Besides the fantastic artists who will play at the GRUNGECAKE music showcase during SXSW this year (Thursday, March 15 at The Eastern on E 6th Street), here’s a growing list of artists I want to check out—assuming the scheduling permits.
1. Ellevator (Hamilton, Ontario)
It’s Nabi Sue Bersche’s endearing voice. She could sing about feeding blue jays. It would be entertaining. “Hounds” pulls you in, and doesn’t let you go. I am enamoured. Also, her explanation for “Hounds” is interesting.
“Most nights I dream I’m being chased. I don’t know what this is a manifestation of – only that it started when I was a little kid, and it began as wolves or wild dogs that pursued me. Those hounds bite at my heels and prevent me from stopping to ask for help. Their howls whistle through my head, drowning out the voices of others who need help too. It’s all-consuming.
‘Hounds’ is an acknowledgement that we need each other to survive. There’s safety in numbers. We’ve seen how ‘every man for himself’ turns out, and we need to do better.”
After her time in Austin, she will join Our Lady Peace and Matthew Good in Canada for the tour. The singer’s eponymous EP will release April 20. Check out the Canadian tour dates below.
3/12-15 Austin, TX SXSW Music Festival
3/16 Toronto, ON REBEL
3/20 Winnipeg, MB Burton Cummings Theatre
3/21 Winnipeg, MB Burton Cummings Theatre
3/23 Calgary, AB Grey Eagle Event Centre
3/24 Cranbrook, BC Western Financial Place
3/26 Edmonton, AB Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
3/27 Edmonton, AB Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
3/28 Prince George, BC CN Centre
3/30 Kelowna, BC Prospera Place
3/31 Abbotsford, BC Abbotsford Centre
6/23 Hamilton, ON Tim Hortons Field
2. Tank and the Bangas (New Orleans, Louisiana)
From the moment I watched their NPR Tiny Desk performance, I fell in love with Tank and the Bangas. I’ve ridden through Louisiana on the way to Houston, but I have yet to experience New Orleans. They are the closest thing to what I envision. Watch the Soul/Funk bands’ performance below to see what I mean. They’re on tour. Visit their website for the tour dates.
3. The Texas Gentlemen (Dallas, Texas)
There’s nothing like listening to some good ole Texan music when eating delicious Texas BBQ. Thus, The Texas Gentlemen are high on my list of bands to see—if scheduling allows. Most bands—of any genre—sound magnificent when they are within a few feet of you. It’s what they are best at; playing live instruments and accentuating their vocals for the best sonic boom possible. The Dallas-based musicians recently signed to New West Records, but they have a sound that is synonymous with a time before now. Stream the eleven-track LP, ‘TX Jelly’ now. If you like Country/Rock music from the South, you will not forego disappointment.
4. STLNDRMS (Atlanta, Georgia)
When I listen to STLNDRMS, it takes me back to the time I frequented Los Angeles or when I travelled to Detroit to cover Dilla Day. I’d want to see the Atlanta-based producer after a long day of walking and networking to reconnect with the early 00’s me when all I listened to was MF DOOM, J Dilla, and Madlib. If it didn’t fall from that line of genius, it probably didn’t get much burn from me. Now, I look forward to bringing my Tuesday night to a dreamy end at the Parish with lush looping melodies featuring the vocals from our ancestors who made the country special with their creative efforts. Play “Veggie Tacos III” now. You’ll feel the warmth from each key the mastermind pressed to make his 14-track instrumental LP a reality.
5. Pussy Riot (Moscow, Russia)
For reasons that I think are obvious, I want to see Pussy Riot! Not only are the Moscow, Russia-natives feminists, political, and innovative, they are far more relevant to the times than they have ever been. To be honest, I believe the protest art eleven-member Punk Rock group are amidst the pioneers who helped to shift the culture and conversations in their way. Yes, they are controversial, but I bet it makes for a damned good time in-person. I wouldn’t know what to expect; That’s what excites me! Plus, any group of people who are as open as they are wins my vote any day.
If you’re around, walk over to their show at The Main on Tuesday, March 13. It begins at 7:15, ends at 7:55. For more details on tour dates, visit their website.