Music Monday: Team Me

teammeTeam Me

Local artist to: Elverum Norway

RIYL: Freelance Whales, Grouplove, Highasakite, Indie Pop

Another score for the SXSW scouting as this show was on a cheerful rooftop on 6th Street and was one of my favorite performances of the week. Team Me is a pop band from Norway. Their 2011 debut album To the Treetops! won the Norwegian Grammy Awards in 2011 for “Best Pop Group of the Year.” They have performed at music festivals from Iceland Airwaves to the Great Escape Fest and more in between. The group is currently recording their second album, which hopefully will be released in 2014. With a new album, I hope another US tour is included!

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Music Monday: Motopony

Music Monday: He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister

Music Monday: The Melodic

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The Melodic

Local artist to: United Kingdom

RIYL: Tunng, Simon & Garfunkel, Indie-pop, Folk

This quietly refreshing group from across the pond got my attention before SXSW but time was not on our side during the crazy-packed festival. However they played a sweet little set at The Sunset Tavern in Seattle a month later and on my birthday! Months later, I still haven’t put this lovely album to bed yet. Nor do I plan to anytime soon!

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Music Monday: Balthazar

Music Monday: The Robot Heart

Music Monday: The Colourist

colouristThe Colourist

Local artist to: Orange County California

RIYL: Indie Rock, Pop, Echosmith, HAERTS

Touring in Seattle: Friday 4/11/14 at Tractor Tavern

The Colourist first stumbled upon one another in an underused warehouse in Orange County, CA, where Adam and Maya discovered the harmonic chemistry that has come to define the band’s bright and anthemic signature sound.

Having spent much of 2012 honing their live show with the likes of Grouplove, Electric Guest and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., The Colourist begin 2013 holed up in a small studio in Southern California. It’s there that Adam Castilla (vocals, guitar), Maya Tuttle (drums, vocals), Kollin Johannsen (guitar, bass), and Justin Wagner (bass, keys) committed their pop-fueled, indie-bred rock to tape before embarking on their first tour which included appearances at Coachella along with support shows with Metric and Youngblood Hawke and Atlas Genius. source

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Music Monday: Parlovr

Music Monday: Fenster

Music Monday: Float Fall

ff2Float Fall

Local artist to: Leuven Belgium

RIYL: The XXDresses, Dream Pop, Male-Female duo

Odes to some far and vague past, attended by grey organs and old strings, delivered by a horn and raw electronica. That cool quiet just before faith hits. However filled with suppressed nostalgia, they keep looking towards the future. They, that’s Float Fall.
A duo that succeeds in taming the silence and dreaming dreams until everything turns out all right just once more. Rozanne Descheemaekers’ voice guides you straight through the freezing tracks, but afterwards quietly snuggles up to the hoarse vocals of Ruben Lefever.
Float Fall’s songs make you move into another world, one lacking any final description, but a good place to be nonetheless. A place where the dull rustle of the past gets its second chance. Right up to the moment that dream and reality collide. source

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Music Monday: Balthazar

Music Monday: Sóley

SXSW 2014 Recap

This post is dedicated to those lives lost: DeAndre Tatum, Sandy Le, Jamie West, Steven Craenmehr. I didn’t know you, but consider you kindred SXSW spirits. May your souls rest in peace.

IMG_3258Another South by Southwest has come and gone and as always, it was different from years past. The streets of Austin were definitely more chill this year and especially after the sad incident that occurred on Red River. It only felt right to back off the twitters, take less photos, hug the ones you love and enjoy life. This year Michael joined me for his first SXSW, and the first year I’ve attended non-solo. Together we teamed up and listened to all of the showcasing artists in hopes of uncovering some hidden gems. In years past, I’ve tried to tackle the massive list myself but it’s tough so it was nice to make and share discoveries with a fellow music junkie. I will be featuring some of our selections in the coming weeks on the returning Music Monday posts.

Over the course of 5 days, we saw a total of 43 bands live. My favorite performances of the week were Team Me, Mutual Benefit, Black Violin, Public Service Broadcasting, Jungle, Mire Kay, Sun Club, Cleanup, Boyfrndz.

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THE GOOD :: Spotify House :: The Wild Honey Pie Showcases ::  :: Tyson’s Tacos :: Bill Miller BBQ :: Enjoying a drink and chat with Julien Maury, French horror film Director & Writer :: my secret venue to chill and regroup on 6th was not crowded

THE BAD :: A tad bit chilly, so no skirts for me :: Seeing less bands due to the horrendous lines this year :: SXSW has gotten too corporate :: Debating if I will attend SXSW in the future (it’s been a good 6 years, but geezus with the large acts) :: missing our other 100+ top selections, but hopefully will see them at a Seattle venue soon!

