The point of SXSW, at its core, is not the giant branded events or the meet-ups or the networking. It’s seeing stuff you happen upon with groups of strangers who are as obsessed with new, strange and emerging music as you are. And after nine years of doing this gig (yes, nine years, which means I’ve spent a total of almost two solid months at SXSW), I noticed something: This year, Austin went back to its roots a bit. Gone were the giant Lady Gaga Doritos statues and Kanye West stunt shows; instead, shows seemed more intimate and lineups more packed, and the possibility of seeing something you haven’t seen before skyrocketed. Here are some standouts.
Ryan Muir/The Fader