Jim James

Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells performs at the Myspace Secret Show Friday.

Photo Credit: Kelsey McKinney | Daily Texan Staff

We spent last night at the second of three Myspace "secret shows." These shows are open to badge members as well as very devout rumor followers who keep close tabs on the secret show wristband giveaways. We were lucky to make it into the 800 person Coppertank Events Center

Theophilus London 

London had his own stage on the north end of the events center where he started off the secret show by dee-jaying some favorite Top-40 songs from Nikki Minaj to Adele. People in the crowd were happy and feeling elitist for their entry into such a small venue. The air-conditioning blew strong and people bobbed around while sipping Tito's vodka. London was the "host" of the secret show, which really only meant that he would appear for 30 minute time blocks between sets to keep momentum up. 

songs to listen to: "I Stand Alone" and "Wine and Chocolates"

Dillion Francis

Francis led off the official myspace show with an electronica set. He wore a skinny tie and started off the set with a lot of excitement. Apparently, Francis came to fame because Diplo liked one of his songs and as we all know Diplo pretty much controls everything. This pick, however, might have been poor. Francis could not maintain momentum. He would raise the tempo of songs, have great audience participation, and then drop the beat into something slow that no one knew how to dance to. Everyone was happier when London reappeared. 

songs to listen to: "Here to China"

Sleigh Bells

After a thirty minute sound-check and microphone set-up, everyone was thrilled to welcome Sleigh Bells to the stage. Alexis Krauss wore her uniform: black leather studded jacket and cut off army print shorts. Her bangs fell down over her eyes only in the moments when she wasn't headbanging or dancing, which was never. Krauss is Sleigh Bells. She crowd surfed and let audience members sing into her microphone. For the entire hour set, Krauss never stopped moving and the audience danced with her. As evidenced by the massive clearout of the venue after Sleigh Bells' set, Krauss was the true reason for the show. 

songs to listen to: "Comeback Kid"  and "Riot Rythm" 

Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus set up a massive white screen in front of his DJ stand that projected geometric shapes and trancy graphics between him and the audience. Beween the Sleigh Bells set and Flying Lotus's set, not only did a mass exodus occur, but  the crowd turned over from from a group of WASPy dancers to many dreadlocked head-nodders. Lotus, whose music exists somewhere between the realms of electronic dance and acoustic rap, brought the tone back down to the inconsistent momentum of Dillon. We bailed after a few songs.

songs to listen to: "Zodiac Shit" and probably nothing else.

Here are some other shows we saw yesterday: 

Divine Fits

The gates were expanded for this year’s Auditorium Shores shows to accommodate larger crowds for the Divine Fits/Jim James/Flaming Lips performance. Divine Fits finished out a week of shows at the venue and fans kicked up dust as they danced along. In my opinion, they should have played after Jim James instead of before. Their performance was much more enjoyable.

Song to listen to: Would That Not Be Nice

Jim James

Jim James might actually be the most ridiculous performer I’ve ever seen. He came out wearing a suit and I’m not sure he ever actually stopped pacing across the front of the stage. I’m not sure what I hated more: the horrendous singing or the horrendously overdone guitar solos on the Flying V he had stationed at the front of the stage on a stand. Never seeing Jim James perform ever again would be nice.

Song to listen to: They are all awful

The Flaming Lips

In my opinion, Wayne Coyne can do no wrong, but a lot of people at Friday’s Auditorium Shores performance disagree. The Flaming Lips debuted their entire unreleased album, The Terror, which was complete with a provocative, in your face show that included light up baby dolls and a topless woman in a larger than life hamster ball. Upon finishing the new show, Coyne humored old fans by playing several songs from Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. Coyne teased the possibility of Justin Timberlake joining the band on stage to perform Do You Realize??, but to our incredible dismay, it was Jim James and his ridiculous ego who came back onto the stage to help the Lips perform the closing song. Nonetheless, singing Do You Realize?? with Wayne Coyne and thousands of other people under a beautiful night sky in Austin, Texas is a beautiful experience. Somehow, people left disappointed. Haters gonna hate, I guess.

