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SXSW 2011 Madness

March 22, 2011

This was a crazy year at SXSW. First off, there were definitely more people than the other two years that I went, which meant longer lines for alcohol and less places to sit. The weather was way better than the freezing temperatures that we faced in Austin for the festival last year, and somehow I managed not to get a sunburn despite the 80 degree weather. Since I decided to invest in a badge for the first time, considering the lines I had to wait in last year in the cold, I made an effort to see as many shows as possible to make it worth my while. Honestly, I’m not sure I would buy a badge next year. I did get to see a string of amazing acts at the Presbyterian Church downtown, which was fantastic, but besides that I kind of felt like it wasn’t worth the price tag. If I didn’t buy a badge, I would have had to run around more to catch the acts I wanted to see at the daytime parties, but I think it would have been just as fun.

Local wildlife of Austin=Drunk people passed out on sidewalk

A list of the bands I saw:

Glasser-lead singer has a beautiful voice, but in the end i thought the a cappella songs were the strongest in the set
tUnE-yArDs– fantastic band, great voice, lots of energy, quirky and natural, with lots of live looping of percussion and vocals (she used three mics), they even brought in the brass instruments at one point. it was kind of like tribal R&B, and i would definitely see again.

camera photo of tUnE-yArDs

Twin Shadow– didn’t really work in the church setting, the mix sounded a little off, and I kind of felt like the songs weren’t really there either except for the one catchy song “Castles in the Snow,” which I like. they kept wanting people to get up and dance, but no one was really getting that into it. it’s hard to have a dance party in church pews.
James Blake-x2 more on that show in another post, but it was definitely worth the 3 hour wait.
Khaira Arby
Trash Talk– see later post for crazy video of this band
The Cool Kids– awesome rap group
Machine Gun Kelly– a talented white rapper from Ohio
Killer Mike
Spoek Mathambo
DeYarmond Edison -Justin Vernon from Bon Iver’s college band

Machine Gun Kelly doing stunts

Lil’ B
P. Diddy– he only did a few songs after Lil ‘B

P. Diddy "Take my picture"

Odd Future
Live– great band from Japan with killer drums and guitar that I happened to catch at the Gingerman beer bar
Deer Tick
Diamond Rings
Cloud Nothings
Class Actress

Class Actress at Pitchfork's #Offline party

Liam Finn
FM Belfast
Neon Trees
Marcy Playground-for high school nostalgia’s sake, i couldn’t help but go see them at the 512 rooftop

And I think that’s it…there were some bands that I wish I had gotten to see, like The Sounds, Matt & Kim, Kurt Vile, Wye Oak, Suuns, and the Smith Westerns, etc… but unfortunately it wasn’t in the stars. I’m already making plans for getting to Austin earlier next year so I can fit in even more music.

There will be more SXSW photos, comments, and a video to come!

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