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SXSW Music – Day one recap

SXSW Music – Day one recap



I’ll be more verbose in my review later on but right now a quick recap. Austin during SXSW is competely mental. It’s like an indie mardi gras. Everywhere you look there is a band playing on a stage. The main thoroughfare is 6th street, a colossal sized strip of concrete on a grid which seems to serve the only purpose of being a street lined exclusively with hundreds of venues, takeaway food, bars and some t-shirt shops. Lots of the venues are like Eamonn Dorans but amplified by 100, there’s just so many dodgy bars with stages (but with a bit more charm). On top of that there are many many many outdoor stages that allow you to take advantage of the beautiful weather here.

Here are the highlights of the bands today in brief:

  • Starfucker from Portland Oregen – some solid electro-pop music in the vein of a more playful MGMT.
  • Vivian Girls – 3 geeky girls playing shoegaze indiepop in an endearingly out of tune and fun way.
  • Harlem Shakes – This year’s Vampire Weekend if they play their cards right.
  • Casio Kids – Norwegian electro pop groovy tunes.l Check out the catchy instrumental ‘Fot I Hose’.
  • Alaska in Winter – Solo electronic show with vocodered auto-tune. Like an electronic Beirut with in-sync visuals to match the performances. The backdrop shows Brandon Berhancourt playing each instrument in the track, even queuing up the point in the show where he removes his blazer and hat.
  • Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head – fun fun fun electro-pop from Seattle.
  • DM Stith and Parenthetical Girls playing 20 feet from each other.

Absolute Highlight:
St. Vincent – Annie Clark playing in a seated Presbyterian Church alongside Department of Eagles, Camera Obscura and more. Cracking. She’s got a new record out in May called Actor which is directly inspired by Disney films like Snow White. Inspiring stuff. Here’s the opening track from the record and the opener from tonight’s show. What a song.

St. Vincent – The Strangers

Here she is playing ‘Marry Me’ from about four hours ago..

Biggest douche? Graham Coxon giving out about the crowd at Fader Fort not listening to his morbid alt-folk compositions and insulting their intelligence in the process.

Tomorrow the Irish stuff begins amongst everything else… Now to sleep. More photos here with more to follow from Dan Dennison.

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