SXSW Lone Stars: Mitski Stole the Show

(Photo by Photo by Joseph Steinhardt)

Of all the performances we witnessed last week at Austin’s annual South By Southwest festival, one show stealer was particularly arresting: Mitski. The famously dressed-down Brooklyn-based singer, whose one piece of flair is a strikingly hot-pink guitar, came sandwiched between labelmates Downtown Boys and Screaming Females at the Longbranch Inn. Playing to a sticky-with-sweat audience at the basement-like venue, the deadpan folk-rock chanteuse rolled out an edgy yet poignant set of distortion-tinged tracks — many of which came from her latest album, Bury Me At Makeout Creek — that felt emotionally on-point, especially given the spring downpour taking place outdoors. Opener “Townie” was particularly moving, as Mitski wailed to a group of septum-pierced, head-shaven — as the Crowd Pleasers would say in 1979 — “freaky people,” “I’m not gonna be what my daddy wants me to be.” That’s why we flock to Austin every spring: to join hands and hearts (and sometimes grab a free Egg McMuffin) with the other music-loving oddballs. 



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