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Report From SXSW

by Russ Borris
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Day one of SXSW is in the books and it was expectedly busy, filled with lots of great live music.  As I previewed earlier, it's just not possible to get to everything, but I did catch my fair share.  It was a diverse bunch, too that included everything from Les Claypool to St. Vincent.

Off the bat, there were a couple of names to watch.  First, there's Benjamin Booker, a young guitar player from New Orleans whose sound has a Gary Clark Jr. meets The White Stripes feel to it.  Impressive player and impressive energy.   Next, there was Irish singer/songwriter Hozier.  This guy is the real deal.  It may be cliche, but it's true.  He's got the voice, the songs, and even some blues chops, too.   He's set for a session with FUV at Hotel San Jose, so look for video later today.

I caught my fair share of the rock, too.  There were young UK bands like Eagulls and The Wytches as well as veterans like Against Me!  And St. Vincent?  Well, she's just on another level right now.  Absolutely great stuff from her.  Of course, I missed some bands, too.  Too many acts all playing at once, so I'll hope to see them over the next few days.  Sadly, I think my opportunity to see Spandau Ballet has come and gone.  Yes, I know this much is true.

Check back at wfuv.org for video of performances from Hotel San Jose and also listen in tomorrow starting at Noon for the Public Radio Rocks SXSW Day Stage show.  We're once again partnering with WXPN in Philadelphia, The Current in Minneapolis, KUTX in Austin and KXT in Dallas for another amazing lineup this year.

  • Damon Albarn: The man behind Gorillaz and Blur is releasing his first proper solo record. Can't wait to hear the new songs and hopefully an old favorite or two!
  • Lucius: NYC's own have really had a great few months since the release of their debut album Wildewoman. Great energy, solid percussion and harmonies from Holly and Jess are expected.
  • The Hold Steady: The band recently celebrated their 10th anniversary and with the upcoming release of Teeth Dreams, they are likely to add some serious new riffs to the showcase.
  • Phantogram: I love what these guys can. Cool beats, great production. The new album Voices is great, too!
  • Jeremy Messermith: From Minneapolis, he's a super talented songwriter. Great sense of melody and lyrical skill.
  • Temples: These Brits are a throwback of sorts mixing British Invasion influences with '60s psychedelica.

Of course, check here for updates and video, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@wfuv, @FUVRuss, @RitaHoustonWFUV) or Instagram (@wfuv) for all things SXSW.

Public Radio Rocks SXSW Day Stage 2014

Funding for WFUV's ongoing coverage of live concerts and festivals comes from The Agnes Varis Trust, supporting affordable access to the arts, education and healthcare.

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