Tuesday, March 22, 2011

5 Artists I Wish I Could Have Seen at SXSW

Don't get me wrong, I had a great spring break. Rather than take the conventional trip to a warm beach, my friends and I headed north for one last snowboarding venture before the season was over. I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything.. until I saw the line-up for last week's South by Southwest festival in Austin, TX. The festival is one of the largest in the country and features music, film, and interactive media. SXSW always features some of the biggest artists in indie, punk, and hip hop, and this year was no exception. Here are five acts that I would have most liked to be in Austin for, along with some footage, because that's as close as I'll get to actually being there.

1. Kanye West

Don't pretend like you're not dying to see him too. Kanye's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was arguably the biggest release of last year, and his SXSW performance was just as big. Ye brought along many of the big-name artists that appeared on the record, including Jay-Z, Justin Vernon, and John Legend.

2. Odd Future

This out of control rap collective's set was one of the most anticipated at the festival, and from the insane footage that's showing up online, it looks like they lived up to the hype. The group's so-vulgar-it's-clever style is making them a bit of an obsession in the hip hop world, and for good reason. These guys are talented.

3. Glasser

Probably one of the more bizarre performers on this list, Glasser's ambient vocals and industrial beats have drawn comparisons to Björk. If the video below is any indication, Glasser's performances are capable of being just as trippy as her Icelandic predecessor's.

4. Phantogram

This electronic indie rock duo is getting attention with its combination of chilled out beats and mellow guitar parts. The band's appropriately titled debut album, Eyelid Movies, might be the perfect record to fall asleep to, and I mean that in the best way possible.

5. Theophilus London

Calling London a rapper would be missing the point. The artist does rap on his recent EP, Lovers Holiday, but the record is well-rounded with 80's pop influences showing through every big melody and synth-driven beat.

-Riley Ubben

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