[Ed's note: SXSW coverage all over has been as chaotic and overwhelming as the event itself. If you don't have time to read all the pieces and wanna know what our writers thought the pick of the litter was, here's our reporters' highly personal (the way we like it) must-hear digest. First up, Thrillist's Jeff Miller who was gracious enough to give us some LA-flavored coverage.]
TOP LA BAND: The sepia-toned country-rockers of Dawes never impressed me much in LA, but they've finally tightened their sound and their show up; as I watched them earnestly croon heartfelt Gram Parsons-inspired numbers in the IFC house for a TV taping, it seemed like they'd finally found their niche. Also great: Casxio, who killed with a fairly straightforward version of “Nothing Compares 2 U” at Peckerheads.
TOP COMING SOON TO LA: I can't say I was surprised by it, but retro-funker Mayer Hawthorne absolutely delivered on the promise of last year's “A Strange Arrangement”, as charming and personable live at the Mohawk as he is on record. He's gonna slay at Coachella.
TOP WILD CARD: Walking down 6th St on the chilly final day of the festival on my way to my hotel, I passed by a bar with a large band blasting percussive horns and tasty electric guitar licks. I poked my head in to see Danny Chaimson and the 11th Hour, a Chicago group playing Memphis-style old-school soul, fronted by a man who's obviously studied the catalog of anyone who's ever been associated with Muscle Shoals. Definitely my discovery moment of the fest.
[Videos, after the jump.]
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