Best Of SXSW Music: Critics’ Picks

We listen in with young critics to the hottest new music from South By Southwest in Austin, Texas.

Julian Casablancas and The Strokes perform at the SXSW Music Festival late Thursday, March 17, 2011 in Austin, Texas. (AP)

Back in the day, 25 years ago, the music festival in Austin, Texas – South by Southwest – was itty-bitty compared to now. My, how it’s grown.

Two-thousand bands in the “conference,” as they call it, that wrapped up this weekend. Packed beer halls and barbeques and waves of attendees.

Every kind of rockin’ music you can imagine. Big names flaying in too, to share the scene. But we’re looking for the fresh, the new, the buzziest sounds.

This hour On Point: young critics on the best of South by Southwest.

- Tom Ashbrook


Liz Colville, freelance writer and music blogger. She’s contributed to The Daily Beast, Nerve, New York Press, NPR, Pitchfork, Stylus Magazine, and The Village Voice Online.  You can find her coverage of SXSW here, and her personal blog at

Chris Martins, music writer and critic. He covered the South By Southwest Music festival for Spin.  He’s also a frequent contributor to the L.A. Times, L.A. Weekly, and the Onion A.V. Club.  He blogs at

Favorite groups our critics mentioned on air:



James Blake

Kurt Vile

Big K.R.I.T.

The tUnE-yArDs


Gold Panda

Twin Shadow

And some we didn’t get to:

Liz Phair

Freddie Gibbs

Odd Future

Lower Dens


Dum Dum Girls


Little Dragon

Dominique Young Unique


Gold Panda at SXSW


Dominique Young Unique talks how she got started.

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