Mix Tape Monday: Sounds of SXSW

Spring is here and its the start of music festival season. In honor of the SXSW music festival that just finished up this weekend here are my favorite picks from both their international day stage and from their general line up. While I wish I could have been there in the flesh (why must you be so cold Boston?) these picks were curated and selected from my online investigations. If you got to see these bands live be sure to comment below!

Levante – Alfonso. No one will tell you that your life is shit quite as charmingly as this Italian songstress. Need more quirky doses of reality? Give Memo a try.

Toffee 太妃堂 – Vintage Love. This group of classically trained Taiwanese artists mix modern styles with traditional Chinese music. If you’re more in the mood for a power ballad, fear not! Listen to 首波抒情主打《斷》and be amazed by the sets.

Indevotion – Pretty Little Liar. Paramore and Hayley Williams fans should check this band out because (as other netizens have pointed out) I’m pretty sure this is her long lost Swedish sister.  Listen to Go Go Go Go Go! and Beating like a Drum.

La Guacha – Matorrales. I love this Chilean band! It makes me feel like its socially acceptable to tango on the subway. Listen  Tanta and Amor Platónico if you need to add spice to your morning commute.

Fuel Fandango – New Life. I cheated a little bit this Spanish duo is from last year’s festival but I had to sneak them in. Check out  Read My Lips as well.

Anyone I missed from the lineup that you loved? Or any favorite music festivals for international music? Add your comments below!

Mix Tape Monday: No Rules


You gotta break the rules sometime and today’s theme is no theme! What?! Anarchy! Madness! You say? Well we all need a little shaking up sometime.

Theme or not, I still love all these tracks so give them a shot and let me know what you think!

きのこ帝国 – 海と花束 (MV). I believe this band’s name translates roughly to Mushroom Empire but I’m not expert at Japanese (cough – I used Google translate – cough) so don’t hold me to it! I love their combination of dreamy lyrics set to some amazing guitar. It’s almost like hard rock shoe gaze…or shoe rock if you will. If you like this combo try 東京.

Madjo – Le Monstre.  I listen to this and wish that I could sound this sultry in French without trying (or just this sultry in general).

Tree Of Life 生命樹樂團 – I just discovered this Chinese band and I absolutely love this track (I’m a sucker for violins, guys.)  I’m hoping to find more by them soon!

Bradio – Fever. This Japanese band is just plain fun plus the lead singer has an afro that inspires my admiration. Flyers and Golden Liar are also must listens.

SALTNPAPER (솔튼페이퍼) – 완벽해요 (Perfect). Do you want your ears caressed and soothed with dulcet Korean lyrics from the inside out? Then do I have the perfect song for you.

Leningrad – Fish. Just because I can. Yes friends. I have found a Russian ska version of Tom Waits singing with a full band. There are sailor outfits, there are fabulous hats, and there may even be a tuba involved (or a sousaphone I never can tell). Want more? Here you go! Фиаско (без цензуры)

Mix Tape Mondays: Without Borders

Here are some bands to challenge your ideas of nationality as well as give you awesome music. They don’t fit into those neat little categories. Transnational, multilingual, and badass. They all offer thought provoking forays into defining modern identity without causing me to fall into a Hamlet-like spiral of existential angst. Now excuse me while I try to teach myself another language…or three.


Yoshida Brothers and Monkey Majik – Change. The band Monkey Majik is a Japanese Canadian band based in Japan. Their collaboration with the Yoshida Brother’s traditional Japanese shamisen is instantly intriguing. Monkey Majik sings this song in English but many of their songs are also Japanese or a mix of both. Try Alive.

White City – Space Cadet. Throw a Brit, a Swede, and an Aussie together in Kabul and what do you get? White City, that’s what! Like this try Perfect 10.

Ibeyi – Oya. French-Cuban mistresses of haunting sounds need I say more? They also  sing in Yoruba a Nigerian language. Listen to River and Mama Says. Kudoos to Abena for bringing these ladies to my attention!

The Royal Pirates – Drawing the Line. Oh hey. Royal Pirates I see you and your meta music video references. This Korean-American band have both Korean and English versions of some of their songs, cause that’s how they roll. Listen to Love Toxic and Fly to You

Add you favorites below!

Mix Tape Monday: Chicken Noodle Soup

Are you sick?

 Alright then. Consider adding these songs to your convalescing routine. That’s right! In addition to hot tea, soup, medicine, and large quantities of tissues soothe those eardrums of yours. They need love too. Wrap yourself in the fuzzy blanket of sound and forget about that headache and how cold it is outside.

Christophe Mae – On S’Attache. While Christophe’s quirky falsetto may not be for everyone I really enjoy his style (a sort of Jack Johnson jam session sort of vibe.) Plus he’s on a beach. It’s impossible to be sick and on a beach right? Check out Tombé Sous Le Charme.

Akdong Musician (also known as AKMU) – Melted. This sibling duo has taken South Korea by storm. Try Galaxy and Give Love for a more bubbly sound and a reminder that even if you’re sick the world is a pretty great place.

Nujabes – Aruarian Dance. Too sick to process lyrics? Look no further. This Japanese DJ and producer has got your back. These tracks are about as soothing as you can get. Counting Stars and Mystline will provide similar auditory relief.

Carla Bruni – Quelqu’un m’a dit. This Italian lady is a singer, actress, model, wife of Sarkozy. She nails the breathy French sound in this track and in Raphael as well.

Jhameel – White Lie. An all around renaissance man Jhameel has a vast musical range. I love many of his more upbeat rock/pop tracks but for those chill days try  Waves, and Poison.

The Chieftains – Sea Image. When you are on the road to recovery this Irish band always puts a spring in my step and me in a better mode. Listen to Boil the Breakfast Early or Chase Around the Windmill  just be warned you may be moved to dance a jig or two!

Any comfort songs I missed? Add them down below!