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Top Ten Shows I Saw at SXSW11

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By all accounts I saw 70 shows in the 10 days I was in Austin. Not only is that a lot to take in, it’s also a lot to process and a lot to recuperate from. In the past I’ve done a post with every artist I saw in the order I saw them, but since I am so behind, I figured I would do a quick one (that I am sure will not be so quick, but hey, I’m a glass half full kinda gal) to tide you over. For ease, these are pretty much in the order I saw them, not in order of favorites. They are all in my top 14% anyway. And I’m gonna try to limit myself to 3 sentences per show. Wish me luck!

Three Important Housekeeping Notes:
-All the videos below were taken by me, at the shows I thought were awesome. The exception is the video of Little Comets. My memory card went all crazypants and wouldn’t copy over the video from that show. I found one taken by someone else (yay internets!) that appears to be from the same show, so thanks YouTube user steveakajack for that one.
-Adam Rodgers is not in the mix, even though he is in the top ten list. I couldn’t find his music available for download anywhere, but the show was good enough to include anyway. Go look him up somewhere.
-These mixes can be streamed on both 8tracks (embedded below), and on rdio.com here.

1. Fitz & The Tantrums

I saw them a few times. If they tour in your area, go see them.

2. The Head and The Heart

Folksy band from Seattle, saw them at the Microsoft party. Random, but the sets were amazing.

3. Adam Rodgers

Stumbled into an empty bar with this dude playing after I heard his voice while walking down the street. This is why I love SXSW.

4. Alexander

I honestly didn’t realize Alex Ebert (of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros) had a solo project until he played after Naked + Famous. Also, I think it is amusing that a solo project warrants 7 people on stage.

5. Sugar & Gold

Sugar & Gold is dancey fun SF band. They loved their watermelon, and interacting with the crowd.

6. Geographer

Geographer is also from SF and probably would have played forever if they didn’t have to go play somewhere else. There was no set list so they let us yell out songs.

7. Wallpaper.

This was the last band I saw last year. They were a bajillion times better this year, adding a fly girl and a second drummer. Watching the two drummers work in sync was mesmerizing.

8. Preservation Hall Jazz Band ft. Jim James and Del McCoury

Fell in love with them this past summer at Newport Folk Festival, and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see them at the new Austin City Limits theater. They played some songs with bluegrass artist Del McCoury, as well as My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James.

9. Little Comets

I had never heard of this Brit band before, but after everyone I knew insisted that I had to see them, I did. Totally great show, wicked funny lead, and the album is great.

10. Warren G and Snoop Dogg (Tribute to Nate Dogg)

Last show of the festival was a Vibe tribute to Nate Dogg. Warren G was scheduled, Snoop Dogg made a surprise appearance. So much weed on stage, and the energy was insane.

Stream this mix here:

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