Posts from 2009

SXSW Impressions: Day 4

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009 by Michelle

SXSW Day 4: March 21st 2009.

After 3 days packed with music, food, and more bands than you could count, SXSW ended with a bang (and some flashing lights). The packed day started with the SxSeattle day party/show which featured up-and-coming bands from the Seattle area. The rest of the day included the Hotel Cafe/Blue Mic event at the Gibson Showroom and two day sets at the Convention Center (with Aurgasm favorites: Ferraby Lionheart and Wallis Bird). There was an afternoon showcase in a park, and a big mix up on my part between the three different Emo venues on 6th Street (Emo’s, Emo Jr’s, Emo’s Annex). I caught the last bit of Elizabeth and the Catapult at the Ale House, then ended the night with some phenomenal performances by Little Boots and Ida Maria (as well as a short surprise set by Kayne West) at the Dell Lounge/Perez Hilton party.

SXSW was a phenomenal experience, with far too many bands playing in too few days. Maybe next year I can find a way to clone myself, so I don’t miss anything! :)

Some bands from Day 4 you may want to take a peek at:

Hey Marseilles: They started off the SxSeattle day party set, and was a complete surprise. I had not heard of them before, and was impressed by their performance at The Palm Door. The violin and cello brought a unique edge to what could easily have been a typical “folk pop” sound. Throw in a trumpet, mandolin and you’ve got a pretty pleasant way to start the day. Not too shabby for a band that’s never played outside Seattle until this week!
Hey Marseilles’ MySpace

Chris Pierce: Chris Pierce played a stripped down set at the Hotel Cafe/Blue Mic day event. Surrounded by guitars, the Gibson Showroom was an eerily appropriate setting for his soulful vocals and blues-inspired guitar melodies and riffs. He brought up Brother Sal to accompany him on piano with the rousing and upbeat, “Keep On Keepin’ On”, even getting the small crowd to sing the “whoo hoo” callbacks!
Chris Pierce’s MySpace

Wallis Bird: We’ve already featured her, but Wallis’ performance was one of the most charismatic and engaging shows I saw yesterday. Backed by her full band, Wallis played with a frantic and seemingly limitless energy at the Convention Center that afternoon, breaking a string on her guitar on the first song (and continuing with some hilariously ad-libbed lyrics, “I am so professional, playing with a broken string”) and not missing a beat. While her studio work is phenomenal, it was an unbelievable treat to see her live.
Wallis Bird’s MySpace

Matt Hires: The Florida native played to a growing crowd in Brush Square Park, for the Atlantic Records/Chop Shop day party. His sparse acoustic folk was a breath of fresh air, playing a short set of sweet and endearing melodies, including “Honey, Let Me Sing You A Song”.
Matt Hires’ Myspace

SXSW Impressions: Day 3

Saturday, March 21st, 2009 by Michelle

SXSW Day 3: March 20th 2009.

Started off Day 3 at the Brooklyn Vegan’s “Sweden goes SXSW” day party (which Aurgasm favorite, Theresa Andersson played). My night ended at the Central Presbyterian Chuch with Laura Marling and Lisa Hannigan. Lots of fun music in between!

Some bands from Day 3 you might want to put on your radar:

Wildbirds & Peacedrums: First brought to my attention by Hanne Hukkelberg in her interview with us last year, the Swedish duo played an impressive (but short!) set at the “Sweden goes SXSW” day party. Mariam Wallentin and Andreas Werliin’s folk/blues experimental fusion was the perfect way to start off Day 3!
Wildbirds & Peacedrums’ MySpace

The Tallest Man on Earth: The Tallest Man on Earth (otherwise known as Kristian Matsson) played a set at the Austin Convention Center Day Stage. His tenuous voice leaped and jumped, a wonderful accompaniment to his classic country-folk guitar playing. (You’d never guess he was from Dalarna, Sweden.)
The Tallest Man on Earth’s Myspace

Ana Silvera: The room was still mostly empty at Creekside at the Hilton Garden Inn when Ana Silvera hit the stage. However, her lush and powerful songs filled the entire space. The haunting melodies and lyrics of Ana’s songs were a surprise and pleasure to hear. She was also accompanied on stage by cellist Laura Mooney, which only added to the intensely captivating performance.
Ana Silvera’s MySpace

Tom Brosseau: Introduced as “a true American gentleman,” at the 18th Floor at the Hilton Garden Inn, they failed to mention Tom is also a storyteller at heart. Each song was a heartfelt story, delivered in his signature minimalist folk style. At the end of his set, he decided to forgo the microphone entirely, ending with two songs performed acoustically with a friend, standing in the first two rows of the audience.
Tom Brosseau’s Myspace
(At Tom’s set, I ran into Sylvie Lewis, another Aurgasm favorite! It appears Tom’s got the Sylvie Lewis stamp of approval!)

SXSW Impressions: Day 2

Friday, March 20th, 2009 by Michelle

SXSW Day 2: March 19th 2009.

The day started off with the “Bloggers Are Now In Charge” panel at the Convention Center. Interesting discussion about the impact of blogging and music today. After that, I got to stop by the KCRW mobile studio, while they broadcasted “Morning Becomes Eclectic” with Jason Bentley live from Austin. We’re big fans of KCRW here at Aurgasm, so it was great treat to hang out for a short while!

