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The Mix: The Austin 100
March 6, 2013 8:24 AM   Subscribe

NPR is offering online streaming and a download of 100 songs by artists to discover at SXSW 2013.
posted by helloknitty (42 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
ADVISORY: This mix contains explicit language.

Amazing to see !!! still bouncing around.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:30 AM on March 6, 2013


Drivin N Cryin is playing SXSW and is not on the list. Therefore the list is suspect ;)

Sigh. One day I'll make it SXSW.
posted by COD at 8:35 AM on March 6, 2013


Yay! Thanks for posting this. The Austin 100 is one of my favorite NPR Music projects. They even did a call-out this year so bands could e-mail in a song to make sure they weren't missed.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 8:44 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I recognize not one of these names, and the couple that I've tuned in for had little-to-nothing of note to offer me.

Anyone out there willing to metafilter this list a bit?
posted by sutt at 9:00 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The only names I recognize from that list are Andy Stott and DIIV, both of which I find worth a listen.

The linked track is not a particularly good example of Andy Stott's music though.
posted by Foosnark at 9:09 AM on March 6, 2013


I'm fine with this list being NPR'd.
posted by obscurator at 9:11 AM on March 6, 2013


Here's stuff I like from that list, in rough order. I am bad at describing things.

Frightened Rabbit are amazing Scottish indie with folk influences. They're just breaking through in the UK, and deserve it. That possibly isn't their best song.
Phosphorescent is US country.
Josh Ritter is upbeat folk. I really like his current album.
Foxygen is an American indie band with psych/60s pop influences.
Indians is a Danish solo artist with keyboards.
Mikal Cronin is garage rock. Very good live.
Alt-J are an English indie-ish band, probably appeal to people who like Wild Beasts, maybe the XX.

Widowspeak, The Staves, Olafur Arnulds, Skinny Lister, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Cayucas and Micah P Hinson have all been booked for the UK's excellent End of the Road Festival, and are therefore all worth checking out IMO (they are probably alt-country/folk, indie, psych, post rock or some mix of those genres).
posted by Infinite Jest at 9:14 AM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Immajustleavethishere:

SXSW Showcase Downloads
posted by humboldt32 at 9:36 AM on March 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Awesome, new commuting playlist for next week. Thanks!
posted by Fig at 9:50 AM on March 6, 2013


Red Baraat is a fantastic, energetic drums and brass funk group from Brooklyn with real heavy world music (India and Afropop I guess?) influences. They did a Tiny Desk Concert last year and they've been playing a bunch in New Orleans recently. I've seen them several times and it's always excellent. Their September show at Tipitina's was one of my favorite shows of 2012.
posted by CheeseLouise at 9:50 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


humboldt32: I love the torrent! I've been listening to all 999 (!) tracks and sorting them to taste. It's sort of nice to see what other people like - I like the My Education track - but I worry about getting biased by them too. I've made a Spotify list, but I'm not sure that's the best way to share my favorites.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:52 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


OH and of course I should mention Hurray for the Riff Raff, a New Orleans group doing great alt-country. Worth a listen.
posted by CheeseLouise at 9:52 AM on March 6, 2013


Be sure not to miss the previous 8 years of torrents on the sidebar. Thousands of songs.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:54 AM on March 6, 2013


SXSW Showcase Downloads

Yeah, I was just thinking ... doesn't the SXSW site usually provide a shitload of music around each year's showcase bands? And they do (did)!
posted by mrgrimm at 9:54 AM on March 6, 2013


The whole event seems a bit over, anyway. When you have the artists with the #1 song in the country, it's (ironically) hard to be a festival for up and comers.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:05 AM on March 6, 2013


The Thermals' new song is pretty good. I doubt that they're ever going to match The Body, The Blood, The Machine again, but Born to Kill is about as good as indie garage-punk gets in 2013...

At the complete other end of the spectrum, Josh Ritter's new album is (predictably) quite good.

The Joy Formidable are a good upbeat electro-pop group, if you're into that sort of thing.

