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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Maddy Pontz.

Photo courtesy of the official Facebook page for Carbon Tigers

Photo courtesy of the official Facebook page for Carbon Tigers.

D.C. might be lacking true 20-something hipsters, but the South by Southwest Festival last week offered up fresh new finds in film, music and technology.

As someone who defines nearly every event in my life in terms of music, it was an easy decision for me to opt for that entry badge. Hundreds of thousands of people swarmed Austin, Texas for the music portion of the festival, and I was lucky enough to be one of them.

Here are my top three favorite bands out of SXSW this year, so you can have the indie cred of saying you knew them way back when – when they had only first played in Austin.

1) Carbon Tigers

An awesome band out of Chicago, Carbon Tigers is a group of four genuinely affable guys playing awesomely skilled, energetic music. Their tunes might commonly be categorized under the larger indie rock genre, but the guys told me that they prefer “pop art rock.”

Carbon Tigers recently released an EP entitled “The Wars At Home,” a super talented showing that I would recommend to fans of Cold War Kids or Minus The Bear (a band the guys cite so heavily as an influence that their guitarist Nick Cudone tattooed his upper arm to recognize the group).

Be sure to check out my favorite two songs on the EP: “The Wars At Home” and the opening track “Everybody Else.” Lead singer Chris Wienke’s voice is haunting, creating a swaying, chill EP perfect for nearly any occasion.

2) Emily Wolfe

Singer and songwriter Emily Wolfe has only performed in public for two years now, which was sometimes evident in her slightly uncomfortable stage presence. She spoke softly into the microphone between songs, often pushing her hair into her eyes and looking toward the ground. However, Wolfe more than made up for any timidity on stage as soon as she began to sing, roaring soulful tunes that truly electrified the SXSW crowd.

Musically, if you could combine Tegan and Sara and Ingrid Michaelson, with a hint of Melissa Etheridge, you might find yourself listening to Wolfe’s self-titled “dream rock.” She is a performer who can rock out for some songs and then switch to quiet, emotional jams in a flash.

Wolfe is unsigned to a major label, so be sure to check out her music on her website.

3) Lime Cordiale

Lime Cordiale, an Australian band on a first trip to the U.S., was able to truly get the crowd pumping during an afternoon set at the festival.

The two brothers of Lime Cordiale, Oliver and Louis Leimbach, are gifted with clear voices, awesome instrumental skills and the ability to write super catchy pop tunes.

In an interview with them before the show, the brothers said they define their music as “indie with a soul influence and pop hooks at the same time.” Really, they said they just hope to get everyone dancing and thrive off of that energy if they succeed.

The brothers cite Amy Winehouse, The Strokes, The Specials and ska music in general as their biggest musical influences. They hope to spend some time driving and playing shows across the country, having what they would consider a classic American road trip, the kind they’ve read about all their lives.

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Friday, March 20, 2009 12:23 p.m.

