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Chicagoist at SXSW: Final Thoughts

By Lizz Kannenberg in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 24, 2009 8:30PM

Hope we're not cramming too much BBQ-stained, Texas-sized coverage up your asses, but damn that was a good time. I tried to take in a little bit of everything -- day parties, night showcases, indie rock, electronica, etc. -- and in the end, I feel like I saw more than in any of my five previous SXSW trips. This is the one instance in which we all can praise the nasty economy - it kept the spring breakers away.

We caught plenty of blog-approved groups doing the SXSW dance - Pains of Being Pure at Heart played no less than 13 shows in four days - and also plenty of fresh new faces. Check out a few of our picks and pans for 2009 after the jump.


Colourmusic - Clouds Taste Metallic-era Flaming Lips freak-folk with matching tennis skirts and a lot more barnburning stage antics than Wayne & Co. ever dreamed of.

Shout Out Out Out Out - Canadian electro-pop rock that's seductive and bombastic all at once. Good luck trying to stand still.

Langhorne Slim - We've waxed ecstatic about this blues 'n' roll trio from New York before, but their last-call set at Club DeVille on Thursday confirmed that an acoustic guitar, stand up bass and four-piece drum kit could be the most energetic combo on the indie circuit.

Passion Pit - This Boston fivesome lived up to the hype that's been piled on its funky dance rock, even in an early set to bleary hangover farmers at the SPIN day party.

Sleepy Sun - Howling male/female vocals over shoegazey drone, with just enough psych-folk crunch to be interesting.


Tinted Windows - The not-so-super group composed of Smashing Pumpkins/A Perfect Circle's James Iha, Cheap Trick's Bun E. Carlos, Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger and Hanson's Taylor Hanson was a spectacle, but the musical whole didn't live up to the pop potential of its parts. It'll probably sell a ton of albums, but these guys had no business taking attention away from deserving and less-known acts with their boredom-fueled joke band.

Glasvegas - Aging Eastern-European gangster types in Clash Halloween costumes. Passable but boring Brit punknroll and a rudimentary drummer who gives chicks in bands a bad reputation.