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Posts Tagged ‘operation every band’

SXSW Baby Podcast: Kevin McStravick (Operation Every Band)

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

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Friend of The Baby Kevin McStravick talks to Ewan about Operation Every Band, the quest to listen and rate every band playing at SXSW this year.

Follow the SXSW Baby blog for more South by Southwest fun, and what we’re up to on the ground via Twitter and @SXSWbaby. Got news about SXSW for us? Get in touch via SXSW Baby’s contact form! Don’t forget to follow the podcast via the RSS feed!

Another musical selectionbox from Operation Every Band

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

This week has been all about the numbers as the band list grows (and shrinks) on a daily basis.  In fact, hundreds of artists will end up dropping off the roster after spending some time as an official SXSW artist.  There have already been some huge names that won’t end up heading to Austin this year (Alex Clare, Alt-J, Aloe Blacc, Amon Tobin…and that is just in A’s) as well as many of our favorite under-the-radar artists.

When it comes to “the fallen”, stories range from financing issues, visa disputes and scheduling conflicts, but it does seem that artists post “with a heavy heart” when they need to announce that they will not be able to join in the fray.  So we don’t lose the recommendation, you can find most of the former SXSW showcasers on The Spreadsheet coded in grey.

On the other hand, excellent artists are being added daily without the hint of an announcement.  The Operation Every Band crew has been diligently adding the latest additions to our own spreadsheet, so we’ll consistently have a running count available.  At this point, we can confidently say over 75% of the roster has been announced, but historically many of the bigger names don’t make their way onto the roster until pretty late in the game.

By the end of the month, 99% of the roster will be locked in and OEB is setting their listening and rating deadline for then.  By beating the clock by about two weeks, we’ll be able to provide some additional insight and reflection on what the story of SXSW 2013 will be before it is written.

For now, I have some ripe OEB recommendations from pop, rock and folk fields.  Be on lookout for all five of these artists to break out internationally in varying degrees — this is one of our strongest highlights yet.

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Some more musical highlights from OEB from SXSW Music 2012

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Operation Every Band is currently ahead of schedule, so the completion date looks to be March 1st, which should allow some extra time for some extra SXSW goodies, and let us concentrating on hooking up our donators with the OEB SXSW 2013 Gift Box (with our personal schedule grids).

It’ll be an extremely heavy schedule on the site until then, so stay tuned for an avalanche of new artist recommendations. With over half the expected 2000 bands reviewed, there have been some more trends that have worked their way to the forefront.  One of which this year is that I expect to see more artists trying to meld organic and electronic instrumentation into a single, coherent sound. From Flunk to Connor Youngblood to Indians, there’s something new at work here that should open up all sorts of musical opportunities.

In fact, it has gotten to a point that new pop music is expected to be complex and even challenging, best displayed by acts like Gotye and fun. breaking out last year.  Rarely are the great artists of 2013 throwing back to the past, rather they are trying to build their own niche to exist in the future.

And now, our recommendations this week cover the musical spectrum, from the dark, electronic grooves of Ms Mr to stunning beauty of Luke Sital-Singh.

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Operation Every Band’s weekly round-up of the best of SXSW Music

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

This week has been a short reprieve on the listening front over at Operation Every Band as the team just finished off with the bands from the second batch of announced showcases. I’m hoping SXSW Music will launch the third and largest band list in the near future, but until then I’m taking a chance to listen back and reflect on some trends in the rock, folk and pop categories.

The folk-rock genre continues to be one of the strongest and most well-represented groupings at SXSW, with many acts taking on the quiet and rambunctious corners of the field.  In terms of pop music, artists have generally gotten more dark and experimental with their sound. Even Charlotte Church, an artist who once lived in the widest range of appeal, is now exploring introverted, grey ballads. The futuristic take on R&B that Frank Ocean has so well captured is also an important tenet of 2013, infiltrating the sound of so many young, experimental artists. The last observation is the growing number of bands fronted by female artists, best represented by recent BBC darlings Haim.

These early trends are normally not only an indication of what we’ll be hearing at SXSW, but also the music community in 2013 in general.  I’ll be sure to keep a close ear as the project continues – we still don’t at least half the artists who will be showcasing down in Austin.

Time for this week’s set, For more, keep following along at  Operation Every Band for tunes and SXSW Baby! for your latest conference news.  Enjoy!

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With the first bands announced, it’s time for Operation Every Band

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

The first list of bands and performers selected to showcase at SXSW Music has been announced by the SXSW team, and while The Baby team have spotted a few gems already (notably Ezra Furman and Jenn Grant along with, for  an unfathomable reason, Charlotte Church) we’re more excited for the return of Kevin McStravick’s herculean Operation Every Band.

Kevin’s rules are simple:

Every artist gets a two-track minimum.  Even you, John Mayer.  If we like what we hear, we’ll keep going.  In the spreadsheet, we’ll put three words or phrases best describing the qualities of what we’re hearing.  Lastly, the reviewer will give a totally subjective rating based on one criterion – how much would I want to see this artist at SXSW?  The scale is “tough” in order to keep a sense of comparison, so keep in mind that anything about a “4” is something we genuinely enjoyed.

For every artist at a “7” or above, we’ll provide a full write-up and a recent video to get a real taste…  This site purposely extenuates the positive; there’s no point in rambling on about things we don’t like.

You can follow along at www.operationeveryband.com and hopefully we’ll have the highlights of the bands here on The Baby!

OEB’s Music Picks of the Week – 1/24/12

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Hello SXSW Babies!  This is Kevin from over at Operation Every Band and I’m joining the SXSW Baby! team with my weekly SXSW Music recommendations.  My site has been reviewing every band that is playing SXSW (yep, that’s over 2000 artists over three months) and I’ll be highlighting the cream of the crop here at The Baby.

For some, SXSW is about networking and promotion, but for me it is all about the music. SXSW gives music fanatics a chance to build their own personal festival in any and all genres, making it the greatest yearly music experience on the globe.  To get a continuous stream of our reviews for the next few months, make sure to follow Operation Every Band on Tumblr, Twitter or Facebook.  Your new favorite band is lining up showcases and day parties as you’re reading this, so get in the know now.

For SXSW Baby!, I’ll be highlighting the acts alphabetically.  Here are the top picks for A-C:

Alabama Shakes – “You Ain’t Alone” (live)

In terms of band discovery, it doesn’t get more exciting than this.  Halfway through “Hold On”, the first track on Alabama Shakes’ debut LP released a few months back, I had the band pegged as a solid southern rock outfit with a good grasp on funky grooves.  The song draws as much from garage rock as Delta blues with just enough pop sensibility to pull it all together.  Then came the second track, “I Found You”, where the listener is truly invited into the home of frontwoman Brittany Howard, one of the most soulful voices to enter the music scene in recent years.  She’s that good.  There is so much emotion that bleeds off her mic during the 60’s pop inspired track that it sets the “like” meter all the way to 10.  The band is certainly at their best when they dig into Otis Redding style R&B grooves highlighting Howard’s vocal brilliance, but it’s the duality between rock and soul the band creates that really makes me excited for Alabama Shakes.  They’ve rippled into the music scene in recent months and have set themselves up for a booming introduction to the indie music world in 2012.  Best of all, the videos out on the web show a band putting their all out on the stage while playing live.  I’m convinced this band is something special and will be sure to be among many SXSW’ers highlights come March.

See more from Bliss N Eso, Cosmo Jarvis, Breton and Chappo after the break…

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