Live Music

Heads Up: 6 must-see concerts this week

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Is it mundane to still be talking about the weather? What if we’re reminiscing about fickle San Francisco, and a rejuvenating weekend full of beaming hot sun, melted sundaes, and stretches of eternity park lounging with thousands of your closest compatriots?

What if that much-needed industrial shot of Vitamin D super charged our brains for the week ahead? Why can’t we believe in the goodness of the occasional bright weekend to dismiss week in, week out monotony? Read more »

Live Shots: Melvins at Great American Music Hall, 04/12/2012

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Though the lightning storm delayed my +1 who was coming in from California's stoney north coast, we arrived at the Great American Music Hall just in time to see the sludgy gods take the stage. Read more »

The Magnetic Fields play '69 Love Songs' and then some at the Fox

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While the Magnetic Fields' newest album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, recaptured the group’s love for synthesizers and electronics, Saturday night’s Fox Theater performance was a testament to the timeless quality of its stripped-down acoustic format. Read more »

Heads Up: 6 must-see concerts this week

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Lots of leading ladies in the music mix this week. These shows boast a punk legend/folk songstress, a female vocalist who inhabits the soul of animals, a girl-fronted '60s Wall-of-Sound meets modern indie pop act (with a punch) – and yes, maybe even an underground famous dude or two. Read more »

SXSW Music Highlights: Photographer Brittany Powell's snaps

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In addition to our other coverage of the SXSW music festival, the Guardian also had photographer Brittany Powell pounding Austin's pavement in search of great music. Here are some of her photos and impressions from the week.

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SXSW Music Day 4: Nneka, Balkan Beat Box, Jimmy Cliff

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During my last day in Austin SXSW reached critical mass. This year St. Patrick's Day happened to coincide with the big Saturday blowout, and as I made my way downtown the revelry was in full effect. Partiers who looked to be in high school swirled about dressed in t-shirts with slogans like "Hello, My Name is Beer" and "Let's Get Wasted!!!" In the midst of this I came across a couple contentedly sitting in the middle of the street in complete stillness while staring into one another's eyes. Read more »

SXSW Music Day 3: Santigold, Hindi Zahra, Debo Band

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My third day at South by Southwest kicked off with the big SPIN Magazine party at Stubb's. Best Coast was wrapping up their set and everyone was eagerly anticipating headliner Santigold.

Santigold's rhythm section entered the stage wearing Max Headroom-esque caps, then her backup singers came on in outfits that were a spin on matador chic, and finally she came on donning a crown. She's been busy working on a new album for the past few years, so her high profile gigs at SXSW seem to be serving as a homecoming of sorts.

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SXSW Music Day 2: Spoek Mathambo, Sauti Sol, Kali Mutsa

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After an early afternoon chat with Portuguese electro-kuduro group Buraka Som Sistema, I wandered downtown only to run into Andy and Christian of San Franpsycho. They've got a rack of clothes, a mobile screenprinting setup, and are representing SF style deep in the heart of Texas. As we commiserated about the craziness that is SXSW, SF local Danny Lannon of The Frail happened by.

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SXSW Music Day 1: Mirel Wagner, Lila Downs, ZZ Ward

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I'm in Austin to blog the SXSW Music festival for the second year. With evening slates that usually have around 50 official showcases happening at any given moment (and many more unofficial shows), one person's perspective can feel dreadfully unrepresentative.

 

To be at SXSW is to know you're missing out on a lot of good music. Fortunately the music you do see makes up for the difference, and very often it's the unexpected showcases, the things that weren't on your radar until that very moment, that end up being the highlights of your experience.  That said here are some of my impressions from Wednesday's evening slate:

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Noise Pop Roundup 2: Cursive, Budos Band, Emily Jane White, DRMS, Atlas Sound

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My personal strategy for Noise Pop 2012 was to pack in as diverse a personal schedule as possible, taking into account old obsessions (Cursive, Bradford Cox) and favored newer acts (Allah-Las, DRMS), national and local bands and musicians, weird and precious live indie music.Read more »