Show Reviews

SXSW: Sticky, Dirty, Salty, Stinky

There's no easy way to sum up a week without vegetables. There's plenty of one-sided banter, live audio and interviews on our daily SXSW podcasts. But, in short, here's what I'm still thinking about, two days home from South By Southwest.

Best Show: Cold War Kids


Click the photo to watch an audio slideshow of Cold War Kids at SXSW. 

From the moment they took the stage, Thursday night, the band never wavered in it's intense delivery of lyrics that stop traffic and beats that can choke snakes.

Best Discovery: Loney, Dear



Click the photo to watch an audio slideshow of Oxford Collapse, Tiny Vipers and Loney, Dear.

Before SXSW, my only experience with Loney, Dear was a casual listen to  Loney, Noir, the band's Sub Pop release that hit shelves last month. On stage, they took their folksy pop to a place that was more house party than campfire, much to the delight of the packed house.

Best Surprise: Pete Townshend 


The Who guitarist opened girlfriend Rachel Fuller's set with "Drowned" off Quadrophenia. I guess I can't say I was completely surprised, because there's no way I would have hit up Fuller's set had I not caught wind he'd show up.

The rest of the evening was mind numbing, filled with Fuller and Townshend's friends, like Mika, the guy who sings that annoying falsetto number, "Grace Kelly."  

Worst Surprise: Perry Farrell’s Satellite Party


Click the photo for an audio slideshow of the set, featuring Farrell's conversation with fans after the gig.

Just a few minutes before The Stooges were to take the stage at Stubb's, my associate, Camille, told me she'd heard that the Arctic Monkeys were going to play a surprise show at La Zona Rosa. Sounded good to me, so we caught a petty cab across town to hear the Brits. Yes, there was a surprise show, but it was Perry Farrell's Satellite Party. It's not that they were bad, it's that they weren't the Arctic Monkeys. And threw nothing down that I hadn't seen from Farrell before: a couple nod's to Jane's Addiction, some overdone sexual prancing, and conversation that you have to talk yourself into understanding.