TEKE::TEKE is absolutely phenomenal live. Hands down, their performance on the International Day Stage at SXSW 2022 was one of our absolute favorites. Their unique genre-bending sound, vibrant style, and enticing energy brought dozens of new listeners into the tent, dancing from the beginning of the first song. We definitely had perma grins on our faces, and were thrilled when they did a takeover on our Instagram during their stint in Austin.
If you haven’t gotten a chance to experience them yet, check them out on our official soundtrack. And peep the photos below for a hint of their vibrance.
…And you all thought we were going to get out of our SXSW 2022 coverage without a playlist featuring all of the artists we were excited to discover at the festival this year. Nope! We hit the pavement listening for incredible acts, and got a lot of international artists on our list for up-and-coming greatness. Check out our playlist below, and let us know what SXSW artists you’d like us to add in for some more listening pleasure!
It was between panels on Friday, March 18th, that we had the unique pleasure of meeting self-proclaimed “indie americana disco mama” Van Plating. She had taken over our Instagram account earlier in the week, and had done a phenomenal job connecting with our community. An incredible songstress and performer, she showed up outside of the convention center with a brand new hat that she acquired in Austin, and a gorgeous skirt that coincidentally coordinated with the mural we had planned to photograph her in front of.
And I’m glad I didn’t. While I do not suggest going in blind to every movie or television series, this one is one to make an exception for. So, if you’d prefer to be surprised and haven’t yet seen I Love My Dad, stop reading and twiddle your thumbs until there is a wider release.
First of all, this film got rave reviews and awards from SXSW. It brought home the Narrative Feature Competition jury prize AND audience choice award, so the crowds went wild for it. There is no doubt in my mind that there will be a wide release in the coming months. If you’ve seen it – or like some spoilers like my mom does – come sit a moment!
I Love My Dad is based on a true story about a dad who catfishes his son in order to have a closer relationship with him. Yes, it’s as oddball/creepy/sweet as it sounds. And it feels just as oddball/creepy/sweet throughout the entirety of the movie, because the actors bring a really nuanced and realistic script and story to life.
But, of course they do! With the writer-director, James Morosini, also starring in the film (alongside Patton Oswalt, who plays his father), the “based on a true story” hits extremely close to home — as it is based on HIS true story! While this fact does make the viewer empathic toward Morosini – especially during a handful of crucial points in the movie – you can’t help but be grateful for what transpired in his life, because it makes for incredible material for his art.
Don’t worry. It’s not sexual or scary, this picture they paint of an estranged-ish father rekindling his father-son relationship with the son he fathered. You will laugh. You might cry. You can watch it, comfortably, with your parents OR your kids. And Oswalt’s performance? *chef’s kiss*
But, as relatable and quick as it is, it’s also cringey pretty consistently throughout. Just like real life. Only, you’ll be glad it’s based on James Morosini’s true story instead of your own.
We’ll report back on updated release information when it becomes available!
On Friday, March 18th, we had the honor of meeting up with Tulsa, Oklahoma-based genre-defying outfit Cliffdiver before their official SXSW showcase at Cheer Up Charlie’s. The band was stoked to meet us, and had a less conventional – but no less interesting and fun – idea for portraits. As you will witness, we had them pose by the porta-potties on the patio at Cheer Up Charlie’s before heading down the street to take a variety of other fun and meaningful portraits.
Get to know the lively personalities of bandmembers Joey Duffy and Briana Wright (lead vocalists), Matt Ehler and Gilbert Erickson (guitarists/vocalists), Tyler Rogers (bassist), Dony Nickles (saxophonist), and Eliot Cooper (drummer) through photos, below!
“Just because a lot of art comes from pain does not mean the artist has to suffer.” – Naithan Jones
During the 2021 SXSW Conference, I watched a virtual panel and the topic addressed how touring would change for artists once the world opened up. It was a fascinating discussion about how art was made during the lockdown and how artists were creating more balance in their life with their work. This year, I was able to attend a panel that is taking the concept one step further – “How Do Artists Make Money Now?”.
Moderated by Tiffany Gaines, Found and CEO of SS Global Entertainment, the discussion focused on mindset; mental and physical health and perspective; the power in community; and the advancement of technology. Panelists Naithan Jones (Founder of web3 platform Royal), Andra Liemandt (Founder and CEO of The Kindness Campaign), and Matt Ott (Vice Chairman and Co-Founder/Executive Director of Black Fret) came together to address some different forms of creating income that may not have existed, even a couple of years ago.
All of the panelists emphasized the importance of community. When asked about an artist just starting out without a lot of resources, Jones pointed out that, although “streaming is like a map of the industry and specifically to artists….it doesn’t give you the topography, which is who are those 200-300 fans who are willing to support your bills for a year?” The industry doesn’t have a good way to track this. “If I have a super fan in Des Moines, IA and I’m not touring for the next two to three years, I can’t activate that intent.” Jones shared that if these fans are token holders, you can do all kinds of things with them now from music releases just for them, to free merch, to arranging a FaceTime together because you have a token, etc. These are things that enhance relationship management as well as generate an income that allows the artist to live a life, rest, work, and create in cycles outside of the normal 9-5 most people work in. “Creatives don’t really work that way. Where they can express their gift in a healthy way, where they have the economic base to do that, that’s a critical goal.”
