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Interview with Bert McCracken of The Used on A New Record, Michael Jackson and That Guy in the Sky

March 20th, 2014
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After watching them crank out albums every few years, it has been no secret that The Used had a propensity to consistently create groundbreaking music. They gave us a taste of their new record with their latest single “Cry,” in January. It received over 700,000 plays within less than a week of its release. This was only a hint of the reckoning that new Used material would bring. So far, their impending tour sold out 18 dates, and they have not stopped there. Indeed, they had already made it a success. “You can inspire people because you took a chance and succeeded. You never know until you try.” These immortal words came from The Used’s lead singer Bert McCracken. The day before they set out on a co-headlining tour with Taking Back Sunday, we sat down with McCracken at SXSW to talk philosophy, life’s mysteries, and to get a feel for the new album Imaginary Enemy, out April 1st.

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By Rachel Zimmerman Posted in Features , , , ,

SXSW 2014: Rachael Ray’s Feedback Party – Yelawolf (featuring Travis Barker), The Wild Feathers and Blondie

March 17th, 2014
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Every year, world-famous chef Rachael Ray’s Feedback Party at SXSW is a coveted experience. She hopes to combine two of her most favored passions – food and music – to bring people together to enjoy one scintillating day of yummy bites, satisfying drinks, good company and eclectic music. This year, her party is open to the public on an RSVP-only basis. Even with the rain and 4+ hour line wrapped around the block, it is well worth the effort to attend the Feedback experience. Read more…

By Rachel Zimmerman Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , , , , , ,

SXSW 2014: Samsung GALAXY Concert Series Night Party – Holy Ghost! and Cut Copy

March 17th, 2014
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As a surprise addition to the SXSW festivities, Samsung decides to announce surprise, members-only concerts transpiring throughout the week. Lineups include artists from across the board – Jay Z and Kanye West’s first ever performance together at SX and even the likes of Broken Bells and Gary Clark, Jr. The only way in is to get to a disclosed location first thing in the morning of the show and flash a Samsung device to get a wristband. The final night of the series promises the most electrifying experience yet with hard-hitting new wave gods Holy Ghost! and Cut Copy. Read more…

By Rachel Zimmerman Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , ,

SXSW 2014: SoundExchange Showcase – Wild Cub, American Authors, and London Grammar

March 17th, 2014
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One of the best lineups rounding out SXSW is Stubb’s Friday night official showcase presented by Sound Exchange. Newcomers Wild Cub, American Authors and London Grammar all bring unique perspectives to the lineup. Read more…

By Rachel Zimmerman Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , , ,

SXSW 2014: Universal Music Group Experience Day Party – Aloe Blacc

March 17th, 2014
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After years in the business, Aloe Blacc has officially pushed through to the mainstream music scene. His syrupy soul-funk has a contemporary relevance that makes it applicable to audiences across the spectrum. Blacc proves his popularity as every party he plays throughout SXSW hits capacity. As his growing popularity would also insist, it is safe to say that there is plenty of room for his music in today’s scene. Read more…

By Rachel Zimmerman Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews ,

SXSW 2014: Filter and Dr. Marten’s Day Party – INVSN

March 17th, 2014
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Filter has officially taken over the Rainey St. run of bars and clubs this year. In the heart of it all, Dr. Marten’s has teamed up with Filter to premier some of SX’s up and coming artists at Bar 96. The venue provides an intimate experience for fans to enjoy exclusive performances, partake in Dr. Marten’s photo booth, and catch some brand name swag while it lasts. On Friday, the location hosts Sweden’s INVSN as one of the leading day party performances. Read more…

By Rachel Zimmerman Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , ,

SXSW 2014: Spotify House Day Party – Vance Joy

March 16th, 2014
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Vance Joy packs the House early in the day. With free drinks and such a promising lineup, it is no wonder that Spotify House has become this year’s treasured day party stop at SXSW.

The entire crowd flocks to the stage in anticipation of finally hearing some of Vance Joy’s dearest songs live. Singer James Keogh provides a smooth and sweet set, starting with “Emmylou.” The second the bass drops, the rich sound thickens the air in the outdoor patio. His syrupy acoustic version of “From Afar” maintains the tasty mood. He continues to shed light on his EP “God Loves You When You’re Dancing” throughout the set. Certainly, the singer-songwriter is bringing more to the table than he was a year ago when the EP released. Read more…

By Rachel Zimmerman Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews ,

SXSW 2014: Red Bull Sound Select Night Party – Shy Girls and Jagwar Ma

March 15th, 2014
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With such a promising lineup, it is no wonder that the Red Bull Sound Select parties at The Belmont wrap lines around the block. This evening’s RSVP list has over 18,000 entries. Portland artist Shy Girls (AKA Dan Vidmar) clearly have a lot to offer. It is amazing what a set of keys and a MacBook can create. Their music is soulful with R&B influences and a pop twist. Sexy, slow electronic bass and Vidmar’s light, airy voice are a welcome juxtaposition. Read more…

By Rachel Zimmerman Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , , ,

SXSW 2014: The Iron Bear – Kraak & Smaak

March 14th, 2014
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Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak bring their electronic project to the official SXSW showcase at The Iron Bear. The modest crowd is the perfect audience for the dance party that ensues. The blend of live drums and keys build lively tunes that elevate the mood to a whole new level. It’s electrifying in all the right ways.

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By Rachel Zimmerman Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews ,

SXSW 2014: Chromeo, Live at Fader Fort

March 13th, 2014
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After a long day of shows, Chromeo takes over to finish off the night. “It sounds like the Lords of funk are here, and we’re gonna give you some Bonafide Lovin,” boasts frontman Dave 1 at the pair’s Fader Fort performance Thursday night. Read more…

By Rachel Zimmerman Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews ,