Tokyo-based Kao=S (pronounced 'kaus' - like house) mixes modern acoustic rock guitar riffs with the tsugaru syamisen - a traditional Japanese string instrument - accompanied by the shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) and Japanese sword performance.
The band is made up of Kaori (vocal/sword performance), Shuji (guitar/vocal), Jack (tsugaru syamisen and Daisuke (shakuhachi).
"Me and Jack played together in a different [group] and I met Shuji [when] I went to Shuji's live show and I talked to him [and said], 'Let's play together,'" Kaori said.
For his latest album, "In Focus?," Shugo Tokumaru maintained complete control over the creative process and played all the instruments on the recorded disk. In order to perform live, however, he needed some help, and had his band to back him up.
While the band delivered the songs with energy, complete with the subtle textural nuances that give Shugo's songs a little something special, he was visibly focused on the other two musicians during their performance the afternoon of March 14.
Marianne Dissard is an artist in every sense of the word.
She is a filmmaker, a poet, a singer, and not a single word or movement is wasted. When she plays live, all these elements combine on stage to deliver a story of depression, exhaustion, frustration, intrigue and joy.
The Tucson Music Factory showcase on March 12 at SXSW was the debut of her live collaboration with Budo, a Seattle-based producer and multi-instrumentalist who is known more for his work in Hip Hop circles than World Music.
Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Pertti Kurikka's Name Day), a punk band from Finland, is the subject of the documentary "The Punk Syndrome," which won the SXGlobal Audience Award at this year's SXSW Film Festival.
The documentary provides a sincere and honest look at the lives of the four band members, who are all adults living with varying degrees of mental intellectual disabilities.
The band is made up of Pertti Kurikka (guitar), Kari Aalito (vocals), Sami Helle (bass) and Toni Välitalo (drums).