Musical Geographies: SXSW

In honor of SXSW wrapping up over the weekend (which I didn’t attend, and haven’t attended since, I think, 2004, because since then I’ve been too old and uncool), I thought I’d share songs from a few of the international bands who’ve played down in Austin.

“Illuminating Doctor” – 127

The music itself is a cool combination of rock, punk, and what I assume are traditional Persian sounds, but mostly I was impressed that they’re Iranian artists. Not an easy identity these days.

“Kouketsuatsu Girl” – Titan Go King’s

Yes, they’ve got an apostrophe in their name. English isn’t their first language, k? These girls were so. much. fun. live. I would have bopped and bounced to them all night. Super energetic and hilarious.

“I Love You Cause I Have To” – Dogs Die in Hot Cars

These Scottish lads and lady are masters of the perfectly cheery-sounding pop ditty with shockingly dark lyrics, if you really think about what they’re saying.

“Gets Me Down” – AMPOP

After Japan Nite, I recall Iceland Nite being the most fun at SXSW, because you were never quite sure what those elf-lovers might sound like. They’re not all Bjork-level geniuses, but there’s something about that isolated country that fosters a ton of creative talent.

“Where Were You?” – the Mekons

From Chicago via Leeds, this band is legendary. They’ve been kicking ass for longer than I’ve been breathing. I was lucky enough to see them play at a little barbecue behind an art gallery down in Austin, which is maybe the most hipster sentence I’ve ever written, but it was a fantastic day, one of those days that makes me really glad I get up and do things.