aurgasm special posts

Aurgasm@SXSW – Day Two

Friday, March 19th, 2010 by Michelle


If you’re familiar with The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, you’ll probably notice some overlap with the artists we feature and those who frequently play there. This is not entirely a coincidence, as I’ve been a fan and attendee of the Hotel for a number of years now. So it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that we hit the first night of their showcase at The Parish downtown.

Joshua James | Matthew Mayfield | Lissie | Meiko

Laura Jansen
Laura Jansen isn’t an entirely new face here on Aurgasm; she contributed vocals to the Jason Kanakis song, “Anything,” we featured last year. However, when she hit the stage at The Parish, it was with her own songs and her own band. The singer-songwriter’s set was filled with tracks from her two E.P.s (Trauma. and Single Girls). Whether Laura was playing the charming and tongue-in-cheek “Wicked World” or wistful “Single Girls,” there was an exceptional loveliness that permeated throughout the entire set. Take a listen to “Bells” from her Trauma. EP below, and keep an eye out for more Laura on Aurgasm!

Laura Jansen – “Bells”

Ólöf Arnalds
Icelandic singer-songwriter Ólöf Arnalds has been a major part of the Icelandic music scene; most famously as a touring member of the experimental group Múm. However, since her solo debut, Við Od Við in 2007, it’s been clear that she’s a musical force solo as well. She played to a packed crowd at the Victorian Room in the historic Driskill Hotel on 6th Street. Ólöf’s set included a playful rendition of “Mr. Sandman,” the beautiful “Madrid” and a cover of Arthur Russell’s “Close My Eyes”. Before playing “Klara” Ólöf explained that she wrote the song for her younger sister’s 18th birthday. She told the crowd that earlier today they were video-chatting and Ólöf mentioned that she was a bit nervous about the show, to which Klara said, “Just remember that you are a giant.” Ólöf admitted, “I’ve been working on that today,” but truth be told, Ólöf had nothing to worry about — she had the crowd entranced from the beginning.

Greg Laswell
When I’ve previously seen Greg Laswell play live, it was usually solo, or perhaps with a guitarist, bassist and drummer. Not so at The Parish. Greg’s band was a much more fleshed out affair (if I counted correctly, they totaled eight). Rather than being overkill, the layered instrumentation gave an immense body to his songs, resulting in much grander live set. Greg played a number of songs from his previous albums, and previewed a few from his upcoming record. The new record, Take a Bow is set to release this May, but to tide yourself over until then, take a listen to “Around the Bend” below.

Greg Laswell – “Around the Bend”

[If you look closely at the video above, you might spy Jason Kanakis!]

Cary Brothers
It’s been a few years since we mentioned Cary Brothers here on Aurgasm; we first posted about the singer-songwriter back in 2007. Since then, he’s dropped the major label, and is self-releasing his newest album next month. What has not changed, however, is Cary’s poignant songwriting. His set at The Parish consisted of entirely new material, and if that’s anything to go by, the new record is not to be missed. Until you can get a hold of the new album, here’s a song we featured a while back:

Cary Brothers – “Honestly”

Icelandic indie rockers Seabear packed the tiny “stage” at The Hideout on Congress. They also packed the venue, with a line of hopefuls at the door waiting to get in (sorry if you didn’t make it in). The band played a number of songs from the latest album, We Built a Fire, which was released earlier this month. Seabear may have started as a one-man project of Sindri Már Sigfússon, but we’re glad he expanded to take on six other musicians. Their lush instrumentation and gorgeous melodies have made them a favorite of mine for a while. Seabear’s stop at SXSW kicks off their first ever U.S. tour, so catch them live if you can. If you can’t, just take a listen to one of my favorite tracks off We Built a Fire:

Seabear – “Lion Face Boy”

+ Purchase/Visit

Aurgasm@SXSW – Day One

Thursday, March 18th, 2010 by Michelle


Nas and Damian Marley
After we arrived into Austin and got our badges and photo passes, we cut across town to catch the tail end of Levi’s annual FADER FORT. With a stacked line-up all week that includes Aurgasm favorites, Local Natives, we got to the Fort in time to discover Wednesday night’s “Special Guests” were none other than Nas and Damian Marley, who have a collaboration album, Distant Relatives, tentatively dropping this May. The crowd didn’t need any encouragement when Damian said, “If you’ve got a lighter, put it up in the air. If you don’t have a lighter, hold up your cell phone! …if you don’t have a cell phone, just hold up your hand.” Damian, in case you didn’t know, our hands were up since you first stepped on stage, and never dropped.

