Tag Archives: SXSW

Poetic Memory: Tahiti 80 (List)

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MP3: Tahiti 80 – Crack Up (Extended)

South By Southwest is upon us, and many of our fair city’s finest bands are playing hometown sendoffs before heading to Texas.

Tahiti 80, on the other hand, are 5,000 miles away from their native France, so they don’t have the luxury of playing to an adoring hometown crowd before the Big Gig. They will, however, have the luxury of playing this Saturday’s Rumble, where San Diegans will nonetheless shower the Parisian popsters with praise.

The sextet is known for its danceable brand of indie pop that combines live instrumentation with electronic elements and airy vocals, and its songs have been described by Pitchfork as “creamy dreamy delicacies.”

On February 22, Tahiti 80 released The Past, The Present, and The Possible, the kind of album that can brighten even the darkest of days. If you buy the album at Saturday’s Rumble, it’ll help you beat the blues while your rich friends are partying without you in Austin. In anticipation of their show, Tahiti 80 frontman Xavier Boyer sent us a list of his influences. Check it out below…

Sharon Van Etten Shares the Love

MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Don’t Do It”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Love More”

Sharon Van Etten‘s 2010 effort, Epic, wound up on more year-end lists than she could count on two hands — winning over influential outlets like NPR, The LA Times, Stereogum, and The Washington Post. But while Van Etten was surely happy to receive the praise, the Brooklyn songstress was also busy doing other things, like recording a new soon-to-be best album of the year in the garage of The National‘s Aaron Dessner.

Van Etten credits her success to a “relentless” 2010 touring schedule, and she plans for 2011 to be no different: she recently confirmed a headlining U.S. tour that includes a European stint with The National, three days at SxSW, and a gig at San Diego’s Soda Bar. More information on her new album is yet to be released, but for the full list of tour dates, see below. Continue reading…

Poetic Memory: Gun Runner (List)

After returning to San Diego from Berklee School of Music, Sean Davenport wanted to get a band together, so he got in touch with his old friend Diego Rojano. In late 2009, Davenport and Rojano recruited local songwriter Tommy Graf (guitar) and Carlos Ortiz (drums), and they formed Gun Runner.

Since then, they’ve drawn from a variety of influences — including Wilco, Pavement, and Sonic Youth — to create a unique sound. This year, they released the excellent EP Bad Neighbors, an interesting work that evokes the psychedelic blues of Bob Dylan’s 2007 masterpiece, Time out of Mind.

Davenport’s soulful voice isn’t much like Dylan’s though, and that’s a good thing. Tracks like “Zelda” find him repeating “I can make this all better for you,” as if he’s been telling it to a few beers. Meanwhile, the reverb-laden instrumentation frames his half-drunk delivery. On the nostalgic “2 out of 3,” where choral intro harmonies are juxtaposed against Rojano’s lilting bass and Davenport’s voice, Gun Runner creates a kind of zombie R&B. It’s well worth a few listens, and you can stream it on MySpace or purchase it on iTunes.

Gun Runner will open for Maren Parusel at the Belly Up Tavern on Tuesday, August 31. While you wait, check out their Poetic Memory (below).