Home / Tag: SXSW
03.16.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
Yesterday brought one of SXSW�s most anticipated (and oddest) day parties: Rachael Ray�s. Apparently, the celebrity chef/media mogul is a serious indie music lover, but I still have a hard time believing that the soccer mom-like talk show host has an iPod filled with Holy Fuck. Nonetheless, hers was one of the best parties I attended this week. Free mojitos loosened up the crowd, while Elfren Ram...
03.15.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
I'm ambivalent about the upcoming Destroyer album, Trouble in Dreams. On one hand, I�ve been listening to it for two months and still haven�t warmed to it, but on the other, it took me nearly as long to discover the wonders of Destroyer�s last album, Rubies. Last night�s early-morning Destroyer set went a long way toward helping me make up my mind. �Hello; we�re Dan Bejar and the Destroye...
03.15.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
With her dark, weary eyes and her dry persona, Zooey Deschanel is an improbable lead actress, but those same qualities have endeared her to indie culture. This year, the actress released a debut album with guitarist M. Ward as She and Him, and between her star power and Ward�s devoted following, theirs was one of SXSW�s more anticipated sets. Deschanel is casting herself as something of a Jenny Lewis-type, a doll-sized, blue-eyed soul singer with a country lilt, but in spite of being the more seasoned actress, she doesn�t have Lewis� confidence. She looked absolutely horrified on stage; her hands twitched slightly until she folded them together tightly. She interacted with the audience stiftly until the inevitable happened: During the routine call for requests, a woman shouted out �Last Christmas,� a mangled reference to Deschanel�s role in Elf. "Last Christmas?� Deschanel said warmly, before computing the request. �Oh, yeah

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03.14.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
The country�s largest weekly papers have now consolidated under the same corporate umbrella, but there are some perks to the Village Voice/New Times Media monster conglomeration. The papers pooled their resources to collectively sponsor a pretty impressive SXSW party this afternoon. I arrived in time to catch the tail end of The Soundtrack of Our Lives� set, and although the band�s bloate...
03.14.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
SXSW is pretty easy when you have a media badge. By and large, you�ll be let into any show you want. But there are a few hyped shows where press credentials aren�t enough, and perhaps the most hyped of all was yesterday�s from Vampire Weekend, the preppy Afro-popsters who were compiling binders of New York Times and Spin press clippings before they even put out an album (their ascension has only continued since the album finally dropped.) A fortuitous (and much appreciated) connection put me on the �must get in list� for the show, which despite the name, he told me, only gave me just a slight chance of getting in. And sure enough, the crowd was already well over capacity when I arrived. Two long lines waited; one for people who were on the list to get in (not all of whom would be so lucky), and an even longer one for those who stood absolutely no chance of getting in. I eventually made the cut in time to see opener Bon Iver, the indie-folk outfit which sounded as beautiful live as on record. When Justin Vernon rode his long, blissful falsetto, the audience closed their eyes contently. Perhaps improbably, Vampire Weekend also lived up to their considerably greater hype. They had the crowd singing along, stomping and dancing through their entire set. I still think that they risk a massive backlash once their novelty wears off

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03.14.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
I spent a good 14 hours wandering SXSW yesterday, dropping into various venues and tents when something caught my ear. Early in the day, I was enticed by one singer-songwriter with a particularly lovely voice. It turned out to be a familiar one. It belonged to Peter Moren, the Peter part of Peter, Bjorn and John. He was plugging his upcoming solo album, performing somber songs with just an acoustic guitar and the Bob Dylan harmonica set up. The audience wasn�t really buying it

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03.13.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
I fought the crowd to see R.E.M. last night, standing for over two hours before the band began playing. Even with my pretty excellent (and hard-earned) vantage, it probably wasn't worth all the effort. R.E.M. was playing to promote their upcoming (and apparently pretty good) new album, Accelerate, slated to be one of the band�s hardest rocking albums, as per pre-release hype. "We're going to be playing a lot of new songs tonight," Michael Stipe said. "The good news is that if you don't like them, they're all under two-and-a-half-minutes" The new songs lived up to their billing. They were short and streamlined and a little raw

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03.13.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
In 2006, Shearwater released Palo Santo, one of that years best albums, but despite the loudening accolades, the group has yet to break through the way their friends in Okkervil River have. That could change this year, when they release a new album on Matador Records. Turnout for their first SXSW show was modest, about four dozen attentive listeners (with more in the background drinking...
03.13.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
Justin wasn't lying: There's an odd stigma about drinking Pabst here. When Justin ordered a round last night, a guy next to him surmised that he must be out of town, since people here stopped drinking Pabst two years ago. Justin was unable to gauge how much (if any) sarcasm was in that statement. And indeed, when I ordered  a round myself, the bartender raised an eyebrow  and dismissively sho...
03.13.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Admin
The world's greatest music festival has officially kicked off, and day one of four is now over at 2:30 in morning (at least for me - Evan is still out wondering the streets). In addition to being able to witness countless amazing performances from lots of great bands, I also have the discreet pleasure of being able to perform myself, which is why I need to go to sleep now . . . but, before I do, ...

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