Luke Winslow-King - "As April Is to May (Live at Lagunitas Couch Trippin' SXSW)" (video) (Premiere)

Backed by a guitar-and-fiddle configuration, Luke Winslow-King gives his tune "As April Is to May" an Eastern European flavor for a session of Lagunitas CouchTrippin’ at this year's South by Southwest.

The paradox inherent to many major music festivals, whether it's California's Coachella or Texas' South by Southwest (SXSW), is that given the preponderance of choices available to music fans, it's often difficult to choose where to go at all. Extensive lineups offer plenty of choice, but at the same time they create a din that's hard to cut through in order to find something truly special. Nevertheless, if one takes the initiative to look beyond the headliners and main stages, she can find exciting music being performed in the nooks and crannies of even the most overwhelming music festivals.

Luke Winslow-King's performance for Lagunitas CouchTrippin’ at this year's South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas is one such case. View the performance and read about what went into it below.

Fred Abercrombie, Integrated Creative Manager at Lagunitas Brewing, explains to PopMatters a bit about what Lagunitas Couch Trippin' is: "The whole idea behind CouchTrippin’ is about taking a bit of Lagunitas out on the road to party with friends and bands on their way down to Austin. We bring some well-loved couches from our brewery, killer tunes (we have live music every day we’re open), some freaktacular talent from our annual Beer Circus, and fresh brews. The CouchTrippin’ shows are something to be experienced first-hand for sure. But these stripped-down couch video sessions we do with bands, like with Luke Winslow-King inside Yard Dog Art, have given us a way to share these unique performances with the rest of the country who weren’t lucky enough to stumble upon ‘em."

"Crazy how this all came together ‘cuz the scheduling at SXSW is insane. Once a band is done playing one spot, they’re running off across town to play another venue, stage or parking lot. Having the Lagunitas couch cross paths with our Bloodshot [Records] friends was fortuitous."

Abercrombie had this to say about Winslow-King's session: "This session was conjured by a perfect storm in the middle of SXSW -- the Lagunitas CouchTrippin’ to Austin tour was back in town, Bloodshot’s annual Yard Dog party was in full-swing out back, and out front was a full-on rainstorm. So we setup just inside the gallery. Right after Luke Winslow-King stepped off the stage he hopped onto the Lagunitas couch (you see he’s still wearing his rain boots).

"While most everyone else was either watching the mainstage out back or heading for cover at the next show, the few that stumbled out of the rain and into this impromptu session got a serious treat.

"It was unreal to be setup amongst all the killer art at Yard Dog. Getting to marinate in that many Jon Langford pieces was the highlight of the visit -- until Luke and his fiddle player Matt Rhody started working their magic. While the original recorded version of 'As April Is To May' has a rollickin’ New Orleans swing, the duo’s slow burn on this rendition has a gypsy saunter that’s downright intoxicating."

Winslow-King's latest LP for the Bloodshot label, Everlasting Arms, is out now. In his 7 out of 10 review of the record for PopMatters, John Paul describes it as "full of charming, deceptively complex arrangements and chord progressions that hearken back to a freer, looser time in American popular song."

From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.

60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

Keep reading... Show less

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

Keep reading... Show less

Net Neutrality and the Music Ecosystem: Defending the Last Mile

Still from Whiplash (2014) (Photo by Daniel McFadden - © Courtesy of Sundance Institute) (IMDB)

"...when the history books get written about this era, they'll show that the music community recognized the potential impacts and were strong leaders." An interview with Kevin Erickson of Future of Music Coalition.

Last week, the musician Phil Elverum, a.k.a. Mount Eerie, celebrated the fact that his album A Crow Looked at Me had been ranked #3 on the New York Times' Best of 2017 list. You might expect that high praise from the prestigious newspaper would result in a significant spike in album sales. In a tweet, Elverum divulged that since making the list, he'd sold…six. Six copies.

Keep reading... Show less

Under the lens of cultural and historical context, as well as understanding the reflective nature of popular culture, it's hard not to read this film as a cautionary tale about the limitations of isolationism.

I recently spoke to a class full of students about Plato's "Allegory of the Cave". Actually, I mentioned Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" by prefacing that I understood the likelihood that no one had read it. Fortunately, two students had, which brought mild temporary relief. In an effort to close the gap of understanding (perhaps more a canyon or uncanny valley) I made the popular quick comparison between Plato's often cited work and the Wachowski siblings' cinema spectacle, The Matrix. What I didn't anticipate in that moment was complete and utter dissociation observable in collective wide-eyed stares. Example by comparison lost. Not a single student in a class of undergraduates had partaken of The Matrix in all its Dystopic future shock and CGI kung fu technobabble philosophy. My muted response in that moment: Whoa!

Keep reading... Show less

'The Art of Confession' Ties Together Threads of Performance

Allen Ginsberg and Robert Lowell at St. Mark's Church in New York City, 23 February 1977

Scholar Christopher Grobe crafts a series of individually satisfying case studies, then shows the strong threads between confessional poetry, performance art, and reality television, with stops along the way.

Tracing a thread from Robert Lowell to reality TV seems like an ominous task, and it is one that Christopher Grobe tackles by laying out several intertwining threads. The history of an idea, like confession, is only linear when we want to create a sensible structure, the "one damn thing after the next" that is the standing critique of creating historical accounts. The organization Grobe employs helps sensemaking.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.