Here’s a tip if you’re going to one of these industry festival type things: If IAMSOUND is having a party, you should attend that party. Just like this past CMJ, the L.A.-based imprint owned their night, pulling together an eclectic lineup that showcased the right bands, all having a moment: Scott already posted some video from the Fool’s Gold set, but moreover there was the first North American show from Sweden’s “Lollipop” loving electro-folk sensation jj; the first set in four months (and dope new songs) from the soon-to-rule-all Sleigh Bells (I know I babble about them, but if these words or their demos haven’t sold you, their live show will — do not miss); music from Suckers, playing from their excellent forthcoming record Wild Smile (“Before Your Birthday Ends” is already ruling my iTunes), and a closing set from SALEM, whose murky crunk sounds have birthed a Guardian-profiled genre called “drag,” because you clearly were in need of more labels to throw around. While we’re on newspapers throwing around labels, the Wall St. Journal-stamped “chillwave” set is everywhere, busy bringing down blood pressure all over Austin this week.
The party from local news site Austinist featured a triptych, with tourmates Washed Out and Small Black playing (separately and together, as previously documented) just moments after a superb indoor set from one of the genre’s leading lights, Toro Y Moi — the room was packed to the gills, but they were very chill gills. As always Levi’s/FADER is holding down their Fort, a compound located a ten minute walk from the main drag of 6th St., but worth every step — free booze and a lineup that will capture most of the year’s buzz bands over its three days. No they don’t have a petting zoo, but the “surprise guests” got going yesterday with a set from Nas and Damien Marley; rumors for the rest of the week have included everything from Ludacris to Black Eyed Peas (slammy). (Also, Sleigh Bells + Bone Thugs-n-Harmony should prove pretty unfuckwithable.)
As for the rest of the day: There were shots from superb post-Pavilion pop troupe Keepaway, the debut of Roky Erickson and Okkervil River (Rokkervil River, henceforth and forever more) at PASTE’s shindig, the ladies of Warpaint whose new drummer is a beastess, driving the sultry charmer “Elephants” from its hypnotic haze into freakily drum-filled exeunt … and abundant et ceteras.