Cymbals: SXSW 2014 Blog


Cymbals come from London and make effusive dance-rock and electropop that teases at disco while maintaining a wiry edge. The quartet's second album, The Age of Fracture, is a sharp collection of driving beats and glossy melodies framing thoughtful lyrics that reach far beyond perfunctory club anthems. Cymbals made their U.S. debut recently with shows in New York and at SXSW and singer Jack Cleverly kept a blog for The Alternate Side with impressions (and photos) of their long, frenzied week.

September Girls: SXSW 2014 Blog

Big Star fans September Girls, a spirited, rambunctious Irish quintet with a knack for fuzzed-out, ebullient punk pop, recently released their perfectly-christened debut, Cursing the Sea, on the Fortuna Pop! label. The five bandmates tackled SXSW last week for a batch of showcases and September Girls' drummer Sarah Grimes blogged for The Alternate Side about a heady few days of Austin bliss, from catching Debbie Harry sing with Dum Dum Girls to a very close encounter with Jarvis Cocker.

Woman's Hour: SXSW 2014 Blog

Serene, sultry electronic quartet Woman's Hour has plenty to celebrate this month. Back in December they signed to Secretly Canadian and spent last week careening from one SXSW showcase to another, including the BBC Introducing stage. This week, the London-based band has two New York gigs, playing Mercury Lounge tonight and Glasslands this Friday, March 21.  Woman's Hour singer Fiona Burgess agreed to pull together a SXSW blog for The Alternate Side and it's not surprising that a band that hails from Kendal, England, home of the achingly sweet Kendal mint cake, would make a beeline for Texan confectionaries with bacon.

The Mary Onettes: SXSW 2014 Blog

Swedish dreampop purveyors The Mary Onettes released their lush, mellifluous mini-album, Portico, earlier this month on Labrador, a swift followup to last year's Hit The Waves. Although the band was sadly forced to postpone their North American tour this month due to unexpected visa issues, they were able to play SXSW, the group's first U.S. dates in six years. The Alternate Side asked The Mary Onettes' frontman Philip Ekström if he'd pull together a photo blog of The Mary Onettes' peregrinations around Austin last week.

Temples: WFUV At SXSW 2014

Tags: Temples

Riding high on their critical acclaim of their debut album, Sun Structures, Temples dazzled many at SXSW last week with a smart, glam-resonant, psychedelic set that never felt nostaligic, but always forward-looking. Temples also wrapped the Public Radio Rocks showcase with a lean, assured set that included singles like "Shelter Song" and "Mesmerise." Watch videos of Temples live at Public Radio rocks and listen to their entire set in the FUV Vault now.

Team Me: SXSW 2014 Blog

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The feisty and fun Norwegian band Team Me won the Spellemannprisen —Norway's version of the Grammy— as best pop group of 2011. They're gearing up for their second album, releasing its first single, "F for Faker," in February, and will play in New York tonight (Mercury Lounge) and tomorrow, March 18 (Glasslands Gallery). Wondering how Team Me would fare in Austin during last week's very non-Nordic SXSW madness, The Alternate Side asked the sextet if they'd keep a blog of their "favorite"  festival moments.

Fenster: SXSW 2014 Blog

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The New York/Berlin quartet Fenster just released its delicately-crafted, lo-fi second album, The Pink Caves, earlier this month and brought their gentle new songs to noisy Austin for SXSW. Although Fenster makes beautifully spare music—the vocal interplay between J.J. Weihl and Jonathan Jarzy is sublime—that doesn't mean they are incapable of having a somewhat rowdy time (well, some drinks, some cider and brazen blonding), as Weihl, a native New Yorker, proved when she blogged about Fenster's SXSW adventures for The Alternate Side. 

Thumpers: SXSW 2014 Performance

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Childhood friends Marcus Pepperell and John Hamson Jr. regrouped in 2012 after their previous band fell apart, and the two began writing music that would become the first Thumpers songs via email. The London alt-pop duo just released their debut album, Galore, filled with bouncy melodies and fun, catchy songs. Watch Thumpers, defying rain like rugged Brits, perform their single "Unkinder (A Tougher Love)" for FUV and The Alternate Side 

Roman Remains: SXSW 2014 Blog

Liela Moss and Toby Butler of Duke Spirit have branched out of late with a side project, the darkly propulsive Roman Remains. Earlier this month they released a debut album, Zeal on Dhani Harrison's H.O.T. Records, Ltd. The duo has been touring North America with Gary Numan—they'll be at Webster Hall opening for the electronic music legend this Saturday, March 22—and earlier this week found Roman Remains traipsing around Austin for SXSW. The Alternate Side asked Liela Moss of Roman Remains if she'd blog about her Texas adventures for us—which involved Blondie, big hats and broken elevators.

