6) Local Natives (Thursday at Emo's)
The Los Angeles band ripped through its set at Emo's, performing tracks from recently released album "Gorilla Manor" and a propulsive cover of the Talking Heads' "Warning Sign." Rich harmonies and a bolstered rhythm section kept the crowd dancing enthusiastically,
while mustachioed lead singer/guitarist Taylor Rice's spastic moves were a refreshing change from the stoic posturing of most hipster band frontmen.
7) DJ Quik (Saturday at Club de Ville)
Long after most venues had shut down on Saturday night, West Coast veteran DJ Quik was churning out O.G. hits for hip-hop diehards at Club DeVille. Those who'd missed Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at the FADER Fort were in luck, as Quik brought out the group to perform strictly its hits, including "1st of tha Month" and the tribute track to the late Notorious B.I.G., "Notorious Thugs." Were it not for Austin curfews, this party could've easily kept going till 6 in the mornin.'
8) Jakob Dylan (Friday at St. David's Historic Sancutary)
Jakob Dylan may have jettisoned his Wallflowers and adopted Neko Case and her band - including the incomparable vocalist Kelly Hogan - as his own, but its the songs he's crafted for this latest iteration of his career that carry the day. On the forthcoming album, "Women and Country," Case and Hogan are mostly kept in the background, providing subtle but key counterpoint to Dylan's twangy delivery. But in the live setting its more of a three-way collaboration, and everyone wins.One of the more surprising and satisfying shows of SXSW.
9) Metric (Friday at Stubbs)
Certainly rock stars in their own minds, Metric should be rock stars in the United States. A Toronto act that recently signed a deal with Mom and Pop Records, have all the right rock moves; they learned their lesson opening for the Stones, and ripped through a tight set that mixed old and new material, with lead singer Emily Haines positioning herself for maximum wind-in-the-hair at every opportunity. They seemed to hold the attention of a crowd clearly there to see another act, and came off as a club act poised to leap to much larger stages.
10) Man Man (Friday at the Billboard.com Bunglaow)
Man Man is poised to be the next Gogol Bordello. The band kept the energy high, taking the stage in face paint and costumes and inspiring wild dancing with their gypsy jazz stylings.