SXSW Wrap Up from Dan Wilcox

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From KCRW DJ Dan Wilcox

As I sit here nursing my post-SXSW cold & sickness — something that happens to me every year (probably a combination of the booze, malnutrition & lack of sleep) — I realize that this annual Austin music festival takes a real toll on the body.

I’m still feeling it in my feet (from all the walking, standing and occasional stationary Running Man dance… thanks DJ Eleven!), my throat (from all the screaming) and ears (I now know what it is like to be Pete Townshend).

But the truth is… only an idiot complains about SXSW.  There are just too many interesting encounters and magical music moments that will remain tucked away in my memory banks long after the ringing in my ears has faded.

With that in mind, here are my highest of highlights from SXSW 2011.  If I get off point at anytime below, please blame it on the cough syrup:

The Vaccines at Cedar Street
The Vaccines at Cedar Street (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

The Vaccines: An incredibly hyped band that is worthy of every blogged word, The Vaccines were set to take the stage at the Filter/KCRW :showcase when word got out singer Justin Young had developed a vocal polyp and would have to limit his set to 15 minutes.  Polyp or no, that was the wildest, most rawkus 15-min set of the festival, with all in attendance shouting along to every word.  A truly amazing live band…

We Are Enfant Terrible: Clotide Floret gets my vote as Sexiest Frontwoman of SXSW (nearly edging out Phantogram’s Sarah Barthel) and this French trio blew the minds of all those in attendance at the Last Gang showcase with their wild stage show, jumping off drums & keyboards and all kinds of antics while keeping the beats heavy.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.: Despite crafting great songs, this Detroit duo knows how to really put on a show, dazzling all in attendance of the KCRW night showcase. All while wearing flame-retardant NASCAR jumpsuits, which must have been hot.

Off!: Truly inspiring to see the 55-year old Keith Morris screaming and strutting around the stage with the passion and energy of a punker half his age.  I tip my hat to thee…

Darwin Deez: This band gets my vote for Best Incorporation of Interpretive Dance Into Their Stageshow award.  Also Best Cover Song of SXSW 2011 award (Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al”).

TVOTR VIP: Gotta give it up to my man Kevin Hockin for dragging us past the biggest bouncer I’ve ever seen in my life into the Stubb’s VIP balcony for the TV On the Radio show, where we got to dangle our feet over the railing and sip free vodka sodas while watching one of the greatest bands of the new millennium.  Not a bad night.

Mmmpenadas: WIth all the street meat options available at SXSW, it is nice to find a food truck that stands head and shoulders above the rest.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mmmpenadas at the corner of 5th and Brazos.

– Dan Wilcox

Editor’s Note: I couldn’t agree more. Mmmpenadas’ soy chorizo saved me!