3.25.2008

Another Piece of the Xuxa Empire...(And More)


My wife is a goddess and a saint. Not only did she allow me a trip to geek out on bands in Austin, but she has learned that the fastest way to a man’s heart (or collector scum’s black curdling heart) is through vinyl. I’m getting under the impression that the lot of original Brazilian vinyl press from the late 60’s and early 70’s is lost to Westerners, and strangely enough to the citizens of Brazil. On my frequent trips down there I’ve searched, perhaps not hard enough, but there’s not much of a used record trade in Rio or Sao Paulo, prolly cause (like I said) the lot is lost. What I have found are fairly worn and flimsy comps of various MPB (musica popular brasil) hits, or mass produced samba from Carnaval groups.

Carol went digging again on her recent visit home. No Transa, though Veloso is a national hero, no Rita Lee Fruito Proibido, though the Os Mutantes comeback without her pageant voice, what she did find is treasure enough.

A quick re-cap:

Elis Regina - O Pretegio De -- A compilation of the live-fast/die-young, “little pepper” from Porto Alegre. This is her late period, right before her death, a vibrant and tragic voice over what sounds like the Brazilian Steely Dan. Bonus – Two similar comps by Maria Bethania (Caetano’s sister)and Nara Leao, two incredible if inferior female singers I have now learned.

Various Artists – Lambateira Tropical 2 – According to Carol, the Lambada dance craze originated in Brazil, further research finds that to be true. This was made in 1989, it’s a worn and flimsy comp of the Lambada radio hits of the time (she knows all the words the same way I would know a Black Box song I suppose). Indicative of the slick production of Brazil in the late 80’s, about five years past our 80’s top 40 radio pop. So overproduced and oversaturated with arrangements, it would be hard to place this in the world canon were the origins unknown. Falling somewhere between Saharan Desert guitar surf and Bollywood send-ups, the variety and up-tempo flavors astound me even if the recordings leave something to be desired.

Barbie and the Rockers - A Estrella do Rock -- Yeah, you heard it right. I’m not sure how far the Barbie as a rocker play date ran in the states – did she have a cartoon? an album like this? – but in Brazil, Barbie and the Rockers were dangerously close to being a real band. I do remember that the Barbie “rocker” doll did come with a cassingle of their theme song (wonderfully indulgent power metal riffs, catchy chorus), but this is a full record of covers, sung in Portuguese by a studio band posing as Barbie and the Rockers. Top Tape really has a relic on their hands. “Incluindo musicas de John Lennon e Paul McCartney, John Sebastian e Cat Stevens entre outros.” Absolutely worth the $00.20, if only for the cover art and the group’s rendition of “There Goes My Baby.”
And last but not least……

Xuxa - Karaoke de Xuxa -- Perhaps my favorite Brazilian icon made an extremely rare record of instrumentals complete with lyric sheet, background children’s choirs, and frequent encouragement from Xuxa. She made pop music that sounded like ABBA dipped in the sacred waters of the Amazon. Every note a slide down a rainbow. It’s not all delicious, but if she can teach me the language and keep me entertained at the same time I’ll follow along.

The arrival of this Xuxa gem prompted me to dig up this ol’ article that got lost in the internets and thought it was totally worth re-posting:
If there is an American equivalent to the Xuxa phenomenon in Brazil, I'd love to know about it.

"While her presence as the country's top entertainer has waned in the last decade, it's still hard to avoid seeing Xuxa in televison commercials, b-movies, cartoons, toy stores, and shopping malls. I've become so fascinated by her legend, I've made it a personal mission to visit O Mundo Da Xuxa the next time I'm in Sao Paulo.

In my pursuit to become a self-taught expert on Brazilian popular culture I came across an interesting article on the social impact of Xuxa in her native country.

Amelia Simpson writes in her essay titled "Xuxa and the Televisual Imaginary,"

"The Xou da Xuxa (the live 5-hour, six-days a week, program she hosted for over a decade) attracts because it dissolves unseemly differences of race, gender, and class in a televisual pandemonium of generic happiness and idol worship. Xuxa's image assembles in one tidy package a set of unweidly, mutually contradictory ideas. She celebrates an ideal of femininity that is both erotic and domestic. She relentlessly markets a consumer-driven model of modernity in a country where the basic needs of many citizens are not met. And she presents a white ideal of beauty in a nation with the second-largest population of African descent on earth. Xuxa's image thus reconciles, without resolving, the deep fissures of race, gender, and capital that divide Brazil."

