Tag Archives: Fanfarlo

KCRW Announces Day and Evening SXSW Showcases

KCRW’s Official Night Showcase – Wed, March 17


Also, KCRW is hosting an Official Day Showcase for the first time at the Convention Center on SATURDAY, MARCH 20 from noon to 3pm. We know you need some incentive to get up before noon on a Saturday and we have it – the always excellent ROGUE WAVE, Australian buzz band THE MIDDLE EAST (in one of their first U.S. performances before Coachella), and the soaring vocals and rockin’ revival of Fat Possum artist LISSIE.

Fanfarlo on the move

YouTube Preview Image

Over the last few months, via the musical grapevine, the band Fanfarlo has kept reappearing on my radar. But it wasn’t until visiting the UK in October that I actually heard them for the first time. I was able to catch them at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, where I was initially only there to catch opening act First Aid Kit. After settling on the fact that I could walk away completely satisfied after their set, Fanfarlo took the stage. While on record they sound a bit harnessed and calculated, their live show illuminates their talent enthusiastically. Created by ex-Swede Simon Balthazar, the six-piece band is based out of London and has been actively touring Europe and the US on their debut record Reservoir throughout 2009. They also just played CMJ and have again been added to the SXSW 2010 roster.

Balthazar sings with a sweet and bold voice (similar to that of Beirut’s Zach Condon) and is backed by an amazing group who each play multiple instruments to form a big full sound, reminding me of the Arcade Fire. Have a listen, but more importantly, check out some live footage.

Fanfarlo has recently been recording a number of “Laptop Sessions” where they perform covers. You can find those here, as well as some music videos.

SXSW Day 3: Little Boots, The Hold Steady, The Low Anthem

Started the day off at the Pitchfork party. Caught Girls (ok), and then it was onto Little Boots. Her set had a lot of energy, was a ton of fun, and if my schedule permits I’d even try to see her again today. Think Annie meets Lykke Li.

Little Boots at SXSW 2009 3.20.09
Blurry Little Boots

It was then onto The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. This was their 7th show in 3 days during SXSW, but they played it as if they were fresh as daisies. Believe the hype on them.

After that it was off to the music blogger hosted event, Hot Freaks. Caught some of Port O’Brien and The Thermals until it was time for the epic set by The Hold Steady, the band in which I stole a lyric from to name this year’s donewaiting.com SXSW coverage.

Okay, now the thing I’ve noticed at previous Hold Steady shows is there’s usually 20 fans that are a little more excited than the rest of the crowd. Granted, everyone in the crowd is excited, but these are super fans. So when you’re at SXSW, a festival that is drawing people from all over the world, when you see The Hold Steady you have a crowd made up of those 20 fans from everywhere. The energy was amazing. There was so much joy in that tent while the band played (close to 20 songs), it gave me chills.

The Hold Steady photo stolen from chromewaves

I went back to the Central Presbyterian Church in the evening and caught Fanfarlo. The band didn’t catch my interest in the beginning of their set, but by the end I was warming up to them. I saw them sell a ton of CDs after their set, so they’re definitely doing something right.

Now it’s time to talk about The Low Anthem. One of the greatest things about SXSW is seeing a band you know nothing about and falling in love with them. This year, The Low Anthem is that band for me. The band is made up of three people who were all amazing multi-instrumentalists, switching instruments constantly during their set. And man can they sing too. A lot of their songs have a noir-y fold sound to them, but there was at least 2 songs where they busted out some real soulful music, too. Check out their website to stream some of their music to hear what I’m talking about. As soon as I get home I’m ordering all their stuff.

MP3: Charlie Darwin by The Low Anthem

Closed down the evening watching the Eugene Mirman and John Wesley Harding Cabinet of Wonders show. This event featured Eugene and John performing with special guests in between. Alina Simone, Todd Barry and Sally Crewe were a few of them that played early on the set. At that point of the evening the music from the venues surrounding them sort of bled into what they were doing so it was a little difficult to follow, but if the tour comes through your area I would definitely check it out.

– Yes, Metallica played. Chip Midnight was there and he took some video.
– Reuters ran an article about the blogger panel I was on.