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SXSW 2012 Scouting Report: Volume 5

posted February 28, 2012, 2:48 pm by Ben Oliver | Filed Under Editorial, Festivals, General Interest, Music News | comment Leave a Comment

Tags: Mind Spiders, Blouse, Anamanaguchi

Just like in high school and college sports, the music industry has become enamored and obsessed with discovering the next profound promise of potential.  Originally started in 1987, SXSW has matured and blossomed into the premier talent showcase for musicians around the world. As we journey towards this incredible opportunity, we decided to take an in depth look at some of the thousands of up and coming artists who will be performing.

Anyone that has ever been or considered going to experience a massive event like this knows what it feels like when looking over the line up. It can almost feel like reading a foreign language, seeing bands listed that you have never heard of. That’s where we come in to help. This can be used as a planning guide for deciding who to catch for those of you lucky enough to be able to attend. For everyone else, this is intended to be used as a primer for armchair quarterback music aficionados.

This will all be towards us journeying together towards March, as we prepare to pick our Top 50 Indie Picks of SXSW 2012.


Mind Spiders

Mind Spiders— whose self-titled debut was conceived almost entirely by frontman Mark Ryan during downtime from his gig in the Denton, TX., outfit Marked Men– don’t present themselves as a particularly careful or calculating act. Playing fast and loose, Mind Spiders exist in a universe where the Flaming Sideburns never crumbled under the weight of garage rock revival excitement, where pulse-quickening legends Jay Reatard and (fellow Dirtnap Records alums) the Exploding Hearts never met their tragic ends. The songs on Mind Spiders are energetic but not in-your-face, fun but not goofy, sharp but not stifled, wild but not boorish. In essence, it’s a rock record that pulls no punches, and it’s all the more endearing because of it. Mind Spiders define their sound right out of the gate, sporting tightly-wound, zoetropic riffs that sound blasted from sand-filled amps. There’s also a touch of B-movie fetishism thrown in– sci-fi sound effects are not just fillers; they carry melodies, with mummy-movie organs and squiggly ray-gun feedback contributing some Plan 9 camp. Add a little glammy pomp and a healthy amount of the Ramones’ bop, and you’ve got a ripping collection of songs.

They have recently played Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin,  won best punk band at the Dallas Observer Music Awards, and have already been selected as an official showcase band for SXSW 2012.  They have a new record, Meltdown, that was released on February 20th, 2012, to a rave review from Pitchfork.

The Marked Men was formed in Denton, Texas by members of the Reds. Following two releases on Rip Off Records, Reds bassist Chris Pulliam moved to Japan and the remaining members, Jeff Burke, Mark Throneberry and Mike Ryan, formed the Marked Men with bassist Joe Ayoub. The band has since released music through Mortville, Rip Off, Dirtnap and most recently signed with John Reis’ label Swami Records.

For fans of Bass Drum Of Death, Fugazi, Wavves


No rookies to SXSW, Anamanaguchi is a four-piece melodic, 8-bit rock band from Brooklyn, New York. Combining raw guitars and thrashing drums with a glitchy digital soundscape, they create a powerful, energetic sound that rests somewhere between organic and robotic. The band, started in 2003 by then 15-year-old Peter Berkman, released their debut POWER SUPPLY EP on the New York DIY label 8bitpeoples in 2006. In 2009 the lineup solidified with bassist James DeVito, Ary Warnaar on guitar & gameboy, and Luke Silas on drums and they released their second EP, DAWN METROPOLIS.

Anamanaguchi embodies the triumph over youthful suburban boredom through house shows, pizza parties, and late night video game sessions with friends in the same way the Beach Boys did through cars, babes, and surfing.

They provided a brand new 24-song soundtrack to the SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD video game (accompanying the NBC/Universal film) that was released on August 10th, 2010 by Ubisoft Montreal for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Abkco Music & Records digitally released the official soundtrack on August 24th, 2010 debuting at No. 3 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart (aka New Artist in SoundScan).

Last summer, they released a series of singles for free download from their website, each complete with original frenetic, seizure-inducing animated cover art and an accompanying b-side.

They are hyped and ready to party.

For fans of: Crystal Castles, Ratatat, Zedd



Blouse is based out of a warehouse in Portland, Oregon. The project started in the summer of 2010, after Los Angeles native Charlie Hilton met Patrick Adams in art school. They began spending nights at the warehouse recording with Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Jacob Portrait. After posting two demo tracks to Bandcamp, the group was picked up by Captured Tracks out of Brooklyn, NY. The first 7″ single Into Black was released March of this year by Captured Tracks. Sub Pop Records released their second single Shadow two months later. The full-length record will be released on Captured Tracks November 7th

This self-titled debut LP will show Blouse in a new light and to a larger audience. The album is more of an unveiling as each song rolls out the map of new territory that Blouse is claiming, this new wavy sound that is all their own. Hiltons’ powerfully alluring voice guides this experience in a dream-like manner. Blouse has hit their stride with this release and will have listeners beckoning for more.

For fans of: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Computer Magic, Bleached









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