Sound Dessert partnered with Little Pink Monster Gallery for the Manifest Everything showcase held the last day of SXSW 2014.
Fusing art and music, the event featured performances by The Digital Wild, The Lost Tapes, The Hang, The Ridges, Simian Ghost, Francis Lung, Flavor Raid and poet and author Josh Boyd. Artist Brent Houzenga, who’s work was on display at the gallery, was also in town from New Orleans to perform live car paintings.
Situated in East Austin, Manifest Everything was structured as an intimate, off-the-beaten-path experience. It was the perfect ending to what was a hectic, non-stop week and everyone welcomed the relaxed atmosphere and the sunshine (thankfully the threatening rain held off)!
The Digital Wild started us off with an acoustic performance that showcased the vocal range and talent of lead singer, Chantell Moody. The audience was completely still as Chantell filled the air with her piercing, soulful voice. On one of the songs The Digital Wild performed, the single “Riskin”, Chantell refrains, “they say, they say riskin ain’t easy, but it is for me.” The risk-taker makes singing look easy as well. The Austin-based band is destined to break out in a big way.
Lost Tapes hail from Barcelona and have a bewitching surf sound. No doubt they’re influenced by their hometown on the Catalunya coast with its “mellow summer villages, and bittersweet sea breeze.” One can definitely envision that breeze when listening to Lost Tapes and their poppy, laid back tunes that had the crowd swaying along.
Cosmic country band The Hang brought some soulful blues to the party. Their music tells stories of past lives, regret and do-overs but these boys aren’t down on themselves. The Hang, as the name indicates, know how to have a good time and it didn’t take long before we wanted them to stick around with us the whole day. The Austin-based band has an infectious rock ‘n’ roll flair with lyrics that feel penned from an old soul. Spend some time with The Hang and see for yourself what they’re all about.
If you’re looking for a rainbow of sound look no further than The Ridges. The talented collective play an expansive range of instruments that give this Athens, Ohio band a vibrant range and style. Fronted by Victor Rasgaitis (guitar, vocals) and Talor Smith (cello, vocals), the duo is supported live by a rotating cast of musicians. For this performance they had members playing cellos, upright bass, banjo, drums and more. Like I said, a rainbow of sound. Performing live, Victor emits a palpable energy that’s contagious as he pours everything into each song and spans the audience, connecting with every person in the room.
Swedish trio Simian Ghost were in town for their very first SXSW experience and it was awesome to have them and their saccharine pop at the show, especially since they’ve been featured a number of times on Sound Dessert including this here interview. For this performance Simian Ghost decided to improvise, using live instruments sans synths, for a set that was unique and arresting.
If you’re familiar with the band WU LYF then you’ll likely be familiar with Francis Lung (aka Tom McClung who played bass in the band). He’s another one who traveled far to partake in the festival – this time from London. The intimate setting was perfect for taking in his delicate and touching songwriting. Lung’s is the type of music where every time you listen to his songs you hear them and interpret them differently than the time before.
We wanted to close out the showcase and the festival with a bang, so we enlisted Flavor Raid to do just that. The night quickly shifted gears into a sweaty dance party. Flavor Raid consists of Austinites Joe G. and J. Aldridge who combine samples, vocals and instruments including trumpet and bass, to create a charged, original sound. It was a pretty sweet way to end the night.
Thank you to all the bands and artists for participating, Little Pink Monster for co-hosting and to all of you who attended!