Escort, Cloud Nothings, M. Ward, The Men, Nas, Slaughterhouse and... the best food truck
More that 2,000 artists performed at the South By Southwest music conference this year. Sadly, I only saw a few dozen, and in bits. (However, more and more I'm led to believe that the 20-minute set is the way to go.)
Below, I assign random and unscientific superlatives to some of the bands I saw, including shout-outs to Youth Lagoon, U.S. Royalty, Matthew Dear and Escort.
Most improved: Sharon Van Etten. I enjoyed this songwriter’s set last week, but what a difference electric makes. Now her arrangements are fleshier, her live shows more transcendent, and her voice as a singer and songwriter is better heard. She’s a bigger deal now and she knows it, in all the right ways.
Band that seemingly played the most shows the most days: Garden & Villa. Even if you wanted to avoid them – I didn’t – you couldn’t have missed them.
Most buzzed-about live band: Cloud Nothings. Elemental, punk, sheer and aware.