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Video of the Moment #2810: L.A. Salami

 
By on Friday, 23rd March 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

The ubercool Lookman Adekunle Salami records under the ever cooler name of L.A. Salami. The man, not the cured meat in a rolled shape, began a North American tour yesterday in San Francisco that will continue through the first week of April, ending on the 7th of April at Washington’s DC9. These live dates are all in anticipation of Mister Salami’s sophomore album ‘City of Bootmakers’, scheduled for release on the 13th of April on Rob da Bank’s Sunday Best Recordings. Single ‘Jean is Gone’ from the LP is a fun one, and it’s got an equally fun video, shot on handheld cameras and capturing early spring sunshine in Paris. Filmed by Salami’s friend Diane Sagnier, the promo video is a series of clips featuring various Parisian landmarks and Lookman’s seemingly effortless choreography. Watch it below. For more on L.A. Salami, including my coverage of him at SXSW 2017, go here.

 

SXSW 2017: BBC 6 Music at the British Music Embassy, plus Spoon and friends at The Main (Thursday night, part 2) – 16th March 2017

 
By on Monday, 3rd April 2017 at 3:00 pm
 

Thursday night at SXSW 2017 at Latitude 30 was a showcase sponsored by BBC 6 Music and the UK Association of Independent Music (AIM). Carrie covered the first act, and I’ll let her tell you about her experience herself. I was able to catch the next three acts on the docket. Lookman Adekunle Salami, who goes by the more streetwise moniker L.A. Salami, is a singer/songwriter who has gentle and bluesy sides to his music.

LA Salami, British Music Embassy, Thursday 16 March 2017

Maybe I had missed his softer, introspective numbers because I arrived after my 5 bands in an hour test, but I was surprised by how loud he and his band was for what I did manage to catch. I realise that the British Music Embassy is the place for UK acts to be seen and to make an impression and while I did enjoy the funkiness of the performance, I felt disappointed the set sounded very similar from song to song. NPR seem to have realised this too, as they invited Salami to perform an acoustic number solo on the rooftop of the Hilton Austin, which I would have enjoyed more.

Meilyr Jones, British Music Embassy, Thursday 16 March 2017, 2

I’d been pulled left and right to see Meilyr (pronounced “MAY-leer”) Jones at SXSW, and Thursday would be the night I would finally get my chance. There are certain moments you always remember if you are covering SXSW as a music journalist: during the soundcheck, Jones waving and grinning slightly maniacally at me like I was a little kid as I was setting up my camera is one of those moments. Emcee for the evening Steve Lamacq commented that his sound reminded him of Aretha Franklin. White man from Wales, black woman from Detroit…how and why, exactly, would those worlds ever intersect?

Meilyr Jones, British Music Embassy, Thursday 16 March 2017

Listen to the big band foot-stomper ‘How to Recognise a Work of Art’, and you will understand exactly what Lammo means. The man also appears not to know – or understand – that the human body has limitations: this set was the first time I’ve seen anyone attempt the caterpillar on the Latitude 30 stage, coupled with what looked like spastic pop locking. Of any act I saw at SXSW, he was the unlikeliest (I thought anyway) to have fan boys, but there were a group of guys down the front who dance and screamed and shouted for more. He was their ‘Don Juan’, if you will. As echoed by many I spoke with, Jones was definitely an unexpected find for many in Austin for the week For sure, the British Music Embassy will never be the same again.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlGwQYCw-5E[/youtube]

She Drew the Gun from the Wirral were up next. Louisa Roach and her band won Glastonbury’s 2016 Emerging Talent competition and they are a favourite of 6 Music’s, so their appearance on this night isn’t a surprise. After such a strange yet weirdly engaging set from Meilyr Jones, it was hard to get back into more standard indie rock mode. The socially conscious ‘Poem’ is a fragile moment deserving kudos for its content, but I felt unconvinced this was the year for them to come out to SXSW. After a handful of songs hanging out in that weird no man’s land between indie and folk but being neither fully, I left for my next adventure.

She Drew the Gun British Music Embassy, Thursday 16 March 2017

As mentioned in my review of the sexy title track single ‘Hot Thoughts’, Texan band Spoon took over The Main for a 3-night residency at this year’s SXSW. It was all in anticipation of the release of ‘Hot Thoughts’ the album on Friday. To be honest and based on how many people I guessed would want to see them, I didn’t think I had a chance to get into The Main for any of the nights they were playing. However, I had some luck that morning in getting a press pass for the final night, so that I could hear the single that had impressed me so much being played live.

