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RS @ SXSW Essential Festival Coverage

48 Best Things We Saw at SXSW 2014

From crystal-encrusted tour vans to nutbar protests to big stars on tiny stages
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Andy Pareti/Getty Images for SXSW

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BEST ART-ROCK RAPPER: EMA

With a band sounding like the Velvet Undergound if they'd been raised on hip-hop, Erika M. Anderson previewed material from her forthcoming second LP, which sounds more generous with melody and more far-ranging with styles. But "California" remains her most potent jam, as the fans who heartily sang it back at her testified. Wrapping the mic cord around her neck like a noose, and dropping the mic so the cord pulled taut at the song's end, it was nevertheless a strangely uplifting performance — suicidal ideation owned, vented, exorcised.

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