ Foster the People are quickly selling out shows and playing for over-capacity crowds all over the United States, one of the many upsides to their infectious brand of dancefloor-ready indie pop. If their three-song self-titled EP is any indication, debut full-length Torches is going to set the LA trio on pace for a world takeover.
- 1:00pm ‒ Chillwaver Toro Y Moi has been hard at work since his debut, expanding upon the dreamy lo-fi sounds from his home recordings and adding live instrumentation and occasional funk beats to his typically atmospheric melodies. The result is the hazy and groovy Underneath the Pine, an album as slick as it is intimate.
- 2:00pm ‒ Minneapolis’ Tapes ‘N Tapes were one of the last bands to blow up via the internet and still have it be a big deal, but their online legacy hasn’t overshadowed their output. After a lackluster second showing, Tapes ‘N Tapes are back with a third album every bit as good as their original, complete with quirky energy and a ingenuitive ferocity that calls to mind Pavement, Pixies and Modest Mouse.