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Photos and Text: Mehan Jayasuriya

Best Friends Forever are from Minneapolis. Best Friends Forever are two girls and one boy. Best Friends Forever play pop songs about Presidents and love and other cute things. Best Friends Forever sometimes have puppets onstage during their sets. Best Friends Forever play instruments like keyboards and glockenspiels and even the recorder, which I used to play in the 3rd grade. Best Friends Forever are my new favorite band.

Photos and Text: Mehan Jayasuriya

If you happen to loathe trends, folk-based psych-pop is probably close to the top of your list of dislikes. Luckily, Brooklyn’s Woods have a novel enough approach to the sub-genre to keep things interesting. Using all sorts of analog trickery, the band crafts a thick haze of echoing voices, ringing guitar notes and wispy atmospherics. One member of the band devoted all of his attention to a tape deck plugged into a series of effects pedals; meanwhile, the drummer spent more time banging on guitars with his drumsticks than drums. And tying it all together were the condenser mic-filtered vocals, echoing in the distance like an old AM radio.

Photos and Text: Mehan Jayasuriya

On Saturday night, a South by Southwest reveler could have been seeing GZA split a bill with Okkervil River. Or, he or she could have been seeing a solo set from Kevin Shields at a small venue. There was even an outdoor party where NOFX and the Breeders co-headlined on dueling stages. But as far as I’m concerned, the true spirit of South by Southwest was hidden away in a back room at Mohawk, where a lineup of DIY bands played for a handful of enthusiastic fans and sold 7"s for gas money. Here we see Brooklyn’s Vivian Girls, who played a set of Sarah-esque, sing-along friendly twee-pop.

Photos and Text: Mehan Jayasuriya

We’ve got to hand it to the folks at IHEARTCOMIX: there’s no better place for a party than the rooftop of a downtown parking garage. Spinning a full-length set of electro without sounding—well, exactly like Daft Punk—isn’t as easy as it once was, it seems but Simian Mobile Disco managed to pull it off and get the party started on the right foot. Brooklyn dance-punks Matt and Kim, meanwhile, kept the crowd dancing and smiling to boot. Closing up shop, Diplo featured a number of high-profile guest stars like Spank Rock and Kid Sister but it was quite clear from the response that Diplo himself was the man of the hour.

SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO

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