SXSW: Born Free

Tight economies ain't gotta slow anyone down. SXSW is chock full of free shows and most importantly, FREE BOOZE. Yes, anyone of legal age can literally walk into some shows and guzzle to their dark heart's content. Or until they set something on fire.

Heartless Bastards put on a barroom rockin' show over at Waterloo Records, with lead singer Erika Wennerstrom doing her southern-gothic PJ Harvey thing. "Sway" got people moving, coaxed along by the free Shiner Bock in the back of the joint. We spotted Echo & The Bunnymen's Ian McCulloch next door at Waterloo Ice House with a sullen blonde.

Bicycles have been a godsend this year, what with the venues getting ever more spread out. We took a three-mile ride down to Urban Outfitters off Guadalupe to see Chairlift behind the store under a patio. Free booze, dogs wandering aimlessly, and a makeshift thrift store gave the scene a flea-market vibe.

Chairlift could easily be this year's MGMT-like success story. They remind us of a My Bloody Valentine you can shadow dance to. Some in our group described it as a down-tuned Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty