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2011 SXSW Pics: Gorgeous Artists, Eclectic Styles

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At SXSW, we’ve learned that The Strokes are back (10,000 went to their set last night), Dave Grohl is the nicest guy in rock (according to the VH1 crew who interviewed him) and people can’t stop talking about Kanye West, who’s allegedly doing a secret show tonight or tomorrow. We’ve also noticed there’s no lack of gorgeous performers and celebs flaunting eclectic, wild styles. We’re bummed we couldn’t get close enough to snap pics of country-garage threesome Those Darlins, who put on a raucous show last night that closed with their ode to sex and parties, “Nightjogger.” But with thousands of artists performing simultaneously, it’s impossible to capture more than a fraction of the action.

Oh Land interviews with VH1 News

oh-land-sxsw-vh1(Photo: Matt Muro for VH1)

See more pics after the jump and check back here later for updates.

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2011 SXSW Guide: Hanson’s Favorite Acts

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Most artists have a better chance of winning the lottery than selling out stadium-sized shows, a feat Hanson accomplished as young teens thanks to their single “MMMBop.” Despite the success, brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zac broke with their major label over creative differences and started their own (3CG Records) instead of signing with another. This makes Hanson a rare phenomenon — a boy band turned indie act, which puts them right at home at SXSW. Last month, Hanson released a video for “Give A Little” to support their most recent album, Shout It Out.

After the jump, Taylor Hanson‘s SXSW picks.

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2011 SXSW Guide: CREEP’s Favorite Acts

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If you’re into witch house, whatever that is, then you may already know the new producer/DJ duo CREEP, which recently released Days, an EP featuring vocals by the xx‘s Romy Madley Croft. It seems no one knows quite how to label CREEP, but the Brooklyn-based duo, featuring Lauren Flax and Lauren Dillard, say the genre that most closely represents their music is trip hop. Regardless, it’s clear the Laurens have listened to plenty of Goth and industrial in their day. The duo’s debut video is dark, sexy and sinister – just like their music.

After the jump, CREEP’s SXSW picks.

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2011 SXSW Guide: Fitz & The Tantrums Pick Their Fave Acts

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Fitz And The Tantrums are a seven-piece pop machine that sound like a combination of Motown and Kick-era INXS, minus guitar. Fronted by the charismatic Michael Fitzpatrick, who rightly shares a big chunk of the spotlight with singer Noelle Scaggs, you may have recently caught the band making the rounds of late-night talk shows (Jimmy Kimmel, Conan) to support its new album, Pickin’ Up the Pieces. We haven’t seen the band live (The Foo Fighters hijacked their SXSW stage last night), but we hear they put on an amazing show. Here’s the video for “MoneyGrabber,” Fitz’ new single:

After the jump, Fitz himself gives his SXSW picks.

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Foo Fighters Documentary Premiere Followed By Surprise Show

Foo Fighters: Back and Forth premieres on VH1 April 8.
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Foo Fighters: Back and Forth, which premiered to a cheering audience last night at SXSW in Austin, opens with Dave Grohl looking back at his time as Nirvana’s drummer. He says the trio knew something was “weird” when jocks started showing up for shows, but “we never thought we’d sell a million albums.” Of course, this was before Nevermind sold more than 26 million copies and permanently altered rock’s DNA. The most enjoyable aspect of this rock doc, directed by Oscar-winner James Moll, is watching the very likable Grohl strike rock gold twice — no small feat for a teen who grew up touring under miserly conditions in the ’80s hardcore scene.  In this clip, Dave, one of rock’s greatest drummers, explains how he came to create the Foos in the wake of Kurt Cobain‘s suicide:

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2011 SXSW Guide: Rain Phoenix Picks Her Fave Acts

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Papercranes, a rock/folk act fronted by Rain Phoenix (yes, Joaquin‘s sis), features a rotating crew of periodic collaborators and guests including Rain’s sisters Summer and Liberty, Vic Chesnutt and Flea. Papercranes opened for R.E.M. at SXSW in 2008, and return this year with Let’s Make Babies In the Woods, a sophomore album that shifts in tone from dark and angry to bittersweet. It was created in the wake of Rain’s divorce.

After the jump, Rain’s picks.

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2011 SXSW Guide: Crystal Bowersox Picks Her Fave Acts

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Crystal Bowersox has joined Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert as American Idol alumns who failed to take the show’s top spot but ended up faring at least as well as its winners in becoming artists with independent careers and identities. Thanks to Idol, Crystal’s identity is more than a little familiar to most: Scrappy folk/roots singer and songwriter with golden dreads and, more importantly, a knockout voice. Below is the video for “Farmer’s Daughter,” the autobiographical single from her debut album of the same name.

After the jump, Crystal’s picks.

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2011 SXSW Guide: Pains’ Peggy Wang Picks Her Fave Acts

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The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are no strangers to SXSW. In 2009, they were one of the most buzzed-about bands in the lineup, thanks in part to a debut album that generated a home run in the press. The indie-pop act, including keyboardist/singer Peggy Wang, is releasing their sophomore album, Belong, on March 29. Early word on the street: It’s as catchy as the debut. Here’s the video for Belong‘s first single, “Say No To Love.”

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart "Say No To Love" from Mixtape Club on Vimeo.

The Pains are performing several SXSW shows. After the jump, Peggy’s picks:

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Video Premiere: Foo Fighters, “Rope”

After we whet your appetite this morning with a special 30-second sneak preview of the new Foo Fighters single, “Rope,” now it’s time to feast your eyes on the whole video. Don’t adjust your tracking, either; the video’s jumpy and primary color laced visual aesthetic is all part of director Dave Grohl’s master plan to pay homage to the VHS era of his youth*.

Not only is this song another in a long line of propulsive and catchy rock tracks from the Foos, this video represents a reunion on a few different levels. In addition to Grohl, drummer Taylor Hawkins, guitarist Chris Shiflett and bassist Nate Mendel, you old school Foo Fighters fans will also recognize that guitarist Pat Smear is back in the mix these days. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, it’s also worth noting that Grohl and Smear’s Nirvana bandmate, Krist Novoselic, makes an appearance on the Foos’ forthcoming LP, Wasted Light (although he’s not in this video). Grohl also reunited with producer Butch Vig while recording this album, the man who was responsible for turning Nirvana from local Seattle heroes into international grunge gods with his flawless production work on their seminal LP, Nevermind.

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2011 SXSW Guide: Neon Hitch Picks Her Fave Acts

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Like Lady Gaga, SXSW artist Neon Hitch is an eccentric-looking singer and songwriter who makes danceable pop. Unlike Lady Gaga, she has a legitimately eccentric background. Neon Hitch (real name, not made up by a producer) grew up traveling in a Gypsy caravan with hippie British parents and performed as a trapeze artist in circuses and freak shows. At 16 she ran away to India without ever having gone to school, but not before her dad gave her CDs by Michael Jackson, Madonna and the Spice Girls — three of her biggest influences. How Neon went from circus act to co-writing Ke$ha‘s “Blah Blah Blah” to signing with a major label for a solo debut (no release date yet) is beyond us. But it’s a good thing she’s excelling as a pop star. Her resume would be a mess without it.

After the jump, Neon’s SXSW picks.

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