SXSW Recap Day 3: Toro Y Moi, Revolver, Still Corners | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Still Corners, Toro y Moi, Chad Valley, Revolver, SXSW 2011

SXSW Recap Day 3: Toro Y Moi, Revolver, Still Corners,

Mar 21, 2011 Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern Web Exclusive
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As fellow writer Mike Hilleary pointed out, the ratio of sleep to bands at SXSW is somewhat skewed. This is of course, an understatement, as it seems even my dreams (whenever I close my eyes long enough to have them) have been rented out for showcases. While there’s no accounting for my subconscious booking agency (who seem intent on making it an all Twin Shadow bill), the variety of bands available to the waking world of SXSW is pretty dang impressive. After our second successful Under the Radar day party, the magazine crew opted to hop from venue to venue for the remainder of the evening, as no one showcase was strong enough to demand our full attention.

First stop was Club de Ville, where we caught the tail end of a sweet—albeit anonymous sounding—set of indie pop by 1, 2, 3. The next band up, British quintet Still Corners—who recently signed to Sub Pop—was more skilled in making their anonymity work in their favor. Opting to perform in semi-darkness with retro film clips projected behind them, the mysterious ambiance matched their fantastically dreamy, Cocteau-by-way-of-Slowdive tunes.

Over at Klub Krucial the heat was building. This is, sadly, not a metaphor. With what seemed to be a broken ventilation system, we were greeted with a wall of heat well into the triple digits. On stage the aggressively average, decidedly off-key Puro Instinct danced it out, but the crowd seemed at best, muted, and worst suffering from heat exhaustion.

After an angst-ridden wait where a) the room seemed to get hotter every time the annoying “Don’t Sweat it” graphic was projected behind the stage and b) some sweet soul managed to spill half his drink down my back (Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Really!), Toro Y Moi took the stage, all smiles. Immune to the temperature, the three piece (with leader and sole creative force Chaz Bundick at the helm) worked through a set comprised of material from standout sophomore album, Underneath the Pines. The crowd danced along and seemed to enjoy it, however after the band’s synth-filled set the room cleared out as though on fire (which, for all we know, it might have been).

Back in the outside world—where breezes and hipsters roam free—we hustled over to the British Music Embassy showcase to catch Chad Valley. While his performance style (Read: glorified karaoke) wasn’t terribly compelling (Read: boring) it should be noted that a) he has a fantastically soulful voice, and b) grooves to match. And really, after such little sleep and so many bands, who needs performance quality when you can dance? (Or whatever you might term our aching-feet convulsions. Note to self: next year, band aids.)

Approaching the witching hour, we scurried over to Easy Tiger patio for a musical nightcap: Revolver. Unwittingly it seems we had saved the best for last. The criminally underrated French trio tore through an all-too-brief set that was equal parts Beatles, Buddy Holly, and 1920s club music. Their first ever SXSW appearance was the columniation of two solid years of touring. Their experience, from the cellist’s dance breaks to the guitarist’s attempt Johnny Hallyday’s stage presence, showed. The packed patio happily clapped and sang along particularly to wonderfully catchy song, “Balulalow.”

Again, with italics added: criminally underrated.

Unable to top that, and with my hotel a literal stone’s throw away, I retired for the evening. Note to hotel staff: I appreciate your charm, but please please please, do not wish me a good morning when I’ve still yet to say goodnight.



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