South By Today We Will See The Hold Steady

Friday, March 20th

——Japan Night @ Elysium——
Parenthetical Girls 12 @ Habana Calle 6
The Mae Shi 12:30 @ Emo’s Outside
Health 1 @ Habana Calle 6
Titus Andronicus 1:30 @ Habana Calle 6
Oh No! Oh My! 1:45 @ Creekside Lounge
Mirah 1:50 pm @ Domy Books
The Death Set, Mika Miko, Finally Punk, Tyvek 2-5 @ 902 E. Cesar Chavez
The Mae Shi 2 @ Habana Calle 6
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart 2:00 pm @ Emo’s inside
American Analog Set 2:30 @ Club Deville
DD/MM/YYYY 2:30 @ 5000′s House
School Of Seven Bells 3:00 pm @ Emo’s Inside
Deer Tick 3:00 @ Ms. Bea’s
Horse Feathers 3:20 @ Red Eyed Fly
The Thermals 3:30 pm @ Club Deville
Themselves 3:45 @ The Side Bar 602 E 7th
Cursive 4:00 pm @ End of an Ear
The Tallest Man On Earth 4 @ SESAC Day Stage Cage Austin Convention Venter
When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth 4 @ 5000′s House
Tara Jane Oneal 4:20 @ Domy Books
The Hold Steady 4:30 @ Club Deville
Dark Meat, The Mae Shi, Pre, PoPo 5-7 @ 902 E. Cesar Chavez
Gentleman Jesse & His Men 5 @ Longbranch inn
Deer Tick 5:15 @ Side Bar
Abe Vigoda 5:30 @ Ms Beas
Tallest Man On Earth 5:30 @ French Legation
Third Eye Blind 6 @ Austin Convention Center (Lone Star Lounge)
These Are Powers 9:30 @ Club Deville
School Of Seven Bells 10pm @ Radio Room
Maps & Atlases 10:10 @ Karma Lounge
The Airborne Toxic Event 11pm @ Aces Lounge
The Geeks 11pm @ Agave
The Pains Of Being Pure at Hear 11pm @ Emo’s Jr
Mirah 11pm @ Antone’s
The Hold Steady 12 @ Mohawk Patio
David Thomas Broughton 12am @ 18th Floor Hilton Garden
Pelican 1am @ Emos Annex
Crystal Antlers 1am @ Flamingo Cantina
Deer Tick 1am @ Haban Bar Backyard
Asobi Seksu 1am @ Haba Calle 6 Patio
Cursive 1 am  @ Radio Room

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Back from the AM shows. I’m not totally sure the best way to cover this thing so I’m throw in briefs of everything I have so far and try to do the same on my twitter and on here through my phone.

After Ani got “death metal tacos” we spent about an hour in line at Maggie Mae’s for our first of many many Mae-Shi shows. (Things I learned at SXSW 1 – Standing in line is unnecessary in the mornings. It offers no benefit to you whatsoever.)

(Who we saw in 25 words or less)

Black Gold – Indie pop, a genre that is categorically stupid. They sound like they want to be in ads. Additionally, they are on Red Bull records. (WHAT?)

LOVVERS – OHMYGODTHISBANDISAWESOME. The lead singer looks like Jason Mewes if he listened to a bunch of smell bands. He consistently harassed photographers. Rampant Post-punk. (UPDATE: They also did a waaves cover. This blows my mind. Who covers that band?)

The Mae-Shi – Awesome. No duh. Played half the set laying on the ground in the middle of the crowd. 8-bit-apocalypse-thrash-power-pop. SO COOL.

Showering now and heading to The Thermals, Yoni Wolf, Titus Andronicus, Deer Tick, Ulrich Schnauss, Bitshifter (+more 8 bit), Yoni Wolf again and Themselves.

A.

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Televison’s own nasal-voiced chef-ette Rachel Ray recently announced the guest list for her food party, held at Austin-based music festival SXSW. Performers include the Airborne Toxic Event, the Hold Steady, the Thermals, Ra Ra Riot and the New York Dolls, among others.

Ray told Pitchfork:
“Some of the bands are new to me, like the Thermals and Semi Precious Weapons, but I sincerely love all of them. I’m a huge Hold Steady fan! Seriously. And I love Bob Schneider. Austin is my favorite city outside of New York, I just love how they do things, and the spirit of it.”

Ray will serve up the down-home cooking at Austin’s Maggie Mae’s on March 21 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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After the band name bonanza, I decided to see A Place to Bury Strangers again… this time making sure to arrive early enough for a good spot. They played in the Cedar Street Courtyard, where Islands performed a couple days earlier. There I saw one of greatest moments of the festival (in my humble opinion). Having broken a string, guitarist Oliver Ackermann started slinging his guitar to the floor. Check it out:

a_place_to_bury_strangers_52.JPG

Tokyo Police Club and British Sea Power both put on great sets. I wasn’t much of a British Sea Power fan before, but after hearing a good majority of their new album Do You Like Rock Music? live, I was impressed. It’s definitely an album to check out.

