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Posts Tagged ‘SXSW’

Happy Memorial Day, all. I hope you’ve enjoyed the first long weekend of the summer (our Canadian friends beat us to it, with Victoria Day last week).

I wanted to share another favorite new artist with you – Molly Venter, who was part of the showcase we heard at SXSW in March. Her music is difficult to categorize, which is part of why I love it. I’m listening to her as I type, and well, she’s part folk, part rock, part bluesy and all “indie.” (I’m still not sure I’m cool enough to know what that means.)

Because I’m a writer, I’m a lyrics girl – I tend to like musicians who write/sing soulful, honest lyrics, regardless of the style. (This is why I love country music – so much of it is good writing, about the things that matter.) Molly writes her own stuff and oh, I love her way with words. Here are a few favorite lyrics:

I’ve lost my taste for keeping score
I don’t know what’s real anymore
– Real Anymore

Love me like you mean it – like I’m the only thing you need
I’m not holding back on you, so don’t hold back on me
-Love Me Like You Mean It

I would write you a letter 100 pages long
And I would knit you a sweater so you could see the time I spent on it
And I would make you five dozen cookies, all your favorite kinds
And I would wrap them up and send them as fast as I could
So they would get there in time…
-Write You a Letter

You can listen to some of her songs on her Myspace site, and here are a couple of videos:

Who’s on your playlist (or stereo, or iPod) lately?

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I love knowing people who live in Austin, because they always know where to find the good music. Our friend Joey’s wedding in mid-March coincided with SXSW, a huge music/film/interactive festival, and our friends and hosts Craig and Laura already had tickets to some events. So we caught a showcase at the Zach Scott Theatre (in which we got to make a music video with Ginger Leigh). Totally cool. But before that, around lunchtime on Friday, we caught a live outdoor performance by Grace Pettis.

“Songwriting just oozes out of her pores,” Laura said about Grace, and after seeing her live, I believe it. This girl is 22 – a recent college grad, the daughter of singer-songwriter Pierce Pettis, who has written songs covered by people like Joan Baez and Garth Brooks, among others. But she’s got loads of her own talent, and charm to spare. She played under a tent at Mother Egan’s Pub, as part of the label party for Red House Records, and oh MY, she blew us away. (Can’t you see her joy and energy just bursting out in this photo?)

I bought her self-titled album and have listened to it over and over since that week. I love every single song on it, from the rollicking “Let a Little Light” to the honest “Nine to Five Girl” to the slow, soulful “Dancing” and “What You Didn’t Want to Know,” both of which made me cry when she played them live. I love the carefree zing of “Italy” and the haunting tones of “The Gypsy’s Code.” She has soul, and talent, and a great voice, and the combination is just pure magic.

You can listen to a few of her songs on her Myspace site. Or, if you prefer, here’s some video from that performance:

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Charge Laughing

In March, when we were down in Austin for Joey’s wedding, Jeremiah and I wound up at the Zach Scott Theatre, a super-cool, in-the-round venue, for a showcase called Zach by Zach Scott, part of SXSW. The lineup included some amazing musicians, such as the soulful Dave Madden, the sassy Molly Venter, a couple of bands from Denmark (whose names I have forgotten), the insanely talented John Pointer, and the fabulous Ginger Leigh.

She asked us, the audience, to help her out – she was entering a contest sponsored by Ellen DeGeneres to find a new “anthem” – and so she had us sing along with her on her personal anthem, “Charge Laughing.” I stumbled on the video on her site yesterday, so here it is for your viewing pleasure:

Jeremiah and I are actually in there twice – at about 1:16 and 2:39, on the right side of the screen. I’m the one in the green scarf; he’s beside me, and on my other side are our friends Craig and Laura.

Happy Friday, everyone. And go forward laughing.

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