ANDREW WINTON at Australian Barbecue day party – I heard just a couple of songs by Winton as I took advantage of the free food. It sounded a little too much like mellow pop for my tastes, though the guitar-playing was good.

THE BUZZCOCKS on the SXSW Live stage – I know it’s considered cool for punk rockers to play short sets, but this concert was ridiculously short. I walked in a few minutes after it started (on a new stage at the Austin Convention Center, where concerts were broadcast for Direct TV) and caught only two and a half songs. Sounded good, though. (See March 17 for my second Buzzcocks experience of SXSW.)

WINTERKIDS at the Day Stage Cafe – Another case of SXSW amnesia. What I heard sounded pretty good, but don’t ask me to describe it now. www.winterkidsmusic.comPHOTOS OF WINTERKIDS

SOMEONE STILL LOVES YOU, BORIS YELTSIN at the Day Stage Cafe – I liked the record by this band last year, and they came off well in this short acoustic concert, playing strummy guitar songs that were more than a little catchy. And one of them executed a perfect stage dive, which was amusing and ridiculous given the room they were playing it. No damage to the guy’s guitar. OF SOMEONE STILL LOVES YOU BORIS YELTSIN

BLACK LIPS at Club DeVille day party – Energetic garage rock. Even when they count off the beat at the beginning of a song, the “1, 2, 3” sounds a little punk. One of the guitarists threw up a little food in the middle of one song and kept playing. OF BLACK LIPS

WALTER MEEGO at Club DeVille day party – This Chicago band played electronic pop music overlaid with loud and sometimes atonal guitar lines. The group arrived in Austin for a gig early Thursday afternoon, after playing the night before at Chicago’s Metro nightclub. “It’s a wild ride,” lead singer Justin Sconza told me later. “I got up at 5 in the morning, flew here, and played right away. It just doesn’t stop.” www.waltermeego.comPHOTOS OF WALTER MEEGO

IGGY POP AND THE STOOGES interview at Austin Convention Center – I walked in a little late (too late to get any photos), but heard most of this fascinating and funny interview. It was just weird to hear Iggy talking with Ron and Scott Asheton about the days when they all lived in a house together (the “fun house” that inspired the album title), a bunch of utopian outcasts. At one point, when they were discussing the food they used to make at the house, Pop noted, “Waffles are good.”

Asked how the Stooges got publicity, Pop recounted: “There was something called 16 magazine, and it was run by a very horny lady. They sent me to her apartment to see if we hit it off.” After a pause, he added, “And I was on the cover.” (Audience laughter.) “It was professionalism only.”

Pop said the song “No Fun” was inspired by a combination of the “no, no, no” in the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” and the “fun, fun, fun” attitude of the Beach Boys, with the structure of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line.”

He said his stage antics were inspired by the dancing he saw in Chicago clubs when he was gigging as a blues drummer. “I had never seen such raw sexuality than I saw in the blues dancing,” he said, adding that he was also inspired by Big Bird.

YOU AM I at Habana Calle 6 Annex day party – I keep hearing raves about this Australian band, which recently got a U.S. deal with Yep Roc. When I’ve heard their recordings, I though they were pretty good punk garage-rock, but it didn’t blow me away. I walked into the middle of this show and saw a few songs by You Am I. The energy and antics of the live concert was pretty amazing. I’ll definitely have to dig deeper into You Am I. OF YOU AM I

NELLIE McKAY at Exodus – This show got started late, and it was uncomfortably crowded in front of the stage. (It was also way too dark for proper photography.) When McKay came out at last, she brought some books of sheet music with her, and sat down at the piano, with all of the informality of someone trying out jazz standards at a friend’s house. It was a charming performance, though a little erratic at times. She closed with a medley of several songs she has recorded about cats and dogs, drawing the biggest audience response of the night. www.nelliemckay.comPHOTOS OF NELLIE McKAY

DANNY SAUL at the Hideout – This English singer-songwriter played some excellent acoustic guitar, including instrumental passages of epic length. His singing was OK, though nothing remarkable, but his dark songs were intriguing. He seems like a talent worth watching. dannysaul.comPHOTOS OF DANNY SAUL

AMY WINEHOUSE at La Zona Rosa – Perhaps the one emerging musician at this year’s SXSW who who seems destined for actual commercial stardom. This English soul singer who wouldn’t look out of place alongside Christine Aguilera or Lady Sovereign, but she sounds more like a throwback to the Motown and Stax records of the 1960s. Backed by the talented Dap-Kings, Winehouse showed off a powerful voice Thursday night, as she danced teasingly, reaching down to pull up her low-slung blue jeans. She drank from a rum and coke even as she sang about going into rehab, and closed with a cover of a Zutons song. OF AMY WINEHOUSE

BEDROOM WALLS at Club One 15 – One of the main instruments in this band’s lineup is the glockenspiel, so you knew it was going to be a little twee, but the lead singer/guitarist was pretty energetic as he leapt out the stage. I liked this, though I have a partial case of SXSW amnesia about the details. www.bedroomwalls.comPHOTOS OF BEDROOM WALLS

INSTITUTO MEXICANO DE SONIDO at The Rio – This was a group that intrigued me even though I had only one snippet of an mp3, some 27 seconds, to go on. It was enough to clue me in on the fact that the “Mexican Institute of Sound” (as they’re known in English) samples interesting old records. The duo was also lively on stage, wearing furry tails. I approach techno music and hip-hop with a little skepticism – it takes something special to win me over. And this band was special. OF INSTITUTO MEXICANO DE SONIDO

THE WOGGLES at Habana Calle 6 – Wearing uniforms of the sort once worn by Paul Revere and the Raiders and similar 1960s bands, the Woggles played one of the liveliest shows this year at SXSW. The blend of ‘60s garage rock and ‘70s punk was nothing groundbreaking, but man, it was fun. www.thewoggles.comPHOTOS OF THE WOGGLES


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