Five Swell Sounds During SXSW Season

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The XX

The self-titled debut by this youthful London foursome is so smooth it hurts. Their sexxy prowess far exceeds their years, and their swanky at- titude proves that there is hope for the art of rock. Though their sound dips its toes in the darker waters of 80s bands like the cure and Joy Division their musical style is so unflinching and understated that no other word but smooth can be used to describe them. The perfect Saturday night album.

Sharon Jones

When I do the funky chicken, it’s usually in my home where no one can see me and no one gets hurt. I summon up my best Bill Cosby, purse my lips and strut around like our finest feathered friends. When I hear Sharon Jones, no matter where I am, I have to bust it out, despite the consequences. She has “it”, and by “it” I don’t just mean the ability to make this girl risk total record store banishment. I mean, she is the embodiment of the soul music she is putting out. And she can wail. Man, can she wail. Don’t miss a chance to see her. get ready to bust out your funky chickens.

Sarah Jaffe

Sarah Jaffe is one of Texas’ finest song-writers, and if you get to see her this SXSW, you can say. I got to see her back when. She’s about to release her full-length debut on Kirtland records, then she will twist off in to the stratosphere and her songs will remain like ghosts in our darkness.

Nicole Atkins

(This is a rumor) I have not confirmed this, but rumor has it that Nicole Atkins is coming back to town. I had the pleasure of seeing her perform an opening slot at a sold-out Madison Square garden Show on New Year’s Eve, opening for My Morning Jacket. Can you imagine? That alone proves this girl has, um, very strong nerves. She was amazing, even joined Jim James for a number or two. Wow. She has the sound of a seaside siren with an old soul and spirit. She will not disappoint. Don’t miss this gal.

Those Darlins

Lucky me, I saw them play at the Basement under Grimey’s Records in Nashville. Good night, I love that store. All girl, no gimmick. Wait, is that a guy back there on the drums? I can’t tell. I’m too busy watching these sassy girls. I know, I know, most girl bands are set up for just that, gimmick with a side of novelty. I can’t speak for the intentions of their record label but who cares? They’ve given these feisty Tennessee girls the opportunity to get out there and ruffle some feathers. They seem full of enough spit and vinegar to turn an indifferent cheek to any nay sayers.

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