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Ryan Bingham: SXSW 2015

by Laura Fedele

Maybe it was bullriding on the rodeo circuit that put the dust and whiskey into Ryan Bingham's voice. Even if you're not super familiar with this Texas wanderer, you might recall his worn-down voice from the movie "Crazy Heart"—Bingham won a Golden Globe for his song "The Weary Kind," further evidence of T Bone Burnett's eerily magic touch.

Best Coast: SXSW 2015

by Kara Manning

The euphoric Los Angeles pop of Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno has always been as sun-drenched as summertime. But for the duo's third album, California Nights, self-described insomniac Cosentino has twilight and late night on her mind, finding inspiration in what happens in the City of Angels after the sun sets. Best Coast won't release this new album, the pair's first for a major label, until May 5 so their SXSW set at Public Radio Rocks on March 20 was the first live unveiling of many of these new songs, like California Nights' sensual and majestic title track.

Twin Shadow: SXSW 2015

by Kara Manning

Twin Shadow's George Lewis Jr. has never hidden his producer's crush on New Wave and the textures of '80s synth-pop, but on his third album, Eclipse, he also expands his emotional palette dramatically as a lyricist and vocalist. The catalyst for Eclipse was a hard one for the now Los Angeles-based Lewis—his father's struggles with mental illness and the deaths of several friends cast a pallor on the past year—but despite that hardship, Lewis forged a closer bond with his mother and found an inner balance.

Examinations of love and loyalty abound on Eclipse, and when Twin Shadow kicked off Public Radio Rocks on the Day Stage of the Austin Convention Center on March 20, bold tracks like the slow-burning "Turn Me Up" resonated for both audience and artist, especially with Lewis's stripped-back, haunting arrangement.

Courtney Barnett: SXSW 2015

by Kara Manning

Since the summer of 2013, Aussie dynamo Courtney Barnett has been on a dizzying ascent, sparked by her vivid, very funny song detailing a panic attack, "Avant Gardener," which became an unlikely international hit. A flurry of brilliant gigs at New York's CMJ Music Marathon later that fall sealed the deal: the Melbourne-based songwriter was utterly unique, a genial Scheherazade of the indie rock set with a wickedly dry sense of humor.

SXSW 2015 Report For March 20: Russ Borris

by Russ Borris
Leon Bridges and band (photo by Russ Borris)

FUV's music director and host of The Alternate Side, Russ Borris, is running on very little sleep at SXSW this week with Team FUV. He's been filing reports in the wee hours of the morning, with impressions of the many bands and artists he's seen Austin's many venues and bars, but on Thursday, he even made his way to Willie Nelson's ranch.