Rooftop Films @ SXSW: Imaad Wasif, Au Revoir Simone, Tricky, and Todd P

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Danielle Kourtesis is the Music and Outreach Manager for Rooftop Films; look for a few final SXSW posts from her over the coming days, and then we promise not to talk about it anymore — until next year.

After breakfast in a small downtown diner, where I overheard some record executives speaking enthusiastically, if somewhat confusedly, about Twitter, I walked over to the Red Eyed Fly to catch the end of Imaad Wasif’s set. Just voice and guitar, Imaad played to an intimate crowd of about sixty attentive audience members. The Los Angeles-based artist has a brooding, effeminate voice that juxtaposes nicely against his more rough, and distorted guitar sound. Though I only caught the tail end of his set, he was certainly one of the highlights of the day.

Next stop was the Red House Pizzeria, about twenty blocks from the crowds of downtown and 6th Street. The venue had a great yard and patio, and though it was crowded, it was a much more chilled out and friendly than the downtown clubs. I caught the Phenomenal Handclap Band, Norway’s Casio Kids, and Au Revoir Simone — they played songs off their new album, which is set to come out in May.

In the early evening I headed to the somewhat notorious Levi’s Fader Fort to see Tricky. Though the lines were crazy for this venue all weekend, I arrived during an off moment and was lucky to get my wristband right away. In order to get into the Fader Fort, you have to walk through the Levi’s store, but as far as I could tell, no one wanted to be in there and no one was buying anything. Inside there were free drinks, a blogger’s lounge, an East Village Radio booth, and a huge stage area. Tricky put on an energetic show and took pictures with the crowd after his set.

My last stop of the night was at Todd P’s Acoustic Barbecue, which was just a few blocks from the Fader Fort. The DIY atmosphere couldn’t have been more different. Todd P’s free all-ages show was in the dusty parking lot of Ms. Bea’s bar, and everyone was sitting in the dirt. It was relaxed and no frills, like a campfire sing-a-long, in a good way. Todd mentioned several times that no one had to participate in “that other festival down the street” and that there were Showpapers available for people who wanted to check out the inexpensive, all-ages shows in Austin that week.