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SXSW Awards

March 18th, 2008 Posted in Music, Personal

So I’m back from SXSW… I thought this was going to be my last year, but it was (once again) so amazing I’ll probably be booking my hotel for next year as soon as is humanly possible. Here are some of the high and lowlights, followed by the full list of bands we saw this year; 56 in total, a new personal record. Not that anyone is keeping score.

Best Suprise:

Call Me Lightning (Milwaukee, WI)
No doubt, this one goes to Call Me Lightning. I happened to stumble onto these guys at the French Kiss showcase Wednesday night, and they were exactly what I needed: after a day of mediocre and/or boring shows (even The Wedding Present [while still fun] was a bit of a let down, since there were no drums) these guys took the stage and shattered my i’m-getting-old-and-jaded coma by opening with "Billion Eyes". This was my personal turnaround moment of the festival; it put me in a good mood for the rest of the week. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera out with me Wednesday night, so I didn’t get any snaps, but take a listen:

 
 
Runners-up: Ra Ra Riot, Teeth

The "I Can’t See These Guys Enough" Award:

Tie: Man Man (Philadelphia, PA) / Jens Lekman (Gothenburg, Sweden)
I’ve seen both these bands three or four times and I still wouldn’t miss a chance to watch either of them again; great stuff. Jens played for a half-hour and I left thinking that the only problem with his set was that it was about two hours too short. Man Man blew away everyone I dragged to the show; they are the most primal band I’ve ever seen.

Man Man @ Emo's Annex

Most Overrated:

Tapes ‘n’ Tapes (Cambridge, MA)
Say it with me: sophomore slump. These dudes were not on their game; the new tunes were a serious snooze and the only people who looked more bored than the folks in the audience were the guys in the band. Ironically, seeing them at SXSW ’06 was one of the highlights of that trip; evidently it’s been a exhausting couple of years for these boys.

Tapes 'n' Tapes @ The Cedar Door

Runner-up: Fleet Foxes

Worst of the Worst:

Chester French (Cambridge, MA)
What a bunch of factory-wrapped douches. Seriously, I missed the first half of Fatal Flying Guillotines for this? I hope you nerds choke on your stupid cumber buns.
Runner-up: Roky Erikson

Best Show of the Festival:

The Pillows (Tokyo, Japan)
Uh, duh. 8 years in the making and the last show of the trip. What can I say, except… can you feel?

The Pillows @ Elysium

Runners-up: Constantines, The Kills


And here’s the full list. Next year, I aim for an even sixty…

Tuesday

White Denim
Oliver Future
Moby (DJ set)

Wednesday

Foreign Born
Bowerbirds
Raveonettes
Jason Collett
Sean Hayes
The Wedding Present
Phil and the Osophers
Call Me Lightning
Chester French
Fatal Flying Guillotines
The Plastic Constellations
The Kills
Dan Deacon
The Black Keys

Thursday

Constantines
Destroyer
The Shout Out Louds
The Stills
The Blacks
Film School
Von Iva
Two Gallants
Islands
The Phosphorescents
Bodies of Water
Throw Me the Statue
Evangelicals
Bon Iver
Jens Lekman
High on Fire

Friday

The Weakerthans
Ra Ra Riot
Billy Bragg
Blitzen Trapper
The Coconut Coolouts
The Fall Outs
The Unnatural Helpers
Dr. Dog
Tapes ‘n’ Tapes
Health
Torche

Saturday

Jay Reatard
No Age
Man Man
Fleet Foxes
Okkervil River
Roky Erickson
TGR Lou
Teeth
Ezra Furman and the Harpoons
White Shoes and the Couples Company
The Emeralds
The Pillows

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  • danielle

    I did mean to write "least ambient", but it was early, and I was tired, so "melodic" came out. Apologies to Ben and all the other Torche lovers out there.

  • ben

    Torche was plenty melodic; I'll grant that they were not ambient as, in my ignorance, I thought they might have been, but brother moustache scored an A- on the Sabbath/Clutch Melodic Aptitude Test.

    Best band name involving the word "fuck": Medicine Fuck Dream
    Second-best band name involving the word "fuck": Holy Fuck
    Third-best band name involving the word "fuck": Fuck Buttons
    Fourth-best band name involving the word "fuck": Fucked Up

  • danielle

    No award for Least Melodic Metal (Torche)? Or Best Incorporation of a Band's Name into Their Wardrobe (White Shoes and the Couples Company)? And, my personal favorite: Most Charistmatic Lead Singer (Ezra Furman and the Harpoons, of course).

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