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Postcards from Travel Near and Far by Jia-Rui

78701, Austin


Marina and the Diamonds at South by Southwest

Dear ——–,

Not a lot of girls can ooze sex appeal in a t-shirt and sweatpants decorated with dice, but the lead singer of Marina and the Diamonds owned the crowd Saturday at South by Southwest. I’m not sure I would’ve gotten her if I had only listened to her record, but, live, she definitely glowed with that elusive, rock-star charisma. We caught two acts at the Chop Shop/Atlantic Records tent and both were pretty kick-ass. The other act (which also happened to be British) was Scars on 45, a rocking band with a dose of folk and a dose of Oasis. Not sure if I loved these bands because the Chop Shop/Atlantic tent was warm and felt like a hug after walking through the bracing wind and uncommonly chilly 40-degree weather. Or maybe I liked them because I saw a lot of disappointing acts the day before. Chop Shop licenses music and has been known for “breaking” bands on TV shows like CSI. Gotta give an old-school label like Atlantic credit for working a new path of market-testing. Do Chop Shop favorites get an Atlantic deal upstream? Is that the tail wagging the dog?


Author: postmarkhere

I'm a journalist based in Los Angeles who has always said that writing postcards for a living would be a dream job. The posts -- short enough to fit on an actual postcard -- chronicle recent travels near and far. I could blab on about being inspired by epistolary novels, the short poems of Emily Dickinson, and the New Yorker's "Talk of the Town" pieces, but I'll just say that I'm aiming to give you a sense of flavor of a place without boring you to death. Wish you were here!

3 thoughts on “78701, Austin

  1. I’m glad to hear that Marina & The Diamonds put on a good show, as I’ve been digging her song “Seventeen” for a while now. I don’t know why I tracked it down, I think I heard it on or something.

    • You might also want to check out the Colourist. We heard them as we were walking by the open doorway of some bar on the way to lunch. We were meeting a friend so we didn’t have time to stop. But their stuff on MySpace sounds fun. You could also try Neon Indian (such an indie band name!) if you’re in the mood for quirky keyboards.

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