Here's the latest from Sean as he checks in, post-SxSW with a new Keep It Under 45 and some righteous tunes. Follow him on Twitter: @keepitunder45.
I hope you are all doing well. It was great to see many of you in Austin & I apologize if I didn't get to see a bunch of you that were there. Interestingly enough I saw less music than in years past but the good thing is I met a lot of great people and made some new friends.
There were some musical highlights which included watching seminal rap producer NO Joe hanging out with indie rock band Gardens & Villa in a Super 8 motel & him schooling them on the best way to capture sounds. I also got watch Black Milk perform an electronic set on a boat. The Dallas Hip Hop group A.Dd+ were great live and for the third year in a row I saw Danny Brown who gets better every time I see him.
Low-lights included the tragedy that happened, non-subtle commercialism and the complete shit show of people throwing up in the streets.
The drive from Atlanta to Austin (and back) gave me time to spend with some records. Here are some of the ones that stuck out on my road trip.
Lo-Fang - Blue Film
Acoustic-Pop-Electronic...not sure how to describe. Vocally he sounds like a mix of Sufjan Stevens & at times Eric Matthews-who I love both artists. I know Pitchfork gave it a crappy review-but screw them, it is a lot better than a lot of other things out there like it. Video - "Look Away" http://bit.ly/1kMikX4
El Barrio Series
When I went to Waterloo I was looking for Senor Soul which was a precursor to the band War-they didn't have it on CD but they did turn me on to the El Barrio series on Fania. This is collection of of Nuyorican, Afro-Cuban, and salsa music from the 1960s through the 1970s. If you like bad ass soul music-this is something to invest in. Being turned on to things like this is what makes going into an actual record store still awesome. Here is a cut from Ray Barretto that is on the Latin Funk volume - http://bit.ly/1lTdK9j
St. Paul & The Broken Bones - Half The City
From Birmingham Alabama-this straight ahead soul band sounds like they could be on the Daptone label + they recorded the album in Muscle Shoals Alabama...you don't get much more soul than that.
Video - "Don't Mean A Thing" http://bit.ly/1j833CL
Lydia Loveless - Somewhere Else
Her last album on Bloodshot was really good...and she delivers on the follow up. Fine Country punk. Video - "Chris Isaak" http://bit.ly/PUfvt4
The War On Drugs - Lost In A Dream
"Slave Ambient" was one of my favorite albums of 2011. I think this might make the list for 2014. Video - "Red Eyes" http://bit.ly/1eW0ZX1
Something additional that is kind of great:
I found this great site called Kids Interviewing Bands - this is another reason why the Internet is awesome, but kind of bummed it took me this long to find it.