THE MEH :: Torchy’s Tacos :: Waylayers played one rad song then quit because they weren’t pleased with the sound :: Brooklyn Vegan Showcases (I blame the venue choice)

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All photos by Annie Cuce

except my family took a few… pi in the sky by Davey and the red roses at Mohawk by Jannette (she also made the pretty flower arrangement)

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SXSW 2013

SXSW 2012

SXSW 2011

SXSW 2010

2014 SXSW Music Tips

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Each year, I learn more about SXSW…what you can get away with, secret spots, best venues, parties to avoid, etc. The main goal being to be exposed to as much new music as possible while having a damn fine time. So far, I’m to be on the right track. Each year gets better than the last, which is difficult to believe since the previous was a fucking blast. The key is to be prepared. I spend months planning for my absolute favorite week of the year. I am giddy and the best feeling is walking down 6th Street on the first day with the warm sun on my skin and feeling the energy in the air. And I hate the sun, so this says a lot. Also, Mr Wackdelly will be joining me for his first SXSW so we have both been listening, planning together, scheduling and I’ve been filling his head with tips and tricks.

Check out my 2011 tips too, but you’ll notice that some tips are outdated (RIP Leslie).

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1 :: Do not see the big acts (also on the 2011 list). Seriously, you spend all your time standing in line for hours to see a popular band that tours in your city multiple times a year, when you could be experiencing what SXSW is really about… fresh new music. The undiscovered gems are where it’s at! Over the years some of my favorite SXSW discoveries before they blew up were Baths, Cloud Nothings, Beirut, Warpaint, Of Monsters and Men and Grouplove.

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2 :: Check out the free shows at night. My friend at Blue Sky + Hard Rock (along with Music Saves Lives) put on a fantastic showcase last year with free music all day AND night (including free delicious sushi). Be on the lookout for unofficial night parties for they do exist. I believe there will be even more free night stuff this year. (photo: Seryn at Firehouse Lounge & Hostel, 2013)

3 :: There is a new addition to the wrist bands you will be collecting during the week, the Guest Pass wristband. It is a free credential and allows you to get in certain venues/areas (that use to not require any credentials). More info here.

4 :: Be sure to check out Waterloo Records’ free shows from 3/12-3/15, but plan to get there hella early if you want to get in the door. Also, it’s a hike from the main 6th Street music festivities so plan for that and no RSVP necessary! Lineup here and more info here.

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5 :: While the beers of the Pacific Northwest are pretty boss, I do miss old Texas favorites like Firemans #4 from Real Ale Brewing and the always refreshing Lone Star. I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it. Also, be sure to tip those great people slinging drinks behind the bar. They are working hard so you can enjoy yourself.

6 :: If you can find a rad band playing a tiny venue off the beaten path, pay the cab fare to check em out. The best shows are the smallest. This is easier said than done. I have skipped seeing some top picks due to location and later found out what I missed out on and that just plain sucks.

7 :: Don’t invest all your time and planning into one showcase or party… the venue will be at capacity, there was a schedule change, the distance is too far, gotta follow the friends, etc. Just have lots of backup music options. I usually plan 10-15 backup options, and that’s just for the day parties.

8 :: Twitter is one of the best on-the-go tools. Ask questions about line status, tweet a band to confirm times, or just see what’s blowing up at the moment in Austin (Prince, Bill Murray sighting, etc). Be sure to use the proper #sxsw or #sxsw2014 hashtags and someone is bound to respond to your inquiries. Secondary tools that work well are the SXSW app and a spreadsheet via the Google Drive app. I’m at @wackdelly if you have any questions.

9 :: Earplugs are a necessity. I wish someone (anyone) would have told me the importance of earplugs at a younger age. Anyhoo, I took 3 pairs of earplugs last year and managed to lose them all. My backpacked savior, Bruce, came to the rescue with a whole bag of earplugs. I might pay it forward and stock-up, then proceed to shove them in the ear holes of all the clueless youth.

10 :: Don’t be a stuck up asshole. Talk to people. If they are friendly and you are friendly, then keep talking. Buy them a Lone Star and chat about your favorites of the fest or suggest bands to check out. I was chatting and giving some suggestions to a lady and it turned out to be Ann Powers of NPR. I’ve met some really great people over the years at SXSW that I still keep in touch with.

All photos by Annie Cuce