Mar 31, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Day two of SXSW for us began where day one ended, at the Central Presbyterian Church. The night before we had seen there the appealing trio of Department of Eagles, St. Vincent, and Camera Obscura. This night we also saw three bands at the venue, but only one was great. As we had missed M. Ward the night before at the same venue by not allowing enough time to navigate the long line, we were determined to arrive in plenty of time for Grizzly Bear’s 8:30 P.M. slot at the eMusic showcase. That meant that we had to sit through two other bands we had no interest in seeing, including one we’d never even heard of before. More

Mar 28, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Fresh from its SXSW appearances just days ago, Melbourne’s The Temper Trap blazed through an eight-song, 40-minute set at Spaceland in Silver Lake on Monday night, rousing a packed room of curiosity-seekers and latecomers with its blend of anthemic soul and tempestuous, guitar-charged crescendos. More

Mar 28, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

SXSW is a guessing game. There are many hundreds of bands playing at so many different venues, that you can have a fantastic or a lousy time depending on who you see and how well you second guess how long it will take to get into each venue. The goal is to spend most of your time seeing as many great bands as possible, and as little time possible waiting in line or sitting through sets from bands you don’t want to see just to make sure you’re in the venue in time to see the bands you do want to see. Your enemies are late set times and the varying degrees of sound quality at Austin’s many venues. More

Mar 23, 2009 Live

Under the Radar's 2009 SXSW party was presented by JanSport and featured spirited sets from Mumford and Sons, Frances, Viva Voce, Loney Dear, Chairlift, Jason Lytle (of Grandaddy), and Camera Obscura. More

Mar 19, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

 “Saying the Unsayable” was an “investigation into the role of lyrics in popular song.” Jarvis Cocker, dressed as dapper as ever in a jacket and tie, stood in front of the eager crowd crammed into the small convention room, and armed with a slide/video projector and a long pointer, as he presented a near-two-hour lecture on the importance of lyrics. And if anyone should know about the value of lyrics, it’s Cocker, arguably one of the greatest British lyricists of the last two decades. “Everything expressed is solely based on my subjective opinion,” Cocker said in his opening, “but I’m usually right.” More

Mar 19, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Elliott Brood is a Toronto trio who dress like old-timey rural undertakers and play a stripped down, highly rhythmic brand of roots music with endearing energy, a particularly impressive feat at 3 p.m. in a darkened exhibition hall in the Austin Convention Center. More

Mar 19, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

A boisterous set by Auckland quartet Cut Off Your Hands–one of the 10 shows they played at this edition of SXSW–was the centerpiece of another strange bill at Emo’s on Thursday night, wedged in between the refined, reggae-fied rock of Sean Bones and the trendy indie tropes of Boston’s Passion Pit. Topping the bill were Swedish whistling champions Peter Bjorn and John, whose delayed and ultimately disastrous set (due to epic technical fail) they later described as “awful.” More

Mar 18, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Echo and the Bunnymen’s first of three SXSW shows wrapped up an odd bill at Emo’s main room, featuring Cali punks Circle Jerks and Juliette Lewis’s latest band, The New Romantiques–her attempts to channel Janis Joplin and their hard blues rock by numbers bored most of us to tears. More

Sep 15, 2007 Live Web Exclusive

Treasure Island. There it sits in the middle of San Francisco bay. To most of us it's rarely set foot upon, simply driven through, the halfway point on the Bay Bridge. It was built and pirate- and/or Stevenson-named in 1939 as the site of the World's Fair-esque “Golden Gate International Exposition." Since then it's been a lot of things, among them a naval base and site of the Battlebots television show, in which machines battled to a fiery death. Apparently, people live there, too. More