Another guide to more LA Bands at SXSW
In our ongoing attempt to prop some worthy musicians headed to Austin this week, yet another list of LA bands/songwriters to chase down at SXSW in Austin this week. This is a tipsheet for those of you with $$$ in your eyes. Looking for a band to break, license, co-opt, manipulate, convince to sell out? Here are some tips.
Gender: One man
His MySpace Descriptive: “Folk/Acoustic/Emo”
How might they make money for your label/agency/blgo/film project/TV show/bake sale? Brosseau has a sweet voice, high in the register, delicate but not without weight, and his Fatcat Records debut, Cavalier, was one of 2007's under-appreciated gems. “Kiss My Lips” is especially wonderful, and would make for a great bed for a lipstick commercial, or maybe a sweeping, bittersweet health insurance spot featuring snapshots of an aging couple spinning on a merry-go-round.
Gender: Six men.
His MySpace Descriptive: “Indie/Acoustic/Alternative”
How might they make money for your l/a/b/fp/TVs/bs? Well, actually, one of Buddy's songs, “Say A Lot,” has appeared on Gray's Anatomy. It's a gentle piano ballad, and perferctly nails their self-described “wimpycore” sound. The band cites Sebadoh as an influence, which totally makes sense: simple and from the heart, little dramas for rainy days. (Below is an unauthorized video featuring "Say A Lot."
Gender: Four men.
His MySpace Descriptive: “Folk/Acoustic/Emo”
How might they make money for your l/a/b/fp/TVs/bs? You gotta see 'em live. They'll scrape the acne cream off your face, will undo a year's worth of mud baths, will make threadbare your $300 jeans. And they probably won't make money for you and your corporate overlords, asshole. One jumbo bass that recorded their monstrous self-titled debut at down LA $5 dive the Smell, and you can hear all those brick walls.
Gender: one woman, three men.
Their MySpace descriptive: none.
How might they make money for your l/a/b/fp/TVs/bs? A lot of people were talking about Hecuba last year, nearly everyone who saw them during their residency at the Bordello, or at one of their many one-offs around town. They're an odd, magnetic band that tosses soft electroacoustic rhythms with simple melodies and Isabelle Albuquerque's sing-songy voice.
Let's Go Sailing
Gender: One woman, but performs live with many men and women
Their MySpace descriptive: “Indie/Pop/Alternative”
How might they make money for your l/a/b/fp/TVs/bs? Let's Go Sailing's happy-go-lucky California tunes are so instantly engaging and pleasant that they'd work really well for detergent and toothpaste commercials. “Sideways Asa Tacoon” is easily adapted to cell phone carrier ads. And Grey's Anatomy, of course, which presumably paid many of the band's bills last year with two song placements.
The Little Ones
Gender: Four men
Their MySpace Descriptive: “Indie/Folk Rock/Psychedelic”
How might they make money for your l/a/b/fp/TVs/bs? They really are a combination of indie, folk and psyche, though they forgot to add “pop” into the mix, and that's a key ommission, because they understand pop melody better than most. If you need a signifier, the great British drone-pop band Electrelane recently remixed the Little Ones' “Ord Song,” and the band's debut full-length, Morning Tide, comes out on Astralwerks, finally, later this spring.
Gender: Two men
Their MySpace Descriptive: “Experimental/Power Pop/Punk”
How might they make money for your l/a/b/fp/TVs/bs? They just got signed to Sub Pop, and look what happened with the Postal Service. License-city, there.
But seriously, No Age is among America's best bands right now, a band who manages with just guitar drum and the occasional loop to create a huge, textured, dynamic sound. Beneath the static, which reminds me most of Treble-Kicker-era Pavement, are great, hummable pop songs. Don't miss a chance to catch a great band on their ascent.
Gender: Five Women
Their MySpace Descriptive: Punk/Funk/Punk
How might they make money for your l/a/b/fp/TVs/bs? Present-day punk rock, when done correctly (see Pissed Jeans, Fucked Up, Jeffrey Lewis), can still incite and excite and drive your pulse rate way way up. Mika Miko gets it: shout and chant and find a few chords and mess it all up. Then scream some more. And don't forget about the bass. It's gotta move around, gotta be a bit wobbly or it sounds stupid, and not good stupid but bad dumb. Mika Miko is excellently clumsy, wonderfully collapsed. This will not work in commercials, or on your boring one-hour dramedy. It works in little basements and bedrooms, though.
Gender: Five men
Their MySpace Descriptive: “Indie/Rock/Turntablism”
How might they make money for your l/a/b/fp/TVs/bs? Somebody might very will get rich off of Oliver Future, a band so seriously practiced and inspired and driving and big-rock-ready (in a U2/Hold Steady kinda way) that I'm sure a few people besides the L.A.-based (but Austin-bred) band members themselves may have dollar signs in their eyes. Not that Oliver Future is ready to sell out; it's just that they've got a cocky confidence that big things are headed their way, and sometimes bands who shoot for it actually attain it.