Pretty heavy stuff. She goes on to say that Xuxa's persona became such a encapsulation of perfection for the uneducated, that many thought she was a celestial being and the second-coming of the Virgin Mary. In one case, a Xuxa doll was said to have wept blood.

Of course, American audiences weren't fooled when Xuxa made an attempt at an American version of her variety show. I vaguely remember when this debuted ; being caught completely off-guard by her kooky antics, sychronized dances, and failure to command the english language. All that said, her 1988 movie, "Super Xuxa Contra Baixo Astral" (Super Xuxa vs. Satan) is brilliant from beginning to end (think Labyrinth meets Rainbow Brite meets City of God). "


3.20.2008

Eat Skull Get To "Clowning on Bitches"



I said no more SXSW posts, and I was serious, but Eat Skull was something, someone, some beings, that I completely ignored in my dispatches. Can’t figure out exactly why? It’s exactly two weeks to the day that I first saw them and the blaring, big bopper, organ irk of “Fucking Daddy,” or “Empty Eye Socket” (those titles are totally made-up btw) and is still eating at my inner skull. Like echoes I can’t pry from my head. If I could phonetically write it here I would. It’s still there. It’s still there. Hopefully this (precise moment in time) will be the first thing I’ll hear when the Siltbreeze LP hits my doorstep.

I did snag a copy of the Dead Families 7” on Skulltones (sold out before sold?) for stashing their gear and selling their ware, plus bible joint skills previously unknown – an artifact that encapsulates the Eat Skull experience – that four completely gentile and normal folk could come off as the anti-thesis of Psychedelic Horseshit but play right down the same vein. Every note could very well be the last. Rob (keyboards, guitar, vocals, man of life-affirming facial expressions) is animated to the point of being a cartoon -- a cartoon I would watch infinitely were reality a farce. Those organ blurts are melodic as fuck, but a surely a shield, a force field against the melodies warped in his perimeter. Mr. Lax called it something “the world’s not exactly ready for” (not his exact words) and members from the kid’s table quoted it’s the best record of the year – after of course, Rip it Off – but I’ve yet to hear this revolutionary document from the “clowning on bitches” genre (still preferring “shitpop” over all). So we’ll stick to the 3 songs I gots so far.

He’s preferring shitgaze, the other “clowning on bitches” (a family tree, pure evaluation forthcoming), I love shitpop. Eat Skull lump right in (more on lumping soon, promise) with the aesthetic, the fury. A-Side’ s always Haley’s “Rock N’ Round the Clokkk” – B-side’s the disfigured, gasping, reflection. Ladies and Gentlemen the constitution is to simultaneously be in on the “joke” and constructively in on the “conversation.” The lines def blur as Dadaistic barbs face battle vs. informed, progressive theories. Though from Portland, Eat Skull embody the 3 AM Columbus lifestyle, something I’ve fought hard to get out of, but am infinitely dragged into until the day I die. Mike Rep enjoyed it all “again and again.”

Back to the title track….and that brick wall Rob lays down, laying down on the keys, a kind of lovable limp death knell, punctuated with sugar spastic rock lines. I’m hearing the 50’s and 60’s, big room sonics -- when I certainly shouldn’t be allowed. Still he’s pushing back against the rest, the blurting bass line eventually crystallizes off something Sumner might trudge with through New Order, the breakdown and deconstruction might win out, but the balance of pleasure and catharsis is measurable. How’s that for gaze? My imagination runs wild like a pack of street runaways on rainy Portland streets. It’s gory and grotesque, completely charming at the same time, a beaming band of freewill. You’re in the family (as if I have permission). That album has a fuckton to live up too (the myspace link has some clues already).

3.18.2008

FM3 = Levitation



Seeing what FM3 had developed for their first ever live performance in America (?) was pretty liberating. Perhaps the most hypnotic 45 minutes of my life (that’s with or without drugs, here stone sober). The occasion was also so left-field from the rest of SXSW that I had to give the duo their own post, the final post. Not sure if the Hideout on Congress was a normal venue for the experimentalists from China, it’s a coffee shop with a tiny, tiny, theater in the back. The kind of place that’s hard to leave once a show get’s started. I vividly remember Psych HS playing there last year and people filing out only minutes into it, the shabby retractable seats creaking then slamming, the abandonees forced to walk right in front of the band (and a sneering Matt Whitehurst) on their way out. For FM3 there were probably only 10 or so people to watch (a shame they didn’t get better press, they did come all the way from China?), problem being there was nothing to see (hence no pictures, the above picture is a performance from Sonar).

