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Dispatches from SXSW: Day 3 — Lessons, brisket, and fool's gold

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The most important thing I learned from being at SXSW is that I should not under any circumstances make any decisions to move to Austin based on my experience at SXSW. Yes, the city is amazing, hip, and fun for 10 days out of the year, but what about the other 355? I’m willing to bet at least 60 percent of attendees thought to themselves “You know what, I could totally see myself living here.” For San Franciscans and New Yorkers, that number is probably 80 percent. Not to mention, summertime in Austin is a devil’s combo of Arizona heat and Deep South humidity. Read more »

Ana Tijoux on motherhood, Breaking Bad, and un-learning colonialist history

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By Rebecca Huval

If you’re tired of mainstream Latin hip-hop — which, right now, is disproportionately made up of reggaeton beats, male MCs, and bitter lyrics — then Ana Tijoux is the lady rapper for you.

The French-Chilean artist upends the genre. Instead of bragging about her millions, she advocates for cultural pride. Instead of barking at her enemies, she weaves a soothing spool of words that remixes the Spanish language into silk. She has evolved from using samples to working with a live band in a textured, colorful sound all its own, incorporating brass, jazz inflections, and a smorgasbord of South American instruments such as Andean charangos and pan-flutes. Read more »

Dispatches from SXSW: Day 2 – Fader Fort, Future Islands, and Waiting in Lines

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I’m pretty sure the Fader Fort is where I want to spend the rest of my youth and possibly my life. This makeshift village is probably as close to cool heaven as it gets. It’s got free music, free drinks, and people-watching galore. Did I mention it’s also got charging stations, free ice cream, and a first aid tent? You really could spend the rest of your youth and/or life here.Read more »

Dispatches from SXSW: Painted Palms

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After a long day of waiting in line in the sun, catching various 15-minute sets, and just being downright baffled by the enormity and complexity of SXSW (this is my first time), I lumbered my way to Maggie Mae to catch San Francisco's psych band du jour, Painted Palms, at the Forcefield PR showcase (disclosure: I interned for Forcefield one summer a long time ago). The venue itself looked like Bottom of the Hill’s cousin but without the absurdly short ceilings and claustrophobia.Read more »

Dispatches from SXSW: Day 1

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[Ed note: George was going to write a recap of the first day's shows and general SXSW revelry, but with news of last night's horrendous accident making the rounds, that felt a little inappropriate. Stay tuned for more festival coverage.]

Last night tragedy struck SXSW when a drunk driver rammed into a crowd of people. Two people are confirmed dead, one man from The Netherlands and one local woman. In total, 23 people have been reported injured; eight remain in the hospital. The suspect has been charged and is currently in custody, and his or her identity will be made public later today. Read more »

All of the fucks that we should be giving: An evening with Ani DiFranco

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By Kelly McFarling

When I was 13, I was a late-blooming tomboy, watching, confused, as everyone around me grew up and started acting different.Read more »

Listen: Warm Soda's new LP 'Young Reckless Hearts'

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Oakland's Warm Soda, aka one of our 2013 bands on the rise, is almost too easy to love: That lo-fi fuzz, those jangly, sugar-sweet hooks, that sudden urge to be lightly buzzed at someone's backyard barbecue the summer before you left for college. The band's sophomore full-length, Young Reckless Hearts, out March 11 on Castle Face, has a more of a studio sheen and a bit more guitar-based showmanship — British invasion influences, perhaps? Read more »

Listen: New M. Lockwood Porter single "Chris Bell" pays tribute to the less-celebrated heart of Big Star

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This happens very rarely, but every now and then, I'm actually in step with some kind of larger musical zeitgeist. My lifelong affection for Big Star — thanks, Dad — only grew deeper with last year's documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, which told the tale of a band that, more or less, struggled for its entire existence to be heard, only to achieve what could be considered widespread popularity roughly two decades after they stopped making music.Read more »

Bleached brings the sunshine at the Rickshaw Stop

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It's no question that Bleached has come into success within the past year with the release of its debut album, Ride Your Heart, on record label Dead Oceans. But how does the band gauge its success? By a younger man sneaking into their green room, which apparently didn’t happen the last time Bleached played San Francisco.Read more »

Real Estate indulges the fans — in a good way — at the Independent

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So this New Jersey-based band called Real Estate came to San Francisco this weekend to play two sold-out shows for Noise Pop at the Independent. The lighting and stage design was spectacular. The opening bands were superb. The venue was excellent.Read more »