Arts Desk

SXSW Recap: Thursday

Another 5 miles on a bike, more tacos, no sleep, and a few more shows:

Deleted Scenes: Having rolled into town in the wee hours of the morning, Deleted Scenes was looking a little worse for the wear at yesterday's show. But however disheveled they were, the bar–a grimy sports dive about a mile out of Austin–had them beat. True troopers, they delivered a pretty good set anyway. New songs threw some double-kick drum and Casio DG-20 into the band's spacey indie-rock.

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Yellow Fever: Slant 6 and Quix-o-tic frontwoman Christina Billotte had one of the best singing voices of the early '90s–equal parts bored and bluesy. But she's M.I.A. these days, so Austin's Yellow Fever will have to do. The duo–with its eerie melodies and spare instrumentation–is an adequate stand in, though. The crowded tent at the Other Music showcase was probably the wrong place to hear them. Better to catch Yellow Fever in somebody's living room, where they would be spared the competition of a chatty 100 person-strong bathroom line.

More after the jump

Dum Dum Girls: Juxtaposed against the sweaty mid-afternoon masses, L.A.'s Dum Dum Girls–clad in black dresses, dark sunglasses, and heavy lipstick–looked like they had been beamed in from another planet. Or perhaps plucked from Elvira's pencil box. The band's set at the Other Music showcase was drenched in reverb, so much so that apart from the word "baby" it was hard to decipher any of the band's lyrics. But between the clothes, the hair, and the band's gothy girl-pop message came across perfectly clear.

Love of Diagrams: Back for its first U.S. tour since 2007, Melbourne, Australia's Love of Diagrams performed a set drawn largely from its new record Nowhere Forever. I liked it, but they're friends, so take that as you will. The new stuff is heavy and expansive–a grittier take on '90s shoegaze legends like Ride. Buddies or no, I don't think there's any arguing that Love of Diagrams have the best rhythm section in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Explode Into Colors: I only caught five-minutes of this set, but what I heard I like. All-girl post-punk heavy on the percussion–a modern answer to ESG with a bit of dancehall reggae flavor.

Ray Davies: I showed up to La Zona Rosa early in order to wait around for the Roky Erickson (see below) with no idea who else was playing. At first I thought somebody was playing Kinks covers, but it turned out to be the real thing. Davies played most of the set accompanied by another guitarist, but at the end a full backing band came on stage to belt out a few of the hits.

Roky Erickson & Okkervil River: Having watched the Roky Erickson documentary, I'm slightly bewildered that anybody could get him on stage at all. Austin folk-rockers Okkervil River succeeded, somehow. I had high hopes that they'd hit the stage with a killer version of "Slip Inside This House." That may have bit a bit of a lofty expectation. Who knows, though, they may have played it–since it was already 2am, I didn't stick around too long. The band did do a pretty good take of "Two Headed Dog" and Erikson still sounds pretty unchained, although he would have sounded more so had been willing to sing directly into the mic.

Also seen: Real Estate, The XX

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