Sofia Talvik
Swedish singer-songwriter Sofia Talvik may have played to a smaller crowd at St. David’s Historic Sanctuary on Wednesday night, but her poignant songs had the audience enraptured. Strangely enough, Sofia mentioned “This is the second church we’ve played in this tour. It’s weird, I’m not even religious!” Sofia’s songs, which range from melancholy to blithely anecdotal, all contain a hint of wistfulness within them. Set against the backdrop of a 157 year old church, Sofia’s dreamy folk-pop was a beautiful way to start the evening.

Sofia Talvik – “Florida”

Basia Bulat
Canadian singer-songwriter Basia Bulat and her autoharp may have run into a slight technical mishap during her set at Emo Jr.’s, but the crowd (and Basia) didn’t even falter. The folk songstress’ set included tracks from both her debut album Oh, My Darling, which was shortlisted for a Polaris Music Prize in 2008, and her newest record, Heart of My Own. Basia was backed by Allison “Wonderland” Stewart on viola and backing vocals, and her brother Bobby on drums, and all three kept the crowd at Emo’s wanting more.

Basia Bulat – “Gold Rush”

Johnny Flynn
Before English folkster Johnny Flynn started his set at Latitude 30, he told the crowd, “Tonight’s show is dedicated to my goldfish, who died today,” and started right in with the buoyant track, “The Box”. Playing songs from his 2008 debut, A Larum, as well as his newer Sweet Wiliam EP, Johnny kept the crowd tapping and bobbing their heads along with his marvelously upbeat and terrifically English indie folk. Though he was backed by a cellist, bass player, drummer & keyboardist, Johnny himself played acoustic and electric guitar, trumpet, violin and mandolin! His albums are some of my favorites to play in the car, but the multi-instrumentalist is best served live.

Johnny Flynn – “Drum”

+ Purchase/Visit

Aurgasm@Bumbershoot: Day Three

Monday, September 7th, 2009 by Julija


Anomie Belle
We started our morning with the hypnotic strings and vocals of Anomie Belle. Anomie Belle is classically trained violinist and songwriter Toby Campbell, who toured North America with such artists as Little Dragon, The Album Leaf and legendary trip-hop artist Tricky. “Down”, featured here, displays her Trip-Hop experimental aesthetics, while its production brings to mind the clear and smooth downtempo vibe of Zero 7.

Anomie Belle – Down

Oren Lavie
Featured on Aurgasm two years ago, Israeli born Oren Lavie gave a warm and intimate performance that didn’t disappoint. Attached below is Aurgasm’s favourite track “Her Morning Elegance”, which was recently featured on Brian Williams’ “Inside the Obama White House” Special on NBC.

Oren Lavie – Her Morning Elegance

We were happy to catch probably the most playful and colourful show of the festival, Aurgasm’s favourite Lenka. Despite Franz Ferdinand playing at the same time, Lenka had a full house and her music was received with much support and enthusiasm.

Lenka – The Show

+ Purchase/Visit

Aurgasm@Bumbershoot: Day Two

Sunday, September 6th, 2009 by Julija


Hey Marseilles
Hey Marseilles, previously mentioned on Aurgasm as one of Michelle’s SXSW discoveries, warmed the hearts of the crowd on a cold and cloudy morning. Seattle’s Hey Marseilles play fresh and magical orchestral folk tunes that are both melancholic and genuinely cheerful. With piano, violin, trumpet, cello and accordion their stage presence is a miniature extravaganza. Barely known outside Seattle, these guys are definitely worth to keep an eye on.

