I’ve missed a few days of blogging and my only excuse is that I was trying to see as many bands as possible at SXSW before returning to LA. Now I want to share some of the highlights. Here it goes:
Band That Exceeded My Expectations:
Surfer Blood (They were the talk of the festival and I chased them for days before finally catching a show.)
Best Stage Banter:
Tie between Soko and Courtney Love. Both were explicit and very funny.
Band I Will Absolutely See Again When They Play in LA:
Baltimore’s J Roddy Walston and the Business
(newly signed by the manager for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros)
Best Band for a Sunny Afternoon at an Outside Venue:
(It was only the 10th show from Georgia artist Ernest Greene. The members of Small Black joined him on a few songs)
Interesting Name Trend: The Double Double
Most Interesting Covers:
Runner Up: Gordon Voidwell singing Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”
Bands I’m Sad I Missed that Were on My Short List:
Bands I Missed that Weren’t on My Short List but I Heard Good Things About:
A comedy set by Tig Notaro. She told a story about Taylor Dayne that had me in tears. I was laughing so hard, my face was contorting and I had to hide it in my hands! I’ve never seen comedy at SXSW before and I’ll never miss it again.
Runner Up: a late night harmonica jam by Blues Traveler’s John Popper at a house party. The crowd went wild.
Parking lot across from Stubbs where Broken Bells played a pop up show. James Mercer told me the band really enjoyed it and you could tell.
Runner Up: IFC House. They had a small stage where they were taping performances for broadcast. It was cozy, but that’s what made it fun.
Best Indie Rock Dance Moves:
Tim Derricourt from Dappled Cities.
LA Bands I’m Glad I Saw in Austin
Best Reminder of How Powerful Music Is:
Temper Trap playing “Sweet Disposition” at KCRW’s Cedar Street showcase. It was magical.
Best Pizza in Downtown Austin:
Hands down—Hoboken pizza on Red River. And I tried MANY before I came to that conclusion.
Best New Band By an Artist You Should Already Know:
Sonny and the Sunsets (featuring Kelley Stoltz). It took me a little while to warm up to their set but, once I did, I really enjoyed it.
A KCRW first:
If you want to read another take on the festival, check out this article from the New York Times’ Jon Pareles.