[Retrospective: Anathallo @ SXSW]



I had the pleasure to have the Chicago-based septet Anathallo start off my South By last year, so I couldn't see any more appropriateness in this group starting things off once again for me this year. Stuffing the stage with their instruments, let alone their sheer number, the group set up before taking to a small, tight circle - a meditative concentration, a pow-wow. The thing about Anathallo that I most love is the fact that watching them is truly an experience. Yes, that can be said about a lot of bands, but Anathallo, in particular, refuses to let you watch through the glass, from the outside looking in. From their circle, they slowly opened up to include the crowd. Taking to their instruments, you could really see the vast experience this group had to offer. Harmonicas, xylophones, trumpets, trombones - hell, they even used bricks. If it was capable of making a noise, you can be assured these guys used it or at least are capable of using it in their arsenal of instruments. Instruments in hand, Anathallo streams through the speakers a powerful sound deserving of the experience they deliver. An ambient sound bubbled the tent into it's own private world, and in this stew of sounds, Anathallo stirred things around with gallant beats and prophetic vocals. I'm not one to use hyperbole, but watching this group live is downright religious. They may not be exorcising the demons of dance, but considering the way their sound surrounds you, something inside you gets lifted. And it's in this nirvana that you watch and observe everything. A brilliant start to South By...

Various songs from Anathallo (all songs are right click - save as):
Dokkoise House (With Face Covered)
Hanasakajijii (Four: A Great Wind, More Ash)

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No Otherwheres For This One Guys

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