Saturday, March 20, 2010

Quick Dispatch from Austin

Greetings Friends! I'll have to save my more extensive SXSW post for my return, but here's a quick update. I have one very long day to go, which I think is about as much as this body can handle. But of course I've got some favorites *so far.* The Thursday night set by Efterklang from Denmark is on the top of my list. If their set was any indication, their new record on 4AD comes in somewhere between sigur rós and Radiohead, which is not a bad place to be, and they are about to blow up. Great sound, great set.

British folk singer Jackie Oates, once a member of the Rachel Unthank and the Winterset, wins for the most exquisite. She goes a bit more trad than the Unthanks, and her trio delivered a truly gorgeous set.

And for sheer off-the-wall enjoyment, I really enjoyed M. Takara 3 from Brazil. It was just the right mix of electronics and real percussion, of experimental and dance groove, of weird and tuneful.
Much more will follow!

* * * *

Let me clarify my call for respectful blog postings about music: I'm not advocating Minnesota nice, and I'm also not concerned with the potty talk. My pet peeve is completely dismissive criticism. Go ahead and tear something apart if you want, just back it up. When I made my now infamous "shlock" comment, I think I was pretty clear that I was complaining specifically about unimaginative and overly saccharine orchestral arrangements. I also mentioned what I liked about both Peter Gabriel and Frank Sinatra. I think we can all still be provocative (if that's the intent) while still giving substance to our criticism. And whether we think the artist will ever play at our venue or not should not be relevant.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update! I'm going to have a listen to some of those. You missed a gratuitous but pleasurable ODDSAC. Many of us agreed that because we knew what to expect going in, we rather enjoyed it.

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