Day 2 was filled with tons of fantastic music, and far too many artists. Here were some favorites:

Justin Townes Earle: His honest voice and lyrics, pared with his particular blend of folk, bluegrass and country made Justin’s set a phenomenal surprise.
Justin Townes Earle’s Myspace

Holly Conlan: Holly Conlan’s sweet indie pop was a great start to the night, at the Hotel Cafe’s showcase at the Parish. Her articulate songwriting and grace at the piano was a delight to catch live.
Holly Conlan’s MySpace

Mumford & Sons: The latest bluegrass/folk group emerging from London’s growing folk scene. Skillfully blended instrumentals and vocal harmonies, Mumford & Sons were a powerful (and fun) presence to watch on stage.
Mumford & Sons’ MySpace

SXSW Impressions: Day 1

Thursday, March 19th, 2009 by Michelle

SXSW Day 1: March 18th 2009.

[Editor’s note] Michelle is at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin for the next few days. She’ll be posting quick updates here as well as keeping the Aurgasm Twitter feed humming. -paul

After a flight delay got me into Austin a bit later than I originally planned, I landed only in time to grab my badge and make it to some showcases. SXSW started with a bang, and a number of impressive showcase lineups (unfortunately, I think it is physically impossible to make every show you want to!).

Some great artists that played Day 1:

The Boat People: Got the night started at KCRW’s showcase with their unconventional and bursting indie pop.
The Boat People’s MySpace

Sandi Thom: The Scottish songwriter and multi-instrumentalist brought the indie folk vibes to the 18th Floor at the Hilton downtown.
Sandi Thom’s MySpace

deadmau5: He brought the pounding beats and his unique blend of techno and electro beats to La Zona Rosa. Who says Austin’s only for the rockers?
deadmau5’s Myspace

Booka Shade: An Aurgasm favorite. They ended the night at La Zona Rosa, with their signature experimental electronic-pop.
Booka Shade’s MySpace


Monday, March 16th, 2009 by Kyle

future jazz // downtempo

Exquisitely produced by members of Boozoo Bajou and Trio Elétrico, Kathrina März‘s Rainwatcher elicits a soothing, intimate, laid-back and summery fun affinity. Her airy voice is fondly wrapped in a spectral muse of endearing sounds; tinged with an array of instruments to accentuate each feeling, lyric, and breath. Acoustic and steel guitars, vibraphone, piano, organ and accordion are a few of what you’ll hear; guiding gracefully as she woos and imbues your complete sensation.

Summery, bubbly and smooth.
Trinah – Sugary Pleasure
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Wednesday, March 11th, 2009 by Julija

swedish folktronica // experimental

Fredrik, a six-piece Malmö-based ensemble, embodies some of the finest Scandinavian experimental pop aesthetics: captivating melodies, rich layered arrangements and complicated charming instrumentation evoking the sound of Sigur Ros and Efterklang. Without overloading the compositions, Fredrik builds layer upon layer of atmospheric, melodically overpowering and somewhat mystical soundscapes. The title track of the album “Na Na Ni” ranges from warm waves of melancholy and hypnotic repetitive chanting to haunting harmonies.

From quiet to powerful experimental arrangements.
Fredrik – Na Na Ni
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Pretty Lights

Thursday, March 5th, 2009 by Kyle

electronic // hip-hop // downbeat

Organic, soulful, electronified and good-feeling vibes, freely shared by Colorado producer Derek Vincent Smith. Nearly four hours of this Pretty Lights sound is available for free on his website. It’s a vivid collage of continuity, enriched with robust beats, eloquently laced vocal samples that range from nostalgic to serene, both compelling and entertaining, with a diverse selection of instruments all aimed towards enjoyment.

All about the good vibes.
Pretty Lights – Solamente
Pretty Lights – Maybe Tomorrow
download this cd

The American Dollar

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 by Paul Irish

post-rock // cinematic ambient

Please click play. Then click full screen. Big headphones are recommended, as well. “Anything You Synthesize” comes with a heavyweight cerebral punch, but it’s delivered a on silken aural ether. The American Dollar, a Queens, NY duo, construct experimental ambient sonic explorations with a healthy rock influence. This video, created by the Onesize design studio, turns a cinematic song into an enveloping sensory experience. (thx, zimsical)

Mighty sonic expertise meet visual cameracraft.
The American Dollar – Anything You Synthesize
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Aaron Parks

Monday, February 23rd, 2009 by Andrew Ladd

jazz // rock

Aaron Parks was born in Seattle “” though he currently lives in Brooklyn with the rest of his taste-making hipster brethren “” and you can almost hear the city in his music. The pitter-patter of rain in the cymbals, the grey swoop of fog in the guitar, and the occasional glimpse of sun in the piano; “Nemesis” is a Mt Rainier in the haze, and “Roadside Distractions” is a fish flying through the air at Pike Place Market. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it all. But either way it’s a nifty album “” take a listen and see for yourself.

A city’s worth of sounds.
Aaron Parks – Nemesis
Aaron Parks – Roadside Distraction
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Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 by Julija

french vocal // soft soul

From the very first track of her debut album Jusqu’aux Oreilles (2008), Quebec native Amylie enchants the listener with her soft-toned and subtle sound. The soulful vibes of “Espace” evoke similarities with critically acclaimed Les Nubiennes’ Princesses Nubiennes, while its lush instrumentation and clean hypnotic production reminds the sound of Zero 7. Catchy, uptempo and playful “Mes Oreilles” brings to mind the debut album of French chanteuse Camille.

Fresh, sweet-sounding and vibrant.
Amylie – Espace
Amylie – Mes Oreilles
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