It’s Almost Time For Positivus
I might be the only person who finds the festival a lot like the Austin City Limits Music Festival, but with a Latvian twist!
While this year my life may not allow me to go (turns out you can only be in one place at a time) I’m still VERY pleased that the Positivus lineup this year includes a lot of women. The schedule includes far more women than you would find at a festival of equal size and stature in the US. Female artists and female led bands at Positivus include: Indiana, Miamee, Soak, Jennie Abrahamson, Warpaint, Alise Joste, Sibyl Vane, Kate Boy, St. Vincent and Charli XCX. Latvians would also include Astro’n’Out and Triana Park, both of which are led by a strong female presence. It’s possible I’m missing a few other female led acts in the lineup.
One of the female Positivus Festival headliners is St. Vincent (Annie Clark), who grew up in greater Dallas, Texas. I’ve seen her play several times in Austin, from the Fun Fun Fun Fest in Waterloo Park, to the NPR showcase during South by Southwest. She’s always lovely and ethereal. Below is a SXSW interview of the artist.
Warpaint is also playing the festival. I’ve seen the band several times, including at SXSW and Austin Psych Fest, as well as opening for The National. If you haven’t seen them before and you are going to Positivus, you’re in for a treat!
Below are some pictures of Warpaint from the SPIN party at SXSW!
Again playing Positivus is pop diva Charli XCX, who is behind a number of current pop hits like Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and who does a really fun live show herself. I find it amusing that this photo of her that I took at Positivus a couple of years ago has been used so many times by other people.
Charli XCX also played Glastonbury this past weekend:
Apart from the female acts at Positivus this year are some other bands I care about.
One of the acts that I loved at South by Southwest this year was Public Service Broadcasting, a fun British art-rock act that I saw at the SXSW “British Embassy”, and who also played Glastonbury this past weekend. I’ve only seen the band in a tiny cramped club, so I hope that they do something really fabulous when given more a larger stage and much physical room to work with!
Then there is Ewert and the Two Dragons, an Estonian act so huge in the Baltic region that they will doubtless again have the Positivus crowd singing along to their hits!
I’d also be curious to see Mona de Bo, a Latvian noise/experimental band whom I met when they came to Austin for SXSW. They released a couple of albums on the Latvian “I Love You” label, then broke up. I don’t know if they are back together full-time, or if this is a one-off show.
One year when I came back from Latvia, I brought back some Mona de Bo vinyl records for noted Swans drummer/percussionist/shaman/ unofficial mayor of Austin’s Eastside Thor Harris, who has told me several times how much he enjoyed the albums. What Mona de Bo does is somewhat specialized and esoteric, but I’m always curious about where they are going. They follow their own path, which is always interesting to hear.
Of the bands whom I haven’t yet seen play live who are appearing at Positivus this year, I’d be most curious to see Manchester’s Everything Everything, who also played Glastonbury this year!
Then there is the Belorussian band Super Besse, who all my Latvian music friends were blown away by at Positivus last year, but whom I missed. Apparently they were so intense that my friend noted that their guitar player played through part of the set with bloody fingertips, which didn’t stop the show.
Super Besse is playing at the “I Love You” stage.
Finally, if I were going to Positivus this year, I’d totally want to check out East India Youth, whom I missed at SXSW this year, despite the fact that the melancholy act was on many “must see” lists. He just played Glastonbury, and has been reviewed in Pitchfork.
Assuming that I don’t make it this year, someone eat some carrots from the vegetable stand, have a cup of pink soup for me, and dance in the mud.