There was an end table lodged into the aisle between the seats and one microphone hovering above it. For a while nothing happened. Then Zhang Jian appeared with a bottle of rum, two glasses with ice, a bag containing seven multi-colored Buddha Boxes, and a game-board painted with Chinese characters. Christiaan Virant then came and sat down, poured both of them a drink asked for the house to cut the lights asking to get close “if you want to hear”. What proceeded was a slowly evolving game of Buddha Boxing (sonic Mahjongg?) between the two, as explained later -- each side chose a box, a setting, a volume level, and a placement on the board (keep in mind all of these variables have different results whilst enjoying your Buddha Box), then the opposing player can either remove that box, move it, change the loop, or the volume – the only catch is they have to add one box of their own. Occasionally a pen light would be shined on the board so they could get a grasp on where they were in the game, but it was the darkness, the magnification of silences and little ice cubes clinking in their glasses that enhanced the experience. These guys are masters of their machines, manipulating the sound just by laying a box on upside down or on top of another box. The sounds from some far off astral plane -- the long, high-pitched, tone that ends by winding into a flutter was the first choice, but took a while to register. As they layered tone upon tone, sometimes removing one, sometimes trying to loop them all in unison, the miasma increased. I found myself actually drifting in and out of consciousness, waking back up when the dark, ominous, loop gonged. When completely alert, I would hallucinate around the tiniest specks of light that entered the theater. When closing my eyes, I felt like a child who journeyed to space by pressing hard on the lids.

A lot of talk this week centered on the future of the music industry (which all agreed is in dire straits) and the ways in which we’ll consume it. FM3 have shown me what a little ingenuity can do. Sure it’s only a plastic box that plays nine loops, but their twist on form and function, how people can interact, explore, and actually create other entities with what the duo call their “album,” is somewhat revolutionary. And of course if you’ve been reading here, the week was constantly teetering on the precipice of revolution, or if not revolution, than the destruction of stale ideas. Once the kids start making their own Buddha Boxes, and giving the public art that is built on primitive simplicity, that can be shifted to be what you want without sacrificing the artists’ intent, then the future of music tends to look awfully bright, blinding even. Really, fuck an MP3, viva la FM3. Amen.

3.16.2008

SXSW Day Four: Bring Fruit...


...or He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper. If Friday was transcendental then Saturday was magic, first by accident, then by divine intervention. I had yet to indulge in some hip-hop, so the Fader Fort was a given (that giant print of Ad Rock jacking a beer is embedded in my mind forever), every inch of that place oozed with newage/oldskool love -- constantly brilliant bumpers courtesy of Fool's Gold, spray painted boomboxes stacked high, images of my adolescent heroes plastered everywhere. Let's be honest, anything Diplo touches turns to platinum, he turns water into cachaŠłČa, he's the one pulling the strings behind curtain of this revolution. It's a place where nothing's actually hip-hop per se, but simultaneously encompasses all of hip-hop in style and function. To make one dance, to make one always feel this party might be the last. All the best hip-hop feels like the cathartic near-future. Santogold is the latest realization of that revolution. But we'll get to her in a minute...

First things first. I thought I was rushing to get a chance to see D.R.I., but instead got Dri, not that big of a disappointment, but I've really nothing to say about the Dri except that she was perfectly acceptable indie jangle for getting crust out of one's eyes. Another set from Lykke Li followed. The fact that I stalked the Swedes to one more show is indicative to just how infectious they are.

Hly MF Jesus H. Christ though...David Fucking Banner stumped like he was running for president -- of the ultimate anarchist state. He spit, chucked beer bottles, started a mosh pit, spoke of topics ranging from current race relations to the price of gas...he was a fire-breathing dragon. With Mannie Fresh on the turntables and a live band behind him, he became an instant superstar with perhaps the most impassioned performance of the week. Granted a superstar in an alternate universe where a hip-hop artist from Mississippi rapping about clinical depression gets the same treatment as 50 Cent.


