Now that the dust has settled (literally; nobody returns from Austin without accidentally exporting a good handful of gold-toned Texas dirt) from this year’s SXSW Music Festival, we’re left with the headlines—Kanye! Foos! Tasers as indie-rock crowd control!—and the memories.
Of 2,000 bands, a mortal human can only conceivably see some small, smidgen-y percent. But even smidgens translate into dozens, and below, my L.A.-based colleague James Hibberd and I list our favorites outside the Kanye/Foos/taser axis.
(If you weren’t there but you want to fake it, iTunes also has its own dozens of digital-only live-performance EPs from this year’s festival, ranging from Ryan Bingham and Jessica Lea Mayfield to Glasser and Lucinda Williams, most for under $5; click here to view.)
Odd Future (a.k.a. Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All)
I mean, I’m not exactly going out on a limb with this one; people talking about OF at this year’s fest was the new people talking about where the best free day-party booze is. And frankly, the L.A. hip-hop collective is not a remotely sure thing; an incendiary Thrasher party set (in which de facto leader Tyler the Creator broke a kid’s nose in a speaker-stack dive; kid subsequently seemed pretty stoked with his bloody badge of honor) and scene-stealing Woodies performance was just as likely as the 15-lackluster-minutes-and-a-walk-off they pulled in their headlining slot at the Billboard showcase.
Still, there’s something about their whole ethos—in a lot of ways, much closer to the ’90s hardcore/skate-punk scene than anything resembling modern commercial hip-hop—that felt fresh; little else in rap these days feels dangerous or spontaneous in the way Tyler and Co. do, even if all that swag stuff is just extremely smart guerrilla marketing. READ FULL STORY