SXSW: CHRISTEENE

On Wednesday, March 14, Cheer Up Charlie’s stage on East 6th St. in Austin was terrorized by CHRISTEENE. Backed by dancers C-BABY and T-GRAVEL, along with DJ JJ BOOYA, CHRISTEENE’s performance was centered around a broke ass grunge aesthetic smeared with sweat and sensuality. CHRISTEENE’s performances are full of the fury of the most aggressive metal, oscillating between whimsy and rage with unsettling speed.

When CHRISTEENE hit the stage, it was serious business. The music had a serious edge that wavered on fanaticism. The lyrics took front stage, tackling gender roles, race, sexuality, celebrity, religion, and morality by combining a hyper sexual aesthetic and grotesque aggression with electro, R&B, hip hop and dubstep.

CHRISTEENE, the drag persona of Austin-based performer Paul Soileau, embodies the primal rage of a neanderthal channeled through the self-obsession of the contemporary American woman.

Fans of Peaches, Die Antwoord, and Big Freedia are sure to appreciate CHRISTEENE.

CHRISTEENE is currently running a Kickstarter campaign in order to launch and release their first album. The album has been in the works for two years.

A year and a half ago, CHRISTEENE set up a kickstarter to help fund the production of videos for “African Mayonaise” video along with “Bustin’ Brown.” The success of those campaigns is the core motivation to reach out to their fans via Kickstarter again to help make their album a reality.

During their set on Wednesday, the four tore the crowd apart with the ferociously incisive reflection on the sexualized cult of fame. African Mayonaise. It sure is a crowd pleasure.

Post by Juan Fernandez


SXSW: Octopus Project

Background audio: “Truck” by The Octopus Project

Vlog by Juan Fernandez


SXSW: Secretly Canadian

WRCT receives music from several amazing record labels. One record labels that I have grown to love is Secretly Canadian, a label based in Bloomington, Ind., and consistently releases music that is original while remaining highly accessible. While planning for SXSW, I made it my mission to catch some performances from bands signed to Secretly Canadian. On Monday, March 12, I was able to see both Gardens & Villa and Exitmusic, two unique bands signed to Secretly Canadian, perform at the French Legation Museum as part of Warby Parker’s Citizen Circus.

The vibe at the French Legation Museum was great for a mid-day show. The bands played on an elevated, makeshift stage at the bottom of the hill with concert-goers, ranging in age from infantile to middle-aged, lounging on the upper part of the hill. There was an emphasis on family friendliness that was understandably lacking at other events.

I arrived right at the beginning of Gardens & Villa’s set and was more than happy to just lay in the grass and listen to their synth-pop filled set. They had a tight groove going between their percussion section and synths, but lead singer Christopher Lynch carried the show with his deeply affected singing and flute playing.

Here’s the music video for “Black Hills” by Gardens & Villa:

Exitmusic played a slightly darker set, but the chilled out vibe remained as a prominent characteristic of the day. Aleksa Palladino’s vocals were the cornerstone of Exitmusic’s performance. I’ve listened to Exitmusic in passing, but it was only live that I realized the strength of Palladino’s vocals, especially during mic checks, when she gave a short a capella performance.

Here’s music video for Exitmusic’s “The Hours”:

Post by Matt Mastricova


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