The Polyphonic Spree are also quite upbeat and saccharine (and a blast from the past -- they haven't put a real album out in years). The new song's link is broken on NPR, but the song isn't the band's best...

Also, in other non-SXSW music news,
Daft Punk are running short cryptic TV ads in expensive timeslots, and M83 is doing a soundtrack.
posted by schmod at 10:29 AM on March 6, 2013


I really recommend Phosphorescent's Song for Zula. I've been listening to it a lot the past couple of weeks, and it's just lovely. Kind of quiet and dreamy and strange, and weirdly affecting. I'm not sure I'd call them straight up US Country, since to me that evokes the likes of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. I'd say they're more alt country. And "Song for Zula" doesn't sound very country-like at all.

I haven't heard the Dessa song that's on this list yet, but she's a great hip hop artist with intense, poetic lyrics. My favorite song of hers is Seamstress.

In general I love Josh Ritter, but I'm not big on his latest album. It's a breakup album, and while it's more upbeat and sly than your usual breakup album, it doesn't capture what I love best about his songwriting, which are his story-like folk songs about such varied subjects as mummies who come back to life and arctic explorers. I prefer the stuff on The Animal Years and So Runs the World Away.
posted by yasaman at 10:48 AM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh ugh, I missed Polyphonic Spree on first preview. They make me want to claw my own ears out. Sorry, dude from Fall Out Boy, but I simply never want to hear them ever again under any circumstances. If that's hate, I'm guilty as charged.

Mostly this list reminds me of how thoroughly indifferent I am to indie rock. I'm more of a Wave Gotik Treffen or Maschinenfest sort I suppose.


The Calm Blue Sea reminds me of Explosions In The Sky a bit.

I'm really liking Empress Of. I'm sad that between Soundcloud and Amazon, I can find exactly three tracks and one of them is the one linked here. Looks like an album coming April 2 though.

Skeletonwitch was very, very promising metal until the vocals started and ruined it. Can I get a karaoke version?
posted by Foosnark at 10:59 AM on March 6, 2013


Yay! I'm going to be at SXSW this year, so I appreciate the descriptions from you guys, especially since I don't think my taste in "internet pop music" lines up with NPR's taste in "tasteful world indie-folk".

Here's my list of acts I'd like to see, by the way:

Far East Movement
Barcelona
Breathe Carolina
Carosel
Charli XCX
Fastball
Gary Louris
Kimya Dawson
Haim
Lady
Le1f
Lianne La Havas
Lips
The Mavericks
The Melismatics
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
No Brain
Ra Ra Riot
Shiny Toy Guns
Shugo Tokumaru
Sky Ferreira
SSION
St. Lucia
Steve Earle
Talib Kweli
Tall Ships
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
Vampire Weekend
Wynter Gordon
Yolanda Be Cool
The Zombies

The Americana/alt-country groups are for my mom, but I like them too.

I understand SXSW can be a grab-bag particularly if you don't have a festival pass, so if anyone has any groups to recommend based on this list, I'd really appreciate it.
posted by subdee at 11:13 AM on March 6, 2013


Small world! I had the honor of attending my first (and only) SXSW as the perennial +1 of the person whose name appears as the byline on this list. I think we saw over 40 bands over the course of SXSW04. He possesses an almost otherworldly sort of unimpeachable taste in music, so I'll be checking out the artists I don't know on this list post-haste simply because dude just straight-up knows his stuff -- especially if you like sad bastard music (here's lookin' at you, Phosphorescent).

Most importantly, everyone - EVERYONE - who is attending SXSW this year: Please, please go see Dessa. She is a singer/poet/MC/brilliant human being. The song linked in the OP, "The Beekeeper," is the last track on her most recent album (which is actually a [full-band] remake of her first [rap] record) and it is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever, ever heard; it will also be on her upcoming as-yet-untitled new LP. She is a consummate performer, ridiculously talented wordsmith, and incredible poet with a tack-sharp, whip-smart mind and a beautiful voice, to boot.

More Dessa: "551," "Dixon's Girl," "Alibi," "Sadie Hawkins," "Kid Gloves"
Bonus: I will buy pretty much anyone a copy of her record(s) if they want. Seriously. She is just that incredible.

