"If you want to do something, just do it." Words of wisdom from Bob Boilen that sum up day four of South By Southwest for the All Songs Considered gang perfectly. Bob, along with Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers were joined by Mike Katzif and Will Butler, both former All Songs interns. Will's journey to Austin was inspired by Amanda Palmer's recent TED Talk. At the last minute, he decided to travel from Oakland, California to the festival with no money, no place to stay, and the added challenge of being visually impaired. You can check out more about his journey at his blog.
"Just do it" works as a theme for the bands in Austin, too: After a less than inspiring Thursday, Stephen saw 24 different sets on Friday, including a set by the Swiss-German pop duo Boy, which turned a performance full of technical difficulties into something intimate and inspiring when they stepped out onto a patio for a hushed acoustic set. Rising young rapper Angel Haze also stood out as someone who's "going to be very important to a lot of people."
Bob interviewed '60s rock icons The Zombies, whose music has inspired countless musicians, including up and comers like Telekinesis and Foxygen. Bob also checked out Rhye's sexy "disco without the thump;" Canadian dance punk imports Shout Out Out Out Out brought him to analog synth heaven.
Robin's night was filled with screaming — in a good way. He watched noise rocker KEN mode, previously recommended by our own Lars Gotrich, and Metz blast some intense rock rage into the crowds. The John Brothers Piano Company jazzed things up and shared their own impromptu journey to Texas — they've been dragging around a junky piano they picked up in town.
Ann saw Natalie Maines, formerly of the Dixie Chicks, perform selections from her upcoming album, including Jeff Buckley's "Lover, You Should Have Come Over." Luella and the Sun featured the savage rock skills from the "female version of Jack White," and Nora Jane Struthers won Ann's heart when she stumbled upon her impromptu dance-along with some of the youngest festival-goers.