We began our Wednesday at the Convention Center listening to Only Girl from London on the International Day Stage. The environment may be a bit sterile, but her vocal performance was emotional and beautiful.
Sudan Archives, is comprised of a solo female act that utilizes violins with guitars and loops to create a full band sound. Despite being From Las Angeles, she creates songs utilizing elements of traditional Sudanese music.
We took a break from watching performances and listened to Kim Deal and Steve Albini discuss Kim's time in The Pixies and The Breeders. They spoke to fellow recording artists, technicians, producers and fans. There is a level of comfort during these type of conversation/sessions at SXSW that are not replicated in other interviews. Kim is still creating some great music with The Breeders. Be sure to check out their newly release album,
Wednesday night we went to the annual NPR showcase at Stubbs. Though there were no free bag this year, NPR did continue the tradition of putting together an eclectic and rewarding line up.
The night began with the beautiful voice and lovely instrumentation of Lucy Dacus.
There were many acts on the small stage, but most we were not able to see. The next act on the big stage was a band that was united and formed via the internet, Superorganism. Despite their unusual origins, they put together are a great live performance.
The tempo of the show changed considerably with indie rock veterans, Low.
Okkervil River used their connection with Texas to help connect with the band. The set was filled primarily with newer, personal songs from their upcoming album. They also hit some crowd favorites from their previous albums.
2017 NPR Tiny Desktop winners, Tank and the Bangas, brought New Orleans funk and flare to the stage.
The night ended with a performance by August Greene, the newly formed super group of Common, Robert Glasper, and Karriem Riggins. Common was an impressive stage presence and had the crowd, including the camera pit, enthralled.
Our Wednesday takeaways and recommended listening are:
1. If you like vocal pop, do yourself a favor and be ahead of the curve and listen to Only Girl now. Your friends and family will be listening to her by next year.
2. If you like melodic vocals and music, Lucy Dacus is definitely your cup of tea.
3. Expect big things out of Superorganism as they grow together as a band.
4. Okkervile River has a very personal album coming out that touches on everything from having a tracheostomy to life in general.
5. If you can, see Tank and the Bangas live.
6. Common is still a powerful force in music.