Countdown to SXSW: Big Data and/or Joywave

by Gordon Elgart on March 5, 2015

Big Data and Joywave on Late Night with Seth Meyers

Big Data and Joywave on Late Night with Seth Meyers on NBC, in a video that has sadly been wiped from the internet.

Here’s a tough one. I have no idea if I’m a fan of Big Data or Joywave. Maybe I’m a fan of both. What I do know is that their single, “Dangerous,” has been on heavy rotation for me since the first time I heard it blasting out of my car’s speakers on Live 105. The main riff is just so driving and infectious, the wandering drums that punctuate the beats are addictive, and the vocal melody fits perfectly. So who do I actually like? Big Data or Joywave? Let’s figure that out together.

Now, in case you’ve been living in a cave, away from infectious dance floor fillers, we’ll start by letting you listen to Dangerous by Big Data featuring Joywave:

Fantastic, right? Now let’s see what happens when Big Data, led by producer Alan Wilkis, does this song without the guy from Joywave, Daniel Armbruster, singing. The riff and drums still pound away, but the vocal performance takes a step back. The prerecorded Joywave vocals stick out as smoother and slicker.

So what of Joywave without Big Data? Could they do a song with smooth, slick vocals, a nice melody, but with a powerful driving bass and drum line? Well, yes they can.

To my ears, the Joywave song is better than the Big Data song I love without the guy from Joywave singing it. So does that mean I don’t like Big Data? What would he sound like with a different singer, maybe one you’ve heard of once or twice, like Rivers Cuomo?

Well, no one is going to confuse that with any Weezer song, but it’s nice to know that if it were a Weezer song, there would be dozens of thinkpieces about it. Frankly, I don’t like this track, so it’s clear I actually like Joywave more than Big Data. So I’ll be seeing Joywave during SXSW, unless someone can guarantee they’ll play together, in which case I’ll be the first one in line.

Big Data plays three official showcases: Wednesday night at 10:00 at The Parish, Thursday night at 10:00 at ACL Live, and Saturday night at 10:00 at The Gatsby. They are also booked on several day parties, including Spotify House and Waterloo Records.

Joywave plays one official showcase: Wednesday night at 11:00 at Buffalo Billiards, making it pretty hard for Daniel Armbruster to be on stage with Big Data for their closing number.  They will be in the Pandora Discovery Den, and possibly some other parties as well.

Big Data featuring Joywave will simply live on in my dreams, until someone tweets at @SpinnPlatt telling me otherwise, and I’ll show up.


Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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