Exhausted...and made even more so by Telepathe's drolling, brown acid disco, I spied Diplo handing out new mixes, so I knew something incredible was about to take place. Sure enough he was there to assist Santogold, his latest ingenue who's being constantly compared to M.I.A. Not bad company to hold. Santogold, though surfing through world rhythms and flashy neon beats, is far from naive -- her songs are anthems with sung choruses and roughneck street knowledge. Here she brought along her female S1W's (maybe SNW's -- Security of the New World) who danced with tight, stern, choreography that matched the proceedings perfectly. By the time "Creator" rolled around, the tent was pure electricity. Remember way back in April when I said this could get huge?

The best part of this week has been our location, giving the ability to take regular breaks without having to walk for miles. I needed one after that (not to mention a cold shower). Cleaning up was necessary in order to go to church. Only two things stood in the way of SXSW's patron saint Roky Erickson, that was Duffy (not the webmaster but the latest British soul singer) and Okkervil River. Both were hindrances, as not being able to stand much longer started making me wish for home, my wife, and dog.


This is my third time seeing the "inventor of psychedelic rock," and even in the four year span since he's returned it's been a journey. By the grace of his brother, Roky looks completely recovered. He's gained a few, grown a Santa beard, but that voice has remained. See Roky solo now, see Roky belt out new songs, see Roky channel his inner demons and spirits for the benefit of the world. The Explosives, his backing band, kept chiming in about inducting him into the Rock Hall, but Roky's bigger than that. They should be begging for his approval. Being ten feet from a legend of his stature is what makes this fest so appealing -- magical.

3.15.2008

SXSW Day Three: Pissing Next to Keith Morris

...or smoking the bible with Bushwick Bill. Those starfuckers out there should be having a great time this week. Today Rachel Ray -- Tomorrow the world.


Say what you will about Pitchfork and their authority on modern music (the indie supreme court?) but they sure know how to fix a line-up. All one had to do is fashion a campsite at Emo's -- at least until four. I've never seen so many doods crouching and bouncing over tiny cities of junkyard electronic equipment (Playskool vs. Marshalls). The Animal Collective was mentioned yesterday, they are not playing here but their playful, mysterious, and transcendental composition is a common theme currently. High Places is the closest match fer sure. The boy/girl duo make make-believe out of tragic beats and found sound, sweetened with reverberated chipmunk vocals. Lykke Li (pictured above), a quartet from Stockholm, had a similar vibe, though she's an entirely different monster. Not monster, some wickedly beautiful cross between Joanna Newsom and Debbie Gibson. She was funky, fresh, dipping prog into pop, soul into pristine Swedish funk. Dance parties might not spring up at 1 PM in 89 degrees, still the band rode enough whimsy to challenge my feet.



Inside White Williams soldered stoner metal to Dayton street funk, all with blue-eyed passion. Then came Jay Retard, newly christened as a Matador Records recording artist. This is where the road started to shift and I was lead down an entirely dysfunctional avenue. I'm imagining Eno growing out his hair like Kirk Hammett, doing bubblegum thrash, raping the corpse of last year's garage rock wonders and spitting out the bones. Beware young children.



Ahhh....who else? Bon Iver did not fail to dissapoint. Anyone with a dry eye in the room didn't have a heart. Again, file under transcendental -- through perfect harmonies and rustic melancholy. Or Fuck Buttons, UK's rich privileged version of Wolf Eyes, only instead of diving into the bleak underbelly, they jet-set through rainbows.


Memo to Bradford Cox. I 100% prefer Atlas Sound over Deerhunter. Especially as you are flanked by chica bassist and chica drummer. Pushing cathartic rhythms towards a psych-punk maximum. Keep in mind, this was just my day, the clock hasn't even touched 6. We were met with whiffs of Enslaved, Matt and Kim, Fleet Foxes, and another triumphant TNV set before getting into nighttime.

I was happy to finally get a glimpse of Crystal Castles. Standing and stumbling on one leg they (now a trio with drums)drove white-hot Atari spikes through my skin, strobe lights and ecstatic din. I think I saw the future right before passing out. That album's gonna be addictive, the kids will soon fall in line.

If there's one thing that remains a constant, it's sticking with what you know. Now the essentialists are getting their profiles raised and bands like Psychedelic Horseshit and Los Llamarada are playing to packed rooms...being followed by Half Japanese (who are apparently going through their last go-round) and the Homosexuals and Bad Trips. The latter pummeling me into submission with "Sister Ray" reduxes to the point of saying uncle for the day.

