SXSW acts to see, download

  • Article by: CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER
  • Updated: March 21, 2012 - 11:10 AM
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Alabama Shakes

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4 SXSW ACTS TO GO SEE

Jonny Corndawg: The Virginia twanger has a fun corny side but a batch of seriously crafted new songs. Friday Mar. 23, Triple Rock.

Oberhofer: Brooklyn hipsters with a Vampire Weekend's spazzy catchiness but more rock oomph. Coming April 2 to 7th Street Entry.

Danny Brown: The Detroit rapper's Afro-hawk hairdo was as buoyant as his bawdy songs. May 27 at the Soundset festival.

Lila Downs: This folkloric Mexican singer, who spent parts of her youth in the Twin Cities, had one of the most adoring crowds at the fest. Oct. 17 at Ordway Center.

 

4 TO DOWNLOAD

Alabama Shakes: Singer Brittany Howard's howler voice and the band's Stax-garage groove was even more electrifying on stage, but their debut for ATO Records (out April 9) will suffice until a local date is booked.

Bruce Springsteen: Heard of him? He and the new gospel/horns-spiked version of E Street proved the new “Wrecking Ball” has many potent parts.

Cloud Nothings: The punky, choppy Cleveland noise-rock quartet defied its indie-nerd look blasting mightily through songs from its new Steve Albini-produced album.

Michael Kiwanuka: A British tunesmith with a sweet-soul Bill Withers voice but an elegant hippie-folk writing style.

 

3 WHO BOMBED

Sleigh Bells: Showy singer Alexis Krauss was able to make the most of the "Austin City Limits" studio's hi-fi lights and high-diving stage, but her band's formulaic, metallic, electronic noise-pop was mostly just ick.

The Shins: Frontman James Mercer produced a decent new album and lineup for his old band, but has the same old drab and awkward presence on stage.

Fiona Apple: "Bombed" is overstating it, as her band sounded riveting and her new songs captivating. But her voice often sounded as thin and shaky as her body frame.

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