Saturday, March 15, 2014

CL at SXSW 2014: Part 3

Posted By on Sat, Mar 15, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Mutual Benefits Jordan Lee performs the least pretentious show ever.
  • Sonam Vashi
  • Mutual Benefit's Jordan Lee performs the least pretentious show ever.

Lady Gaga kicked off Friday with the SXSW Music Keynote, an interview where the pop star focused on "selling out" - why and why not to do it. has some highlights here.

On Friday afternoon, the lines at the Mohawk were way too long to catch London R&B group Jungle (although they sounded killer from outside the door), so I wandered to see hometown superstar Future at the SPIN showcase, bringing some much needed hip-hop to the festival.

Mutual Benefit, Jordan Lee's nomadic experimental pop project, gave the most unpretentious and incredibly sweet show with uplifting violins and genuine lyrics at the Red Eyed Fly, and after, I caught Calgary's Viet Cong, from the now-defunct art punk band Women, ripping discordant riffs and dark tenacity at the Mexican Summer showcase.

Pitchfork's official showcase on Friday night was at the gorgeous Central Presbyterian Church, and it was a very strange departure from the rest of the festival as a quiet, (mostly) sober audience sat in the pews to hear headliner Real Estate, Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek, Hundred Waters' classically-infused indie rock (which is somehow signed to Skrillex's OWSLA label), and Forest Swords, whose atmospheric post-rock combined with the church's beautiful acoustics created something like a religious experience.

While the music was terrific, this year's SXSW will probably be most remembered for Wednesday's tragedy, where a driver crashed into the Mohawk club, killing two and injuring dozens. Here's the link to donate to the SXSW Cares charity, which will give money to those affected by the incident.

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