• Devo Hint at New Album's Sound, Debut Songs During SXSW Set

    March 21, 2009 10:30 AM ET
     |  Christopher R. Weingarten

    A much-hyped show at Austin Music Hall was the second performance from recently reinvigorated new-wavers Devo since plans to release their first studio album in 19 years. A band that built their career on questioning traditions — musical, social and otherwise — Devo refused to lure in the crowd with familiar fare, instead opening with a slew of brand new songs and lesser-known hits. The three new songs — "Don't Shoot, I'm A Man," "Fresh" and "What We Do" — hi...  | More »

  • Metallica Pound SXSW With 90-Minute Greatest-Hits Set at "Surprise" Show

    March 21, 2009 10:00 AM ET
     |  David Fricke

    "Surprise, surprise — you're all surprised, right?" singer-guitarist James Hetfield cracked in his sea-captain's growl, leering at the heaving crowd two songs into Metallica's poorly kept-secret SXSW show, March 20th at Stubb's. "Thank you for letting us come to your party." Then his voice changed. "We are an unsigned band from Norway," he said in a terrible Scandanavian accent and Andy Kaufman-like chirp. "Maybe we get signed." Any unsigned Norwegian band that...  | More »

  • Chairlift, The Soft Pack, Wild Light Lead SXSW 2009's Indie Rock Invasion

    March 20, 2009 2:13 PM ET
     |  Christopher R. Weingarten

    A slew of indie-rock next-big-things used Thursday night performances at SXSW as a platform to further fuel the hype machine. California art-dance mutant Nite Jewel has been making waves this year with her mix of '80s freestyle grooves, distorted synths and ghostly vocals. At Red 7 she wanted to make sure everyone knew she didn't care about their opinions or, for that matter, anything. She looked as cold and impenetrable as possible in a gray T-shirt, a face-obscuring haircut,...  | More »

  • Big Boi Talks Solo Album, Future of OutKast After Rowdy SXSW Gig

    March 20, 2009 8:02 AM ET
     |  Christopher R. Weingarten

    After a rowdy, hit-filled SXSW performance at Austin Music Hall, Rolling Stone caught up with Big Boi to talk about the status of his long-awaited solo debut and the future of his group, OutKast. Big Boi says his album, Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty, is finished, save some "additives and preservatives" currently being added by the rapper and producers Organized Noize befor a summer release. Stylistically, Big Boi says the album's 16 tracks will cover "electro, funk, blues...  | More »

  • Jane's Addiction Rip Through Early Catalog at SXSW

    March 20, 2009 7:56 AM ET
     |  Caryn Ganz

    A band like Jane's Addiction doesn't need to play a music festival like South By Southwest. But sometimes SXSW needs a Jane's Addiction. The band — with its recently reunited full original lineup — performed a not-so-secret 10-song set at a former supermarket off an Austin highway Thursday night. It was both an affirmation of their enduring artistic power and a self-conscious wink at the magnetism of the rock star. As if reminding the crowd that bassist Eric Avery ...  | More »

  • Peter Bjorn and John Squeeze Strong New Song Into Ill-Fated SXSW Set

    March 19, 2009 7:44 PM ET
     |  Caryn Ganz

    To say Swedish trio Peter Bjorn and John experienced technical difficulties at Wednesday night's highly anticipated SXSW gig at Vice would be putting it a bit mildly. After what felt like the longest sound check ever, the band took the stage around 20 minutes late and promptly stopped playing because drummer John Eriksson's electronic kit was malfunctioning. You can watch the show's one bright spot above: "Lay It Down," the group's toughest-talking tune on their late...  | More »

  • Punk Pioneers Circle Jerks and the Dicks Take Over SXSW

    March 19, 2009 4:16 PM ET
     |  Christopher R. Weingarten

    Aging punk fans with a little gray in their mohawks had a short, fast embarrassment of riches when two of punk rock's early legends played on opposite sides of Austin on Wednesday night at SXSW. (Check out images from Austin's hottest shows in our SXSW gallery.) First, Austin punk-rock forebears the Dicks hit the stage at 27th Annual Austin Music Awards, accepting a lifetime achievement award for their unique, soulful brand of aggression. The Dicks helped invent Texas punk i...  | More »

  • Janelle Monae, Ladyhawke Nod to Past and Future With Polished, Poppy SXSW Sets

    March 19, 2009 2:17 PM ET
     |  Caryn Ganz

    Janelle Monáe — the funky R&B rocker Rolling Stone named Hot Sci-Fi Beyoncé on last year's Hot List — likes to make an entrance. The OutKast protégé made not one, but three during her brief Wednesday night SXSW set at Stubb's, first flouncing onto the stage as a female voice-over instructed the audience "no phasers, only chainsaws" were permitted, generating a stunning silhouette as her springy pompadour reflected the spotlight. Her poppy ...  | More »

  • Rising Rapper Charles Hamilton Hits SXSW With Endless Energy, "Twilight" References

    March 19, 2009 1:30 PM ET
     |  Christopher R. Weingarten

    In a 15-minute SXSW set at the Back Alley Social, Harlem rapper Charles Hamilton was as upbeat as a motivational speaker: expressing equal enthusiasm whether the crowd was cheering or quiet, joking with the guy who flipped him off, rocking a bright yellow Sonic the Hedgehog T-shirt and being so amped about having a new girlfriend that he just had to give her a phone call in the middle of his set. "Whatever 'adolescent' whatever you want to put on what we have," Hamilton says a...  | More »

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