As the 2013 South by Southwest festival was winding to a noisy end — sirens, car horns and even a helicopter passed could be heard on the streets of Austin, Texas — there were plenty of smaller, quieter moments worth singling out. On the festival's final night, the All Songs Considered gang gathered to talk about what they saw, heard and felt during their last few hours in Austin.
Bob Boilen had "a lovely bit of peace and quiet" with Icelandic multi-instrumentalist Olafur Arnalds, enjoyed the sitar psych sounds of Elephant Stone, the African influences of Brainstorm, and watched Seattle duo Ivan & Alyosha win over new fans during a free set.
Stephen Thompson didn't let his tired feet stop him from enjoying the sounds of some Texas natives. Micah P. Hinson's "roughed up" vocals and Seryn's toned down church show were subdued highlights. Brazil's Bonde Do Role delivered the complete opposite with crazy costumes and on-stage antics.
During Robin Hilton's last day, he caught some bands he already knew but had never seen live, Brass Bed and Dana Falconberry, who both gave amazing performances. Mikal Cronin's set at a local record shop also featured a surprise — long lines of people waiting to purchase music, especially vinyl. He finally saw The Zombies, who, after 50 years, can still be classified as a "discovery." Finally, strong stage presence reconfirmed his belief that Telekinesis should "be the biggest band in the world."
One last attempt to see Foxygen was foiled when Robin discovered that the band had canceled the remainder of its shows in Austin after struggling earlier in the week. For the most part, though, the discoveries outweighed the frustrating moments. What will we remember months from now? Stephen was awed by Iron and Wine's tear-jerking performance of "Naked As We Came." Nick Cave's performance at Stubb's completely reconfigured how Robin thought about him as an artist. And Bob was touched by Rhye's spacious and "completely unexpected" sound. Until next year.
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