Monday 21 Apr
CD reviews

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0

SXSW: Givers

The most enthusiastic, energetic band I have ever seen

By Stephen Carradini March 19th, 2011

I'd spent most of my week on or near E. Sixth St., as it's the hub of SXSW music action. But for the last show of the evening, I had to book it to W. 6th St and Rio Grande (also known as the intersection of "Oh My Gosh" and "You've Got To Be Kidding Me"). It's the only set I had to run to catch, but it was worth it, because I'm still humming Givers tunes twelve hours later. 

Givers is a band of five far-too-young-looking boys and a girl from Lafayette, La. They employ acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, drums, electronic beats, ukelele, flute, synthesizers, a secondary drum set and more enthusiasm than I've ever witnessed in a show to make their songs. Some bands have standing as their basic position, with some passionate modification to jumping. Givers has jumping as their standard position, with standing when absolutely necessary. 

Seriously, it was harder to tell whether the band or the audience was more excited that Givers was playing. The band's calypso-inspired bubbly indie-pop tunes careened off the walls of the venue, whipping the audience into a fervor. (I always worry when people start pogoing at upstairs venues. I'm afraid it's going to collapse. Thankfully, it did not.) The dual female and male vocals created exuberant harmonies, which the audience ate up. When the girl put down her ukelele and started mashing her half drum set, the room could barely get more electric. 

Lots of bands are capable of whipping people into a frenzy, but to do with it technically difficult but incredibly appealing music is something that not many bands can do. Each of the members of Givers were excellent at their instruments, making things that other bands would have played simply even better by embellishing them with unique flourishes. The bass player is to be especially commended in this regard. 

All in all, I left Givers' set in a far better mood than I went in, and that's after a full, tiring day of walking all over Austin. And was still humming "I Saw You First" when I woke up. Awesome. You will hear more from Givers; their album comes out later this year. You must buy it, if you like happiness. I'm not even kidding. It's that good. I don't care what genre you usually listen to.  

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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