Thursday 31 Jul
 
 
CD reviews

Power Pyramid - Power Pyramid

Power Pyramid doesn’t have much patience for nonsense. That appears to be the takeaway from the Oklahoma City quintet’s last 10 months, which brought The God Drums in September, the Insomnia EP in January and its latest, self-titled effort in July.

07/29/2014 | Comments 0

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0
 

SXSW: Thus: Owls / Dva


Stately indie and wild post-rock

By Stephen Carradini March 15th, 2012

Thus Owls
Credits: Stephen Carradini

My attempts at seeing only upbeat music were foiled by the very next band, Thus: Owls. The moment they produced an autoharp during set-up, I knew it was going to be a stately, beautiful set, and indeed it was. (Sidenote: Autoharp seems to be an overlooked rock instrument in our current era.) The band was fronted by a woman with a ethereal, majestic voice; Sharon Van Etten immediately came to mind. The band itself was a ghostly, shapeshifting, mellifluous thing: The National was the first touchstone. I heard several of their tunes, then split for my most anticipated set of the day: Dva.

After showing up early for Dva's set and listening to Austin's own Field Dress (Dan Deacon gone chillwave, with some performance art thrown in), I settled in for the Czech-singing brother/sister duo. They're not a folk duo in the traditional sense of the word, however; they use loop pedals extensively to create wild waves of sound. If Sigur Ros were peppy and wide-eyed, their music might turn out like the involved, exuberant tunes Dva created. The duo used non-standard instruments as easily as familiar ones: acoustic guitar, saxophone, clarinet and voice were employed with as much candor as buzz from rubbing quarter-inch cords against skin, animal noises, and one chord of toy piano.

Dva creating a loop out of feedback buzz.
Credits: Stephen Carradini

The conviction with which Dva pulled off everything was impressive: in "Tropical Animal," the woman ran through an incredible array of spot-on animal noises as punctuation to the musical crescendo; in another band's hands it may have felt campy, but Dva meant it. It was a rousing success. Their song "Russian Elector" (I think that's what I heard), was marked by frenetic sounds and lines; with the loop pedal, the band was free to make vocal noises and loop them as percussion. They were remarkably skilled at producing distinctly different percussion sounds. Throw on top of this a truly interpretative dance, with the woman waving her arms and legs in a frantic, wild manner, and the song became truly fascinating and memorable.

Dva's melodic and compositional skill were top-shelf; the tunes they cranked out were brilliant and moving. If you're into post-rock, post-pop, composition, looping, or really unique tunes, you need to check out Dva; their set is in the running for "best of fest" already.

 
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