For all 3 nights, barring the special guests announced on the day (Tuesday’s was The New Pornographers, Wednesday’s was !!!), nearly all of the bands supporting Spoon were from the local area. A fave of Spoon’s Britt Daniel, Sweet Spirit are proud to be an Austin band; their ‘St. Mojo’ album out this Friday is being released on Austin’s Nine Mile Records. ‘Collective’ is a better word to describe them than ‘band’: they currently have nine members and somehow all of them, plus all their equipment fit on the stage.

Sweet Spirit, The Main, Thursday 16 March 2017

I’ve seen ‘country rock’ bandied around to describe them, but you’ve never heard a country rock band like this before. ‘Take Me to a Party’, they do. With that many members, theirs is a cacophonous but entertaining mélange of sound and attitude. While I don’t think I’d choose to listen to a band like theirs – there’s nothing subtle or really artful about their music – they’re definitely a band who will get folks dancing. Trouble is, we were packed in like sardines on the floor, so dancing was impossible.

With anticipation building in the Main, I was pretty sure I was the only person in the room that didn’t know who would go on next. At first, all I saw was a cowboy-looking guy pacing on stage with visible anxiety and wondered who he was. It has been a while since his band went on an extended hiatus, with many of their members going on to their own solo projects. But I will always think of Hamilton Leithauser as popular Noughties American band The Walkman’s frontman. For his last solo album, he joined forces with Rostam Batmanglij, formerly of Vampire Weekend, to come up with ‘I Had a Dream You Were Mine’. Oddly for someone who has spent most of his adult life performing to people, I never got the sense that he was 100% comfortable on stage. Maybe he felt naked with his wingman Rostam?

Hamilton Leithauser, The Main, Thursday 16 March 2017

Older and wiser than his Walkmen days, Leithauser’s new career as a solo artist has been an interesting evolution. There’s a country air to some of the songs on his latest LP (‘Peaceful Morning’), which makes sense given his preference for an acoustic in live performance. But on LP opener ‘A 1000 Times’, he goes from crooner to tortured performer in the span of 4 minutes. Which is the real Hamilton Leithauser or rather, which guise will he choose going forward? Food for thought.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9FILAkKinQ[/youtube]

Britt Daniel had spent the evening passing in and out of the green room to periodically check on the proceedings. But now it was time for the main event, Spoon. The crowd roared to life when Daniel and co. took the stage; Daniel rewarded some fans who had probably been stood there since the venue opened that night by shaking outstretched hands and kissing ladies’ palms. ‘Do I Have to Talk You Into It’ to start the set seemed like a knowing joke to the devoted; ‘Hot Thoughts’ quickly followed it, bringing up the energy in the room that seemed to have been sapped out during Leithauser’s set.

Spoon, The Main,  Thursday 16 March 2017

But they weren’t there just to preview the new album. Spoon wowed punters with ‘Inside Out’ (with a synthesised harp?) and ‘The Beast and Dragon, Adored’ from earlier albums. I scanned the crowd and saw the look of wonderment on faces and every word to their older songs on their lips. Not only was I out of my depth, it no longer made sense for someone like me who wasn’t a massive fan of theirs to be second row from the front. At SXSW, I’m of the opinion that no-one should stay in a venue any longer than needed, and this is especially true if you’re not paying attention to who is onstage and your sole intention is to get drunk. You can do that in any bar without a band playing.

In a world when a lot of things are inherently unfair, leaving a packed venue to let the next super fan in the queue outside dying to get in is a simple act of kindness not enough people are willing to do. Bending my head down to speak into the ear of the young woman next to me, I told her I was leaving and to get ready to take my spot as soon as I made a move. She had a look of incredulity on her face, but it was clear she was grateful. In the end, this is a music festival for fans and full of fans. BE NICE. It isn’t hard to be nice.

 

(SXSW 2017 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2311: L.A. Salami

 
By on Thursday, 2nd March 2017 at 10:00 am
 

Lookman Adekunle Salami – aka the slightly more hip-sounding artist L.A. Salami – starred in our TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017 post last week featuring songwriters alongside jazz and world music artists from London. (You can read the whole post through here.) Ahead of appearing in Austin, he’s revealed the video for ‘& Bird’, a sweet tune taken from his 2016 debut album ‘Dancing With Bad Grammar’, which NPR’s Bob Boilen called “…a hidden gem in 2016, just a hint of what the future holds for this talented visionary.” The shadowy promo shows Salami playing guitar and melodica, but your gaze can never be fixed for too long, I’m assuming to reflect the beguiling confusion one feels when in love. Watch the new video for ‘& Bird’ below. L.A. Salami is scheduled to perform at 4 PM Thursday 16 March at the Showtime Twin Peaks showcase at Clive Bar, as well as 11 PM at Valhalla as part of the Sunday Best label showcase.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJakrDiV9JI[/youtube]