Stay Tuned -- we're among the last throes of the insurgency.

3.14.2008

SXSW Day Two: More Cameras in My Monitors



Last year seemed to be all 'bout self-abuse, every morning spent bloodied and bruised with a brain full of mush. Not this year (I'm happy to report a clean bill of health -- wife, mother, father, and middle bro) as the local Whole Foods has contributed to expensive remedies (Tangerine Pom) and glorious produce. So 2008 is more for chilling, riding the wave, and not concerning myself with seeing every band within earshot.

Thursday in the sun, Steve and I only chalked up two bands, and spent most of the time taking in the sites and smells. We did see an early set from No Age, a band highly anticipated. The duo ripped through a taut set of their metaphysical skate-punk, throwing riffs, scattered percussion and ocean noise towards the winds to see what floats back. I was under the impression a lot of what they do is a put-on, like scaling the speakers and taping mics together for no particular reason, but their sincerity shines bright and the batch of new songs slated for their Sub Pop debut are painted with a wide swath of melodic discovery. Here's a little something to get the hype for this long-player rolling.



My favorite band of the day was undoubtedly Los Campesinos, a joyous twee-punk septet from Cardiff, Wales. This is exactly what emo could've become had it been built with earnest and Pavement guitar scrawls. These kids are adorable, rocking melodicas, violins, xylophones, wood blocks, synths, and hyper-syllabic group chants. My favorite line -- "I never like Henry Rollins." It's the ethos of new punk (they still hand make zines in Wales) dished out with plenty of smirk and heart-on-sleeve dedication. Plus they are the nicest group I've met in years. Please, if you're reading this, go see them at any cost.

The Campesinos are also big fans of Times New Viking. At this point in the fest it will be hard to find anyone who isn't transfixed by the buzz. We've made it a mission to marathon through every TNV set this week. Why? Because each show just gets better. I'm the guy who keeps jumping around, singing along with all the sing-alongs that have now morphed from slogans to gospel truths. As dusk approached at the French Legation Museum, the trio played what was probably the best and most concise I have ever seen them play. Keep on rolling...



Which lead me to the ultimate in showcasing, the (aforementioned on this blog) Siltbreeze get-down. Lo and behold I've not much to report because this was my view the entire night.



That's not sour grapes at all. I'm eternally indebted to Mr. Tom Lax, thanks for everything, now let's party). I loved seeing a new generation emptying wallets to buy avant-vinyl. I was particularly impressed by label newbies Naked on the Vague and the indecently loud psych bluster of a giddy Mike Rep and his Times New Quotas. Oh yeah, then there was this......



I can die happy if I hear the words "Psychedelic Horseshit" spoken on TRL. Onward champions.

3.13.2008

SXSW Day One: Jesus Gave Me a Migrane



Here I sit, high atop the Hilton with a headache. Blame it on the free Maker's Mark courtesy of John Norris and the extremely precise and professional staff of La Zona Rosa, who treated Times New Viking like they were three Bonos. Wow was their sound gigantic last night. I know for fact I'll see the "kids" play multiple times, this virgin set though couldn't have been better. I think the lack of enthusiasm from the crowd was due to awe -- most people at this fest have yet to be inundated with the "shitpop" phenomenon.

Sound issues and venue location plagued Columbus Discount once again, sadly. Night of Pleasure tore through their amphetamine punk without much regard to the troubles. As did the Unholy Two, who made more than enough mentions to the late great Dr. Martin Luther King. What a juxtaposition to have Chris Lutzko's heady feedback-laden crud blaring while blessed Austinites munched on overpriced BBQ. I could see the frustration in Adam Smith's eyes and wished I was technical enough to help with the technical difficulties.

Fortunately CDR's great white hopes, El Jeezy performed magically at high noon, with the sun beating down gloriously, and the free PBR already reminding the crowd of a late sweaty night at the Boo Boo. From there we headed to the Fader Fort (a loving nod to Harmeet Kala) where more free booze was the object of desire. Jeremy Jay was mediocre Jordan O' Jordan (where the fuck is that guy), shaky singer-songwriter flak that didn't impress. The Ruby Suns, who just released a great tropical topical record on Sub Pop, couldn't exactly translate live, coming off like a second-rate romper-room Animal Collective with none of the flair. The biggest surprise was the re-invention of the Kills, who I thought were dead in the water, but managed to present a new strain of icky thump coming through busted ghetto blaster. They got beats and soul. Beats and soul.



