Aurgasm@SXSW 2011 – Day One


Toro Y Moi
After one of the longest trips ever, we finally made it into Austin and decided to swing by The Fader Fort and caught their first set of the day, Toro Y Moi. Chaz Bundick (a.k.a. Toro Y Moi) performed to a growing crowd, laying down his unique blend of digital beats, synths and vocals. Take a listen to “Blessa” from his 2010 debut Causers of This and “Still Sound” from his latest album, Underneath The Pine.

Toro Y Moi – “Blessa”
Toro Y Moi – “Still Sound”

Laura Stevenson and The Cans
One of the best surprises of the day was New York based Laura Stevenson and The Cans. Laura and her band played the Riot Act Media day party at The Ghost Room to an entirely too-small audience; the band’s layered melodies, complex instrumentation and Laura’s lovely vocals were the perfect afternoon break. Their new album releases next month, but you can take a listen to “Master of Art” below.

Laura Stevenson and The Cans – “Master of Art”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
We made it over to The Phoenix just in time to catch the last half of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.’s set at the KCRW showcase. Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott brought their dreamy blend of pop and folk and probably earned a whole slew of new fans as a result. The Detroit duo got the entire crowd bouncing around, and they’ll do the same to you. Check out two tracks from their Horse Power EP below!

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – “Nothing But Our Love”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – “Vocal Chords”

The Belle Brigade
These LA natives have been on my radar for a while, but I hadn’t gotten a chance to see them live until last night’s showcase at The Phoenix. The group is fronted by siblings Ethan and Barbara Gruska, (the latter playing drums with what seems like every band in LA, including Obi Best, who we featured a few years ago). Their band includes Alex Silverman (of Alex & Sam) on guitar, Aaron Arntz on keys, Keith Karmen on bass and Mike Green on drums. The Belle Brigade’s live show was energetic, uplifting and exceptionally earnest; you can’t help but fall in love with them a little bit. Their entire set was a treat, but one highlight was when Barbara went back behind the kit to play drums, and Mike Green stepped up to do the most epic tambourine playing/dancing I’ve ever seen. Take a listen to “Sweet Louise” off their upcoming album below!

The Belle Brigade – “Sweet Louise” (stream only)

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