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Wednesday, January 20, 2021


Two takes on South by Southwest: Take two

This year I devoted the better part of my Spring Break to Austin's colossal South by Southwest music conference.In past spring breaks, I've returned home to spend time relaxing with family and friends. This year, however, my experience at SXSW left me feeling more exhausted than rested.

Held annually, SXSW features more than 1,400 bands over four consecutive nights at 60-plus venues, all within about six blocks of one another.

Bringing indie rock down-to-earth

In the world of indie rock, Austin-based musician John Vanderslice is an anomaly.Over the past decade he has established himself as a jack of many trades through his accomplishments as a meticulous musician, prolific photographer and owner of the successful Tiny Telephone recording studio.

After the 2005 release of "Pixel Revolt," his fifth full-length album, Vanderslice toured Europe with rising stars Death Cab for Cutie before returning home for a handful of shows at last week's SXSW music conference.

Sigur R¢s rocks out in Bass Hall

The Bass Performance Hall has never been rocked so hard.Iceland's Sigur R¢s lit up the Bass Performance Hall on Monday in a triumphant display of orchestrated sound.

As the last show on the American leg of its current tour, Sigur R¢s played an inspiring 15-song set augmented by light and sound.

Standing in stark contrast to a more traditional Bass show, Sigur R¢s dressed the stage with a pair of translucent screens, ample lighting and a generous helping of fog.

‘Everyone’ all over the map

English quintet Oceansize grasps for "The Dark Side of the Moon," with "Everyone into Position," but often ends up hitting a wall.As one of Manchester's foremost rock bands, Oceansize has made waves in recent years. After signing to one of London's premier indie labels, Beggars Banquet Records, in 2002, the band released its celebrated debut LP "Effloresce," along with a handful of EPs.

Riding a crest of European admiration, Oceansize's latest release finds the band in the early stages of establishing a potential stateside fan base.

Spoon steals spotlight again

Spoon continues to be one of indie rock's most consistently top-notch acts and more pertinently, one of Texas' finest bands.Spanning three tracks and one video, Spoon's most recent EP, "Sister Jack," is more than the latest edition to a completist's collection.

At just under 14 minutes, the single offers 2005's "Gimme Fiction" standout track "Sister Jack," a remix of "I Turn My Camera On" by John McEntire and a previously unreleased track, "Sunday Morning Wednesday Night."

The video can be found on the disc, in your choice of two different dimensions.

Online Exclusive: Cat Power extended review

A lot has happened in the three years since Cat Power's last studio album.Following "You are Free," she's dropped Dave Grohl and Eddie Vedder in favor of the Memphis Rhythm Band, and she filled out her trademark spare sound with more than just a piano and guitar.

The brains behind the name, Chan Marshall, will release "The Greatest" on Jan. 24. Despite the name, "The Greatest" will feature 12 brand-new tracks from the Atlanta-bred troubadour.

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