Anthony Valadez’s SXSW Wrap Up

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From KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez

3 days, 4 nights, over 20 bands watched, 1500 snap shots and 11 hours of sleep.

That pretty much sums up my SXSW experience.   I went to Austin as a music lover. I was excited to see Raphael Saadiq, James Blake and Odd Future but ended up re-falling in love with live music itself.

I began to fall in love with the visuals of indie bands walking 5-10 blocks away to lug amps, guitars, drum kits from point a to point b.

I remember hearing and playing James Blake’s CMYK on KCRW for the first time. Imaging samplers, synths, mico korgs all over the place. I would never imagine one year later I would hear him with only a keyboard, drummer and guitar player in a Church recreating those same songs.  The performance gave me chills.

James Blake by Anthony Valadez
James Blake by Anthony Valadez (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Then there was Glasser.  An artist Im ashamed to say  I knew nothing of. Yet the minute she and her band took the stage, I was impressed.  Glasser first stepped to the mic and belted out an a capella that traveled all across the venue and kept the audience in the palm of her hand.  Hard trip hip beats accompanied by her unique dance moves instantly made me a fan.

Odd Future/OFWGTKA seemed to be the talk of the town with a performance at the Fader Fort Fiat.  I managed to catch a few of the bands that all seemed amazing (Brother and Wolf Gang included), but the minute Odd Future took the stage it was complete bonkers.

It was Black Flag meets the Wu Tang Clan.  Stage diving into the crowd while ferociously rocking a complete house. The performance lived up to the hype thanks to Tyler The Creator who served as the General of the squad.

It was definitely a show to remember.

–Anthony Valadez

Editor’s Note: See all of KCRW’s photos from SXSW – many from Anthony — online here