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: London jazz, world music and singer/songwriter artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Thursday, 23rd February 2017 at 11:00 am
 

As you might have guessed, London wins the prize for sending to SXSW 2017 the largest number of artists of all cities in the UK. In this post, we introduce you to acts from London that don’t exactly fit in the ‘usual’ genres SXSW is famous for. Today, we’ve got for you artists who are experts in the field of jazz (yes, really), world music, plus singer/songwriters, because we couldn’t fit them into the London portion of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017 anywhere else. Except where noted, the summaries below were written by Steven Loftin. Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

Flamingods – psychedelic world music
When Flamingods describe themselves as “exotic psychedelia”, they are definitely not wrong. Founded in 2009 by frontman Kamal Rasool in Bahrain, the band now reside in the UK, but have brought all that exotic Middle Eastern goodness with them. A unique take on western pop mixed with their grand and explosive live performances has gained them a reputation noticed by the likes of Dazed, i-D magazine and The Guardian and secured them slots at Glastonbury, Latitude, Fusion Festival in Germany and Milhoes de Festa in Portugal. With a total of six albums under their belt including their most recent in 2016 ‘Majesty’, they’ll have plenty of material to draw from when they appear in Austin. (Adam McCourt)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31f04cdKtY8[/youtube]

GoGo Penguin – jazz
Having signed to the legendary jazz label Blue Note records this year, GoGo Penguin are well on their way to success already. On their third album, the Mancunians’ mixture of jazz, acoustic and electronica is a fresh sound that ensures they don’t get lost within the indie mire. Their 2014 album ‘V2.0’ was shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize, just in case you needed more of a nudge (and a reminder). (Steven Loftin)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfD3ht6HVA4[/youtube]

Jacob Collier – world (? he defies description)
We can guarantee you’ve heard nothing quite like Jacob Collier, pictured at top. The youngster fuses more genres than the iTunes drop-down selector and is only 22. After gaining his momentum the way most new artists do, via YouTube, his ascension has been one for the ages. You should definitely check him out if only to see what composition he’s bringing to Texas. (Steven Loftin)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v3zyPEy-Po[/youtube]

Jade Bird – folk / singer/songwriter
You can’t swing a cat around London without hitting a young, aspiring female singer/songwriter. Jade Bird, however, has already gotten plenty of attention, so you should take the time to get to know this new talent. She accompanied Tom Odell on his European tour this month, and she’s following this up in London with a BBC Introducing show at the Lexington on the 6th of April and already announced appearances at Live at Leeds and Bushstock. Of course, those of us who are lucky enough to get out to Austin get a first crack on this side of the Atlantic. Yes, be jealous. (Mary Chang)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0YA3snXeo8[/youtube]

Johnny Flynn – folk / singer/songwriter
Johnny Flynn (usually with his band The Sussex Wit in tow) is no stranger to America, having already come over a few times for tours including one with friend and sometimes collaborator Laura Marling back in 2015. He’ll be releasing his newest album ‘Sillion’ on Transgressive Records in late March after SXSW 2017, so this visit is really the perfect opportunity for Flynn to give his newest tunes a live airing. (Mary Chang)

For past coverage of Johnny Flynn on TGTF, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5wYXnkLbD0[/youtube]

L.A. Salami – blues / singer/songwriter
Since 2014, Lookman Adekunle Salami, aka L.A. Salami, has been garnering a fair amount of interest, and for good reason. Perfectly succinct acoustic and ethereal songs that feature nothing but his bare soul, Salami even has a savage side as shown in ‘I Wear This Because Life is War’. Deserving of much more attention, let’s hope SXSW brings Salami more spotlight action. (Steven Loftin)

Laucan – folk / singer/songwriter
Twenty-seven old Laurence Galpin used to be in a band. But by taking a chance in singing alone with his falsetto in his bedroom, he’s going by the name Laucan now. Rob da Bank must have approved of this move: Galpin is signed to his Sunday Best label, who have just released his single ‘Up Tomorrow’, the title track of an EP that will be unveiled in March. Atmospheric music with Galpin’s falsetto flitting across it is clealy no longer of the “folk music of increasing obscurity” he himself had feared: it’s ready for the masses next month in Austin. (Mary Chang)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY1k-Tk5IFk[/youtube]

