Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

SXSW 2009: Let's hear it for the ladies in the house

| 7 Comments | No TrackBacks

As it happens, in addition to An Horse and the She Creatures, many of my favorite discoveries at SXSW 2009 have had a strong female presence. Here are some more I've yet to mention.

* Yelle

This French singer, a.k.a. Julie Budet, made her debut in 2007 with the "Pop Up" album (only issued in the U.S. last year), but she's best appreciated live, where the infectious energy of her electronic dance-pop is simply undeniable. Not for nothing is her stage name a feminized version of the acronym for "You Enjoy Life."

yelle

* St. Vincent

In a not dissimilar vein but hailing from Dallas and a bit more cinematic in scope, Annie Clark isn't quite as impressive live as she is on album, including the new "Actor." But this former member of the Polyphonic Spree is nonetheless an indie chanteuse to watch.

clark

* Suzanna Choffel

Hard-to-pigeonhole singer-songwriters are a dime a dozen in Austin, but Choffel, a big winner at the local music awards Wednesday, impressed me more than any I've heard here with a unique sound equal parts Beat poetry, smoky soul grooves and indie-pop eccentricity. Think Feist meets Erykah Badu, with a hint of Tex-Mex seasoning.

SC

* The Vivian Girls

This Brooklyn trio's self-titled debut was one of my favorite records of 2008, and if their live show is a bit, um, unpolished, that only makes the aggression and unstoppable D.I.Y. attitude all the more inspiring. The Vivian Girls are one of the most anticipated acts performing at this year's Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park.

Vivian

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/20961

7 Comments

Every year I say I am going to go to SXSW and I never do. This year I am regretting it even more so I will make plains for next year. I notice you didn't mention Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. Don't know what you think about her but I never heard of her before and NPR music hosted a deal there on Thursday (I listned live on XPN radio in Philly which got me very upset I was not there.)And I was hooked by her very strange eccentric vocals.

I'm so glad you enjoyed Annie Clark's set, Jim. She's really a great performer. I got hooked at a Spree concert just seeing this gorgeous, skinny girl rocking a mean guitar to peppy pop songs. But she's (amazingly) a bit weirder than the Spree, which only enhances her awesomeness. And apparently her new record carries quite the strong Prince influence, so that's even MORE exciting.

So much to see, so little time. This means tha you must have not had the opportunity to see Those Darlins, from Murfreesboro Tn. Their blend of country, rockabilly and more rocked the crowd at Peckerheads on Sixth at a Thursday day party.

i couldn't agree more!

I never expect the Austin Music Awards to impress or even interest out-of-town writers when the plaques are being doled out but when the music itself creates this kind of response, I am proud of the Austinites who voted her so overwhelmingly.

Suzanna Banana has a unique sound that is heavily influenced by Brazilian beats ... and the great cooking of chef Fai Jow at Ming's, a longtime Houston staple whose owner moved to Austin to support live music. Ms. Choffel has let her band help create this catchy sound, and her enthusiasm for the work of her friends inside and outside her band has made her a popular favorite and expanded the range of her natural talent. Band member Laura Scarborough was voted best in the city on keyboards, Brad Houser was for a longtime Edie Brickell's bassist, and on and on. Great talents working together make every Choffel show a very special time.

As you linger down the streets of Austin hearing the music spiraling between historical landmarks, all the sounds one could imagine bellowing into the air… then out of no where the hair on your arms rise and a warmth rolls up your spine and you definitely take notice. That’s what happens when you stumble across Suzanna Choffel and her posse of musical geniuses. It’s quite an enriching moment. I remember specifically a time I saw Suzanna play acoustically in the intimate setting that is Flipnotics. I’ll never forget that show; of the thousands of shows I’ve seen in my 26 years as an Austinite none but that one have ever changed me. Actually changed me, I’ll never forget it. Her voice projected like ripples in the air so full and sultry… so consuming you couldn’t help but to take in… Simply stunning to watch and hear. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one so moved by her talents.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on March 21, 2009 4:11 PM.

SXSW 2009, night three: Tinted Windows, Superdrag & Graham Coxon was the previous entry in this blog.

SXSW 2009: Neil Young's archives, finally here and absolutely amazing is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.