Prima Donna: #4 of John’s ‘Fantastic Four of SXSW 2011’

Prima Donna performing at SXSW, 3/18/11 - Photo by Erica Bruce / Between Love & Like

As noted previously in my post in praise of Biters, I dig me some glam rock. In that earlier post, I referenced T. Rex, since Sir Bolan struck me as being the most apt reference point to the band at hand, but I’m also an ardent admirer of take-no-prisoners gutter glam as practiced by the […]

Hunx & His Punx: #3 of John’s ‘Fantastic Four of SXSW 2011’

In a world where boys who can’t sing aren’t allowed to be lead vocalists in 1960s-style girl groups, only one hero was gay enough to defy the odds: Hunx -eMusic’s capsule description of Too Young To Be In Love, the debut album from Hunx & His Punx I first heard Hunx & His Punx in […]

Biters: #2 of John’s ‘Fantastic Four of SXSW 2011’

It’s no secret that I love me some power pop, so when I was cruising through this year’s SXSW torrent and Biters leaped out of the speakers with “Melody for Lovers” (bar none the best new-to-me power pop song of the torrent, and a shining example of power pop perfection), I snapped to attention immediately. […]

My Jerusalem: #1 of John’s ‘Fantastic Four of SXSW 2011’

My Jerusalem, the band that I would leave SXSW 2011 proclaiming to everyone willing to listen as having been the best new band I saw all week, and the one that I knew would present me with the tallest order in terms of doing them justice with mere words, was a band that I hadn’t […]

John’s SXSW Roundup, Starring Alejandro Escovedo, Jesse Malin, and the ‘Fantastic Four of SXSW 2011’

Given that friends and colleagues always ask upon my return from Austin who were my absolute favorites of the new bands I saw at SXSW each year, I’m going to focus my attentions entirely on the new-to-me bands that I left Austin wishing most fervently that I could see play again right now. As it […]

Alejandro Escovedo’s Legendary Conclusion to SXSW 2010 at the Continental Club


It was two years ago at the unofficial Sunday night South-by closing ceremonies at the Continental Club that Alejandro Escovedo world premiered his then-forthcoming album, Real Animal live and in sequence from the first track to the last. It was a remarkable show, and it proved to be an album that raised Alejandro’s profile considerably, […]

Remembering Alex Chilton, Whose Spirit was Entwined with SXSW 2010

Alex Chilton performing in Spain, 2006

I don’t think it would be overstating the case too much to say that when the news of Alex Chilton’s death broke on the first day of SXSW, so too did the collective heart of a sizable percentage of SXSW attendees break. I got the news via text message during the second showcase of the […]

Introducing Foxy Shazam, the Most Indescribably Awesome New Band of SXSW 2010


I first heard (and heard of) Foxy Shazam this past January when their song, “Bye Bye Symphony” was included in the free SPIN magazine compilation, SPIN Presents 2010: A Look Ahead. I liked that song very much, and certainly enough to earn them a “see them at South-by” designation. That decision took on added urgency […]

Indie Pop Rocks SXSW 2010 with Stereo Skyline, the Downtown Fiction, and the Ready Set

Stereo Skyline at Pure Volume House, SXSW 3/18/10

Some of you may recall the thrillingly eye-opening experience that seeing Totally Michael at South-by was for me last year. Well, if you’re willing to indulge me, I think I’m about to test the patience and credulity of the Twangville audience like never before. (Bear with me though, for as with my South-by blogging of […]

With One Night Only & the Crookes, Yorkshire Gets my Vote as the Hottest Scene at SXSW 2010


Of the 15 bands I saw on Wednesday at SXSW this year, the one that stood head and shoulders above the rest was One Night Only from Yorkshire, England. I’ve had their debut album for a couple of years now, and like it quite a bit, but the band that I saw onstage for the […]