The Truth About Music

"What's hot, what's not, and whats next in pop music"

Wrapping Up Our First Day at SXSW

Oh how things have changed. Just one year ago, I sat in a nearby hotel room all alone, typing away at a post with the same exact title. I had just completed my very first day at SXSW and was ready for more. One year later, the music has stayed the same but the context has changed quite a bit. 

First of all, I’m not alone. This time, I’m sharing my SXSW experience with two close friends. One of them, Dave, is the designer behind The Truth About Music. It is certainly a lot different being here with people. Not bad. But different. Each person experiences the festival in their own unique way and it is important to keep that in perspective.

Now onto the music. The first band that I took a liking to was Viva Viva, a five piece from Boston, MA. With sounds that can range from Mumford & Sons to Steve Miller, the band has mastered a variety of techniques and despite a dreadfully slow start to their live set, pulled it off. There was something genuinely likable about the bands two singers and that made them memorable.

With a secret Foo Fighters show raging, we followed a different path making our first appearance at the British Embassy, a haven for everything from the motherland. The first group we were able to see here was Jonquil. Stemming from Oxford, the group had an upbeat dance vibe similar to that of Vampire Weekend. What separated them slightly from this genre was the heavy electric sound and a european flair on stage.

Don’t get us wrong. There were certainly a few forgettable bands on day 1. Among them were Alien Ant Farm side project Mystery School and experimental rockers Delicate Steve. Finally there was a local Austin, TX band that stuck with me. Ransom Jack caught my eye as I meandered down 6th Street. While they certainly aren’t the most traveled band on the SXSW circuit, they have a really great sound and are worth a few moments of your time.

Overall it was a successful day 1 at SXSW. Now that the Interactive Festival is really over, the real fun begins as the music industry descends on Austin. SXSW Music officially kicks off today.

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2 Legacy Comments

  • Comment by Spencer posted March 16, 2011 at 02:28

    So jealous you get to be a part of the fun in Austin!

    I can’t wait to read about everything that is going on there, through your blog.

  • Comment by Mike McCready posted March 16, 2011 at 13:18

    I saw a few shows last night and I have to say, Mystery School was awesome. You might not like their brand of catchy, personality-driven alternative pop (at least that’s how I’d describe them) but they executed it really well with a rich repertoire that moved the crowd. I was part of the spectators who came alive during the show and by the middle of the set we were believing the band’s schtick – which was original and refreshing.

    I have no affiliation with the band. I simply became an evangelist after experiencing last night’s show.