South By Southwest 2009 – New Music Round-Up Part 4

Ok, so last day of South By Southwest. D-Day. I’d seen a few good bits so far, but was still yet to find THAT band. All the bands that had buzzed around at the fest so far had ended up being distinctly prefixed by lower case letters.

So I started early, packed my suitcases, and caught the noon instore show from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart at Waterloo Records.

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Pains Of Being Pure At Heart at Waterloo Records

They’d been one of the best things I’d seen so far, and I just wanted to check I hadn’t got caught up with the euphoric haze of free BBQ hysteria. But no, they were still great. The only new twee-gaze troupe I’ve witnessed in living memory whose career won’t peak by playing NME scribe Nat Cramp’s Sonic Cathedral night in east London.

I still hadn’t seenLissy Trullie. play, and from all the reports I’d been given I’d return home a fool if that remained the case. So I headed over to where several people had said did the best BBQ around, Lamberts.

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Lamberts, sans meat

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Still Flyin’, come the summer

I arrived just in time to see these lot, Still Flyin’. They are a 16-piece (not everyone was there that day) cod-reggae free-love party combo from San Francisco. I do realise to follow that description by saying they were good would undermine every piece of opinion I’ve thrown at anything ever, so I won’t. What I will say though is that come festival season it will, surrounded by yummy mummies and wacky bankers, suppin’ on a warm cider from a plastic cup, make a lot more sense.

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Lissy, you would

Lissy played next. She is what every female frontwoman ever secretly wishes she looks like. She’s kind of like the cartoon cover shot for Hed Kandi’s imaginary ‘NYC Indie’ volume. She has a few massive songs too. Cut-the-crap rock’n’roll with drifty melodies girlier than Clarks Magic Step Princess shoes. Another SXSW buzz lived up to. Onwards!

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Theophilus London, ripped

Another guy I’d come to Texas with his name in mind was Theophilus London. I just had a feeling about this guy. I got given his ‘This Charming Mixtape’ CD, and played it to saturation point. It’s not that he’s either a revolutionary MC, or a groundbreaking producer, but just something about the way he does what he does. He’s the only guy I’ve seen that manages to make hipster hip hop sound amazing. Today he remangled all the blasts of world music/power ballads/stooopidness he fucks with on record, but with beefcake looks, Vogue-worthy styling and a strutting showmanship that Kanye would swap his baldy missus for.

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Blank Dogs, grrrr

To round off I headed back to Ms Bea’s for one of the closing moments of yet another ubscuro discord all-dayer, this time by Captured Tracks. Fittingly the highlight came in Captured Tracks label head Mike Sniper’s band Blank Dogs. After a week of gurning enthusiasm, Mike basically took a massive, stinky dump on the collective camp fire. Blank Dogs are a marauding machine of terror-garage, the coolest possible prospect for the future of goth’n’roll.

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Baby, awwww

And with the spotting of this kid, who looked a lot like a fun-sized Hare Krishna, I headed off into the night.