Each year we attend the excellent SXSW Music Festival we select mxdwn’s official “picks” of the festival. These picks are mxdwn’s vote for the “best” groups/artists we experienced over the course of four days of attending shows. Making these choices is not easy, as there are many deserving new and established bands alike. This year, SXSW included special and surprise performances from the best in new music, as well as titans of the industry, so to account for that, this year we will be presenting two separate “best” lists.One, will be a list for established artists, the other, best new artists at the festival. For those we selected, it was a winning combination of a variety of qualities. Courage, precision, musicality and memorability all counted tremendously, but most importantly, uniqueness was the key ingredient. An intrepid notion of how to reinvent their genre without losing a notion of producing good music put them on top of our lists.
After seeing fifty bands in four days, here are the top five established and new bands at SXSW 2009.