Posts Tagged ‘SXSW Dallas Style’

Brit Shane Lawlor, frontman of Austin band Electric Touch, tells us about Edgefest excitement, and the best thing Texas has to offer

Posted by    |    April 8th, 2011 at 10:57 am

Americans are good for our obsessions with rock & roll music and British accents. The band Electric Touch is an all-in-one package wrapped in vinyl and tied with a guitar string. Fresh from a stint at SXSW and moving toward, oh you know, Coachella; the Austin-based band is steadily lighting the music world on fire one supercharged stage at a time. We caught up with frontman Shane Lawlor to see how he’s handling the perpetual stage-hopping.  And to hear him speak.

Alright – why did you jump ship from London to the states, and land in Austin, of all places?

I was a bit of a musician ever since I was in school really; I was in a band in England, and we got signed in America. I always wanted to follow my dreams and come [to America] to play rock & roll music. I fell in love with the place, and I met Christopher, our lead guitarist. It was complete chance that it happened; twist of fate, really, and we just ended up staying in Austin. I like it here a lot; when we got signed to Island [Records] we did some time in New York, and New York was wonderful. We moved to LA to record with Howard Benson, (Grammy-nominated Producer of the Year) and we just got back to Texas at the start of the year, so it feels like coming home, really. You come to Texas, and people are just friendly. (more…)

Breaking up can be fun when you’re really good at channeling anger and heartache into sickeningly catchy songs

Posted by    |    April 1st, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Smile Smile is a tear in your chest that gets bigger with each lyric, until your entire heart is exposed and bleeding the words “I told you so.” Ryan and Jencey took a decidedly thorough approach to calling themselves “Smile Smile” because that’s all we can do when we listen to their happy, cutting lyrics. Upon first listen, it’s, “alright! Let’s dance!” and second listen is when you hear the harmonic hurt and spiteful melodies of a relationship gone wrong. Good times.

Curious to hear their bitter banter after years of being in a band together? It’s quite endearing. YouPlusDallas had Smile Smile in our studios before SXSW to have them play a new song for us, which you can hear in the video above.

“These wonderful people dated, broke up, and now they write songs about it. Doesn’t that sound like fun?” is the introduction for Smile Smile’s SXSW showcase at the Continental Club in Austin. Opening song “Somebody Else” starts with a simple acoustic intro under a song detailing one half of a couple duping the other into believing who they might be, and the proper way to respond to the situation. Which may or may not be to drink heavily and phone the other’s best friend.

Listen to this. Kinda makes you want to pick a fight with your significant other, doesn’t it?

The Orbans SXSW Showcase

Posted by    |    March 28th, 2011 at 2:46 pm

The SXSW music festival kicked of Wednesday, March 16, and YouPlusDallas was hanging out at Speakeasy on Congress to see one of our favorite musical acts grace the stage. “We’re The Orbans, we are from Fort Worth, and we’d like to thank you for helping us kick off this kick ass week,” said lead singer Peter Black. (more…)

Interview with Producer Lee Clay for Dallas International Film Festival film, Beautiful Boy

Posted by    |    March 25th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Theirs is the story that no parent ever wishes to tell. A married couple on the verge of separation must endure the numbing news that their only son carried out a mass shooting at his University, and took his own life. This is the story of Beautiful Boy, starring Michael Sheen and Maria Bello. YouPlusDallas talks with Producer Lee Clay about his film, which will screen at the Dallas International Film Festival this Spring.

Tell me about your reaction when you found out Beautiful Boy would be screening at DIFF.

I was extremely excited, being from Dallas, I was very happy to be able to kind of bring the movie home, so to speak. Dallas is a great secondary market for distributors, and I feel like this is a movie that will hopefully speak to the Dallas community and possibly shine a light on parenting kids in the Dallas community. (more…)

The O’s SXSW Showcase makes us want to book trip out West

Posted by    |    March 25th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Picture how a Western movie feels, and the exposition for this article is set. Stephen F’s Bar at the Intercontinental Hotel makes me feel like I left my corset and bouffant hair at home. Not that I have a go-to bouffant hairstyle, because I don’t. But if I did, this would be the place to bust it out.

Climbing the spiral staircase, a man with the stature of Ulysses S. Grant stands at the top. “Are you Taylor?” I ask, having never before met. The O’s visited our YouPlusDallas studios the previous week, but I wasn’t able to meet them due to geeking out at SXSWi. Taylor tells me about their time at our office – learning about the building’s history as the former location of Dallas Observer, a car showroom, and a radio station – where the news of JFK’s assassination was spread.

