2011 SXSW Awards

SXSW just wrapped up, and while we’re barely able to stay awake today, we sort of compiled a quick list from three of our biggest contributors, but feel free to leave us comments so we know how your experience went down.  And, check back tomorrow our Top Ten Bands of SXSW.

Best Venue:

Nathan: Trailer Space Records: Decent Sound. Solid Line-Up. Couches. Lone Star. College Basketball.

Brian: Lustre Pearl – Only tent that didn’t sound like crap, good angles, badges and wristbands only. Day Stages get honorable mention because of the  air conditioning, with the British Music Embassy not far behind.

RayRay: Ghost Room.  Stadium seating.  Outdoor smoking patio.  Great sound.

Band That Didn’t Live Up to the Hype:

Nathan: Yuck – I liked it, but I expected so much more. Or Dodos – Dialed in set.

Brian: Smith Westerns – that is two shows of meh for me. Have to disagree about Yuck, but I saw them at Stubb’s for their first showcase where they won quite a few of the photogs over.  Surprisingly, I enjoyed James Blake very much.

RayRay: Also Yuck.  Just kind of a boring band really.

Band That Lived Up to the Hype:

Nathan: Wye Oak, !!! – Lawn dance party

Brian: The Joy Formidable – POWERHOUSE!

RayRay: The Vaccines.  One of the most hyped bands and delivered.

WTF Moment/Band:

Nathan: No Joy – I had no expectations, but those girls just slayed their guitars.

Brian: Black Lips for penis on guitar strings, or Har Mar Superstar for face-fucking a frat boy in leopard print undies.

RayRay: Jack White walking down the street and me running after him.

Nicest Band:

Nathan: Gentleman Jesse’s men

Brian: The Answering Machine – I had a nice dinner with them, genuinely good people.

RayRay: She Sir.  Let us use their equipment for the show. All-around solid bros.

Best Front Person:

Nathan: Keith Morris of OFF! – Dude is still killing it.

Brian: Ed Macfarlane of Friendly Fires, he almost hit my camera, then kneed me in the chest during his edge of the stage pelvic gyrations.

RayRay: Justin Folk of The Vaccines.  Guy embodies a true rock star.

Band We’d Gladly Watch Again Tomorrow:

Nathan: Fresh & Onlys/Lord Huron

Brian: Little Dragon, I would love a longer set and MOAR dance party.

RayRay: Lord Huron/The Vaccines

Band We Loved But Knew Nothing About:

Nathan: Chikita Violenta

Brian: Still Corners and Veronica Falls, I was tipped off by “Big Beat” Taylor.

RayRay: Thee Oh Sees

Coolest Celebrity Sighting:

Nathan: Aziz Ansari

Brian: Missed my shot at punching Ashton Kutcher in the face because of the flu.  Otherwise, it was Nathan Lankford, he’s cool.

RayRay: Did I tell you about my photo with Jack White?

Best Drummer:

Nathan: Kid from Cloud Nothings was a ridiculous animal. No way that guy isn’t sore after all his pounding and all their shows!

RayRay: Same as above. Cloud Nothings drummer.

Best Vocal Performance:

Nathan: J. Mascis or Sharon Van Etten – Classic Nostalgia versus Adorable Chanteuse

Brian: Sharon Van Etten, she took advantage of the Church’s acoustics despite the fact she “blew her voice out” the night before. Not buying it Sharon.  Honorable mention to Oh Land, she was enchanting.

RayRay: Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females.  How does a person that small sound so big?

Best Line-Up:

Nathan: Volar Records Party @ Trailer Space featuring the likes of Sandwitches and Personal and the Pizzas.

Brian: The Fader Fort by FIAT (required branding) on Wednesday – Included Dom, Toro Y Moi, Friendly Fires, and Joy Formidable as a surprise?  Win.

RayRay: Under the Radar party @ Flamingo Cantina

Best Austin Band:

Nathan: TV Torso – The terrific sound at Mohawk made this band explode.

Brian: I don’t think I saw a single Austin band so it goes to the drum guys by the Driskill… (shame on you Brian-ed.)

RayRay: Golden Bear at The Ghost Room


  • Sorry to the Austin musicians, I usually see you during the day parties. Unfortunately, my lungs hurt. Still hurt.

  • I’d vote Mellow Johnny’s as one of the worst venues. Saw Black Angels and The Joy Formidable there, but since there is not a risen stage, you can’t even see the tops of their heads. I worked my way to the front for Joy.

    Also, really impressed with The Vaccines. Great moment when front man strutted off stage before the end of their last song, our whole group looked at each other with a “holy crap!” look on our face…haven’t seen that since sir Casablancas. He also made eye contact with.every.single.person. Especially all of the little teeny boppers front and center. He’s a hottie.

  • Mellow Johnny’s had wickedly awful light. I had hoped they were set up inside the shop, but got tent-fail instead. Still, I managed to get a few good ones of the Dears…

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