While maybe not at SXSW, soft rock does have its place in the world. The piano rock-focused Britpop had lead singer Tom Chaplin’s voice on full display, and rightfully so. After a weekend of organically-driven bands, the tight, obviously produced tunes felt on the stale side. Regardless, you could tell that the quartet was energized and eager to please the mixed crowd.
Standing giddy in the middle of the stage, Chaplin remarked “This city fuckin’ rocks, y’know that?”
We know, Tom, we know.
Sleigh Bells at the Moody Theatre on Saturday night. From the outset, one thing’s for sure — this lady (Alexis Krauss) is crazy. She weds a hard rock/yelling-dominated voice with punchy, often rough, electro. The explosiveness of Sleigh Bells calls to mind Skrillex’s non-melodic beats (sounds?). Unlike the Santigold set earlier in the night, Alexis knows how to work a crowd: crowd surfing, lots of pump up ‘Are we gonna dance?!’ remarks.
“Alright Austin, better see you guys losin’ your shit!” She shifts between a sing-songy voice and these frenzied, uncontrolled yelps of emotion. And we call this music? But, hey, it’s definitely quite danceable and sure gets a rise out of people.
She could probably get a tip or two from metal wizards, as her cuts could easily lead to a headbanging and moshing mess. In sum: is there more of an extreme in popular music these days?
Seattle-based Thee Satisfaction playing a Sub Pop showcase on Saturday night at Red 7 —The two female rappers have soul-inspired hip hop down to a science, and they’re definitely getting noticed. The hype girls are spunky, creating original jams and sure of themselves.
Tanlines, on Matador imprint True Panther Sounds, stayed true to the hype at the ND on the East Side early evening on Friday night. The tropical, glitch-heavy beats hit the mostly full, off-the-beaten path venue with the help of drummer/keys frontman Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm (guitar, vocals)… Emm showed his humbleness by staying mostly in the background and seemed surprised when the showgoers asked for more of his voice in the mic. The 2010 breakout artist, also from Brooklyn, follow up the highly touted Settings EP with a full length, Mixed Emotions, coming out on Tuesday.
Santigold kickin’ it at Spin Live at Stubb’s this afternoon, to a full house — enthusiastic crowd, but she’s a little subdued for her dance-y jams… A set full of hits, she did turn it up by bringing fans up on the stage. What separates her from other young soul/r&b-infused electropop? I guess her image and some luck. Regardless, shit’s getting crazy up there — ass wigglin’, lots of outfit-changing and horse suits (?) permeate through the heavy bass.
Welcome to SXSW! The live music capital of the US’s growing by 20K this week with… music, films, technology and, well, ridiculousness.