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Mar 21, 2012 Live Grimes Kindness Of Monsters and Men SXSW 2012

What a difference a day makes. Friday night (after a long day at our final SXSW day party—naturally) the Under the Radar team caught three sets. While two artists I had seen earlier in the week, all three shows were significantly different than expected.

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Mar 19, 2012 Live Charli XCX Fiona Apple Grimes Purity Ring SXSW 2012

Second verse, same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit fuller of electro indie pop. Erm…yeah. Pretty sure that’s how it’s supposed to go.

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Mar 19, 2012 Live Kindness SXSW 2012 Choir of Young Believers Dan Deacon Zola Jesus Prince Rama Purity Ring

SXSW starts with a hug. And—if you’re very lucky—a kiss. Sure it’s a music conference, a place where new bands head to earn their buzz, established bands visit to hock their wares, and everyone goes to practice the age-old art of FOMO. But before all that “work,” friends, co-workers, band members, and publicists start it all off with a squeeze. We may whine about the long hours, the endless schedules, and all forms of “work” (again with the quotation marks) but don’t let our kvetching fool you—this is summer camp for the music industry.

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Feb 29, 2012 Live Lou Reed Das Racist Stephin Merritt Antony and the Johnsons Laurie Anderson

New York City’s fabled Carnegie Hall hosted the 22nd annual Tibet House Benefit, with curation once again courtesy of composer Philip Glass, who’s been involved with the Tibetan cause since 1966. The event was at its most eclectic this year, featuring the likes of Das Racist, Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt, Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons, Laurie Anderson, and Anderson’s husband Lou Reed.

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Dec 01, 2011 Live Morrissey

Oh Morrissey. Has there been an artist since Elvis started swinging his hips that’s been the cause for so much cross-cultural appreciation?

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Nov 28, 2011 Live Young Magic Youth Lagoon

It’s always the lead, and with good reason: Trevor Powers is young. Shockingly young. Barely old enough to buy a drink, not yet old enough to rent a car without significant daily surcharges. On record, he sounds young, his voice untouched by age, seemingly unsoaked by copious amounts of whiskey.

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Nov 23, 2011 Live

When going to a Future Islands show, you can expect three things: Tons of dancing, sweating, and energy. The Baltimore trio fulfilled those requisites when they played to a packed crowd on Friday at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, CA.

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Nov 11, 2011 Live M83

My first experience with M83 was some six years ago in a coffee shop at USC. He was busy pushing buttons, and refusing to stand on ceremony by actually acknowledging his audience. I was a student with a budding musical curiosity and a complete lack of earplugs.

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