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SXSW 2009 & Opinions on Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Jim and Greg report back from the annual SXSW Music Festival with their predictions on the next big thing in rock. Plus, they review the new album from New York indie rock group Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

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SXSW 2009

On this episode Jim and Greg give their annual South By Southwest reports. Our hosts head down to Austin, TX every year to check out new bands and learn about what's happening on the business end of things. While most folks spend their days frolicking at outdoor parties, Jim and Greg go from conference room to conference room to hear about industry trends. One panel Jim attended focused on the state of independent labels. He was struck by the suggestion that indie labels might have to sign artists to deals similar to corporate 360 deals in order to survive. Greg understands why artists who aren't at a Radiohead level might want a small support system to get their music made and heard.

Another buzzword at this year's festival is the "darknet," which refers to a looming state where data is shared in a closed, unregulated virtual market. Greg describes how industry analysts are looking at the digital music business and see implications beyond the industry. To them, the future of democracy is at stake!

While many SXSW attendees fret about product distribution, Jim and Greg attended a discussion dedicated to one single release: The Neil Young box set. Fans have anxiously been awaiting such a collection, and this summer they‘ll not only get Young’s music, but the capability to dive into Young's archive and future archive.

Of course, it's not all work at the SXSW Music Festival. Jim and Greg check out as much new music as they can. And with more than 1800 bands playing during the four-day affair, they had a lot to choose from. Now they've returned home with some new favorites for you to check out.

reviewIt's Blitz! (Deluxe Edition)It's Blitz! available on iTunes

Yeah Yeah Yeahs It's Blitz!

It was only eight years ago that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs appeared at SXSW. Now, they have their third record out called It's Blitz! Jim and Greg agree that lead singer Karen O is a stage performer like none other. But, she's only 1/3 of the band. Drummer Brian Chase and guitarist Nick Zinner also have a major impact on the band's sound. So, as Jim points out, it's remarkable that they‘d want to“mess”with the two other important elements. Chase’s drumming is less frenetic, and Zinner has added synths to his repertoire. Jim thinks the change is not only courageous, but successful and gives It's Blitz! a Buy It rating. Greg not only hears a shift in sound, but a new sense of introspection. He is reminded of the band's emotional 2003 single "Maps." Greg also gives the Yeah Yeah Yeahs a Buy It.


Featured Songs

  1. Wavves, No Hope Kids, Wavvves, Fat Possum, 2009
  2. Handsome Furs, Evangeline, Face Control, Sub Pop, 2009
  3. Handsome Furs, All We Want, Baby, Is Everything, Face Control, Sub Pop, 2009
  4. An Horse, Horizons, Rearrange Beds, Mom + Pop Music, 2009
  5. Handsome Furs, Passport Kontrol, Face Control, Sub Pop, 2009
  6. Red Red Meat, "Flank", Jimmywine Majestic, Sub Pop, 1993
  7. Red Red Meat, Carpet of Horses, Bunny Gets Paid, Sub Pop, 1995
  8. Ebony Bones, W.A.R.R.I.O.R., Bone of My Bones, Sunday Best, 2009
  9. She Creatures, Space Madness, 2009, Space Madness / Radar, Hey Girl!, 2009
  10. Kap Bambino,“Acid Eyes”Red Sign / Acid Eyes, Because Music, 2008
  11. Kid Cudi Vs. Crookers, Day ‘N’ Nite (Crookers Instrumental), Day ‘N’ Nite, TIME, 2008
  12. Yelle, Ce Jeu, Pop Up, Source etc., 2007
  13. Yelle, A Cause des Garcons, Pop Up, Source etc., 2007
  14. St. Vincent, The Strangers, Actor, 4AD, 2009
  15. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Zero, It's Blitz, Interscope, 2009
  16. Yeah Yeah Yeahs,“Heads Will Roll,”It's Blitz!, 2009
  17. Yeah Yeah Yeahs,“Hysteric,”It's Blitz!, 2009
  18. Kraftwerk, The Telephone Call, Electric Cafe, Warner Bros., 1986
  19. Bush, Everything Zen, Sixteen Stone, Trauma, 1994
  20. Dave Matthews Band, So Much to Say, Crash, RCA, 1996

Footnotes What is the "Darknet"? Neil Young Archives to be released this summer Handsome Furs An Horse Ebony Bones Red Red Meat Kap Bambino She Creatures St. Vincent Yelle Yeah Yeah Yeahs