SXSW Day 1 Recap by Robert Duffy

El Jesus de Magico at SXSW Day Show

Wednesday started with the first ever day show we’ve ever put together at SXSW. Along with our friends the Midgetmen, we assembled basically the greatest event that happened yesterday. I hope you were there. Many were. Videos are coming very soon. See more photos here.

Thanks to El Jesus de Magico, Catfish Haven, Goes Cube, AA Bondy, Joseph Arthur, Division Day, Midgetmen, and Spinto Band for your great performances and everyone who came out.

I started the evening off at the KCRW showcase seeing Jesca Hoop. I really like the choices in melody and lyrics she makes, taking songs into unique fun directions.

Went over to Latitude 30 and caught the last two songs by The Barker Band (mp3). Fun, country music projected by a UK band. They were giving out free copies of their full length album to anyone who wanted one — nice bonus for me.

I went to the venue hoping to see The Young Republic, but after waiting 20 minutes for them to start behind schedule, I left. Maybe next year, Young Republic. Caught two songs by Marla Hansen instead, and anyone who is a fan of quiet singer/songwriter songs will definitely be into her.

Went back to my hotel to see Alina Simone, who we wrote about on the site previously. Her set was in the hotel we’re staying at, only one floor above ours. This was definitely one of the highlights of the night for me. Playing almost exclusively Russian songs by Yanka Dyagileva, it was a fantastic set that I’m still thinking about today.

Next up I went to the Central Presbyterian Church to see Bowerbirds )mp3), a band my friend Eric Metronome recommended. The thing about this venue is that yes, it’s a church! I sat in a pew and they played in front of a giant cross. Really great place to see a rock show actually.

The day started with an Ohio band, and the evening ended with an Ohio band. Went to a very packed Emo’s to see Akron’s The Black Keys perform. The stuff they played off the new material sounded great! The new album has a lot more instruments than the band’s previous record, and during the set Daniel Auerbach broke out an electric organ. It added some more diversity to the band’s signature sound, and I think it’s only going to make this band bigger than they already are.