SXSW Indie Press Releases That Make Parties Worth A Look

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SXSW Indie Press Releases That Make Parties Worth A Look

It’s the time of the season for SXSW. The indie world is prepping to head south and native Texans are hunkering down for a week of tops knots and mustache wax. What does that mean for dance bloggers? You guessed it, packed inboxes full of indie PRs making bold statements about their client’s struggling showcases. Showcases line the Austin strip for this club-centric party event, even McDonalds has one. After years of being an indie-rock experience, dance music has taken it’s toll on the plaid-wearing promoters of central Texas for a culture clash of alternatives.

During the weeks leading up to this hipster music feast, I’ve taken notice of a trend going through the PR world. Without any introduction or premise, indie agencies spring up with a roster of global artists that are almost unfathomable (and forgettable). Feverishly scouring for a slice of the pie, these Pitchfork die-hards will do anything to add another email blast to their schedule. One new group has never sent us a promo, although pushed through 20 in the past week.

Don’t get me wrong, the best of the best always make an appearance at SXSW parties filled with best buds. That said, the open nature of the event turns alleys into stages for bands willing to pack up from their mom’s basement and trudge down to Texas. The subculture around promotion for SXSW is astounding, after scouring through press requests (we try to read every single email, we promise), I just had to share some of the best picks from the #weekbeforesxsw.

Their playful, experimental approach to composing danceable yet thought-provoking music embraces both an astounding complexity in their productions and a sense of immediacy in their approach to songwriting.”

Playing: Olso Lounge (3/16), Highland Lounge (3/17), and International Day Stage (3/18). Are these guys writing foreign policy or dance music? Somewhere lost in this eloquently-written description are a couple of Swedes who call themselves the Rangeklods. In truth, their tunes are pretty dope and danceable while on drugs.

Best When Mixed With: An evolved pallet for experimental electronic music….and drugs.

ECNO are a wacky band from Mexico, donning lucha libre masks while creating live havoc with their fun stage presence.”

Playing: Carousel Lounge (3/21) and Clive Bar (3/21). With a hectic sound blending south of the border with wrestle mania, these guys are good for a laugh. Ecno play Latin-infused, house band anthems, all while looking like super hero’s gone 80’s.

Best When Mixed With: a handle of cheap tequila… per person.

“John (American Opera) has released three EPs and penned a 2014 single entitled “Ode to US Airways” that pitted himself in a war against an international airline after they lost and refused to replace his guitar.”

Playing: No gigs, he’s on a no-fly list. We must have missed this headline, but I’m sure US Airways took away his flyer miles after that release. Any musician willing to go head to head with their primary means of transportation has some big ones. Unfortunately T-Swift beat him to the charts this time.

Best When Mixed With: An itch for acoustic and a dry sense of humor.

“Barrow and Salisbury met over 10 years ago when they both joined a Bristol football team for old men.  After many disastrous games they decided they might be more productive working on a music project together.”

Playing: Paramount Theater (3/14). There you have it people, when you fail as a footballer become a music producer. This one isn’t even a party, but Geoff Barrow (founding member of Portishead) seems to be premiering a Sci-Fi flick filled with alternative ‘technological’ tunes. Fr33ky huh? Even if you’re not into movies, this offers a great place to grab some shut eye for those of you who didn’t secure a hotel. 

Best When Mixed With: Sleep.

“the trio behind VUURWERK draw their power from emotional suggestion and tactile sensation. …like finding a new skin, and making it fit to your current conventions. Creating a dissonance between dance music and intimacy.”

Playing: No gigs yet, we’re just sharing music at the festival. Is it just me or does this band sound like some sort of European sex experience? Maybe their merch includes spiked dildos but their latest .be" target="_blank">video is just as scary. Seems weird to have a press release titled with SXSW when your band doesn’t have any bookings yet.

Best When Mixed With: the blood rave scene from 1998 Wesley Snipes masterpiece Blade.

“In addition to the exciting musical acts, guests will enjoy authentic Texas-style barbecue and bites provided by some of Austin’s best culinary institutions and QUI Tequila cocktails.” 

Playing: The Dream Hotel (3/19). OK people this one is no joke, free BBQ and Tequila while fresh tunes flow through the party? Did we mention the lineup includes Aussie radio heiress Nina Las Vegas, Canadian bass heads Zeds Dead, Gorgon City going b2b with Ape Drums, and + special guests (does special guests always mean Skrillex in 2015?). OH WAIT, it’s an invite AM ONLY party, sorry suckas you can’t get in.

Best When Mixed With: You’re industry-connected side piece and a fashion week wardrobe.

“Representing a unique moment in Birgy’s songwriting and a budding maturation for a bouncy community of oddball pop addicts, Gone Banana is an immersive listening experience and a peek into the life of a truly strange soul.”

Playing: Austin Critter (3/18), Nashville Radio Showcase (3/19), and Tom Tom MagShowcase (3/20). Not sure how to best put this, but this act (called Mega Bog) sounds just plain weird. With a music video that was definitely directed and filmed by Charles Manson she took term independent to mean: I will always be alone.

Best When Mixed With: Tiny houses, super 8 cameras, lost sense of reality, and drugs.

“…has over 776,000 streams on Soundcloud and over 1 million plays on YouTube to date, and reached #1 on The Hype Machine’s Most Popular Tracks on Twitter chart this week.”

Playing: Buffalo Billiards (3/21). Sorry but Diplo’s underage one-night-stands make it to the #1 spot on Hypem. If your Soundcloud doesn’t have a bootleg with a million plays either your music sucks or your Dad isn’t buying enough on Cloudkillers. Keep at it but the bros a Buffalo Billiards ain’t gonna pay the bills. Best When Mixed With: A desperate hunger to be famous.

“Often referred to as North America’s leading figure in underground Progressive House, Epsilon has also received critical acclaim and praise in the Deep House, Tech House, and Techno communities.”

Playing: Kingdom (3/19-20). Let’s start with ‘underground progressive house’… isn’t that a contradiction? Maybe it’s just me but I don’t quite consider support from Oakenfold to mean ‘praise in deep, techno, and tech communities’ but maybe Paul has a forthcoming tune on Innervisions we don’t know about. Best When Mixed With: kandi and a Molly t-shirt.

To be honest, that’s all I could get through but there’s heaps more. Keep watch for SXSW’s ‘next big thing’ brawling in the Austin alleys or barfing in the gutters. Happy SXSW ya’ll!


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