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Listen to All Songs at SXSW 2015 - Friday

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NPR Music At SXSW: Friday

SXSW Music Festival

NPR Music At SXSW: Friday

Listen to All Songs at SXSW 2015 - Friday

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Swedish rock band Indevotion performs at Cedar Street Courtyard in Austin during South by Southwest 2015. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Swedish rock band Indevotion performs at Cedar Street Courtyard in Austin during South by Southwest 2015.

Adam Kissick for NPR

The rain arrived in Austin on Friday, but it didn't wash away the weirdness. One-legged kung-fu dance moves, fog machines that sent off fire alarms that blow out electronic instruments and all sorts of other challenges couldn't stop the music, though, and our team at SXSW has sent back proof: photos, recommendations and a video of Laura Marling playing a song from her new album, Short Movie, at 2 a.m. outside a church.

Here are some of the best things we heard at SXSW on Friday.


Day 4 Picks

Laura Marling

Armed with a punchier sound and an amazing ability to use her voice to tell a story, Laura Marling played a set at St. David's Episcopal Church was transporting both aurally and lyrically. —Bob Boilen


Wynonna

"When I am done where I'm supposed to be, I'm going to give it hell!" declared Wynonna Judd to the audience overflowing St. David's Bethel Hall for her midnight set. The Nashville superstar is in transition, moving from studio- polished pop to a rawer, more intimate style in a small combo anchored by her husband and producer, Cactus Moser, on drums. Wynonna shared material from her upcoming album and reworked major hits like "She Is His Only Need" with clean arrangements that highlighted her still-extraordinary voice. She also told stories of her crazy country-music life, poked fond fun of her friend Dave Grohl ("he's like A 10th-grader with cash," she said of his enthusiastic onstage rock style), admitted she was jealous of Kanye's SXSW hype and belted out notes that would have made Aretha Franklin weep. "I was named after Wynonie Harris, so I'm blues on the inside," she declared before delivering a face-melting version of Robert Johnson's "Crossroads." Wynonna let it all hang out tonight. It was clear she can get whatever she wants to go. —Ann Powers


Torres

The earth beneath Mackenzie Scott's feet shudders when the 24-year-old singer performs. Ragged, raw and passionate, it's easy to imagine this Macon, Ga. native releasing a landmark album at some point in her still very young career. —Robin Hilton


Genevieve

Pop singer Genevieve was the subject of a tug-of-war on the All Songs Considered SXSW preview show, and with good reason. All of us wanted to be the one to gift listeners with "Colors," the ebullient, unflappable anthem with which Genevieve closed her set tonight. Her unbridled enthusiasm was hardwired into every word and every movement. In a festival based in equal parts serendipity and logistical complexity, this song and performance were a potent reminder that joy can be wherever you look for it. —Katie Presley (contributor)


Mahousyoujo-ni-naritai

Mahousyoujo-ni-naritai, which opened SXSW's annual "Japan Nite" festivities, is all about sensory overload: electro-pop crossed with metal crossed with chipper shrieking, set against animated backdrops that depict everything from broccoli-headed men to a back story about a witch's curse. It looks and sounds like all the world's surreal ideas mashed together, all wrapped up in a sense of anarchic fun. —Stephen Thompson

Part JPop, part Screamo, part Chiptune, part Pop Punk, part live RPG that results in 100% PURE JOY. It was their first time in the U.S. and one of my absolute must-sees of the week. They did not disappoint. —Adam Kissick (photographer)


Photos

Mahousyoujo-ni-naritai performs at Elysium. /Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption /Adam Kissick for NPR

Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females rocks out at Stubb's on Friday. /Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption /Adam Kissick for NPR

Laura Marling plays at St. David's Episcopal Church. Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Bob Boilen/NPR

Vockah Redu, from New Orleans, plays at the Volstead Lounge. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Earl Sweatshirt, who will release his second album, I Don't Like S---, I Don't Go Outside, next week, performs at Stubb's. /Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption /Adam Kissick for NPR

Metz performs at Stubb's. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

El-P (left) and Killer Mike (right) of Run The Jewels perform at Stubb's. /Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption /Adam Kissick for NPR

Festivalgoers wait in the rain outside The Fader Fort at SXSW on Friday. /Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption /Adam Kissick for NPR

Little rockers in training watch Indevotion warm up at Cedar Street Courtyard. Adam Kissick hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick

Nashville's Bully performs at the W Hotel. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Kate Boy performs at Stubb's. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

South X Lullaby: Laura Marling

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