Dakin Hardwick’s SXSW Journal Day 1

by Dakin Hardwick on March 18, 2010

Basia Bulat at noon. Things started getting fuzzy after that, like the picture taken with an iPhone.

I’m sitting in a hotel room as my colleagues are getting ready for the day. As for yesterday, well, I saw a lot of great music, and a few bits of really boring music. I won’t talk about the boring stuff much, because I don’t remember it. Here was a few words about the great things I enjoyed yesterday, not including the wonderful BBQ chicken from the amazingly polite people at the Canadian Blast BBQ. (Seriously need to give respect to those folks: not only do they book a great bill and are insanely polite, just like the stereotype)

Basia Bulat

Basia Bulat has been referenced on the site before. My first impression was that she was absolutely stunning. Then she started singing, and I was actually moved to a different level of stun & shock. Mind you, the goal was to watch a song, then go find breakfast. I had already been up for about 4 hours, and was desperate for coffee, but she was so amazing that I stood in awe throughout her 35 minute set.

Visqueen

Really great punk female fronted pop punk. I’ve seen them before, and I’ve enjoyed them. Singer is really funny. They have a cello player. Fun.

Radio Radio

Canadian hip hop. Good beats, dressed well. Lyrics seemed pretty smart, and they’ve got great stage presence.

Hollerado

Fun power pop band. Great harmonies, and the lead singer was pretty snarky. My favorite quote: “Us Canadians really need to change our reputation. We need to start being known as the people that like to kick people.”

Ended their set with a killer cover of “Keep On Rocking In The Free World” Singer jumped in to the crowd with his mic to encourage audience sing along.

You Say Party! We Say Die!

I love this band. Great presence. Excellent for dancing. Their frontwoman has this brilliant way of staring at every person in the crowd while singing. She also has managed to be one of the few people that can flirt with 200 people at once. I am in love with this band. I will see them again tonight.

Soko

I have had a really hard time describing Soko. She’s very french, and very brash. Her lyrics are very vulgar & blunt & raunchy. Her voice is very cute and twee. She encourages hugging, and even hugged this writer after her set. Another new favorite.

Fanfarlo

The only bad thing I’ll say. This band is a poor man’s Arcade Fire.

Ozomatli

Everyone loves Ozomatli. Brought three Ozo virgins with me, and they all were converted. Played a bunch of new songs that sound a bit more like 60’s latin rock. (Think Malo) Even badgeholders were dancing.

Rose Eleanor MacDougal

She was already my favorite Pipette. Her solo stuff is decent, but nothing jumped out at me. I’m sure that if I heard her stuff before the set I think I may have had more fun. I was tired. I sat down.

Billy Bragg

So, we almost didn’t go see this set. Ended up using some fancy footwork and a friend of a friend that works at the venue snuck us in to the place through the back elevator. He was his usual Billy Bragg self, with more talking than singing. He’s really good at getting people riled up, though. Super left wing, which makes me happy. He encouraged health care reform and letting our president push forth some real change in America.

He played solo electric, and if you don’t know his stuff, he’s pretty aggressive with that guitar. The show was a benefit for an organization that teaches prisoners how to play music. I agree.

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Vanessa Romero March 18, 2010 at 10:08 am

My thoughts on Fanfarlo as well.

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