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Yes, another South by Southwest music festival is behind us. The 2012 incarnation of Austin’s annual rock-and-roll party town is complete, and this year was somehow crazier than ever. Even more bands packed into even more showcases and parties. And in the midst of it all, hundreds of thousands crammed the streets of downtown Austin either to find the best in music in 2012 or just to have a good time. All-in-all, the level of talent present had increased again, making it harder than ever to pick from the options available. Some of the biggest names in music showed up this time: Eminem, Bruce Springsteen, even Jack White showed up putting on a talk-of-the-festival performance of his new solo material. As in 2011 where we gave our top honor to Odd Future, 2010 where Sleepy Sun stole the show and 2009 where Akron/Family all but blew us out of the water, we take this moment to celebrate the best from the 2012 edition of the festival. This year, Santigold wowed us with her showmanship and unique flow. Two groups that combined various genres in artful ways defined crazy/sexy/cool in 2012, Pillowfight and Sleigh Bells. The Big Sleep slayed with power chords and textured nuance and Zola Jesus lived up to her explosive Internet hype. Without further delay, here is mxdwn’s Best of SXSW 2012.
Best New Artists
Best Established Artists
All live photos by Raymond Flotat