Haley Bonar is absolutely worth seeing, as well. Voice, lyrics, music -- all absolutely top-notch. She's phenomenal.

(Bonus: Trongos/MeFi mix swap pardners, you will be receiving your very own DRM-free copies of two of the songs mentioned in this post. Huzzah!)
posted by divined by radio at 11:33 AM on March 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm so spoiled by free downloads that I was like "streaming? Without a built-in app? You mean I gotta click each one and listen in my HTML5-compliant browser like some kind of savage? Give me a freakin' Grooveshark playlist already!"
posted by antonymous at 11:37 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


When you have the artists with the #1 song in the country, it's (ironically) hard to be a festival for up and comers.

Macklemore's a pretty out-of-nowhere special case (there's been plenty of ink spilled about how he's the first #1 artist without a major label), but even so I guarantee that most people had never heard of him a year ago...or at least fewer people than, say, Kreayshawn.

And hell, I doubt it was ever the point for all the performers to be up-and-comers. Having Springsteen and Jay-Z there last year didn't render the rest of the rest of the experience null and void.
posted by psoas at 12:30 PM on March 6, 2013


The Americana/alt-country groups are for my mom

I lol'ed. Sounds about right.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:36 PM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Americana/alt-country groups are for my mom

I love Americana and alt-country. I discovered one of my favorite alt-country singers, Hayes Carll, through those massive torrents of one song from every SXSW artist floating around. Do they still put those out?

As for this list:
Frightened Rabbit is melencholy but anthemic indie rock, like The National. Here's them covering Elton John with Craig Finn. Try Swim Until You Can't See Land

The Thermals are an indie rock band who actually rock. Very underrated.

Polyphonic Spree are The Flaming Lips as a joyous church cult. They're most famous for 'Light And Day'. Think Arcade Fire without the angst.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:16 PM on March 6, 2013


No offense, and I'm not hipper than anyone, but Frightened Rabbit has been around for ... 10 years and they've been on numerous TV shows (from Chuck); The Thermals have been around for ... 11 years (re: Weeds season 3); the Polyphonic Spree has been around for 13 years and was featured heavily in the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ...

why are any of these acts at SXSW? (I like all 3 of them, fwiw--Thermals first, then PS, then FR--but these are HIGHLY successful acts with long histories.)
posted by mrgrimm at 1:30 PM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Killer Mike dropped the hardest hip-hop album of 2012. Absolutely essential if you're into that sort of thing.
posted by gnutron at 1:36 PM on March 6, 2013


Saw Frightened Rabbit last night on Conan and I didn't get it. There weren't any hooks. Was it just an off song?
posted by josher71 at 1:45 PM on March 6, 2013


Frightened Rabbit is one of my favorite bands. Absolutely worth checking out. Their new album is great, but the past three have all been pretty incredible.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:46 PM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


What's the "hit"?
posted by josher71 at 1:50 PM on March 6, 2013


Nth-ing the Dessa love. I'm still kicking myself that I had food poisoning the night she played Boston.

Glad to see Bajofondo [self-link} make the list. Cafe Tacuba, who are frequently described as the Latin alternative equivalent to Radiohead, will be playing with Bajofondo as part of an Alt Latino showcase. The new Cafe Tacuba album is beautiful and has a great spirit, and I highly recommend you check it out.
posted by pxe2000 at 1:57 PM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I haven't listed to all of their latest album yet, but try The Modern Leper if you want some of the best of Frightened Rabbit. That's the song that hooked me at any rate.
posted by yasaman at 2:04 PM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Let's see... Alt-J are hugely popular indie-rock in Australia (though from Britain), but I haven't listened to them. The Coup is a very political/conscious rapper. Jonathan Boulet is a local Australian soul/dance producer/singer. The Joy Formidable are great atmospheric rock and roll, like a harder/more interesting Silversun Pickups. Ken Stringfellow is from The Posies, a great power-pop band. I interviewed him and he's a nice guy, and he's massively underrated. For fans of REM. Shout Out Louds were a Pitchfork band several years ago. !!! are very annoying when you run a gig guide.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:45 PM on March 6, 2013


How much do these showcases really help bands? I can remember Atlanta and Athens bands going to SXSW (back when it was primarily a music event) really excited, and coming back with not much to show for it. When you have 200+ bands and so many venues, it is hard to stand out....

