SXSW Music Highlights: Photographer Brittany Powell's snaps


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.


Day One: 3/13/12

Checked out Star and Dagger and High on Fire at Emo's East. The show was packed, free, and had a mini ramp that was going off all night. Quite the scene. Lindsey Kuhn, makes beautiful silk screened posters for Emo's Austin that date back twenty years. The show was all ages, so even the youngsters were out!

Star and Dagger was pretty fun and rocking... their guitarist Sean Yseult used to be in White Zombie.  Lastly, High on Fire's first show of seven at SXSW was as heavy as ever.

Day Two: 3/14/12

Everything was chaotic. I saw lines that stretched for blocks to see bands like Built to Spill and even the Bay Area's Trash Talk. I ended up at a metal show at Dirty Dog bar and saw Oakland's Saviours, San Francisco's Black Cobra, and North Carolina's legendary Corrosions of Conformity.  

Streets were crowded in Austin, reminding me of Mardi Gras… but the weather was great and it really seemed that everyone was in great spirits enjoying the music.

Day Three: 3/15/12

Thursday night I checked out SF booking agency Leafy Green's showcase at the Bat Bar. Sleepy Sun played an excellent blend of dreamy psych rock. Singer Bret Constantino has a sexy, almost Jim Morrison-like presence. 

My favorite of the night was Long Beach based Crystal Antlers, who were previously signed with the now defunct Touch and Go records. They had a super trippy dancer join them on stage while they rocked out with incredible force. This band is not to be missed (and apparently they now need a new label)!

Day Four: 3/16/12 

I stopped by the Knitting Factory's showcase at Rusty's. There I heard the Atlanta, GA four piece punk band The Biters. They were awesome and let's just say their lead singer Matt has really dirty mouth!  Worth giving a listen if you're a Johnny Thunders or a Sex Pistols fan…

Following Rusty's I headed over to Bar 96, where I managed to push my way into the packed Dinosaur Jr show.  This show was probably the best show I saw all week.  They were amazing, playing nostalgic songs like "Feel the Pain."  It was a thick, heavy, stoner rock show and I have to say: Bassist Lou Barlow came pretty close to stealing the show from guitarist J Mascis. Felt pretty lucky on this one!

On the way home from the Bat Bar, we overheard the melody from "Just Like Honey…" my personal favorite tune from the Jesus and Mary Chain, who were playing a packed show at the Belmont. Slyly using my photo pass to sneak in the back door, we caught the last five songs of their set.  Such a sweet surprise!

Day Five: 3/17/12

I spent the day at the MOG showcase. What a day!  Things kicked off with Southern CA based band Silent Comedy, who put on quite a show and then it was killer blues musician Gary Walker Jr.

Other bands I loved were Portland's Blitzen Trapper and Oakland-based Howlin Rain…and definitely headliner The Roots!