Video Roundup: What we missed at SXSW

During the SXSW Music Festival this year, KEXP was broadcasting at two locations over three days — and while we had fantastic bands performing live in-studio, bands like The Breeders, Holy Fuck, DeVotchka, The Raveonettes, and Tapes ‘N Tapes (check out our coverage here), the KEXP staff was stuck inside for 10-12 hours at a time. I’m not complaining, mind you, but while we were broadcasting to radio listeners in Seattle and to the rest of the world online, there was a whole other world of music blaring on the streets of Austin, TX, one that never reached our ears. We can try to console ourselves, of course, with the notion that with all of the showcases every day and night no one can see everything… except, thanks to Youtube, they kinda can. And fortunately, they can also go back and listen again and again. Gathered here is a selection of performances recorded live at SXSW in 2008, ones that we wished we could have attended were we not committed elsewhere:

First of all, imagine just walking down the street and running into Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip leaning out a window and performing “Thou Shalt Not Kill” to an excited crowd:

You get the sense of how impromptu some of these performances seem, but many of them were also long thought out and anticipated, such as this year’s tribute to Lou Reed, for which you can see Joseph Arthur rehearsing “Pale Blue Eyes” with Jen Turner:

or the appearance of R.E.M., here performing “Second Guessing,” at Stubb’s:

or Perry Farrell whipping out “Jane Says” at Pangea:

While some veterans like Billy Bragg remembered those even older than he, as with the sort-of-titled “Old Clash Fan Fight Song”:

…mostly it was about who was hot now, like the Swede pop singer Lykke Li, whose name you’re sure to learn to pronunciate correctly soon enough, here on the SXSW Day Stage performing “Little Bit,” a song that you’re just as likely to learn to sing aloud:

Click here to…

…and MGMT, who have been riding a wave of buzz, which has clearly hopped up the crowd at the Urban Outfitters SXSW within which you can sort of make out the two main fellas singing “Kids” amid the bouncing bodies:

…and Santogold, slated to be the next fearsome female vocalist, as she’s been frequently compared to M.I.A. and Karen O simultaneously. Here she is performing her new single “Creator” at the Fader Fort:

…and Tally Hall, a band out of Ann Arbor, MI, who sound a bit like the Futureheads if they leaned more dramatically toward They Might Be Giants. In costume, here they’re performing “Banana Man” at Sonny’s Vintage:

Many UK imports, like I Was A Cub Scout, here filmed for the “BBC Introducing SXSW” series, attempted to draw attention to themselves Stateside, and these lads are likely to with songs such as “Pink Squares” performed here:

…while some of Great Britain’s elder statesmen are still previewing new material, like The Wedding Present, shown here debuting “The Thing I Like Best About Him Is His Girlfriend” at the IODA party:

And while there was definitely a lot of rock to be had… (we’d show you a clip of Howlin’ Rain, but there are none to be had without constantly clipped audio — so here’s some gritty blues rock from The Black Keys, peforming “I Got Mine” at La Zona Rosa)

… there were also plenty of stripped or mellower sets for the more adult contemporary indie crowd, like actress Zooey Deschanel and songwriter M. Ward’s project She & Him, here performing “Black Hole”:

Many artists were there supporting their latest projects, like Kimya Dawson, who sets her childlike voice in contrast to provocative subject matter, and to much success lately (Juno soundtrack), as with “The Beer” performed at the NRDC/Good Magazine showcase:

…and Islands, who like many bands were promoting a yet to be released album. Here they are introducing “The Arm” from Arm’s Way, due in May:

Don’t fret if you weren’t able to make it to SXSW this year. Many of the artists use the festival as a launchpad for their tours, so they’ll be likely to play near your town soon enough, like Saul Williams, who’s actually playing in Seattle this very night:

…or you can catch them at the next big musical event of the year. After all, the festival season is just beginning (Coachella, Sasquatch, etc.).

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