Killer Parties Almost Killed Me - Oh My Rockness

Rockness Recommends

Killer Parties Almost Killed Me

March 13, 2006
You can count on Insound to throw a killer party in Austin every year. But they've never put on anything quite like their 2006 SXSW fiesta. The almost impossibly solid St. Paddy's Day line-up includes Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Serena Maneesh, Pink Moutaintops, The Boy Least Likely To and Love is All. Not only are all 5 of these bands buzzing really hard, but there's free beer and BBQ too! Plus, it's only 2 bucks to get in. God bless these guys.

NYC's Clap Your Hands Say Yeah has become the poster band for the power of online hype. Everyone pretty much now knows the story...unsigned band builds big buzz off of a few music blogs and mp3 websites. The hype continues until, seemingly all of the sudden, they are playing for David Bowie and selling out 1000+ capacity venues in the US and abroad. Of course, none of this really happened overnight (it took about three nights), but their rapid rise was attributed to seemingly everything except their talent. And the truth is these guys are talented. Sure they sound like a strange mutation of Talking Heads and Bob Dylan, but at least they don't sound like Joy Division, right? Maybe that initial hype is dying down a bit, but their songs are just getting started.

Norway's Serena Maneesh can, at times, be musically manic-depressive. Sometimes they rock high and sometimes they rock low. Most of the time, they are a purely guttural band out to slay you with their spiky guitars, dangerous rhythms, and distorted samples. But the band does have their lonely moments of reflection, incorporating sparse piano hymns, flutes and hushed, dark atmospherics, between instrumental explosions. Not too many bands can kill you with feedback AND flutes. If that's not musically manic-depressive, I don't know what is.

Pink Mountaintops is the guy from Black Mountain, who received recording help from the other members of Black Mountain. So yeah, Pink Mountaintops are sorta Black Mountain.

There's nothing that gets a party started better than glockenspiels, handclaps, recorders, banjos and synths. England's The Boy Least Likely To (how did that band name make the final cut, I wonder?) are definitely a party band, regardless if their songs have a strange preoccupation with dying young. Think of these sunshine guys as a slightly less spunky version of The Go! Team or Belle & Sebastian without the pathos. If you were going to ride on a Magic Bus somewhere warm, The Boy Least Likely To is who you should have blasting from the 8-track.

Sweden's Love is All play post-punk that prefers "fun" and "jangly" over "angst" and "gloomy." Of course you probably already know that, considering the name they chose for their band. What I hear most when listening to Love is All is The Wedding Present's strums with a happier temperament. Love is All's music defies these cynical times, making them the most optimistic of rebels.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Serena Maneesh, Pink Mountaintops, The Boy Least Likely To, and Love is All play Club Deville, Friday, March 17th.


Get new SXSW announcements, free show info, ticket giveaways and more...