Song to listen to: Look, The Sun Is Rising 


Vampire Weekend perform “Unbelievers” on Jimmy Kimmel on Oct. 31, 2012. Photo courtesy of Live Music Trajectory

The year 2013 is turning into a year of musical comebacks. With new music from artists like David Bowie, Destiny’s Child and Justin Timberlake, it will be interesting to see just how much room opens up for newer acts to steal the spotlight.

1. David Bowie, The Next Day | March
David Bowie is a genre-spanning, gender-bending, trend-setting musical god. The Next Day will be his 26th studio album and his first album in ten years. Bowie has been laying low since the release of Reality in 2003 but gifted his fans with the single “Where Are We Now?” Jan. 8. 

2. Iceage, You’re Nothing | February
Iceage is a punk band made up of four devilishly talented Danish youths. You’re Nothing follows 2011’s New Brigade, which was 24 minutes of thrashing guitars, spastic drums and angry, growling vocals that would leave any listener with headbang hair. The band revealed the track “Coalition” Jan. 7, and if it’s any indication of You’re Nothing’s direction, then expect to be completely destroyed by sheer punk force (it’s a good thing, I promise). 

3. Bleached, Ride Your Heart | April
Bleached, consisting of Los Angeles sisters Jennifer and Jessica Clavin, are the effortlessly cool rock girls that Urban Outfitters tries to recreate in every catalogue. The sisters, both former members of Mika Miko, are releasing their debut album Ride Your Heart this year. Their sound is the perfect balance of warm, washed out guitars and upbeat garage punk drums that will leave listeners yearning to feel the California sun shining on their cheeks. Or to go buy leather jackets.

4. Jim James, Regions of Light and Sound of God | February
Jim James is a busy man. In addition to fronting Kentucky rock outfit My Morning Jacket, James has done solo contributions here and there and formed the supergroup Monsters of Folk, an indie wet-dream including Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes and M. Ward. The track “Know Til Now” is a ‘70s R&B-sounding throwback that is unlike anything heard from James until now. Plus, he has the voice of an angel. It’s true. 

5. Vampire Weekend, TBA  
The stylish New Yorkers that simultaneously created the genre of ivy league pop and sound-tracked many high school experiences are back. This currently unnamed record is the group’s third album, following 2010’s Contra. All that’s been heard from Vampire Weekend up until now is the track “The Unbelievers,” which they performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live last October. Thankfully, the appearance confirmed that Ezra Koenig is indeed just as cute as he used to be, in that dreamy ‘80s rich kid kind of way. 

6. Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience | TBA
Your boyfriend Justin Timberlake is back, releasing his first album since 2006’s FutureSex/LoveSounds. The ever-smooth, ever-sexy Timberlake has ended his six-year musical hiatus and released the sharp R&B single “Suit & Tie.” While it was fun to watch Timberlake try his hand at acting and sing about putting his thing in a box, it appears that the world is ready for his return.

7. Destiny’s Child, Love Songs | January  
Destiny’s Child will never go away. Granted, Love Songs is primarily a compilation of the its old songs, with the very special addition of “Nuclear,” the group’s first song together since they broke up in 2005. “Nuclear” has an early ‘90s girl group feeling that makes you yearn for the group’s earlier work. Hopefully the Destiny’s Child reunion at the Super Bowl will reignite the girl group magic and inspire a completely new reunion album. 

8. Beach Fossils, Clash the Truth | February
Brooklyn foursome Beach Fossils is releasing the follow up to its 2010 self-titled debut. If recently released singles “Shallow” and “Careless” are any indicators, Beach Fossils’ dreamy surf pop is about to make an upbeat return after their gloomier EP What a Pleasure. The band’s grimy and windswept sound is sprinkled with a healthy dose of hazy nostalgia. Never heard of the foursome? Think along the lines of if Vampire Weekend went to public school.  

9. Earl Sweatshirt, Doris | TBA
Doris is the much-anticipated second album from rapper Earl Sweatshirt, who for those that don’t know, is arguably one of the most talented members of the band Odd Future. On the recently released track “Chum,” Earl delivers deeply confessional lyrics with such ease and frankness that it’s hard to believe he is only 18-years-old. And with the success of Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, the music community is wondering if Earl will be as fortunate.