SXSW 2012 Photo Wrap Up + Top Fives

 

Photos by Seher Sikandar and Ashleigh Reddy.

Bare legs and beautiful people, music blasting from every doorway, epic parties with blow up rafts for crowd surfing, and more good eats than you can count on your fingers and toes, South by Southwest (SXSW) is the epitome of camp for adults. Above, take a little peek into our time at SXSW with this photo slideshow from some of our favorite shows!

We’ll leave you with a couple fun top 5 lists of our SXSW highlights – our top 5 performances and our top 5 places to eat!

Top 5 Performances

Alice Smith – The woman can sing her behind off, first of all. Every time we’ve seen her perform it’s all heart and soul – you watch her feel the spirit and are compelled to be moved by it right alongside her. Just epic. She also sang a few new cuts off of her upcoming album that will be coming out this year – and yes, they are amazing.

Michael Kiwanuka – Another magnificent voice. As we walked up the stairs to the church Michael was performing in, we couldn’t help but find ourselves in disbelief yet again at the voice emanating from the stairway and the walls – we had to be in a time warp, right? Was that voice really coming of this humble young man in 2012? Once we entered the room of jam packed pews, we became witnesses to our seeming fantasy becoming reality. Simply beautiful.

THEESatisfaction – So much flavor and heaps of attitude, these ladies are entertainers. With lyrics about bisexuality and racial identity, they also aren’t afraid to push the envelope and talk about things that actually matter. The melodic, often dense, dark, throbbing sound enraptures you like you never knew how you were without it before.

Erykah Badu – Anyone that’s seen a few Badu shows knows that no one show is ever the same. The lady can fill up a stadium with charm enough to make you think she was your homegirl talking just to you. In her home state, Erykah does not play – at all. The energy was the livest of live and we took it all in.

Rick Ross – Rawse at the Fader Fort. What else is there really left to say? Call and responses reduced to grunts and a hysterical crowd of hipster fans = everything you’ll ever need in life.

Read about our top 5 places to eat after the jump

SXSW 2012 Artist Spotlight: Exitmusic

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Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church initially came together at the age of 18, when they met on a train in Canada and were inexplicably compelled to each other. Having been a couple for over a decade now must surely contribute to the near palpable magic that these two create together with bandmates Dru Prentiss (drums) and Nicholas Shelestak (electronic sounds).

Exitmusic certainly commanded the stage this year at SXSW with a whopping eight shows. We caught the band at the Filter Magazine x Dickies party at a wide open outdoor venue on a gorgeous Austin evening. The crowd was packed and the energy emanating to and fro the stage was that of an ethereal trance: sways and closed lids amongst soothing wails and pulsing, crackling rhythms. It’s exciting to think about the heights this group can reach.

“We want our music to confront people in a gentle but powerful way, to make them feel something,” says Devon Church of Brooklyn electro-rock outfit Exitmusic. There is indeed something highly emotive and stirring about this group. Just listen to the opening track, “The Sea,” in the live studio performance video of their four track From Silence EP above, and you’ll get it. The official video for the track that we posted several months back is something serious.

Lead singer Aleksa drives the point home when she shares her inspiration in “voices that have character and really tell a story on their own,” such as Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Her mother, an acclaimed opera singer, is also an influence from which she draws her skill in delivering those raw, shiver inducing vocals that give us life and take it away, all in one breath.


Exitmusic at SXSW 2012 (Photo by Seher Sikandar)

Watch another live performance & interview video after the jump + get tour dates

SXSW 2012 Artist Spotlight: Electric Wire Hustle + NYC Show


Photo by Seher Sikandar

Electric Wire Hustle is undoubtedly one of our favorite newer acts to hit the scene in the last couple years. Their sound cocoons you in soulful nostalgia all while keeping your expletives in free flow with their unforgettably unique flavor. SXSW brought the New Zealanders several shows, including the Mint Collective x Grown Kids Radio Showcase, where we got a chance to snap a few photos and catch up with the guys.

Self-described as more “painting with oils than water colors,” Electric Wire Hustle’s fluid sound is one of purpose where individuals strengths are recognized and utilized. Citing the opportunity to travel and “sample more than what’s limited to [their] particular portion of the universe” as one of their reasons for making music, the group’s seemingly effortless appeal becomes easy to understand – their music is informed by both the depth and breadth of experience.

Trying to pin down exactly what feeling you get when listening to Electric Wire Hustle can be a bit difficult to describe at times. There’s a familiarity and a newness all at once, and on the first record, an undeniable sense of Marvin Gaye. Per the guys themselves, they share that they ‘don’t necessarily wan’t to be any one thing.’ They explain

“It’s beat driven, it’s Hotere influenced, its Samo before Basquiat blew up, its Kafka after the first chapter.”

Read more, watch a live video, & get info on tomorrow’s NYC show after the jump

SXSW 2012 Artist Spotlight: Haroula Rose

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The sweet-voiced Haroula Rose is an LA based singer who meshes together a dreamy mix of folk, indie, and at times, a little tinge of country. The sparse palette her music resides on makes her a great candidate for some amazing remixes as well, such as the Luke Top remix we posted a few months back for “Close My Eyes To See.” Gorgeous. The original track is off of Haroula’s first album, These Open Roads, which released in 2011. At the moment, she is working on her April slated EP, So Easy, as well as her sophomore album.

We caught up with Haroula during this year’s SXSW Music Festival and gathered some fun tidbits to help folks get a little more acquainted with the talented lady.

Haroula’s biographies often note her first instrument, the violin, being given to her at age eight. What might not be as widely known is that the Chicago suburb native was drawn to music and performance a bit earlier. She notes,

“I was making mix tapes since I was like 7 years old and running around the house performing. I guess I do it because it has always been something that makes me feel alive and connected. I have tried doing all kinds of different jobs, but nothing came close to feeling right. I love making films too, especially when music is directly involved.”

Read more after the jump