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SXSW Music Fest Kicks Off

Interesting first day at SXSW Music Fest in Austin, Texas. We went from catching 70s rock early afternoon with Norwegian’s BigBang (on par harmonies in “Early December,” which first appeared on 2007 album Too Much Yang)to psychedelic drones over at Emo’s with the Black Angels to some female-powered rock with Visqueen at STUBBS.

Here’s quick clip of the Black Angels, who launched a new website yesterday.

Kyle Hunt, who I’d call the jack of all trades in the Black Angels, gave all SXSW attendees some excellent advice – get a bike.  Of course, I’d already witnessed that from Alex Perez of our artist relations team. Although a SXSW first-timer, Perez wisely hit up a friend to hook him up with a 24-inch BMX Cruiser. After carrying three bags of equipment and walking along as he lapped me on his cruiser, I’m thinking mugging him might be in the works. Looks like Visqueen’s Rachel Flotard had the same idea when we caught up with her Wednesday afternoon following her first SXSW appearance at Levi’s Fader Fort.

Visqueen's Rachel Flotard

Later, I hiked up to Red River and 8th to catch Visqueen’s Soundcheck and then live act, which was streamed live on NPR.

“Because of this live broadcast I get to sing a song tonight to my two year old niece and my sister, who made some corn beef and cabbage in honor of our family and I’m going to sing this one for them, but for you as well,” said Flotard to the packed audience.

Backed only by her cellist on the opening number, Flotard’s powerful pipes were even more pronounced but the spitfire quickly switched gears. After telling the audience “Now we’re gonna bring out some meat,” she blazed into a rocking number off A Message to Garcia, “Hand Me Down.”

Here’s a clip from the set.

Flotard also mentioned that she’s sometimes mistaken for Olympian Shaun White. I hadn’t thought of it, but now that she’s put it out there….

Listen to the whole show at NPR here.

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