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The 12 best bands I loved @ SXSW 2009

The 12 best bands I loved @ SXSW 2009



Little Boots, pre-show at Sup Magazine/ IamSound SXSW party taken by Dan.

Now that the dust has settled, as a recap and a recommendation post – here are the twelve bands which made the long trip to Texas totally worth it.

  1. Starfucker

    From Portland, Oregon, these guys played a storming set in Radio Room on 6th Street to a crowd who seemed familiar with their tunes as was evident in the body-poppin and dancing around the venue. Starfucker’s music is a fun mix of indie-pop and electro elements with a bit of occasional scratching. I’d love to see them over here sometime soon.

    Starfucker – Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second

  2. Nosaj Thing

    I posted about this guy waaaay back in 2007 and finally got to see him last Saturday in Speakeasy at the XLR8R party to about 20 appreciative people on the dancefloor. It didn’t matter though as the dude gave a thrilling laptop-based performance (seriously) akin to Flying Lotus with glitch and beats aplenty. His debut Drift is out on June 9th.

    Nosaj Thing Radio One Experimental mix

  3. Grizzly Bear

    You’ve heard of these guys right? Veckatimist is good but live these guys shine. Three part idiosyncratic beautiful harmonies and crunchy restrained guitar work. Stunning. Here’s a tune from the Friend EP that really showcases their style. And a video of the amazing ‘Two Weeks’ with Victoria from Beach House (who were also great) on backup vocals from the SXSW show I attended.

    Grizzly Bear – Little Brother (Electric)

  4. The Low Anthem

    Brittle. Swooning. Beautiful. Folksy. Calming. Traditional. All could be applied to this Rhode island band who seemed to be one of the buzz bands at SXSW this year. Supported Lisa Hannigan on her US tour and played before her in the Central Presbyterian Church on 8th Street in Austin.

    The Low Anthem – Charlie Darwin

  5. Solid Gold

    I had already applied “ones to watch” status to this Minnesota band in January and their live show lived up to their considerable promise. Funky indie with electronic touches and a flourish of ideas.

    Solid Gold – Armoured Cars

  6. St. Vincent

    I haaaated Annie Clark’s first album Marry Me but having seen her live in a church (video), I’ve since gone back and found plenty to like. Actor, her forthcoming album sounds like its has much more to like about it too, starting with the wonderful ‘Strangers’.

    St. Vincent – The Strangers

  7. Little Boots

    With a debut album forthcoming called Hands and a great reaction at SXSW all round (including a collab with Kid Cudi and approval from Kanye), Victoria Hesketh’s (above) time in the spotlight will be later in the year. Incidentally, she was signed to Universal five minutes before that picture was taken. Listen to the first single from the album ‘New in Town’.

  8. Vivian Girls

    Delightfully ramshackle indie-rock harmonies from three girls who had a charm not easy to replicate. Despite the drummer being out-of-tune, I still wanted to see them again. After playing about 16 shows in Austin, no doubt they’ll be in Ireland this year.

    Vivian Girls – Tell The World

  9. The Knux

    The Knux are a New Orleans hip-hop act via LA who got live at SXSW. The set I caught was packed and the performance was festival-worthy. Great live hip-hop with a real party atmosphere.

    The Knux – Cappucino

  10. P.O.S

    A Rhymesayers rapper who has the misfortune of sounding like Eminem on record. Live, he shreds guitar, cuts up on a sampler, raps with a passionate force and puts on a hell of a show.

    P.O.S – Get Smokes

  11. The Golden Filter

    I’ve mentioned these before. Promising electro-pop with a charismatic frontwoman and a disco beat. Early days for sure but ‘Solid Gold’ (not to be confused with the band) is their highlight jam so far.

    The Golden Filter -Solid Gold

  12. The Harlem Shakes

    Comparisons to Vampire Weekend are obvious and difficult shake but these guys have a richer palette and a deep sense of instrumentation. Singer’s a bit cheesy at times. An intriguing band to watch, their album Technicolor Health is out now.

    The Harlem Shakes – Strictly Game

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