SXSW is always a whirlwind of excitement, anticipation and energy. People flock from all over the world to see their favorite bands, films and interactive media projects. My favorite part of the week is the music. That's what draws me there. Thousands of bands, playing...

Man Man Man Man Man Man's Crowd Sleep Sleep Thee Oh Sees Thee Oh Sees Man Man Man Man Dead Man's Bones Dead Man's Bones Local Natives Wavves Wavves' crowd Ω...

5. Beach House

www.myspace.com/beachhousemusic
Beach House are one of those bands that people kept talking about -- you know, those buzz bands that get hyped up and are made out to be the new cool thing to listen to. However, Beach House actually does live up to all the hype. The indie rock duo is truly amazing; lead vocalist Victoria Legrand has a haunting yet soothing voice that is at once familiar and distant. Their atmospheric dream pop is slow and steady but has an effortless cool that commands your attention from the moment you hear it.

 

4. Grizzly Bear

www.grizzly-bear.net
Grizzly Bear are one of those indie bands who I've listened to here and there, but I've never really gotten into them, for whatever reason. I'd seen their music video for their song, "Ready, Able" and thought it was one of the coolest artistic things I'd ever seen, and it really got me interested in them as a band. As a result, I made it a point to see them perform at Coachella. Their performance had a brooding swagger that seems to fit perfectly with their melodic vocals and Brooklyn vibe. Their more upbeat songs had the crowd swinging and singing along with the band, while the slower, more hypnotic songs lulled the audience into a dreamy and intimate state. Their music is layered with harmonies and filled with depth and texture, and their unique delivery made them one of the best live shows at the festival for sure.

 

3. Thom Yorke and Flea

www.theeraser.net
Seeing Thom Yorke perform live is one thing, but seeing him on the same stage as Flea, from The Red Hot Chili Peppers, is almost overwhelming. These two guys are living legends, so it was pretty special to see them collaborating on a new project together. Flea was doing what he does best -- playing funky riffs on the bass and dancing around the stage like a madman. He is such a rock and roll veteran that he knows when to work the crowd, but also knows when to fade in the background and let Yorke shine. It was quite the sight to see both of them having so much fun on the same stage. Yorke and Flea basically played Yorke's solo album, The Eraser, in its entirety, as well as some other Radiohead songs. This was probably one of the most anticipated shows of the festival, and the energy in the air was electric.

 

"All three of us have kind of been in bands for as long as we can remember, and always kind of, you know, as much as writing the music was important, have all tinkered in figuring out what to do with the cassette recorder to...

Circa Survive @ Stubb's Scissor Sisters @ Stubb's Liars @ Club de Ville Nice Nice @ The Phoenix The Vivian Girls @ Club de Ville The Tenant @ The Side Bar Lovvers @ The Mohawk Aa (Big A Little a) @ The Bingo Hall Scissor Sisters @ Stubb's Circa Survive @ Stubb's Ω...

HEALTH's Get Color Record Release Show September 11th, 2009 @ The Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA
HEALTH's record release show for their newest disc, Get Color, marked my first time inside Doug Weston's legendary venue, The Troubadour. Once inside, I instantly understood why it has become such a historical part of Los Angeles; the venue is spacious yet still intimate, and the upstairs area is perfect for a relaxed bird's-eye view of the stage.