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Mar 22, 2012 Live We are Serenades SXSW 2012 SBTRKT Letting Up Despite Great Faults Fanfarlo Blouse

Despite getting into a physical altercation with my alarm clock on the last day of SXSW (Final score, me: 0, alarm clock: 1), I still summoned the fortitude to see a few more bands. Thankfully, Saturday a historically light day when it comes to showcases, and in between sets we found time to engage in a few extra-curricular activities. Chiefly, that meant enjoying the perfect storm of SXSW attendees, college students on spring break, St. Patrick’s Day pub-crawlers, and locals out for a weekend, as they came together in an awkward cloud of music, booze, and terrible green clothing.

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Mar 21, 2012 Live SBTRKT

The 2011-released self-titled debut album from the London-based dubstep producer SBTRKT was in heavy rotation in the Under the Radar offices last year and was #14 on our Top 80 albums of 2011 list. So he was high on my list of artists to see at SXSW 2012.

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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 Choir of Young Believers Dan Deacon Zola Jesus Prince Rama Purity Ring Kindness SXSW 2012

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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