The Best Shows at SXSW 2013
|Photo by Marco Torres|
But once you separated yourself from the people who were in Austin on "official" business, you quickly found yourself among real, actual music fans, people who came from all over the world to listen to bands play songs and find other humans who also like to do that. The happiest people I found at SXSW were those with the least access. KIERNAN MALETSKY
Ume: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been one of the most exciting rock bands for several years running, pushing the boundaries of what a modern pop-rock band is expected to do, but I guess I've always longed a little bit for the days when they were New York's favorite art-punks. Who, I wondered, would bring that kind of energy and excitement to SXSW this year in lieu of the now-certified stadium-rock Yeah Yeah Yeahs?
Apparently, that's local Austin psych-rockers (and former Houstonians) Ume. A growing band just about to break out, they secured a beautiful opening spot for Cloud Nothings and Portugal. The Man at The Mohawk early on the first Sunday of the fest. Ume immediately won me over with their raucus bursts of guitar-driven art rock, with front woman Lauren Larson threatening to take the whole thing off the rails with the abuse of her guitar strings.
Still, underneath this Ume possesses an air of intelligence and depth rare in a genre known primarily for its copious drug usage. When it comes to art, psychedelia, and rock and roll, it doesn't get much better. COREY DEITERMAN
Pickwick: One of the most surprising moments of joy from the busy storm that was SXSW Music Week was this Seattle group that completely changed their sound after struggling to live up to trends, but opened up a hole in the atmosphere with a completely raucous, perfect cover of Lou Reed's "The Ostrich." It was a laser blast that woke up the Paste Magazine party from its hipster, head-bob slumber. Sweated the beer right out of all of us during a fun set from the group. NICK RALLO
Photo by Nick Rallo
Honorable Mentions (Hlavaty): Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Jim James, Natalie Maines, Charlie Mars, Tontons, the Specials, Eric Burdon
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