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Instagram photos by Jill Augusto, WBR

JEFF LEVEN’S
SXSW WRAP-UP

Now that many of us are getting back to sanity (sanity being an intensely relative term), it’s time for a recap of the week that was. The latter halk of the week was definitely the weirder one, with weather cancellations to outdoor events on Friday (and a disruption of Willie’s big event in Luck, TX), and apparently on Saturday night some gunshots on Sixth Street and some kind of Drake show. The Deftones (right) grabbed Ray LaMontagne’s canceled outdoor slot after a force majeure, and completed their vaunted lap around town with a heady set at the Spin party at Stubb’s.

The end of the week featured a few stars on the rise as well: BMI’s brunch was charmed with a strong bill as always, wrapped up by JMR’s pliant vocals and crisp guitar. The range of pop/R&B continues to loosen, as Anderson .Paak played funky, sprawling sets for Pandora and numerous other parties such as the Fader Fort, rounding out bills with the energy of a rock band and the finesse of a creeping vein of jazz.

A particular highlight was Jamie xx’s DJ set at YouTube’s Copper Tank. As always, Vivien Lewit and her team have outdone themselves, but Jamie xx showed his range and played it modest, refusing to overdraw on his recent, utterly excellent album—sometimes being a DJ means just that. There were also very good reports on White Lung, AudioDamn!, Gallant, No Parents, Tor Miller, Declan McKenna and Lewis Del Mar, while more than a few of my friends saw either Third Eye Blind or Soul Asylum and loved it, which I’ll preemptively anti-snark by noting that pretty much any of us would be happy to have an artist with hits that big and the conviction to soldier out new material long after the last one left turbo-rotation.

Because of course that’s what SXSW is—a marathon, for which passion and eternal springing hope remain the fuel. These were the things that brought me back to Beach Slang a few hours before my flight left town—that last little change to hear a perfectly placed chord thrown out by someone who so deeply means it. And that’s the reason we’ll be back in a mere 363 days! Thanks for playing… 

NEAR TRUTHS:
THE AGENCY SAGA
What do you want from live? (6/11a)
REVENUE CHART: OLIVIA’S ARMY
Looks like she's got staying power. (6/11a)
SIGNS OF HITS LIST
We're reading the tea leaves. (6/11a)
WATCH THE FIRST OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR "FEELING GOOD"
The Black Music Month celebration continues with a classic from a legend, (6/10a)
MUSIC’S HOTTEST FIRMS: HERTZ LICHTENSTEIN YOUNG & POLK LLP
Is there a lawyer in the house? (6/11a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
WHO'S NEXT?
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
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