SXSW Recap Day 4: Trentemøller, EMA, Indigo Tree, Kryst | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Indigo Tree, Kyst, EMA, Childish Gambino, SXSW 2011, Trentemøller

SXSW Recap Day 4: Trentemøller, EMA, Indigo Tree, Kyst,

Mar 21, 2011 Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern Indigo Tree
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The fourth and final day of SXSW was highlighted with euphoria, exhaustion, and more fantastic music. Is it really almost over? Have my feet finally fallen off? Did I really get that terrible sunburn? Do I have the energy to see a few more bands? (Answers: Yes. No. Sadly yes. Emphatically yes.)

The day started out bright and early Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide showcase were a series of Polish bands were, for a lack of a better term, “bringing it.” I’ll admit a certain affinity for the country after last summer’s adventures, so it was great to not only catch a few promising acts, but catch up with some old friends along the way. Indigo Tree flooded the courtyard with melodic, distorted guitars, and what the band calls “primitive pop.” Meanwhile, Norwegian/Polish/German band Kyst played a set as diverse as their origins. Part of what I’m told is a new generation of Polish bands; the music was a bit difficult to get into at first. But soon the set opened up into an intricate series of layers, straddling the line between freak folk Americana, Sigur Ros, and ambient rock. A bit weird and incredibly satisfying, the set spoke to the power of SXSW and all its hidden gems.

Sadly, journalist duties forced me to leave before the conclusion of the Polish showcase. (However, previous experience leads me to recommend KAMP! for all your dance band needs.) Taking an afternoon’s break from live music, Under the Radar conducted photo shoots and interviews around the greater Austin area.

By evening we had slowed down significantly, and what was a mad dash to catch bands earlier in the week turned into a leisurely stroll from venue to venue. While Donald Glover’s rap project is significantly out of my wheelhouse (let’s face it: at the end of the day, ironically rapping about bitches is still just rapping about bitches.), EMA’s spooky, art-damaged songs provided the perfect backdrop to have a drink and enjoy the final few hours of the festival with co-workers-turned-friends.

Despite the late hour, and assorted collection of aches-and-pains, we rallied long enough to check out Danish DJ/musician Trentemøller. A perfect send-off to the events of the past few days, he—along with a notability large band—performed a high energy set. Perhaps it was are own dwindling reserves, or the moody album The Great Wide Yonder, but the performance was unexpectedly high-octane, and worlds away from the knob-twiddling I had expected. Starting out behind a cage-like curtain, which slowly lowered after the first song, the band clattered and banged through their set, which (thankfully) included fantastically melancholy track, “…Even Though You’re With Another Girl.” My only complaint of the show is directed at the bookers: why wasn’t this set scheduled for earlier in the week when I could have danced rather than hung onto the wall for dear life while my world slowly spun around me?

Despite Trentemøller’s the set being long from over, exhaustion took its toll, and a collective “uncle” was called. The remnants of the Under the Radar team piled into a bicycle cab for one last, surreal, wind-swept tour through the city—an appropriate end to a wild week. To the bands seen over the course of the week: Rock on. To Austin: Thanks for the memories. To my fellow Under the Radar companions: You’re the best. Here’s to an amazing first SXSW experience. I’ll see you all next year. (


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