SxSW Music Diary: Day 1

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After making it to Dallas on the early flight from SFO we found gate A36 (connecting to Austin), a hipster ghetto in DFW's sea of middle Americans. A friend spotted Toro y Moi in the crowd... and off we were to the live music capital of the world.

We got credentialed and then attempted to go to Fader Fort to check out Raphael Saadiq who was going on soon. But the line to get wristbands stretched literally as far as the eye could see, wrapping around a huge field. The best estimate I got for the wait was over 2 hours. Nevermind.

Back under the I35 to the Palm Door showcase on their deck over a creek... Anamanaguchi came on frenetically. According to their blog they make "hyper-active, hyper-positive, 8-bit jams" that center around a hacked Nintendo from 1985. It was pretty irresistible power pop.

Later that eve is was off to the Brooklyn Vegan showcase at Swan Dive. Olof Arnalds sweet Icelandic troubadour style won over the earnest crowd. And after filing into the hotel shuttle I heard an amazing version of "Benny and the Jets" filtering down the street. It was Brooklyn-based Marco Benevento showing the crowd (and those gathered on the street around the huge simulcast) his incredible piano chops.

SFBG Contributing Photographer Matt Reamer went off on his own adventure of a slightly heavier variety, check the slideshow for more on that.

It's hard to avoid the constant feeling of missing out on something here... something that's inherent to the SxSW experience. More to come...