The “discovery” function of SXSW faded long ago, when the internet democratized access to information and YouTube brought every band’s live show to everyone’s laptops. And at SXSW, this annual cattle call of overbooked bands playing shitty sounding rooms to attention-addled industry types, it’s tough to cut through the noise and make an impression. So, for your benefit, but also maybe a little bit for ours, too, here’s a post to remind that classic sets do happen at SXSW, via five instant vintage SXSW shows we experienced over the past five years. Maybe this will revitalize your flagging faith in the prospect of making some lifelong, sheerly music-based memories during March in Austin. (The taco and tequila memories are a dime a dozen.)
DIRTY PROJECTORS @ EMO'S, 2009: With this set, Dave Longstreth heralded a new attitude, via which his Dirty Projectors would go from an arty band with hocketed harmonies and alienating impulses to an arty band with hocketed harmonies and the intention to nuzzle your soul with songs about sunrises and stillness. This was every single person in that room's first time hearing the Bitte Orca material, and you could tell it was going well by how the band graciously, but necessarily, plugged their ears between songs. Because people were freaking out. Because Dirty Projectors had finally, really, become a band. RIP, Emo's.
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