KCRW at SXSW Back to KCRW.com KCRW Music Coverage

Scene from SXSW: by KCRW’s Tyler Hale

imageKCRW’s Tyler Hale

Hanni El Khatib
Hanni ripped through his new Dan Auerbach produced tunes to a small crowd at the Scoot Inn. Straight up rock ‘n roll that went down easy with a Lone Star and taco. This new album is gonna be a big one for 2013.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra 
Jamming amongst the bicycles at Mellow Johnny’s…UMO impressed a capacity crowd with their blend of swirly, psychy guitar rock.

Local Natives
Hometown boys closed down the Lustre Pearl Wednesday night with a set comprised mostly of material from their new record, Hummingbirds. They were tight, having fun and the crowd ate it all up.

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Heartbreaker Banquet
If you get the opportunity to head on out of Austin to Willie Nelson’s ranch…jump on it! What once served as an old west town (includes: saloon, post office, chapel etc) for films - has now turned into Luck, Texas…A town that Willie now owns. Great music, views and vibes all around. An Austin local told me that ‘Willie is the patron-saint of Austin…the ranch is hallowed ground’ and watching Phosphorescent’s country, sun-touched jams - was the perfect soundtrack to stepping back in time. 

Scene from SXSW: by KCRW’s Rachel Reynolds

imageRhye at the Pitchfork Day Party: They went on at noon after flying in from Berlin last night and going nearly 40 hours without sleep. That made singer Mike Milosh’s performance all that much more incredible. His vocals are fantastic and the backing band of pros – including cello and violin players – made me love the songs more live. It’s babymaking music – even at noon on a Thursday.

Willy Moon at Showdown at Cedar Street: THIS guy is a performer. Jack White is a fan, releasing a single on his Third Man Records label, and it’s easy to see why. He’s the best showman – with the talent to back it up – that I’ve seen so far.

Shout Out Louds at Showdown at Cedar Street: I had the pleasure of introducing this band and I told the capacity crowd that their song “Walking in Your Footsteps” has been stuck in my head for about a month. It’s true. And they nailed it live! I was bouncing up and down with the rest of the crowd.

Local Natives at Showdown at Cedar Street: There are few better musical moments than singing “Wide Eyes” with 600 people.

Icona Pop: Swedish dance pop at it’s best. Pure fun. They’ve been playing a ton around Austin but they seem to have endless energy and enthusiasm.

Caveman: This Brooklyn-based indie rock band has a new album due in April and I really love what I heard. And the singer’s tie…

The Specials: I was walking back to my hotel when I heard the sounds of “Message to You Rudy” and realized it was actually The Specials playing it live! A true SXSW moment and a real treat to end the night.

Rachel blogs for KCRW at kcrw.com/musicblog