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This year we sent some of our finest writers to witness SXSW first hand and mingle. This could have been a tale of new friendships, drunken friendships, confiscated platinum passes, lost emails and missed deadlines. Oh, and there was also a lot of music…

Dorine Levy live at SXSW

Dorine Levy | Dogwoods

We gathered ourselves up following another big night with a hearty breakfast before heading to Dogwoods to catch promising Canadian/Israeli songstress Dorine Levy.

Her sample rich tracks were the perfect tonic for a hangover offering delightful grooves and sweet melodies in equal measures. Flanked by her percussionist husband and some carefully planted keyboard lines Dorine‘s electro pop channels a a more optimistic Lykke Li or a more intense Grimes. Whatever it is, it is impressive.

Tom_ODell live at SXSW

Tom Odell | Hotel San Jose (South By San Jose)

It wouldn’t be South By, if an early afternoon lunch break didn’t include accidentally encountering a Tom Odell performing his breakout hit “Another Love” at this outdoor marketplace.

Why emo's  live at SXSW

WHY? | Emo’s East (I Heart Comics Party)

Pedicab drivers scoffed when we asked them to take us to Emo’s new location, saying they’d do it for a hundred bucks, but nothing less.

Turns out it was a legit cab ride away, and though we only caught half the performance after waiting in line, WHY? shined performing in a venue with real capacity.

Toro Y Moi live at SXSW

Toro y Moi | Lustre Pearl (FILTER + Dickies Party)

After trying to catch Alt-J  back downtown, where two hours before showtime the line was wrapped around the block, there were several options for how the night could play out – any one of them good.

The Rainey St. district became a low-key favorite and Toro y Moi’s chill, disco vibes felt like a winning combination. The set was well-received overall, but something felt amiss in the performance and crowd interaction possibly related to the crazy herb that was making it’s way round the tent. They closed the set with “Say That” and everyone was left satisfied.

DivineFits live at SXSW

Divine Fits | Lustre Pearl (FILTER + Dickies Party)

Two nights in a row and totally worth it. This set by Divine Fits blew the previous nights out of the water. A true exercise in musicianship, flexing songs in ways not heard on the album, this show came to life and took a running for best of SXSW.

The Crystal Method live at SXSW

The Crystal Method | Haven Lounge {Casio Party}

Recovered from the near-death of one our team’s badges, and rallied hard with VIP, bottle-service at The Crystal Method. Chilling side stage on couches while pioneers in electro, spin to a dance-ready crowd – this is South By at it’s finest while geezers walked away with brand new Casio keyboards.