Music Festivals

SXSW: Figuring it All Out with WhoMadeWho, Deerhunter, and Lower Dens

​When, like at South by Southwest, a billion bands are playing in the same city at the same time, it's hard to decide which ones you want to hear and the endless others you want to miss out on.

As the week winds down, the music continues to blast through East 6th, downtown, and through residential neighborhoods. The thing is, finding quality music takes research and major effort. The alternative: Just drink and have fun. But fuck that, we came to listen to tunes!

And even though Friday involved waiting around for extended periods, drinking free beer early, and spending the rest of the day exhausted, fortune was on our side, and we caught three very noteworthy acts.

Beauty Bar hosted a showcase of Danish bands sponsored by the Danish Arts Council. Needless Records' Adam Gersten made a point of bringing us to see WhoMadeWho, a dance rock trio with some serious charm. These guys bounced their way into the crowd. The bassist flashed peace signs at the resident baby dancer. And everyone was just having fun. This is the kind of music you want to put on repeat while dancing naked around your room. With or without friends.

A short jaunt and, again, a pulled pork sandwich later, we were at Club Deville to see Deerhunter. Bradford Cox can blow his nose and it sounds awesome. Though we prefer his solo act Atlas Sound, Deerhunter's performance was amazing and it got the teeny tiny young ones in the crowd asking, "Who's this?" The place was packed and people were pushy. But with this kind of quality music and free Guinness, it was worth the blazing sun. 


Lower Dens

Lower Dens performed at the Gorilla vs. Bear and Mexican Summer showcase at the kind of dark and grimy Klub Krucial. They've been receiving much buzz lately. And though their set was short, chill, and a little experimental, it seems they have the potential to really make powerful music in the future. 

The rest of the night, we hit up parties at two separate coops. One looked like a frat house and the other like Melrose Place. But these are are the homes of young hippies who share chores like they live at mom's. We caught Casiokids at the Redefined Magazine party at House of Commons (the frat house-looking coop) whose corny name can only be attributed to the fact that they are Norwegian. The crowd loved the poppy electro dance music and we saw some moves that, though not graceful, were definitely signs of intense appreciation. 

Afterward, Jeffrey Jerusalem, the drummer from YACHT made some maximal live dance music with a pretty minimal setup. Local band Dudes Die and other local bands played pop music for mostly locals at Pearl Street Coop (AKA Melrose Place).

Next up ... More house parties and hopefully intoxicated revelry at the In The Red and Panache showcases!

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