SXSW2010: Salem

The video above I took my first day at SXSW. Salem closed the iamsound party playing after jj and Sleigh Bells. Most of the crowd bounced after Sleigh Bells and it was really, really late at this point. The sound guys were awfully slow at getting bands set up so Salem only got to play 4 songs.

John (the guy rapping above) took to the mic and performed “Trapdoor” and “Tent.” On record his voice is heavily altered, making him sound more like a 400 pound black guy than the 20’ish year old scrawny bro that he is. Frankly I’m having a hard time coming up with words to describe the performance. This is a band most will find better suited to record. I left a little bewildered.

My initial reaction was ‘this kind of sucked’ but what with the pentagram necklaces, the passed out groupie mid-stage, the girl from The Ring bobbing all over the stage in front of me, Heather’s thigh high leather boots and the unflinching death glare from John, the more I think about the performance the more I find to like about it.

There have also been stories about the band getting booed off the Faderfort stage. The comments section on this post on Fader is a pretty great read and gets into live bands vs recorded bands as well as editors possibly trying to control their staff a bit too much.

I think what it comes down to is: did you enjoy the performance? I saw them twice and until I had a few days to ruminate on the experience I don’t think I had anything positive to say though I was certainly telling everyone I saw about how bizarre it was. In the end there was certainly no band I wanted to listen to more post-sxsw than Salem. So, I think that says a lot.

      Salem - Trapdoor

      Salem - Tent

      Salem - Redlights

      Salem - Frost

Here are a couple of mixes:

      Salem - We Make It Good Vol. 11

      Salem - XXJFG Mix

And some of Jack’s other hiphop leaning tracks.

      Salem x Gucci Mane - Bird Flu

      Salem x Gucci Mane - Round One

5 Helloween Mixtapes

I, unfortunately, have not had time to whip up a Halloween mix but some great bloggers and musicians are here to save the day. The five following mixtapes should be enough to keep your party going all night. And please tune in to UtahFM.org to hear me keeping it creepy from 9-10:30PM on Oct31. Plenty of horror film themes and other evil tracks to bring the house down.


First up, Fever Ray has put together this exceptionally well crafted and appropriately themed mix of songs for Resident Advisor. Some have always been fairly dark and evil but some only come off that way in the greater context of the mix. It works very well and is highly recommended.

      Fever Ray - RA.178


“Walk Me Home” is 17 minutes of new music from Memory Tapes. It was compiled for arawa.fm as a Halloween mix and is a bit darker than most of Memory Tapes’ material thus far. Also great.

      Memory Tapes - Walk Me Home


Gorilla vs. Bear has put together a group of tracks and samples that, while not specifically Halloween related, do come together to form a dark soundtrack that works well. I love the samples and plan to play some similar things on Saturday’s show. Also, thanks to Chris for hooking up that Salem track. WEpt is about as dark and strange as I’ve heard from the band. They’re definitely on drugs, right?

      Gorilla vs Bear - Halloween09


Kitsune Noir has taken a similar approach and put together a mix of spooky songs (The Horrors, Fever Ray, NIN) and a group of others that work to make the mix accessible and dark all at once (Girls, Smashing Pumpkins, Grizzly Bear). I love the artwork.

      We Never Heard Its Noise | A Kitsune Noir Mixtape


And lastly, one of my favorite new bands (still calling them new until they pick up a little more notoriety), Salem, put together this mix a few months back. It’s not exactly a Halloween mix but everything this band does is ultra dark and disturbing and this is no exception. There’s even some gabba in there for you techno-heads.

      Salem - XXJFG Mix