After a couple of days in which buzzword-spouting, app-shilling technology geeks dominated the streets of Austin, things were restored to their natural order yesterday when the music portion of the 2013 South By Southwest Music Festival kicked off in glorious fashion. We partnered up with our friends over at MTV and CMT for the Live In Austin Showcase, which featured knockout performances from current You Oughta Know artist Youngblood Hawke, bluesy banjo aficionado Elle King, super buzzy indie rockers Guards, and the legendary Jim James.
After early evening sets by CMT faves Striking Matches —who, we should add, did a really energetic cover of Patsy Cline’s “Turn The Cards Slowly”— and Ashley Monroe, it was Elle King’s turn to bring the house down. If you don’t yet recognize her name, you will almost certainly recognize her voice; after all, her song “Playing For Keeps” is the theme song to Mob Wives: Chicago. “It’s hot as sh*t in here,” she proclaimed a few minutes after taking the stage, but there’s no denying that her whiskey soaked vocals were responsible for raising the temperature in the room. Her eight-song set was a mix of new tracks and songs we’ve come to love from her eponymous EP, including “Good To Be A Man,” which she confessed was written about “somebody who broke my little heart.” Her plucky stage presence and confessional lyrics make her one to keep an eye on, and we can’t wait to her her full-length debut when it comes out sometime later this year. (Oh, PS, we interviewed her before her set last night; keep an eye out for that tomorrow!)