“I’ve never seen you guys play before, so you better do a good job,” I tell him. “Well then we’ll put on a good show for you. We were going to do a mediocre show, but now we’ll put some effort into it,” he jokes, and goes to help John, his musical other half, set the stage for their SXSW showcase. “We’re The O’s from Dallas, Texas, and we’re very pleased to be here. I like to think of us as a couple of classy dudes, and this is a classy place. Thanks for having us,” said Taylor. (more…)

Have a pen ready

Posted by    |    March 21st, 2011 at 8:54 pm

I would like to preface this story with a contractual obligation:

I (state your name) promise to refer this story to all parties whom I believe would be interested in the following topic.

Good. Thank you. You may now continue reading.

It’s a perfect night for the SXSW Music Festival to kick off – YouPlusDallas is at Lustre Pearl talking with Nelo about their band bond, and how they liken it to using the bathroom. (They said it, not me.) Lead singer Matt Ragland is rocking a new haircut, a contrast from our acoustic interview a few days prior. “I’m screwing it up, aren’t I?” he says of YouPlusDallas’ continuity. Never. (more…)

Astronautalis takes over SXSW and leaves his laptop at home

Posted by    |    March 21st, 2011 at 6:37 pm

With a name like “Easy Tiger,” you’d think the venue would be simple to locate, but you’d be wrong. Found on the far East end of 6th Street, the only signal that we are in the right place is a tiny sign above a doorway that spells out the name in unlit block lettering. A guy in glasses stands below it, texting, and I know YouPlusDallas is at the correct venue. “Of all the artists I am speaking with at SXSW,” I say to the man in horn-rimmed glasses, “I am most interested in talking with you.”

SMU grad Andy Bothwell, known onstage as Astronautalis, is playing his SXSW showcase tonight. Standing before the camera, about to ask a few questions of my fellow Mustang, it looks like we coordinated outfits. “Hey, you guys are both wearing indie clothing,” our cinematographer points out. “Yes, we do look very independent,” Bothwell jokes. I can rally for an artist who pokes fun at the English language even more than I do, which is exactly what Bothwell does for a living. A champion wordsmith, Mr. Wordplay himself, Jason Mraz, is a fan of Bothwell’s verbose styling. (more…)

Sarah Jaffe does not live in a jewelry store

Posted by    |    March 21st, 2011 at 1:46 pm

All that I want in life is to see Sarah Jaffe. At 9:12PM outside of Momo’s, a very long line forms for Dallas’ songstress, and there is seemingly no way I will ever make it inside the venue. Except I have a determination similar to an upstream swimming salmon; that, and a press pass. A genuine product of society’s crooked nature, Jaffe’s craft is a gritty and eloquent truthfulness.

To explain Sarah Jaffe, I need something more than a precious stone reference. ‘A diamond in the rough’ means about as much as a bird in the hand equaling roughly the exact amount of two similar birds residing in a bush. I need a phrase that resonates. Something that highlights Jaffe in bright yellow, separating her from a textbook paragraph of black-and-white singer-songwriters. (more…)

SXSWi: Title too explicit for FCC regulations

Posted by    |    March 17th, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Thanks to the blunt humor of one William Hurley (known on the internet as Whurley) the FCC will not allow me to post the title of this interactive workshop in this post. But I will link to it. A former recruiter at IBM turned all-star with the invention of his team’s app The Daily, and current CTO of Chaotic Moon Studios, he and his panel of recruiters and developers share advice on navigating the dreaded job search.

The dreaded “Social Recruiting” topic

Clean up your Facebook. “What kind of pictures would you say won’t get me the job?” Whurley questioned his panel. “That’s going to be a personal decision for sure,” said recruiter Jennings. “I contact folks through [social media]. Do I want my client to see [that you’ve been arrested at a party]? No. I’m pretty honest with my clients.”


SXSW Music Keynote Speaker Bob Geldof on pop music: The Proliferation of Avatars and the Congregation Behind the Mask

Posted by    |    March 17th, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Disheveled is a good word for one of Ireland’s most celebrated lyricists. A tired Bob Geldof is speaking at a press conference following his SXSW Music Keynote. “Does anyone ask questions, or what?” he asks of the press, and hands appear in the air. Inquiring minds want to hear his music opinions voiced in a soothing accent, peppered with F bombs that rampantly drop over the discussion. “How would you compare this era musically to something you’ve seen in the past?” Glee is shooting up the charts, and the pandemic that is Lady Gaga has an entire generation referring to itself as “little monsters.” “Gaga is really interesting – it’s good art,” Geldof answers. But a culture needs something other than Stefani Germanotta’s McQueen-designed garments to cling to. “[Gaga is] reflecting an idea of a part of her personality.” Her fame masks an individual too powerless to harness a cult following. “You create avatars.” Geldof says. That is something society can gravitate toward. (more…)