90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
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

Guests:

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 lizcolville.tumblr.com.

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 auralstandards.com.

Favorite groups our critics mentioned on air:

Yuck

Glasser

James Blake

Kurt Vile

Big K.R.I.T.

The tUnE-yArDs

Superhumanoids

Gold Panda

Twin Shadow

And some we didn’t get to:

Liz Phair

Freddie Gibbs

Odd Future

Lower Dens

Smoosh

Dum Dum Girls

Baths

Little Dragon

Dominique Young Unique

VIDEO FROM SXSW:

Gold Panda at SXSW

Glasser

Dominique Young Unique talks how she got started.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Jim

    I didn’t formally attend SXSW, but while walking past an outdoor live performance discovered an interesting band called Voxhaul Broadcast. I stuck around to listen to three of their songs. Great sound. I wonder if your guests had heard of this band.

  • Rex Henry, Washington, DC

    Wow, I got chills listening to the James Blake song

  • JP Guest

    I LOVE James Blake. His cover of Feist’ “Limit to Your Love” is insane!

  • Don skill

    I tried all along this festival to hear Revolver. These guys are from France. They’re fairly young and were nominated twice for a french Grammy. Did you had the chance to see them at SXSW?

  • Alice

    For me the best event was Gabriel Prokofiev’s Nonclassical at the Velveeta Room on Friday night. The music was cross genre classical jazz electronic acappella. The musicians had wicked amazing chops. The room was packed and the crowd was silent – unlike most of the bar scenes.

  • claire verdier

    I saw Revolver in Boston during the first part of their US tour. They are really good! classically trained, lively rock and beautiful vocal harmonies. They finished their first US tour at SxSW, but unfortunately I couldn’t go.

  • http://ibelieveinbutter.wordpress.com Soli

    After the show is over, can you post a list of all the bands/musicians mentioned? It’d be nice to check them out further when I have time.

    • http://onpoint.wbur.org/about-on-point/sam-gale-rosen Sam Gale Rosen

      Hi Soli, we’ll get that up shortly.

      • nj

        Thanks! I was going to second Soli’s request. Was LWD (listening while driving) so i didn’t have a chance to write down artists’ names.

      • http://ibelieveinbutter.wordpress.com Soli

        Thank you!

  • Michael

    I love the Australian band the Jezabels. I tried to call in to discuss them. They very much represent a traditional band structure, with such a powerful sound. Their front woman Hayley Mary has an unbelievable stage presence and I wish I could have gotten on the air to mention them.

  • http://twitter.com/musichassoul chris Jones

    Loved Voxhaul Broadcast at Cedar Street, great band live.

  • Pingback: SXSW 2011: The Heady Highlights of Music’s Biggest Bash – Spinner | getblogged.net

  • RMGuy

    SXSW was special. Not, anymore. Rap/hip-hop is entertainment, but it’s not music.

    • V-bær

      Funny to still hear this statement in 2011.

  • Phreshyfury

    i NEVER comment. But u need to educate yourself on dubstep…Anyone into
    Jungle/dnb/dubstep would walk away from you in mid sentence. I’ve been into this whole scene since 1992. I’m embarrassed for you.

  • Pingback: Police want more control of SXSW – Austin American-Statesman | Festival Chicks

  • Pingback: SXSW 2011 Roundup with NPR’s On Point and Spin | ///// Aural Standards

  • pasweetie

    Hey Tom, Definitely check out The Hello Strangers on YouTube. Great band from a little town in PA.

  • Vesturbær

    Glasser defintely owes Björk some royalties…

  • Pingback: Hump Day Music and Media: SXSW, Wes Anderson, and NFF | RHODEISLANDISH

  • millard_fillmore

    Example of highlighted text

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 24, 2014
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 21, 2014. Hernandez proposed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to again allow public colleges to use race and ethnicity when considering college applicants. The proposal stalled this year after backlash from Asian Americans. (AP)

California as Exhibit A for what happens when a state bans affirmative action in college admissions. We’ll look at race, college and California.

Apr 24, 2014
A Buddhist monk lights the funeral pyre of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, during his funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014.  (AP)

A Sherpa boycott on Everest after a deadly avalanche. We’ll look at climbing, culture, life, death and money at the top of the world.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

 
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Up At Everest Base Camp, ‘People Still Don’t Know The Ramifications’
Thursday, Apr 24, 2014

With a satellite phone call from Mount Everest’s Base Camp, climber and filmmaker David Breashears informs us that the Everest climbing season “is over.”

More »
Comment
 
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

More »
Comment