Click ‘more’ for more pictures and video

Read more…

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Thursday, March 20, 2008 9:08 a.m.

Goodbye SouthBy(SouthWest)

After almost a week of waking up to throbbing ears and worse, throbbing headaches, it’s time for some hardcore hibernation.But first, a final list: Things I Learned.1) Count on lines. There’s a rough equivalency of people in line to quality… of anything. Bands, food, even taxi cabs (too few when you want them)… that is unless you, like some people we saw, jump into the middle of the road. Note: their plan was successful.2) Plan what shows you want to see, and have an ordered list of backup plans. This includes having a map at all times and a general idea of where each venue is located.3) Get started early. It’s the one thing I regret, but hey, that’s a tough one. That’s it. It was an amazing four days. BE SURE to check out The Hatchet after break for final coverage.

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Monday, March 17, 2008 9:01 p.m.

Lyrics Born Interview

Watch my interview and SXSW showcase footage with Bay Area hip-hop artist Lyrics Born, and look out for the accompanying print coverage coming to The Scene in our special SXSW issue on March 27.

Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click To Play

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After Okkervil River, we headed to see The Raveonettes. The line at the venue was enormous, at least 100 people waiting. Luckily there was a sort of back door entrance. Unluckily only one of us made it. So while Brendan got through, I tried “plan b”: running to see random bands with totally awesome names. Heading to The Beauty Bar to see The Homosexuals, I expected a show of fabulous proportions. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The Homosexuals, as it turns out, were a British punk band from the late 70s. Apparently hugely influential at the time, they fell into obscurity over the years, having built themselves almost entirely on the strength of their live performances. Their one LP was released 12 years after they formed. Now rediscovered cult favorites, they’ve reformed and put on a blistering set. Even at 57, frontman Bruno Wizard channeled Johnny Rotten, giving the whole show a sense of it being a living, cultural artifact.

Next, I saw The Bloody Beetroots… a band name I couldn’t pass on. Turns out they were an Italian electro-punk duo. Dressed in WWF-style masks, they got the place hopping. But to be honest, I was a little disappointed by their flirtation with techno cliches, but then again maybe my ignorance of the genre just kept me from appreciating what subtleties they may have had. I ended the spree with Mexican indie pop group Hello Seahorse!, since I’m a firm believer that exclamation marks in a band name and good music go hand-in-hand. Hello Seahorse! was, of course, no exception. The one big shock: they closed with a cover of the Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind,” ending when they forgot the lyrics… at the chorus! I didn’t know that was possible.

Click ‘more’ for photos!

Read more…

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Monday, March 17, 2008 7:00 a.m.

Off-Beat

Among the hordes of hipsters, bands, and industry elites, there were quite a few spectacles. Favorites:

3) It’s-your-birthday-chick: Some girl dressed as a slutty Catholic schoolgirl chased me, asking over and over and over, “Is it your birthday? Is it your birthday?” I told her “No,” but wished her luck. Finally she left, but not before saying “You should have said yes!” Obviously, I’m glad I didn’t… she had two huge guys with her anyway.

2) Musical (wheel)Chairs: A Hoveround that made music as it drove past… like a one-man-band on wheels. Cooler than a band playing on top of a van (also present). Less cool than a motorized vehicle powered by music (a not-yet-but-should-be-invented alternative energy source).

1) Real, live leprechauns: It wasn’t even St. Patrick’s Day yet, but two little people decked in green strutted down 6th Street. Though probably a (exploitive) marketing gimmick, I’d like to think SXSW was the pot of gold.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008 7:44 p.m.

A Word on the Heat

Surprisingly, it’s not that bad. Even with highs of 84, the low humidity lets the thousands of hipsters here continue to wear tight jeans and leather jackets. In other words, we’ve seen remarkable few cut-off jorts. That said, I’m heading in town now, hopefully catching a photography show before I start the night. Autumne de Wilde is showcasing unreleased photographs of Elliott Smith. Exciting!

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