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South-by-Shuffle: Twee as F*%$

Sorry that the South-by-Shuffle hasn’t exactly been a daily endeavor. As you can see, we’ve just launched a brand new over the weekend, so that took quite a bit of our time and energy. But now it’s back-to-work, and back to the SXSW iTunes shuffle project.

Now, we’ve loved Los Campesinos! for a long time — as an Artist of the Day in June and backstage at Lollapalooza — and we are really loving their about-to-be-released full-length, Hold On Now, Youngster…, which arrives in the U.S. April 1 (but you can buy it as a download now via Amazon).

What’s not to adore about a multi-gender, literary-club-on-AIM conversation, spastic rhythms that permit the geekiest of kids to look good on the dancefloor, and a generous application of yard sale synthesizers? Exactly — not much at all, and you can get a taste of the new record’s “Don’t Tell Me to Do the Math(s)” via their official website.

But there’s more twee-rific fodder from across the pond at SXSW. So far, we’ve made two exciting finds:

Bearsuit, “Steven Fucking Spielberg” SXSW INFO PAGE | DOWNLOAD MP3
Violins! Cymbals! No, it’s not the new Indiana Jones theme, but a track from these Norwich-based boys and girls. Their 2005 effort, Cat Spectacular, did see a U.S. release, but a John Peel endorsement and loads of U.K. press never really moved the meter for them over here. Fans of Ra Ra Riot will love the string-y swells and surging choruses. Their latest, oh:io, is also available to Yankees in MP3 format via Amazon.

Look See Proof, “Casualty” SXSW INFO PAGE | DOWNLOAD MP3
If we were writing SAT analogies, we’d peg these London lads like this:


Or, if there was a U.K. version of Warped Tour where all the bands sounded like the Futureheads, Look See Proof might be the hot new band of ’08. Now that I think about it, writing that last line actually soured me to these guys a little bit. We’ll just have to check ’em out in person in Texas.

Tomorrow: Bands that’ll make you dance — in very different ways.