Speaking of beats, after the honeymoon with TNV the night took a turn towards electronics. Lindstrom from Oslo, Norway chilled a packed Thirsty Nickel into blissful submission. This was not the ideal venue for him unfortunately, he needed neon and darkness, smoke and weed, not body shots and white caps. Get this guy another show, someone. Our important last slot decision was to see Bon Iver atop Maggie Mae's, but the capacity crowd and undesirable setting forced to seek shelter elsewhere. So we took a risk and headed up to the Karma Lounge -- the best decision of the day. There we got a taste of Cut Copy's amazing skills as DJs(Diplo should be worried) and the riotous arrival of Tough Alliance, who basically lip-synced their entire album amid videos of dolphins and sickly sweet dry ice. It was wild, a pop filled mix of Bronski Beat and Wham! -- all the gay wonders I secretly adore.

3.10.2008

The Countdown Begins...


I've been tempted the last few days to keep my regular posts alive. Something about Polvo nostalgia (coming soon), something about Cheveu (I missed the show but I'll see them six times this week, and I've listened to the album non-stop), but the only thing on my mind is the Siltbreeze Showcase coming up this Thursday.

So, in an effort to get every single person attending SXSW to cram themselves into the Soho Lounge I must use my patented hyperbole to pimp what might be the center of the SXSW "shitpop" universe this week. The Siltbreeze Showcase is nothing short of brilliant. Like Michelle Obama said two weeks ago it's the first time I've ever felt proud to be an American (or an Australian, or a Mexican, but alas Los Llamarada won't make it to the U.S.A. till Friday (go see them anyways).

The Line-Up:

8:00 - Ex-Cocaine from Missoula, MT

8:40 - Blues Control from Brooklyn, NY

9:20 - Naked on the Vague from Melbourne, AUS

10:00 - Eat Skull from Portland, OR

10:40 - Mike "Rep" Hummel from Harrisburg, OH

11:20 - Psychedelic Horseshit from Columbus, OH

12:00 - XNO BarbequeX from Sydney, AUS

12:40 - Pink Reason from Parts Unknown

1:20 - Times New Viking from Over the Edge, CA

Hopefully I'll get some free records out of the deal. Till' then, if you're in the Denver Airport tomorrow round 3 PM, I'll meet you at the freak lounge for drinks.

Check here regularly for up to the minute SXSW news, spews, pictures, and rumours about your favorite stars. Thus starts another fucking adventure.

3.03.2008

The Best X-mas Present Ever


Being in San Fransisco for a brief six months, Doug/Blonee/Middle Bro, brought few things back that were worthwhile besides stories about medical marijuana and the original full time innovator, Ben (a.k.a. Grandpa), and how the two interact. He did however spend plenty of time(and money)at Aquarius Records where he purchased the most self-less X-mas present ever for Adam/Huffy/Little Bro and myself. Of course he stashed a Buddha Machine for himself first but gave each of us one to treasure for a lifetime.

For those unfamiliar the Buddha Machine is a small plastic box, the size of a cigarette pack, with one speaker, and containing nine perpetual loops (my included battery has yet to die) that can be switched at random with a toggle at the top. The only other features are a volume wheel and an audio out plug. Sounds almost like a Family Dollar Ipod, but the ghostly atmospheres packed inside are close to magic. By themselves the loops are hypnotic, almost spiritual, after a length of time textures begin to appear, blow it through stereo speakers or a Marshall and the loops distort, engulf. As a piece of home entertainment the Buddha Machine is what you make it -- mood sound for meditation or, played somewhere in the room along with any competent psychedelic record it adds another intoxicating dimension. Perfect with anything by the Boredoms, Faust,
Grateful Dead, etc. etc. etc. There's a reason Brian Eno and Sir Richard Bishop both have bought dozens of these for live shows and experimentation. As a musical instrument, FM3 (the Chinese electronic duo who invented the thing) have made their art a tool that goes beyond the simple series of 15 second tones, it's being used in colorfully different ways. But they've recorded much more than this immortal artifact, and now playing SXSW I'm intrigued as to what they can accomplish with a live hour of music.