SXSW Wrap Up from KCRW’s On Air Promotions Manager Tyler Hale

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Solange at the Spin party (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

SXSW has come and gone and just like a sailor’s trip on the high seas – I’ve got a few stories to tell.

In total, I managed upwards 40 artists across the 4 day span but below are a few of ’em that cut through the noise of it all and capitalized at the capitol.


  • Hanni El Khatib totally scorched the scene with some rippin’ licks and straight ahead rock ‘n roll. This dude’s got style for days and his new album has the goods to back it up.

  • I had read plenty about the onstage antics and killer show Mac DeMarco (and band) puts on prior to heading down to SX; so I had expectations that I’d be in for a good laugh and groove. Let me tell ya – this guy slays it. He had the crowd in stitches and tapping toes for a jaw-dropping set that finished with a cover of Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” leading into his infectious “Freaking Out the Neighborhood”. Out of all the artists I saw – I’d recommend you chase him down…I did twice.

  • Solange. Yep, that’s all ya need to know. #killedit

  • Watched the sunset at Willie Nelson’s ranch whilst Charleston, SC duo Shovels & Rope banged and stomped a rollicking set of old time jams. Sounds like an album that’ll suit your next backyard BBQ.
  • Ex Cops delivered a fantastic set of music from their debut, True Hallucinations. My wife and I had been chasing ’em down for a couple days so it was great to finally sing along to the catchy, dreamy tunes that we knew would fit right in line with the week’s events. They played to what seemed a mostly unfamiliar audience…I got numerous taps on the shoulder asking who they were and telling me ‘damn, these guys are good!’

  • Brit-Invasion masters, The Zombies played a packed show and pulled from classics that did not disappoint. These musicians bridged the gap of late 60s rock and early 70s psych and they’ve still got it!
  • Ty Segall buddy (and collaborator) Mikal Cronin put on a smiley set of tunes that felt good in the heat. Dude straps on a vintage hollow body 12 sting guitar…something I can most certainly get behind! He has a springtime release for big hitter’s, Merge…keep a look out.

  • Phosphorescents dusty new jams were well received at the annual South by San Jose party at the San Jose Hotel on South Congress…Song for Zula might sound better live than recorded.


  • In East Austin there are a string of piñata shops…I suggest next time you’re at SX you should most definitely buy one. Trust me, it will realllly get the party going.
  • Las Trancas tacos in East Austin rule.

Welp – that’s about it. Thanks for reading and see ya out there!