Fanfarlo – A fascinating group the UK who’s live show is energetic, eclectic and wonderful all at the same time. Brilliant instrumentation. Soaring hooks that transport the audience right out of the tent. A true collective of musicians who clearly love what they do and who they are. Arguably the next Arcade Fire. Do not miss their live show.
Nneka – A truly unifying artist. Her raw talent and sheer emotion captivated skater kids and old record execs alike. You get the idea that she’s singing about what she knows… which unfortunately is a whole lot of pain. Nonetheless, it takes someone remarkably special to transform that into the beautifully instrumented gems that she belts out onstage. This year will be remembered as the year that Nneka came to town.
Warpaint – They just rock. We caught them at the surprisingly good Urban Outfitters showcase. It was almost as if the dream of the clothing chain came to life in front of our eyes…. ridiculously hot girls wearing cool clothes rocking out. This is what great power pop was meant to be.
Omodaka – Blurring the line between brilliant performance art and drug trip gone wrong, this artist comes on stage playing a variety of videogame systems and singing alongside a digitally captured loop of a traditional Japanese singer. It works. And it works well. A spectacularly interesting hour that made us rethink what was art.
Free Energy - From the moment that they took the stage, their strong stage presence was instantly apparent. Image is front and center for this band… the long hair, the funky clothing, the way that they call women in the audience “babes”. We hung around backstage with the band before their set…. Amazingly nice guys. Wonderfully appreciative of all the kind wishes.
Nas and Damian Marley - They blew the roof off the Levis Fader Fort during this surprise show. Incredibly raw. Words flowing like butter. It’s been too long. Surprised the hell out of everyone. Nas is back in a massive way.
Miike Snow – What can be said that hasn’t been said already about this group. Brilliant production. Beautiful songs. A lead singer who looks like he used to work at Medieval Times. The whole crowd was into every note from the beginning of their late night set at the KCRW showcase. These are the guys who formed the production team behind pop masterpieces from Britney Spears amongst others. They do not disappoint in the slightest. Their closing with “Animal” was absolutely classic.
Daniel Berkal leads the trendspotting team at The Palmerston Group, and will be mailing reports from Austin, Texas exclusively to andPOP throughout SXSW 2010.