Maleek Berry – Afropop and r&b
Maleek Berry (born Maleek Shoyebi) grew up in South London, listening to the biggest names in r&b and pop music. At the age of 14, Berry was introduced to music, mainly through his church, but it was only after gaining his degree in Computer Science, whilst learning piano by ear that he realised his calling was in music. Since then, he has contributed hugely to the Nigerian music scene, working with artists such as Wizkid, Naeto C and Wande Coal, with whom he established with a connection with whilst on a family holiday. (Adam McCourt)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=047xGplGP4o[/youtube]

Manu Delago Handmade – experimental / electronic
With pleasing and melodic experimentation, Manu Delago entrances with instrumentation that is far from your run of the mill guitar / bass / drums setup. Having discovered the ‘Hang’, an instrument that looks like two beat-up woks attached to each other, Delago formed one of his numerous projects, Manu Delago Handmade with the help of Isa Kurz and Chris Norz. Prolific and enlightening, Delago (with his crew) is a beauty amongst the beast. (Steven Loftin)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKiUzLTJJ80[/youtube]

Martin Creed – folk / singer/songwriter
One not to miss, Martin Creed has been creating and experimenting almost his whole life. Not content with being a prominent figure in the art world, he’s also a dab hand at music, even finding massive fans in Franz Ferdinand. You never know what he could bring to the table. (Steven Loftin)

Moelogo – Afropop and r&b
Since his debut single ‘Pangolo’ and his 2013 debut EP ‘Moe is My Name, Music is My Logo’, Moelogo has been making strides within the r&b and Afrobeat scene. Whilst collaborating with artists such as DRB LasGidi and Fuse ODG, Moelogo has gathered lots of interest from BBC 1xtra, Beat FM and Capital Xtra for his latest single ‘Do You Love Me?’ Coming off the back of his 2015 NEA award for Diaspora Artist of the Year, Moelogo was nominated for the 2016 MOBO Award for Best African Act, up against the likes of Wizkid, Davido, Yemi Alade, Patoranking. Not a bad track record at all. (Adam McCourt)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wq1LbcCT8s[/youtube]

Moses Boyd Exodus – jazz
As smooth as silk, Moses Boyd creates dark atmospheric tracks that are lined with a plethora of inspirations from jazz, blues, funk and soul. The drummer is a force not to be reckoned with, carving his way through jam after jam, only taking centre stage when he needs to. Boyd perfectly encapsulates what it means to be a musician. (Steven Loftin)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbF3StGHMUk[/youtube]

Native Dancer – jazz / electronic
Jazz is making waves in a big way once again with Native Dancer. Not quite your atypical jazz band that you’d find in a smoky club. Instead, they’re covered in soul and experimentation, with modern flourishes that are interesting and fresh. They released ‘EP Vol. II’, which in case you hadn’t of guessed was the second installment after ‘EP Vol. I’. (Steven Loftin)


facebook.com/nativedancerofficial

Robyn Hitchcock – folk / singer/songwriter
Managing to be described as the closest thing the UK has to Bob Dylan, Robin Hitchcock is one of the country’s most beloved singer/songwriters, as well as being a poet and author. Self-describing his songs as “paintings you can listen too”: no-one can sum it up better than that. You’d be silly to miss out on his blending of psychedelic sounds with folk. He’s even got a new album coming out in April, how handy is that? (Steven Loftin)

Sarathy Korwar – Indian jazz
Jazz with an Indian twist, something that you never knew you needed until now. Sarathy Korwar is not only good at what he does, but he’s been honoured by numerous Indian and Western bodies of music for his work. Truly genre-breaking stuff, Korwar is a unique mind and to see what he does next will be something special. (Steven Loftin)

Silvastone – Afropop
Originally starting out as a producer and songwriter, Silvastone has gone out as his own force, releasing his debut EP ‘Transitions’ in late 2014. With the follow up due in early 2017, the African-drenched dance music that 2014 brought us will in no doubt come back with a stronger and even more beat-filled songs. (Steven Loftin)

United Vibrations – jazz
More modern jazz comes in the form of United Vibrations, with a name as smooth as their sound. It’s jazz that remains intact, no falling apart at the seams as jazz is want to do, instead they’re fully constructed and fleshed out tracks that wouldn’t be out of place on the deeper side of a Foals album, just less math rock. (Steven Loftin)

Yussef Kamaal – jazz
London-based jazz fusion duo Yussef Kamaal – Yussef Dayes and Kamaal Williams – is essentially the brainchild of Kamaal Williams’ solo material that Yussef Dayes contributed to for a live set at Boiler Room. The duo bring the idea of jazz to a whole new means of consumption by taking the idea of jazz standards and improvisation to extremes. From their first set on at Boiler Room, the duo began performing live, where little more than a chord progression would be planned before taking the stage. The duo released their debut LP ‘Black Focus’ last November. (Adam McCourt)

@yussefkamaal

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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