Thursday, March 22, 2012

SXSW Roundup

Missy Prince

I just got back from my first SXSW, and I'm not sure I will ever be the same. At least, my liver won't. But really, it was my heaven--live music on every block, food trucks galore, and a never ending supply of cute scruffy boys in well-fitting jeans. But while those last two were nice perks, let's talk about the important thing here: the music!

I went to Austin with a stacked schedule, though I had been warned to use it more as a guideline than a rigid timetable. And indeed, I only say about a quarter of the acts I had intended, but caught some others I hadn't intended as a result, many of which ended up being pleasant surprises. Here's a few of the acts that stood out the most, both by my own personal experience and what I heard from others' reviews:

**Because I know there's a lot more songs here than usual, and not everyone likes the same things, I've included handy little [Genre] tags, so you can scroll to the type of music that appeals to you. Or just take my word for it, and download all. You're welcome.

[Right-Click Link to Download]

Stay Useless - Cloud Nothings [Rock]

Cloud Nothings have proven themselves to be the little indie band that could, and while I missed their Saturday set by 3 minutes, everyone I spoke to at the venue was blown away by their powerful and charismatic live show. And with hooks like those in Stay Useless, what's not to love?

I Start To Run - White Denim [Rock]

You should all know that I'm absolutely crazy about White Denim--both musically and sexually. Their Saturday night set was stellar, and as they closed out their show with this old single, Austin's local boys proved that they're ready for the big time.

Settle Down - Kimbra [Pop/Jazz]

Kimbra was one of my most-anticipated acts of the weekend, and not only did she fail to disappoint, she absolutely blew me away. This Australian (who's only 21!!) has an absolute powerhouse of a voice, which sounded exactly the same--if not better--live as on her records. If the pop music industry knows what's good for it, this girl will be an international superstar by the end of the year. She deserves it, at least.

Montana - Youth Lagoon ["Chillwave"]

I've been trying to catch Youth Lagoon for a good six months now, yet something always ends up standing in my way. This weekend it was relentless, never-ending lines. While I wasn't lucky enough to make it into any of their sets, others raved. And here we thought Chillwave was just going to be a 2010 thing.

Sa Sa Samoa (Elite Gymnastics Remix) - Korallreven [Lush Electro]

By happenstance I caught a few songs at two of Korallreven's shows, and what a joy they were. Swedes can do no wrong in my book, and this duo fits my stereotype nicely. The Elite Gymnastics remix of their single Sa Sa Samoa takes it up a couple notches, adding rich layers and even a tributary Whitney Houston sample.

Fit Against The Country - Horse Feathers [Folk]

It seemed that all weekend, every group of friends I met up with had "just come from a Horse Feathers show." In my alcohol-induced haze, I never registered what they meant, until I got back to Dallas, looked at my iTunes library, and realized "Oh shit, THESE GUYS are Horse Feathers?!" I've been somewhat obsessed with Fit Against The County for the better part of 2012. Turn it on when you're having one of those days, and you probably will be too.

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