SXSW Spotlight: Chin Chin, Cage

With SXSW just over 2 weeks away, we’re going to help you plan your venue-hopping schedule with a Daily-Rind-Daily South-By-Spotlight (whew, that’s a mouthful!) every weekday until the big day.

First up we’ve got showcases from Chin Chin and Cage, on the Brooklyn indie label Definitive Jux – owned by none other than the inimitable Company Flow founder and solo artist extraordinaire El-P.

Chin Chin are a fun(k) electro band that also play as El-P’s backing band when they’re not doing their own thing; their own thing being a groovy breed of hip-shaking dance music that owes as much to funk and r&b as it does to disco.  Their second LP The Flashing, The Fancing lands next week in all stores, and to lead up to its release the band has been recording a hilarious series of viral videos, which will soon be combined into the final video for track “GG and the Boys.”  Check out episodes 1, 2 and 3 on Def Jux’s YouTube channel.

The boys are playing 2 shows down in Austin on Friday, March 20th.  Full details and Cage info after the jump.


Nina Simone’s Great Performances Out Now on iTunes

This week marked the exclusive iTunes movie release of Nina Simone: Great Performances – Live College Concerts & Interviews, a documentary collection of rare performances and interviews with the legend.  Recorded primarily in 1968, the film features live shows from The University of Massachusetts (Amherst) and Atlanta’s Morehouse College, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called home.

Nina expresses her strong political views in these intimate interviews, as well as offering moving renditions of “Strange Fruit,” “Suzanne,” and “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” the latter which she dedicates to the African American members of the student body she’s performing for.

Watch the trailer here, and buy the documentary to remind yourself why Nina Simone is considered one of the greatest voices of our time (but really, you shouldn’t need a reminder – just buy it so you can relish in her musical and lyrical splendor repeatedly)!

Japanese Motors Land Spot As Main Openers For Modest Mouse Tour

The chillaxed Orange County based four-piece known as Japanese Motors, whose all new digital-only EP Perception of Reality drops March 3rd, have announced they will have some very special touring buddies in the coming months. The quartet will act as the main support for the mighty Modest Mouse and their 19 date US tour. It kicked off this past weekend in Oakland, California and will make its way to Terminal 5 in New York City almost three weeks later.

After the Motors bring their raucous live show to the big apple, the group will be heading to South By Southwest for several shows yet to be announced. The most recent addition to the Vice Records roster, these four boys have cooked up a recipe equal parts gritty garage rock and Beach Boys inspired pop. Fronted by pro-surfer Alex Knost, whose skills were featured prominently in the 2003 surf doc Step Into Liquid, the group stays true to the roots of surfer rock: poppy hooks, group vocals and hand claps. Tour dates after the jump. Totally tubular, duude.


La Strada Drop Acclaimed New Fuzz-Americana EP, Draw Comparisons To Neutral Milk

Fuzz Americana folkies La Strada are celebrating the release of their debut six song sing-along La Strada this week on Ernest Jenning Record Co. Having dropped on Tuesday, the record features lead-off single “The Sun Song,” a swooning, swing-heavy shanty reeking of maturity and confidence for such a young group; “I’m not afraid to open the door, anymore.” The release  is garnering the band comparisons to fuzz folk legends Neutral Milk Hotel and new-worldies Beirut; no small feat by any means!

While the band is destined to share the spotlight with the likes of Beirut and Devotchka, they bring to the table a unique Americana spirit not often found in the average Brooklyn buzz band. Huffington Post claims, “La Strada offers up the best of the New York indie scene: interesting music made by talented people who have a point of view and a love for what they do.” The consensus is that the septet have crafted a field study on the old world, rooted in the street corners of Paris and the snowy mountaintops of the Balkans as much as it is squarely fixated on their native NYC. Catch them this March for their record release show in Brooklyn and during several dates across the country.


Art Imitates Life on Cage’s New Album “Depart From Me”

Depression, losing a friend and album collaborator to lung cancer, a nasty breakup, and living on an air mattress for three months has armed rapper Cage with more than enough real life inspiration for his new record Depart From Me.  Having “.. sabotaged relationships so [he] could write about it,” Chris Palko offers an art-imitates-life set that’s poised to be the “realest” record of his career, dropping June 30th on Def Jux.  Scheduled to play SXSW at the Biz3 showcase at Club DeVille alongside Kid SisterLady SovereignChin ChinHollywood HoltThunderheist and Asher Roth, this tormented wordsmith is ready to hit the scene with the followup to his acclaimed 2005 release Hell’s Winter.  Fresh off a Pitchfork feature, his new single “Nothing Left To Say” is buzzing just about as hard as his tortured rhymes. Featuring lyrics and production from the late Camu Tau, Sean Martin (ex Hatebreed) and underground Hip Hop phenoms El-P and Aesop Rock, Depart From Me is 14 tracks of real, emotionally scarring and therapeutic life stories over mostly sample-less and progressive beats.  CAGE IS BACK IN FULL EFFECT!!!  Check his videos and select tracks from the album on his myspace.