SXSW Edition: Top 5 Songs for March 2011
March is the luckiest month of the year! Not only do you have the luck of the Irish smiling upon you but also, the mecca of all the hottest up-and- coming musicians descend on Austin, TX in hopes of being discovered as the next big thing. What is this mecca? South-by-Southwest Festival. More than 2000 performers play in 90 different venues during this glorious week (3/11-3/20) and I have narrowed down 5 acts and 5 songs just for you. Check out the 5 and VOTE for your favorite song below. Also, for performance times at SXSW, please click on their websites. Congratulations to Jeffrey Slape who won February’s Top 5 songs just beating out Slow Runner.
1. “THE REVIVAL” – JAMESTOWN REVIVAL Seriously, if I could pick all 4 songs from their Knives and Pipes EP and put them in this Top 5 list, I would. Americana, roots, and a genuine old-timey feel, old friends Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance joined forces only six months ago in Austin, TX that has grown a buzz louder than an angry swarm of bees. Already, they are in the running to make the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. Thank you to Amanda Brown for the great find! Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Download
2. “THE LADDER” – ANDREW BELLE This has unequivocally been one of the best songs on my iPod for over a year. Discovered from a tweet from mega-producer Charlie Peacock, I have put this on so many of my friends’ mix CD’s (yes, I still make them! :)) and this is always THE favorite. Andrew’s gentle voice is flawlessly layered over a perfect blend of piano, banjo, light beat and instruments I probably couldn’t identify. “The Ladder” begs for you to hit repeat indefinitely and get lost for a little while in its perfection. Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Download
3. “KNOCK KNOCK” – MAC MILLER This song is so insanely offensive from this up-and-coming rapper but it is impossibly catchy. Having a bed of a 50′s inspired sweetly sung ditty, these white boy rappers kick into full swing rapping about weed, ho’s, and alcohol and other things even this Jersey-bred girl can’t even bear to mention. Even crazier, the guy is 17 years old from Pittsburgh. I played the “clean” version as a pump-up song at work and the entire office was singing it for the next few hours and all went to download it. Caution: you might find your car’s hydraulics bouncing a la Coolio. Thanks to Nick Tapp for finding this. Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Download
4. “WHALE” – YELLOW OSTRICH This New York, NY duo made up of Alex Schaaf and Michael Tapper begins “Whale” with foreboding drums and starts layering in perfectly harmonized “ohs” until it builds into its full stride. Even broken down when midway through the song, the drums cut out and leave you with an irresistibly rhythmic song that is imaginative and fresh. Offering their album The Mistress on a “pay what you want” mode on their Bandcamp website, Yellow Ostrich is one of my favorite new finds. Thank you to @minutrition for sending me this one! Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Download
5. “FOR TODAY” – JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD I saw Jessica open for Ray LaMontagne four years ago. What I didn’t realize is that she was only 17 at the time. Now 21, I just read an article in Spin Magazine that she is a precocious bad-ass that likes to instigate danger. If you listen to her music, it’s a completely different tune. She sings sweetly as a singer/songwriter and “For Today” is about that all too familiar feeling of when you stoically employ self-talk to convince you are over someone but it’s just for today. Sadness and dark lyrics sprinkle her musical library. She’s brilliant. Official Website | Facebook | Featured on Free SXSW Sampler | Download
For the history on SXSW, click here.
For more music musings, stalk RadioPotato at Facebook, Twitter, RadioPotato’s RSS Feed, and at music news super-site, The Silver Tongue where I’m a contributor. Thanks for checking the music out and as always, support emerging artists!