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Other Music & Dig For Fire's 2011 SXSW Lawn Party
Time to start packing the bags! Next week, Other Music and Dig For Fire are throwing our fourth annual SXSW Lawn Party on the beautiful grounds of the French Legation Museum and as you can see below, this year's line-up is spectactular. If you are in Austin for SXSW, please do join us on the Thursday and Friday afternoon of the music festival. And whether you can stop by or not, Dig For Fire will be filming the performances and you'll be able to see all the highlights on youtube.com/sxswlawnparty, with episodes launching on March 22.
The xx Lawn Party Film Premieres on YouTube
Speaking of, the xx's full 30-minute performance at last year's Lawn Party has just been posted on YouTube, which you can view here!
THURSDAY, MARCH 17
HILL STAGE: Papercuts (1 pm), Cass McCombs (2 pm), Twin Shadow (3 pm), Sharon Van Etten (4 pm), Low (5 pm), Edwyn Collins (6 pm)
VALLEY STAGE: Hanni El Khatib (1:30 pm), Olof Arnalds (2:30 pm), Janka Nabay (3:30 pm), Lia Ices (4:30 pm), Ted Leo (5:30 pm)
FRIDAY, MARCH 18
HILL STAGE: Dead Gaze (1 pm), Lower Dens (2 pm), Grass Widow (3 pm), Cults (4 pm), James Blake (5 pm), !!! (Chk Chk Chk) (6 pm)
VALLEY STAGE: Jamie Woon (1:30 pm), John Vanderslice (2:30 pm), The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (Sean Lennon & Charlotte Kemp Muhl -- 3:30 pm), Sam Amidon (4:30 pm), Tune-Yards (5:30 pm)
FRENCH LEGATION MUSEUM: 802 San Marcos Street Austin, TX
1PM to 7PM both days | Free | All Ages (21+ w/ID to drink)
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This Week's Free Downloads
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Free download of the title track off of Wye Oak's new album, Civilian (out now). The group inevitably gets compared to fellow Baltimore dream-pop boy/girl duo Beach House, and although there are definitely sonic similarities (the swoon, the hooks), on their excellent new full-length Wye Oak easily stand on their own. Jenn Wasner's vocals and pedal-heavy guitar textures are moody and melancholy, and while the band brings together influences ranging from '70s British folk to Lower East Side guitar squall to Stereolab synth grooves, they manage to unify it with their own nuanced playing and great songwriting. It's their best album, and that's saying something!
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RVNG Intl's first ever reissues is one hell of an album, Synthesist, the 1980 solo debut from Harald Grosskopf, a German percussionist who got his start playing drums for the likes of Klaus Schulze, Cosmic Jokers, and Manuel Göttsching. Originally released on Sky, this is the sound of a man not only expanding his own personal horizons and vision, but essentially creating a key document which bids farewell to the bombastic excess of 1970s Krautrock, and greets the 1980s with sleek, synthesized neon warmth. This free download of the title track is only one of the many highlights on a record filled with nothing but.
This Week's Featured Downloads
I'll Meet You on That Other Shore: Alan Lomax’s "Southern Journey," 1959–1960
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I think it would actually be impossible to overstate the importance of the music collected across these five albums, all of it gathered on a legendary and epic trip that famed song collector Alan Lomax made across the south in the years 1959 and 1960. Over those many months, Lomax put to tape a good grip of the finest American singers and musicians who ever lived, including "Mississippi" Fred McDowell, Wade Ward, Hobart Smith, Bessie Jones, Texas Gladden, E.C. & Orna Ball, Sid Hemphill, Almeda Riddle, amongst many, many others. The breadth of styles and traditions represented is staggering: sacred harp singing, Delta blues, unaccompanied ballad singers, white country blues, drum & fife bands, clawhammer banjo breakdowns, Sea Island singers, prison work-gang songs, plus much more. Some of the material from the trip was originally released by Atlantic records in a themed series of albums in the early '60s, and compiler (and occasional Other Music contributor Nathan Salsburg) has sort of loosely mirrored those groupings here. The sonic fidelity Lomax managed to get on that extended excursion has always somewhat boggled my mind; I mean, sometimes it practically seems like Fred McDowell could be in the room boxing your ears, but everything has been expertly re-mastered to a level that is beyond glorious. Every single track across these five albums is as essential as it gets, and I'd go so far as to say you don't know what American music is until you've heard it here.
Listen & Buy: I'm Gonna Live Anyhow Until I Die »
Listen & Buy: I'll Be So Glad When the Sun Goes Down »
Listen & Buy: Worried Now, Won't Be Worried Long »
Listen & Buy: Wave the Ocean, Wave the Sea »
Listen Buy: I'll Meet You On That Other Shore »
Approaching the Energy Field
Addenda / Submarine
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Approaching the Energy Field marks another stop on this Chicago group's long journey down a winding road of labels, EPs, albums and band members. At the heart of the Eternals has always been Damon Locks and Wayne Montana, who first came together as members of the late-great Trenchmouth (which also counted future Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen in its ranks as drummer). It was in that band that Locks and Montana began experimenting with sampling and electronics, as well as incorporating a dub aesthetic into their leftfield brand of punk. Since then as the Eternals, they've delved even further into this world fusion, working with a recipe that includes reggae, tropicalia, hip-hop, R&B, post-punk, and free jazz, resulting in a deep blend that comes off like a sonic stew of Anti-Pop Consortium, Gang of Four, the Fall, Dirtbombs, and Sun Ra, all holed up in a recording studio with Tom Ze.
The Eternals is certainly a unique band and their fourth album once again sees Locks standing behind the vocal mic; a strong presence with a varied style, he effortlessly moves from rapper to orator, political satire spokesman to dub poet, and punk rocker to soul crooner. With Montana providing most of the sonic layers and dubby basslines, the duo skillfully blends a simple yet intricate collage of samples, MPC and synths, with lots of changes and effects creating a whirling dynamic that feels constantly in motion. An onslaught of ideas and complex melodies, and fueled by the energy of punk rock, their sound practically bursts from the speakers. All of the Eternals' albums are engaging and always something special, filled with moments of tenderness, wildness, deep thought, vivid imagination, as well as humor, and lots of sonic wonders. Approaching the Energy Field is no exception and might be the tightest, varied, and most accomplished set that they've produced so far. That said, I not only recommend this new album, but the Eternals' discography as a whole. A very worthy investigation for fans of artists as far-reaching as Saul Williams, These New Puritans, Bad Brains, Icy Demons, or just those looking for fresh sounds and lots of energy. A best kept secret if there ever was one.
Mickey & the Soul Generation
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This quote from Josh Davis (DJ Shadow) about this reissue of the complete works of Mickey & the Soul Generation should probably negate the need for my own self to write any further: "Mickey & the Soul Generation are my favorite funk band." Now such a statement coming from a legendary connoisseur of funky musics as Mr. Davis says a lot. For those of you not clicking on the download button already, Mickey & the Soul Generation were a San Antonio-based funk outfit operating in the late '60s and early '70s. They had a fair amount of regional success and did plenty of touring on the Chitlin Circuit. Unfortunately, they weren't a high priority for their own record label and financial stress as well as family priorities put an end to the band and relegated their career to obscurity. In the late '90s, a couple of their tunes started popping up on bootlegs and 45s by the group became holy grail items to rare funk collectors. Think the best of the Meters and early Kool and the Gang, snappy breaks and a truly innovative stretching of the boundaries of funk and R&B. I personally associate a few of these songs with some of the funner dance parties I've had the privilege of attending, and after you pick this up you will to.