Trying to think of bands who got a demonstrably big boost from playing SXSW. The Alabama Shakes, maybe?
posted by thelonius at 3:22 PM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]



How much do these showcases really help bands? I can remember Atlanta and Athens bands going to SXSW (back when it was primarily a music event) really excited, and coming back with not much to show for it. When you have 200+ bands and so many venues, it is hard to stand out....


It's a pretty good question. I know the local press makes a big noise about the annual Australian showcase and all the bands that go over to play there. I like to think it does make a difference in exposure and opportunity for networking.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:34 PM on March 6, 2013


It seems like it would always be some kind of positive to play there, yes. If nothing else it's got cachet, tradition, and people will take you more seriously.

I think that I may have known some pretty naive bands who thought that they just needed to show up and play and great things were going to happen, the major label chariot was going to swing low and carry them home, they'd all buy $20k guitar rigs and Porsches and go into the studio.

I don't know what the bands today are hoping for in their career, but it seems a lot more complicated than the old dream that I.R.S. or someone would sign you and make you an alternative star.
posted by thelonius at 4:20 PM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I understand SXSW can be a grab-bag particularly if you don't have a festival pass, so if anyone has any groups to recommend based on this list, I'd really appreciate it.

From your list, filtering it down to just a very few that I've seen and would 100% go see again, and in order of preference:
St. Lucia
Haim
Charli XCX
Shiny Toy Guns

From NPR's list, in a quick filter (haven't seen all of these live, but enjoy the music):
Alt-J
Cayucas
DIIV
Foxygen
Frightened Rabbit
Guards
Jenny Owen Youngs
The Joy Formidable
Kopecky Family Band
The Lone Bellow
Night Beds
Rhye
The Staves
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
Waxahatchee
You Won't
!!!

And I'll throw in a recommendation to check out the All Things Shuffle showcase, put on by All Things Go and Indie Shuffle. Includes: The Neighbourhood, Youngblood Hawke, MØ, Ghost Beach, Darwin Deez, The 1975, HAERTS, and Trails and Ways. That is a fantastic lineup.
posted by inigo2 at 7:02 PM on March 6, 2013


Also a band from DC called Shark Week. They are fun.
posted by inigo2 at 7:03 PM on March 6, 2013


Did you notice that some kind soul has put together a Spotify playlist of these tracks? It has all but about 15 tracks . . . .
posted by swlabr at 6:23 AM on March 7, 2013


Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! Added Dessa, Shark Week and the alt-Latino groups. alt-Latino! Amazing. That looks like a free show too.

@inigo2, particularly happy with your filter from my list since those were all groups I know next to nothing about and threw on because the hype was good/I liked that one song by them/the description on the SXSW website was interesting.

@mrgrimm, I Was a Teenaged Jayhawks Fan, so this is the main area where our taste overlaps... I know, it's funny to go to SXSW with your mom.
posted by subdee at 6:30 PM on March 7, 2013


Of course, it's a rule for SXSW bands that "the hype will be good" - that goes without saying.
posted by subdee at 6:36 PM on March 7, 2013


I Was a Teenaged Jayhawks Fan

I was too. ;)
posted by mrgrimm at 10:41 PM on March 7, 2013


Heck, I'm a big Roadside Graves fan now. I wish they'd do SXSW and get huge.

Trying to think of bands who got a demonstrably big boost from playing SXSW.

Rural Alberta Advantage - 2011?
Franz Ferdinand, 2004, and LCD Soundsystem, Bloc Party, and MIA in 2005 (primetime years for SXSW)
and of course, good ol' Polyphonic Spree ... in 2002!
posted by mrgrimm at 10:52 PM on March 7, 2013


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