SXSW: Live From Austin

Smith Westerns, Live In Concert: SXSW 2011

Smith Westerns' members are no strangers to NPR Music's coverage of the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas: Just last year, they were a bunch of skinny, no-name teenagers winning over the crowd at our annual daytime party. That enjoyable and ingratiating set — all propulsive rock energy, timeless pop hooks and some of the shiniest hair in music — laid the groundwork nicely for last fall's well-received Dye It Blonde, a engaging blast of candy-coated swagger.

Given that only a year has passed since that show, these guys are still jarringly young — and still the owners of shampoo-commercial-quality hair. But newer songs like "Tonight" and "Weekend" feel exceptionally sturdy, built on a foundation that conjures images of both Replacements-style rock and girl-group pop. That mix of brashness and sweetness loses nothing in translation to the live stage.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats perform live for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. Dustin Downing/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Dustin Downing/KCRW

Favorite Sessions

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, 'S.O.B.'

KCRW

The band gives a rousing, soulful performance of "S.O.B." live for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.

Blind Pilot performs live in the opbmusic studio. David Christensen/opbmusic hide caption

toggle caption David Christensen/opbmusic

Favorite Sessions

Blind Pilot, 'Joik #3' (Live)

opbmusic.org

The Oregon band plays a reflective, striking tribute to Israel Nebeker's father live for opbmusic.

Local Natives perform live for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. Brian Lowe/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Brian Lowe/KCRW

Favorite Sessions

Local Natives, 'Villainy' (Live)

KCRW

The quintet performed a love letter to Los Angeles on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.

Julien Baker performs at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Julien Baker, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

Baker's ragged-edged voice and ringing Telecaster were all it took to win over the Newport audience.

Julien Baker, Live In Concert

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/488354526/488544443" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

From left: Rebecca Lovell, Elvis Costello, Glen Hansard, Conor O'Brien and Megan Lovell at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival. Josh Wool for Newport Folk Festival hide caption

toggle caption Josh Wool for Newport Folk Festival

Newport Folk Festival

Elvis Costello, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

Hear Costello perform with several special guests, including Glen Hansard and Middle Brother.

Elvis Costello, Live At Newport Folk 2016

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/487843423/487843997" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Carly Commando of Slingshot Dakota in a scene from the video for "Paycheck." Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

All Songs TV

First Watch: Slingshot Dakota, 'Paycheck'

The D.I.Y. punk-pop duo has been around for a decade, but it's only just released a video.

Back To Top