Liemandt expanded on that thought: “Nate, I love what you were sharing about giving rest to musicians, to be who they are and work in their passion and their purpose. What we want to be able to do is put musicians to work right now, pick up gigs when they’re in the mood, not have to do something, but when the mood strikes, pick up a gig that is in line with their craft.” The Kind Music platform supports independent artists with songwriting workshops and recordings – all created through community.
“Community is more important than ever to help ourselves and help each other.” – Matt Ott
Black Fret operates in various cities using the patronage model that symphonies have used – people pay for subscriptions to hear local music. Ott said, “When we started Black Fret, we wanted to get some members, throw some parties, and give money away.” But he discovered in the process that people are always looking for ways to help and give back. As an artist, he suggested hanging out after shows, playing early gigs (“old people like to go to early gigs”), networking, playing corporate gigs. Ott thinks that Kind Music is “an incredible opportunity for musicians to lay down a track on a song written by people in a collaborative effort that gets that musician paid”. In the same vein, he loves the Royal business model “to find a revenue stream that helps them find the 1000 true fans”.
Each of the panelists emphasized the mental health and mindset aspect of creating art and being paid for it. Leimandt summed it up best when she said, “When I started seeing dollars roll in, it related to my self-worth. Purpose, value and what you’re doing daily to support them equals joy.”
As a publication that focuses on mental health issues and the arts, we found this panel to be comforting. More people are seeing the value in a holistic approach to wellness, and artists are slowly (but surely) being praised for the wellness opportunities their art provides to the masses as well.
St. Patrick’s Day was honestly one of the most enjoyable during SXSW 2022. In years past, it has been overwhelming, detracting from the fun of the holiday and the festival all at once. This year, we got to experience a host of amazing international acts that made the day a multi-cultural celebration for us.
The 2pm performance at the International Day Stage started with a DJ set by Bad Gyal Marie. Her set included a lot of incredible tracks from the early 2000s. (Who doesn’t love a good Tweet track, honestly?) We enjoyed this so much that, at one point, she looked up and said “I love the girls dancing in the back” after laughing with us a bit. She made a point to introduce the tracks and give some history on many of them, which was the cherry on top of the set.
After a few minutes, Yayoi Daimon took the stage. Her energy was an uplifting start to the afternoon, and her outfit was the best we saw in celebration of the green holiday. (I mean… LOOK AT THE CHAPS SITUATION!) Check out photos of both artists below!
Atlanta-based honky tonk duo The Waymores hit the ground running at SXSW 2022. They hit Broken Spoke at 6pm on March 15th, the Chicken Ranch Records Day Party at 2pm on the 16th, Velveeta Room at 8:30pm, and then Valhalla for an 8pm performance on St. Patrick’s Day. Their live set – by the way – was packed with an edge that you don’t normally find in traditional honky tonk music. The lyrics almost danced above the crowd as we enjoyed a special kind of chemistry between the two of them, accompanied by robust vocals and a feeling of freedom. If you didn’t get a chance to check them out during one of their (insanely amazing) sets, they’ve already added more dates into next month and will be spending more time touring throughout the year.
We got a few quick moments before their performance at Valhalla to snap some portraits on the storied Red River St. in Austin. Check out these beautiful photos – note the fun water bottle placement, Oh SXSW – and then make sure you head out to one of their energetic performances in the near future!
We hate to admit that Enjoyable Listens led in the ranks of the most “enjoyable” set at SXSW 2022, but they – ahem, HE – totally did. While the Oxford-based act normally performs as a duo, brainchild Luke Duffett appeared solo this time around, as his bass guitarist partner-in-crime was stuck overseas for WORK. (Something he mentioned multiple times during his set.)
In all honesty, we almost didn’t stay for the set. We had the privilege of covering an array of international artists over the course of the week, and when a slightly sunburnt man in a suit with a bolo tie and slicked-back hair was sound-checking, I prematurely judged him and suggested we leave the Registrant’s Lounge. Luckily, our dear friend Whiteclaw (sorry – they sponsored the fest and I was already a few deep) kept us glued to the spot when Duffett took the stage.
While their Facebook page boasts that they are “a bloodstained fur coat floating on the undulating beat of street talk,” we were absolutely delighted by the theatrics employed by Duffett on that fated Saturday afternoon. He introduced the act, pushed a button on the soundboard, and walked off the stage to make a grand entrance. And this was only after he verbally commanded the attention of everyone in the area three separate times.
A type of Baroque-pop, the music took on an experimental vibe at times. This man was absolutely the manifestation of if one of our best friends from high school had a child with Rick Astley. In all honesty, the vocals and blazer were the only traces of Astley. (After sending a video to Erin’s husband, we received word that we weren’t the only two who had this exact thought.) His vocal range was unexpected and alluring, while the lyrics were poignant, funny, and utilized an expanse of vocabulary. (One of the best ways to pinpoint a favorable lyricist, if we do say so ourselves.) At times, he would do more of a spoken word situation over the music, which we found later to be a common thread in the recorded versions of the tracks. He would also interrupt his own songs to talk to the audience. He even warned us about “spontaneous clapping” and “crowd surfing” he predicted for later in the show — all of this to a still rather small crowd.
But as his set went on, the crowd grew. And the smiles multiplied. And his dance moves got even more outlandish. He jumped off the stage, lunged at attendees, and performed for the (non-operating) camera, all the while maintaining this artistic persona that we all grew to love over the course of his set.
If you get the chance to see this act live, run… do not walk. I promise it will change your life.