Damon Albarn: SXSW 2014

Damon Albarn's creative restlessness has long been a boon to his fans as he has artfully shifted between Blur, Gorillaz, The Good, The Bad and The Queen, the ongoing Africa Express projects and even opera. So it's slightly surprising that it's taken over two decades for Albarn to release his first "official" solo album, Everyday Robots. The album won't be out until April 29, but at SXSW's Public Radio Rocks Day Stage showcase earlier today, March 14, Albarn dipped generously into songs from Everyday Robots, like the title track,  "Lonely Press Play" and "Mr. Tembo." Listen to Damon Albarn's full set at Public Radio Rocks in the FUV archives now.

The Strypes: SXSW 2014

These Irish teenagers are, apparently, musically wise beyond their years. Dave Grohl, Roger Daltrey and Elton John are counted as early fans of The Strypes—in fact, John signed them to his management company, and was quoted as saying, "they have a knowledge of R&B and blues at 16 years of age that I’ve only amassed in my 65 years." Watch The Strypes cover Bo Diddley's "You Can't Judge A Book by The Cover" for WFUV and The Alternate Side.

FUV Live: Phantogram (SXSW 2014 Band)

The latest release from Saratoga-spawned, Brooklyn-based duo Phantogram is the enigmatic and handsome Voices. And yes, Phantogram is a part of the formidable lineup for Public Radio Rocks which airs tomorrow, March 14, beginning at noon and broadcast on 90.7FM WFUV (also streaming online). Phantogram have a 3pm EDT set, nestled between sets by Damon Albarn, The Hold Steady, Jeremy Messersmith, Lucius and Temples. Want to check them out prior to their Public Radio Rocks showcase at the Austin Convention Center? Watch videos of Phantogram's session here, including songs like "Bill Murray," and listen to it streaming now in the FUV Vault.

Thursday, March 13, At SXSW 2014


Team FUV's Laura Fedele blogs about a tragic night and a heartbreaking morning in Austin. FUV's crew found it tough focusing on work today, but they managed, filming performances by The Strypes, Hozier and Spanish Gold at Hotel San Jose (videos to post shortly).

SXSW 2014 Day One: Russ Borris' Blog


FUV and The Alternate Side's Russ Borris arrived in Austin, Texas yesterday and will be blogging from SXSW this week. On Day One, he saw St. Vincent, Hozier, Benjamin Booker and others. Russ is gearing up for the Public Radio Rocks showcase this Friday, March 14, broadcast live on FUV starting at noon with Damon Albarn, The Hold Steady, Temples, Phantogram, Jeremy Messersmith and Lucius.

NPR Music SXSW Showcase 2014

Tonight (and overnight), our friends at NPR Music return to Stubb's in Austin for their annual SXSW showcase, and you can stream live video here. If you missed St. Vincent when she was in town, this is a great chance to see her amazing live show. There's also U.K. punk from Eagulls, R&B from Kelis, and a preview of one of the artists set to perform at our Public Radio Rocks SXSW Day Stage on Friday: Damon Albarn. Check back tonight for live video, and keep tabs on Team FUV at SXSW.

SXSW Preview: Russ Borris Blog


SXSW gets bigger every year, with hundreds of bands descending upon the city of Austin. So how does an attendee separate the good from the not-so-good? WFUV and The Alternate Side plan to introduce you to bands we're pretty excited about, via live performances from Hotel San Jose, from Ages and AgesThe Strypes, Hozier, Thumpers, Allen Stone, Bear's Den and Mary Lambert of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” fame.  We’ll post videos of these performances starting Thursday. On Friday, we’re teaming up with other NPR affiliates for the Public Radio Rocks SXSW Day Stage show featuring Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz), Lucius, The Hold Steady, Phantogram, Jeremy Messersmith and Temples.  Listen in to the whole showcase Friday, March 14, on 90.7FM WFUV starting at noon, also streaming online.


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