Hey Marseilles – From a Terrace

img_4987_resize img_4985_resize

The Dusty 45s
Another pleasant discovery today was the Dusty 45s. Their energetic performance covered a variety of styles ranging from rockabilly to powerful Balkan notes (think Devotchka), from alt-country and Americana to classic Rock & Roll fun.

img_5009_resize img_4994_resize img_4991_resize

+ Purchase/Visit

Aurgasm@Bumbershoot: Day One

Saturday, September 5th, 2009 by Julija

Post removed temporarily.

Local Natives

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 by Michelle

indie folk // harmonic folk pop

Silverlake’s Local Natives have been making their way around the blogs lately, and understandably so. The quintet’s unique brand of indie folk highlights their tight vocal harmonies without sacrificing on rolling guitars, keys and percussion or sharp lyrics. Their laid-back and layered folk is a perfect way to wind down the rest of summer — a warm, blooming cocoon of sound. The boys were kind enough to take some time from their hectic schedule to lay down this exclusive acoustic version of “Camera Talk” for us.

Soothing and gorgeous vocal melodies meets sparse folk.
Local Natives – Camera Talk (Acoustic Aurgasm Exclusive)
Local Natives – Airplanes
+ Purchase/Visit

Special: Aurgasm’s Jukebox Mélange mix

Thursday, August 27th, 2009 by Paul Irish

My good man Tom Korkidis (of Eksi Ekso) invited me back our local River Gods, in Cambridge, for a night called Jukebox Mélange. Here are the sets I played; jams from the 70s, early 00’s and 09.

Aurgasm – Jukebox Mélange mix (part 1) (51min):

  1. The Rip Off Artist – What Kind of Blue [2004] blu tribunaL
  2. The Soul Fantastics (Ain’t No Sunshine) [2009] DJ Beto – Panama! 2
  3. Beau Love – Pacific [2007] Untitled
  4. Urbs & Cutex – Up & Down [2002] Breaks of Dawn
  5. Digable Planets – Dog It [1994] Blowout Comb
  6. Natural Self – In The Morning (Paul White remix) [2009] Tru Thoughts – Shapes 0901
  7. Hot Stuff Band – Juju Man [2006] Brazilian Breaks & Beats LP
  8. Eddie Bo – Hook and Sling [1969] Hook and Sling pt 1+2
  9. Diplo – Krunk (Variation #2) [~2003] Sound and Fury {bootleg}
  10. Mark Ronson – Diversion [2007] Version
  11. The Whitest Boy Alive – Keep a Secret [2009] Rules
  12. Love Grenades – Tigers In The Fire [2008] VA – Accidental Rhythm (Mix One)
  13. Quantic – Transatlantic [2002] Apricot Morning
  14. Baby Mammoth – Final [2003] Octo Muck

Aurgasm – Jukebox Mélange Mix (part 2) (59min):

  1. Quantic – Not So Blue [2002] Apricot Morning
  2. Ratatat – Mirando [2008] LP3
  3. Ocote Soul Sounds & Adrian Quesada - Ora Como Rey, Manana Como Guey [2006] El Nino y el Sol
  4. The Dining Rooms – Fluxus (The Cinematic Orchestra World Goes Round mix) [2004] Versioni Particolari
  5. Wando – Nega De Abaluae [2001] Brazilian Beats 2
  6. The Dining Rooms – La Citta Nuda (SoulPatrol Afrolicious Mix) [2004] Versioni Particolari
  7. Kanye West (feat. Kid Cudi, Common, Lady Gaga) – Poke Her Face [2009] LVs & Autotune 2 mixtape
  8. Robin Jones (feat Bosco de Oliveira) – Royal Marcha (Raj Gupta Vocal mix) [2001] Turntables on the Hudson Vol 3
  9. Unknown track
  10. MOVITS! – Fel Del Av GÃ¥rden [2008] Äppelknyckarjazz
  11. Instituto Mexicano Del Sonido – Yo Digo Baila [2009] Soy Sauce
  12. Dabrye – Smoking the Edge [2002] One/Three
  13. Jack Penate – Tonight’s Today [2009] Everything Is New

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