Music

Overthinking a good pop song can ruin the big fat grin one can elicit. Portland, Ore.'s Mo Troper makes grinningly great power-pop songs, while remaining ridiculously good at covering up his labor-intensive songwriting choices.

earthsongs.net

Born into a family of musicians, Marc Brown of Marc Brown & The Blues Crew was raised in Huslia, Alaska. He learned to play the guitar starting at age four and eventually joined his grandfather’s band, gathering a country gospel influence. Marc later studied at Berklee College of Music. Throughout their more than 20-year career, Marc Brown & The Blues Crew opened for several big name acts including ZZ Top and Jethro Tull. Their 10th album, Indian Rock’n’Roll, won them a 2011 Native American Music Award for Best Blues Recording and a nomination for Group Of The Year.

In case the connotations may have been unclear, the poster verse posed the only question worth asking on the occasion of a beloved band's reunion: zombies or saviors? "LCD Soundsystem will rise from the dead this Easter Sunday at Webster Hall," the text reads, accompanied by a black and white image featured James Murphy and the band he retired a week shy of five years ago, looking like the walking dead.

Collectors of kitsch and arcane Americana in their private lives, Cincinnati's Chuck Cleaver (formerly of Ass Ponys) and Lisa Walker have also accumulated high praise with their band Wussy. In the past 15 years, Wussy has grown from a duo to a five-piece, while being called "the best band in America" by none other than Robert Christgau, who added, "only nobody knows it."

As The Smiths know, sometimes you just need someone to sing you to sleep. So while our team was at SXSW in Austin, Texas last week, they asked a handful of our favorite artists in town for the festival — Lucius, Maren Morris, Holly Macve, Mt. Wolf, Timmy Thomas, A-WA, Declan McKenna and Miya Folick — to do just that. They brought the songs. We brought cameras and microphones.

There's new music from Bob Mould. His latest album, Patch The Sky, comes out March 25. One of this legendary musician's biggest fans — from his punk days of Hüsker Dü to the land of Sugar and his prolific and exciting solo records — is musician Ryan Adams. And as a fan and friend, Ryan invited Bob to his PAX-AM Studio and pressed record.

Mitski closed her set at our SXSW showcase with this angst-ridden song for a scorned ex-lover. It ends with a series of no-holds-barred shouts that seem to be coming from the depths of the singer's heart; once the song ends, she thanks the crowd and whispers "stay safe" into the microphone.

Watch the entire set here, or check out individual songs in the set list below.

Set List

"Everything you feel is good / if you would only let you," Mitski sings over a slightly rushed bass line in the opening lyrics of "I Will." Her voice cracks with empathy throughout her performance, even as the rest of the band joins in and the song picks up a fuller, grooving sound. Her voice grows more powerful as the song progresses; just before the end, she shouts "I'll be brave."

Watch the entire set here, or check out individual songs in the set list below.

Mitski's first single from her upcoming album, Puberty 2, features blisteringly honest lyrics and moments of explosive energy that serve as powerful testaments to her experience as a Japanese-American woman.

Watch the entire set here, or check out individual songs in the set list below.

Set List

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