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Holiday Shores is an interesting band. The music they make is pop-tastic, verging on the edge of rock and roll. Hard hit drums and discordant sounds fill the band’s sound with texture and give it an edge that separates them from the pack.

These Floridians make a jangly racket, and you can hear it even amid all the clatter of this recording- live from the best show at SXSW: the Underwater Peoples Ranch Show on night 1. The set was “captured by a 20 year old alarm clock/boombox,” tweeted the band. WORD.

A particularly fuzzy and perfect sounding recording is the track “Keyboard Song.” Listen below and get the whole set here.

Also, if you’re new to the band, you MUST listen to their “You Ain’t Goin Nowhere” cover. That’s a Bob Dylan song they did for Daytrotter.


I am not sure who made this video but it’s the best and most beautiful that i’ve seen of Mountain Man. Shot in Austin, Texas in March 2010.

Listen to the birds chirping… or is that the WOMEN? Hard to tell. Impossible to know.

Mountain Man haunt my dreams, still. When the album comes out- from the first drop of the needle until the last breath taken- I will listen and hold my own breath…Fearful of letting go.

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Pill Wonder at the UP Ranch, SXSW 2010

Pill Wonder‘s LP has basically been living on the turntable. Watch this video for the live experience, which is truly different from the one you get listening at home. There’s so much going on. I LOVE two drummers. It’s not overkill at all.

This was shot and edited by Samantha Cornwell at MICRO-PIXEL-RITES’ SXSW Showcase way back in March.

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Those in attendance at MICRO-PIXEL-RITES were given the rare opportunity of seeing a stripped down Alex Bleeker and the Freaks set. Missing was lead guitarist Alex Craig of Big Troubles, and in his place, Real Estate drummer Etienne Duguay, on the big red bongo.

I like Bleeker as the lone guitar player. It makes his melodies the center of attention, and brings Martin Courtney’s smart as hell bass playing out from behind a wall of sound. Courtney is a skilled bass player, as well as songwriter, clearly. He doesn’t just anchor the songs, he moves around the neck a lot. What he plays could be sung by a back-up vocalist.

Visitation Rites has another memory, Family Portrait doing “Waitberry.” As Emilie reflects, it’s hard to believe this was nearly a month ago. A lot, and nothing, has changed.

“Getting By” is off the just released Group Tightener 7″ “These Days.” Get it here. Download “Getting By.”

Alex Bleeker: “Getting By”


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Yeah, I know, these memories are a little out of order. But that’s how memories are remembered, yes? Without further blah blah’s, here’s Cloud Nothings, a band I really love for their utter infectiousness. Shot by the awesome Samantha Cornwell.

Also, you may not know this song…

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After much anticipation, we present RANGERS, in what was just their second live performance ever. Soothe yourself with these underwater jams. Imagine yourself swimming on waves on synth. And guess what? Pretty soon you’re going to be able to start swimming for real. It’s going to be 88 degrees today in Brooklyn.

PS- Check out the heady jams and the matching headstock on the bass player’s cherry red Fender! Wooooo.

This is a pretty good example of how the best parts of SXSW felt. A little twisted, a lot hot. You know?

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Hey, hey!!

The MICRO-PIXEL-RITES Showcase was truly a fucking rad experience, as has been reported all over Twitter, the Internets, etc. etc. I can’t really add much except to say I drank a ton of beer, smiled a lot, got a sun burn, wore many hats throughout the day (literally and figuratively) and found out that Dana Jewell thinks i’m cute, and we’ve never met! Woo!

My ladies Emilie (Visitation Rites) and Elise (Pixelhorse) have both posted great reports:

We the ladies of MICRO-PIXEL-RITES are glowing as if in basking in the moment after childbirth. Although we’ve been ripped, zipped, and stitched back together, we are forever grateful for the miracle we have been allowed to bestow upon this earth.

See pics at Pixelhorse….

The Micro-Pixel-Rites’ SXSW debut on Thursday, March 18 was a family affair — and not only because it united a host of musicians, label people, and “blogger types” who were already acquainted either online and off. Even if you rolled up to a sea of strange faces, the afternoon was so long and the summer camp vibe was so strong that you were pretty much bound to leave feeling like you had known everyone there since you braved your first cannonball off the dock. I know we are adults now, but it was just that kind of day.

Read more from Emilie and see more pics at Visitation Rites…

There will be more pics coming soon for the always awesome Erez Avissar, so stay tuned for those. We’re also posting what we’re lovingly calling our SXSW “memories,” videos of each band performing that fateful and amazing day.

Memory 1: No Demons Here

Memory 2: Big Troubles

Stay tuned to MICRO-PIXEL-RITES for more memories to come!

Also, see Liz Pelly’s video for Brooklyn Vegan of the high-energy Cleveland boys Cloud Nothings:

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The music of Mountain Man is likely performed best in fields, on back porches, in yards and on prairies and mountain tops– or in church basements. The beautiful and harmonic three-part harmonies of Molly, Amelia and Alex ring the most true unamplified and untouched by the tech that can harm them. At the Longbranch Inn Underwater Peoples SXSW show, the women in Mountain Man did what they had to do in the face of technical difficulties: turned the technics OFF.

At first when the microphones were feeding back and interrupting my enjoyment of “Animal Tracks” I didn’t know how Mountain Man was going to handle it. There was nervousness on their faces. Their eyes darted back and forth around the room, from the mics and to each other and at Ari and Sawyer in the front row. And then, the women said “fuck this” and pulled the mic stands to the back of the stage and announced triumphantly that they’d be singing un-amplified. The entire room heaved a collective sigh of relief. After just a few moments the bar was mostly quiet and the crowd was on the ground.

Only power and beauty can do that.

I hope these pictures have captured a bit of the magic from that room.

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The MICRO-PIXEL-RITES, “Sisters Doin’ It For Themselves” SXSW Showcase was documented and is being presented one memory at a time. These memories were shot by 2/3 of MICRO-PIXEL-RITES (Emilie and Elise), and Visitation Rites contributor and all-around swell gal Samantha Cornwell.

Here’s Memory #2, Big Troubles doing “Slouch.” If you weren’t there this will magically transport you. Can you feel the sun? It was nice and warm…

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It kinda makes total sense that of course the best SXSW show I saw actually went down about 30 minutes outside the madness of downtown Austin. Yes, I’m talking about the infamous Underwater Peoples Ranch show. The dudes of UP rented a big ranch with a huge yard and an even more huge bed. At night bugs that resembled fluffy cotton floated through the air. It didn’t really matter that it was close to 40 degrees because when the bands played you forgot and continued drinking.

I saw some of the best bands at SXSW there too… Sleepover, Reading Rainbow, Pill Wonderrrrr. Check the slideshow below for pics of those bands and more, as well as some homies (bloggers) you may recognize. Austin, I don’t miss you. But the ranch? That shit was comfortable.

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