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Listen To Or Download 100 Songs From SXSW

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Bleached at the Palladium

 

Who doesn’t want 6 hours of free music? I actually need 6 free hours which is much more difficult to find than free music these days. NPR has complied a list of 100 mp3s and every song on the list is downloadable from their page until March 31st, either individually or in one bulk zip file. you can also stream all the songs below through the Spotify app. And what do all the artists have in common? all of them are part of the annual SXSW Music Festival, which features thousands of artists from around the world, as everyone knows, so in fact this barely scratches the surface.

I go to shows quite often, but I realize I barely know any name of this list! Actually only 8 of them ring a bell, and only a few of them are from Los Angeles, like Anderson .Paak, Bird Dog, Bleached, Chicano Batman, KING, and Miya Folick

I saw Anderson .Paak at Amoeba where he played an amazing blending-genre music with soul, dynamism and visceral emotions, a sort of sound of the future, engulfing a kid’s Spotify library at once, reconstructing something new with old beats and grooves. He is classified in the hip-hop/rap category but there’s much more than this in his music.

I saw Bird Dog and Miya Folick at the FOMO fest just a month ago. Bird Dog was a large ensemble of musicians, who played a bombastic set, in a very and grandiose way, the type of music coming from the mountains, very uplifting with a drum in the front and a large chorus of voices. Miya Folick was a very young and tall woman who had an emotional howl, and her powerful music was sometimes turning loud and furious, with heavy riffs, fuzzy guitars and dark emotional screaming… She simply rocked the place, looking laid back and relaxed but freaking out at the right places.

I have seen Bleached many times, the all-girl band is on Burger Records so they are part of every Burgerama and other label-related events, and the last in date was this Yves Saint Laurent after party at the Palladium. I saw them at the Echo, the Observatory, Sonos Studios, and they always brought fury and punch, with a music bringing a special California-beach sound, a retro youth-celebration freshness with a carefree attitude, a wild side and sloppy vocal harmonies.

Chicano Batman gave a mini concert at Amoeba about 3-4 years ago and they were quite a scene. Dressed in matching Las-Vegas-lounge-singer-ruffled blue shirts, the quartet threw a lot of things in their songs, from early 70s Brazilian bossa nova, to funk, samba, soul, jazz, cumbia and other Latino rhythms, each song could have been a melting pot of about everything.

I have seen the three African queens of KING twice and their soul-warming harmonies and wobbling keys are a delight, their honey voices always seem to effortlessly spiral around each other. Multi instrumentalist Paris is making all the music while Anita and Amber’s ethereal and lush vocal harmonies carry the music in high spheres of R&B heaven.

I saw White Lung at the Troubadour once and the Canadian punk band, fronted by a platinum blonde who was commanding the stage with an aggressive tone in a very Pat-Benatar-meets-Courtney-Love way, was a sort of female answer to METZ’s ferocious sound, despite the fact that their music was more straightforwardly and traditionally punk,

HAELOS played at Bardot a few weeks ago and the London electro-pop trio built a grandiose sound, with reminiscences of Massive Attack on a poppier day, going from dark drama to textures filled with heavy beats and percussion, while the voices stayed soulful and even gospelic.

I can’t comment on the rest, which means there is so much to discover in this list.

 

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