SXSW 2011: Thursday, March 17
When I was 12 I was gay for Duran Duran.
Seven and the Ragged Tiger was my first favorite album and I had a trunk full of posters and Teen Beat pullouts.
Decades later, I’m married and comfortable enough in my heterosexuality to say that Simon Le Bon is still hot. I know this because I saw former MTV Anchor John Norris interview Simon and his Duran Duran bandmates Thursday afternoon in the convention center.
I didn’t catch any of their live sets, but everyone said they were super awesome.
Watching the footage I can’t say I agree, though I’m sure the nostalgia was thick. This version of "Wild Boys" seems OK.
My only original video from SXSW 2011 shows New York City’s Supercute busking
outside the convention center. Note that the next song she’s teeing up is a Led Zepplin cover.
("Misty Mountain Hop" if you were wondering.)
I didn’t know how well this great Brooklyn band’s sound would translate to a
large, outdoor arena but they were brilliant…the Strokes crowd
didn’t know what to make of their smooth 80s sounds.
George Lewis Jr.’s
voice is that of a classic crooner and, although his band’s sound recalls
many 80s elements, not much from that decade was this soulful and
textural. The band’s patient songs make bits of guitar feedback and
distortion stand out even more prominently. I swear the hairs on my arm
stood up at least once.
Here’s a snippet from their set.[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nohs6V2N8xI]
The collective Twitter, in person and critical response to the Strokes
big comeback set has been largely negative, but the six songs I saw
rocked. The guitars sounded clear and bright, bypassing my ears and connecting directly with my soul,
and their rhythms got me swaying a bit.
I love that they played B-side "New York City Cop” and, most surprisingly, the highlight
was their brand new single "Under Cover of Darkness."
Don’t believe me? Check out this video of it. (I’m the guy in the middle.)
Holy crap this New York band is great.
Pretty, melodic electronic music
you can dance to that creates a cool atmosphere and still rocks? How is
that even possible?
Kudos to Seattle label Barsuk for snapping these guys up
and putting out their excellent 2010 album.
I didn’t see any Phantogram footage from SXSW 2011, but they were definitely one of the highlights of the week. Here’s the KEXP
video from last year that made me fall in love with them in the first
More on SXSW 2011…