SXSW 2012 Day 2: Dispatch from Austin

Mar 16, 2012 at 11:36 am

Some notes on seeing Fiona Apple in a church: music, an already sacred enough phenomenon, is made even more sacred-seeming in the church setting, which paradoxically makes the whole thing a tad sacrilegious. For example, a polite applause followed each song, followed by a solemn silence, which Apple sheepishly filled with anecdotes like using a band from a pair of a baby's sweatpants found in the garbage as a hair tie and apologizing to "the building itself" for cursing. Apple was a captivating performance otherwise, dramatically and erratically moving about onstage and playing a variety of instruments.

Later in the evening, Detroit-via-Nashville's Brendan Benson played in a courtyard at a showcase for his management, one of those events where guys with glasses introduce the artists onstage and rattle off figures of the number of YouTube plays so-and-so has and "promising partnerships" and that sort of thing. Benson's new songs sounded great (even one he had to abort because it was so new he didn't know the lyrics) as well as the older hits like "Good To Me". Curiously, he also played "Hands", one of his songs from the supergroup The Raconteurs (though perhaps not so curious after all given the set Jack White would later play).

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