SXSW Music 2010

Many things have been going on in the personal life, causing a delay in my annual listing of the 10 best shows from SXSW Music, along with the complete list of all the bands seen.

In the months before SXSW I sampled the music of about 600 bands and got to a short list of things I really wanted to see. Among the ones I missed and will be on the lookout for shows in SF are The 88, Break of Reality, The Movits and Fergus & Jeronimo.

1. The Spring Standards at Clive Bar/ The Spring Standards at BD Riley’s

The first show was a mellow melodic morning show at Clive Bar, and the second a rocking rolling show at BD Rileys. Without a doubt, the fantastic harmonies and ability to blend the alt-country, folk, with a slight bluesy sound thrilled me to no end. I’ve already pre-ordered their new album. You should too.

3. Jeremy Messersmith at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop/ Jeremy Messersmith at Central Presbyterian Church

Melodies, harmonies and straightforward classic rock-n-roll were hallmarks of this fine gentleman (and crew) from Minneapolis. He impressed me when the power went out at Maggie Mae’s and he and the band went “coffee shop” style — a most excellent performance ensuing. A few nights later he managed to rock a porch. Jeremy also maintains a great Twitter profile.

5. Holy Fuck at Galaxy Outdoors

After lots of twee and melodic time, I needed the palate cleanser that was Holy Fuck. Canadian and prone to having to give fake band names at the border, this electronica outfit had me tapping my toes and shaking my booty.

6. Two Star Symphony at The Hideout

The first show of the whole week had me nervous it would be the best thing I’d see and it would all be downhill from there. Houston based classical musicians put together a fantastic 45 minute set and handed out CDs to attendees.

7. Local Natives – Emo’s Main

From my show going notes: “One of the best shows we saw, energetic and polished with cracks in the veneer.”

8. Jukebox the Ghost – Clive Bar

As a child of the 80s there is never enough synth. Upbeat and poppy, this band stole my heart.

9. Rogue Wave – Emo’s Main

Great, tight show– almost verging on too polished. Look forward to seeing them again soon – they are well put together.

10. Fanfarlo – Galaxy Backyard

Delightful and mellow music in a wonderful outdoor space.

All Shows

Wednesday, March 17

  1. Neilyo at Shangri-La
  2. Tiger City at Shangri-La
  3. Nneka – ACC Day Stage – Only caught two songs, but her voice amazed me.
  4. Two Star Symphony – The Hideout
  5. Mantler – Beauty Bar
  6. L’Orchidee D’Hawaii – Beauty Bar Patio – This amazing combo of crazy sounds sounded amazing and interesting.
  7. Ben + Vesper – Beauty Bar
  8. Fanfarlo – Galaxy Courtyard
  9. We Were Promised Jetpacks – The Parish
  10. Frightened Rabbit – The Parish
  11. The Black and White Years – Dirty Dog Saloon

Thursday, March 18

  1. Invade Rome – Habana Calle 6
  2. Jeremy Messersmith – Maggie Mae’s Upstairs
  3. The Hush Now – The Side Bar
  4. Phantogram – The Side Bar Parking Lot
  5. Hot Panda – The Side Bar Parking Lot
  6. Dengue Fever – The Side Bar Parking Lot
  7. The Seedy Seeds – BD Riley’s
  8. Peter Wolf Crier – Emo’s Main Room
  9. The Lovely Feathers – Paradise
  10. Rogue Wave – Emo’s Main
  11. Local Natives – Emo’s Main
  12. The Chapin Sisters – Hilton Garden Inn, 18th Floor
  13. Uncle Lucius – Valhalla
  14. Ezra Furman & The Harpoons – Valhalla

Friday, March 19

  1. The Spring Standards – Clive Bar
  2. The Watson Twins – Antone’s
  3. Citizen Cope – Antone’s
  4. Minus the Bear – Antone’s
  5. Jukebox the Ghost – Clive Bar
  6. The Spring Standards – BD Riley’s
  7. Twin Tigers – Emo’s Annex
  8. Solid Gold – Club DeVille
  9. Uffie – Mohawk Patio
  10. Summer Cats – Mohawk
  11. Cymbals Eat Guitars – Emo’s Annex – Way better live than recorded, can’t wait to see them again.
  12. Fool’s Gold – Emo’s Main – Yet another band I wished I’d seen more than half a set for!
  13. We Are Scientists – Emo’s Main
  14. Tiger! Shit! Tiger! Tiger! – Soho Lounge – This group deserves a special shout out for playing the single worst venue in Austin – a “club” is not the right place for a punk band. They also get love for stopping me in the street and giving me their CD.

Saturday, March 20

  1. The Trews – Paradise
  2. The Middle East – ACC Day Stage
  3. Duchess Says – Galaxy
  4. Holy Fuck – Galaxy Backyard
  5. Reed Arnos & Valerie Kuster – Rainforest Partnership
  6. This Will Destroy You – Lustre Pearl
  7. Oh No Ono – Lustre Pearl
  8. Jeremy Messersmith – Central Presbyterian
  9. Fictionist – Iron Gate

Note: That Saturday was about 38 degrees, so we skipped evening shows and instead saw American: The Bill Hicks Story instead. Highly recommended.

For previous years, see: 2007, 2008, 2009.