Laredo(28)

Streets of Laredo

One of my favorite parts of SXSW is watching an artist grow over the years. Two years ago, a friend dragged me to an afternoon show in an almost empty bar to watch Shakey Graves, a one-man band with a suitcase drum kit and hand-drawn CD covers.

Now he packed out the inside stage at the Spotify House with a much fuller sound thanks to a female singer to harmonize with and a few more bandmates. He was one of the artists I heard the most about throughout the festival. Rave reviews from everyone.

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Shakey Graves and DJ Anne Litt

When I walked up to see the stomping alt-country folk sounds of Streets of Laredo, I never would have guessed they were from New Zealand (It reminds me of the band I’m From Barcelona, who were actually from Sweden!) It’s a big group having a great time and their joy was infectious. “Hey Rose” was an easy standout.

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Toronto jazz trio BadBadNotGood will be releasing their next album on LA label Innovative Leisure. They took to the stage at the Showdown at Cedar Street showcase a little late, but won the audience over in an instant. It’s a full throttle experience — with hip hop influences and so much more.

Their labelmates De Lux followed, with a sound that owes a lot to the Talking Heads. Pure danceable fun.

Later in the evening I tracked down Temples, a psychedelic rock band from the UK that had a sound I loved and the looks — the hair and outfits in particular — to match.

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