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Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012
Bob Mould’s set was followed by the only SXSW performance by the Roots, one of the most anticipated sets of the conference (as evidenced by a near three-block long line).

At the MOG Showcase, Bob Mould joined the likes of War on Drugs and Gary Clark Jr. to perform the entire 1992 Sugar record Copper Blue. Though older in years, Mould led his trio through a near note-perfect rendition of such perennial favorites as “A Good Idea” and “Hoover Dam”. Mould looked positively jovial, attacking his guitar with trademark fervor and belting out the raucous melodies that have endeared fans to him for years.


Mould’s set was followed by the only SXSW performance by the Roots, one of the most anticipated sets of the conference (as evidenced by a near three-block long line). The Roots took on songs off their newest release Undun as well as crowd pleasers including a searing version of “Here I Come” off of Game Theory. The Roots may very well be one of the tightest bands around, as evidenced by these past years of honing their chops each night on Jimmy Fallon. Musically ubiquitious and masterful performers, they seamlessly transitioned from their unique fusion of soul-rock and hip hop to “Sweet Child O’Mine” by Guns and Roses and Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”. In the audience was the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff who accepted an invitation to come up on stage to do a joint drum solo with ?uestlove.


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Monday, Mar 19, 2012
Bands played D.I.Y. style, crammed in a corner with a bad P.A., surrounded by a crowd of people.

Wednesday night I escaped the SXSW madness of downtown Austin, and strolled to the east side of town. I ended up at the Burger Records Burgerstock party at Trailer Space. The outside teamed with sweaty twenty-somethings smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol out of paper bags. Inside was even better; little did I know that Trailer Space was an independent record store specializing in punk and indie rock. Bands played D.I.Y. style, crammed in a corner with a bad P.A., surrounded by a crowd of people. People crammed in between rows of vinyls and CDs smoking cigarettes and pounding alcohol, ready to mosh and slam into each other. I got to Trailer Space just in time for Chicago red headed brother-sister power rock duo White Mystery.


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Friday, Mar 16, 2012
by Ryan Lester
This performance anticipates a huge year for Fiona Apple.

The amount of good will Fiona Apple receives from the press is no secret, but when your second comeback performance is as strong as it was at the Pitchfork showcase, one is left with little choice but to sing praises. Those lucky enough to make their way inside Central Presbyterian Church, many of whom waited close to two hours for a chance to get in, were treated to an intimate show that will no doubt be seen as one of the highlights of this year’s festival. The church was a perfect setting for Apple to test her new material in, and the space’s excellent acoustics made both the arrangements and her booming voice positively soar.


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Friday, Mar 16, 2012
Greetings from Austin!

Aside from the gathering of industry professionals, artists, and media, SXSW has been a magnet for music fans, largely due to the influx, and exponential growth of free day party events. With many artists playing as many as half dozen or more showcases, the average music fan has countless opportunities to see their artist of choice. In a vicious cycle, the growing base of music fans inspires more events, which in turn attracts more people to Austin. So while the industry continues to genuflect over big picture issues, while fuming over the ongoing disappearance of revenue streams, day parties provide an informal opportunity for fans to interact with some of their favorite artists, while enjoying swag, booze, and treats courtesy of corporate and media sponsors, national music industry councils and labels. Here’s a sampling of some of the best day party events:


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Thursday, Mar 15, 2012
Thanks to Delta Spirit, I left the Hype Hotel one blissed out hot and happy mess.

Delta Spirit headlined the Conflict Of Interest showcase with a late night set at The Hype Hotel Tuesday, 13 March. The California five-piece stormed the stage at 1AM and played an energetic 45 minute set, spurring explosive energy amongst badge and wristband holders. Drinks flew and fists pumped as Delta Spirit rocked out old favorites mixed with new cuts off their brand new, self-titled album coincidentally released the same day.


They tore up the stage with the romantic “Bushwick Blues” and raised hell with the anthematic “People C’Mon”. Thanks to an enthusiastic audience, Texas humidity and Delta Spirit’s heart-wrenching poetic finesse, I left The Hype Hotel one blissed out hot and happy mess.


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