Prince Rama

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Seen at: Treasure City Thrift
On: Friday, March 20, 2009

Prince Rama was, undoubtedly, the weirdest, most compelling show I saw all week. Two drummers playing a part that could have easily been done by a lone, competent percussionist? A spacey, autoharp strumming neo-flower child operatically moaning into the microphone? A dirty-moustached, head-banging, keyboard mashing teenager opposite? And when the power blew – as it would several times at Treasure City Thrift over the course of the afternoon – a stomping, clapping, a capella gospel number? Wait, what?

Of the thirty-odd bands I saw at SXSW (a lighter week than I had hoped), Prince Rama also has the songs that stick most clearly in my mind. Processional, noisy, distorted lamentations and proclamations about God-knows-what make Prince Rama a band that one is compelled towards and mesmerized by like Odysseus to his sirens. I have a strange feeling that I'll be seeing them again.