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South By Southwest 2008 Recap

South By Southwest 2008 was a strong year: we saw 20 bands in three days and far more hits than misses. Here’s a quick alphabetical scorecard, highlighting bands to seek out and acts you can safely skip.

Check Them Out

The Airborne Toxic Event
We decided to check them out (see my agonizing in a previous blog post), and they were a lot of fun, with tuneful, catchy hooks—sort of a mix of the Arctic Monkeys and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Concerns about the singer’s voice weren’t alleviated—it was raspy as hell, but he also seemed to be swigging green tea throughout the show, so who knows if he was sick. My friends were a little put off by some excessive stage-grabbing—jumping on the amps, the guitarists leaning soulfully on one another as they solo—but they’re trying to get signed, so I cut them some slack.

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