Continuing my selfish self-reference guide to finding some actually good music to watch at SxSW continues with THE BEST LETTER OF THE ALPHABET. Why is 'B' the best? Well coz it's curvy, has the best sound (BUH! for B!) and my initials consist of two of the fuckers. So, it's with some excitement that I delve into SxSW's current list of B's who have been pretty much confirmed as playing that Texan extravaganza of industry excess.
Bare Wires (www.myspace.com/thebarewires)
You know, it's fine if you want to head through a time warp and embrace retro as your raison d'etre but this doesn't make me want to join you. Sorry.
Julian Berntzen (www.myspace.com/julianberntzen)
Elaborate chamber pop from Norway, regal strings announce Julian's arrival before his sweetly intoned vocals slather themselves across this Beatles-esque orchestral arrangement. Definitely wonderful pop music, if a little lightweight. If he has some string players with him, this could well be delightful.
Best Fwends (www.myspace.com/bestfwends)
Clearly mental, Best Fwends begin their myspace music player with a mash up between Green Day's Brain Stew and the indie/emo rap cover of choice Ginuwine's My Pony. Amusing. The rest is heavily synth-drenched garage/DJ mix ups that sound like an ADHD dreamer's animated feature theme tune. Can't imagine this being anything other than fucking ace.
The Black (www.myspace.com/theblack)
Xeroxed country music with a more fey-indie vocal - almost as if a Pavement fan got dragged into a pedal steel band. I DO NOT LIKE.
The Black Atlantic (www.myspace.com/theblackatlantic)
Baiulus begins with airy piano and vocals, seemingly washing across my acute tinnitus. Fragile Meadow is mandolin-pinging folky lamenting, which as everyone knows post-2008/2009 is either extremely boring or spot on. It builds up nicely with Justin Vernon-type vocals and nice harmonies. Nothing we haven't all heard before, done better.
Dan Black (you don't want to listen to his myspace)
Dan Black's myspace froze on Google Chrome, saving me from having to remind myself how much I hate his music. This is a note to myself to remind myself that no matter how drunk I make myself I am NOT going anywhere near Dan Black. The fucking charlatan.
Black Tide (www.myspace.com/blacktide)
These Miami kids only have samples on their myspace, and boy am I glad because their histrionic hard-rock fakery is vomit inducing and I only have so much bile I can throw up across their disgusting faces.
Bliss N Eso (www.myspace.com/blissneso)
Australian hip-hop eh? Generic as you'd expect (DISCLAIMER: yes Australians are capable of making incredible music, no we never get to hear any of it pumped over here unfortunately).
Boom Boom Satellites (www.myspace.com/boomboom satellites)
Ignoring the Tahj and Flo Rida collaboration, for obvious reasons, it seems this Japanese duo admire Pendulum's bid for rock stardom, and a bit of vocoder action. This is of course severely bad news and this kind of arena/dance bollocks need cutting off before their braindead semen seep into the public consciousness...Pendulum are from Australia, you know? Also the most boring interviewees I've ever had. Far too arrogant to answer questions. Cunts.
The Boxer Rebellion (www.myspace.com/theboxerrebellion)
You either like em or you don't. Do you really need to ask me where I stand?
Break Of Reality (www.myspace.com/breakofreality)
A moniker which makes you spontaneously spurt tears of despair, this New York quartet seem to deal in instrumental post-prog, which involves spindly guitars, brittle strings and urgent dynamics. Spectrum of the Sky is fairly stirring stuff and the overall effect is Tool crossed with Rachel's. Which is odd and a little uninspiring frankly, but might well be worth a look.
B-Real of Cypress Hill
God knows what he's up to these days really, and as long as he's regressed into his bong-strewn reclined rapping as opposed to that nu-metal spined shit Cypress Hill dug up on Skull & Bones and the like, I'd be happy to pay him a visit.
Broadway Calls (www.myspace.com/broadwaycalls)
Oh great. Bolshy, slightly whiny boy-pop-punk. Hideous. Dated. Excruciating.
Broken Records (www.myspace.com/brokenrecordsedinburgh)
Big fuss about these Scots a year or so back, their maudlin, string-driven songcraft is dark and spirit-crushing, in a fairly positive way. Not exhilarating but definitely worth a look.
Despite the bad critical and commercial reception, I have a soft spot for her live doo-wop funtimes. Plus she wears pretty dresses.
The Brunettes (www.myspace.com/thebrunettes)
This New Zealand duo are all drum machines and twee instruments like xylophones and Casablancas drawl/keening female vocals. It's pretty much processed pop, but somehow they were sent the wrong way so that they got caught between the PURE POP and LO-FI SHTICK conveyor belts. My verdict? Meh.
A RAPPER??!! FROM BROOKLYN???!!! REALLY??!! WOW???!!!!!
For the best letter in the alphabet, there's an 'alf some shite here.