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Tuned In: The Jim Jones Revue Cut Loose On Letterman

Why are British musicians so good at revivalist music? It’s a question we pondered as we watched London’s Jim Jones Revue tear up the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theatre yesterday on The Late Show With David Letterman. The band considers itself a proud member of a garage rock tradition?Jones himself was a member of Thee Hypnotics?but last night’s “High Horse” was very much rockabilly in the style of Jerry Lee Lewis, albeit with a ragged garage sensibility (think punk with precision). And yet the song is very much pop of today, not some exhumed museum piece. The way in which the band combines current and past elements kind of reminds us of Mumford & Sons, actually.

It helps that the band practically left scorch marks on the stage. Frontman Jones stomped all over, even leaning out over the audience and all but erasing the barrier between crowd and talent. After the song, Letterman, obviously impressed, but never without a punchline, riffed, “This is the part where the mayor bans dancing.”?Back in March Taylor Hanson told us that based on the band’s studio recordings, the Jim Jones Revue was one of his most anticipated acts at this year’s South by Southwest. We can’t imagine that he was disappointed.

Elsewhere on late night…
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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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