SXSW Day 1: Jungle, La Femme, Lo’ Jo, Misun, Oil Boom, Young & Sick

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La Femme by Anne Litt

The music portion of the SXSW conference seems to start earlier and earlier every year. Whereas a few years ago there would be a scant few private parties with bands and DJs on Tuesday, now official showcases are already underway. Since the mobs of people looking for free parties tend to descend later in the week, I decided this was my time to get in some good music watching. I couldn’t have started it any better than with Jungle, at the Spotify House. Their music is soulful with a groove that is undeniable. I’ve been a fan of their recorded work and was thrilled that they were even better live. Immediately ever band to follow had a lot to live up to. I managed to catch the final two songs of the Young & Sick and, despite the incessant talkers around me, I really enjoyed what they had going on.

Misun by Anne Litt (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Next I hit the heart of 6th St, bouncing back and forth between two venues to see Washington DC-based band Misun and then Dallas rockers Oil Boom. I only saw a few minutes of their last song but I can confidently say they are incredible. They slayed! Next, DJ Anne Litt and I journeyed to a showcase of French bands. Lo’ Jo, a band that plays a blend of world music, including North African influence and French folk, had the crowd going absolutely wild.

La Femme, the highlight of my day, followed. They play cool yet detached pop/punk music. They are performers in the truest sense of the word. Aside from the unrelenting catchiness of the beats, they gave the crowd a lot to look at. The drummer wore a Bad Religion t-shirt. The guitarist/theremin player wore one that said “I am on Drugs”. A multi-instrumentalist switched between a helmet, a disguise and then added a rubber chicken to the mix.

They had the crowd eating out of their hands, and deservingly so. La Femme was everything I hoped for and a perfect way to end Day 1.