Well that’s over with. To complete my spiritual journey, I will now both provide my top-five greatest moments (Metallica excluded) and explore how non-SXSW revelers might enjoy their music, immediately or in the immediate future.
1. Ms. Janelle Monáe, of course. Her deeply, defiantly weird dystopian-diva routine is way more exhilarating live than on her Metropolis: The Chase Suite EP, wherein the lovesick-android-on-the-lam shtick gets a little distracting. More Suites are planned soon, though, and power-r&b smash-in-the-making “Tightrope” is a monster, so. See her on tour this summer opening for No Doubt, of all people, including stops at PNC Bank Arts Center June 26 and Nikon at Jones Beach Theater June 27.
3. The Thermals. Still the best power-pop-punk band in business. In Texas at least frontman Hutch Harris was taken with performing shirtless, in tiny shorts, with “SLUT” written across his stomach. At Bowery Ballroom May 8-9.
5. Micachu and the Shapes. Cheating here, as I didn’t actually see this bizarre, inventive London crew in TX myself, but only because they’re here the next three nights: Cake Shop tonight, Death by Audio Tuesday, Cake Shop Wednesday. Jewellery is the best, most bewildering art-pop record of 2009 yet.