Rogue wave

By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  March 25, 2009

It's as though all of that precious security we've demanded from our music is being hastily dismantled: Dave Longstreth's guitar work at the Dirty Projectors NPR showcase was simultaneously feral and refined, erudite yet aphasic; the note-less scratchings of Michachu and the Shapes glimmered with an unmistakable pop sheen; and the ritualistic hoedown dealt out by the innumerable membership of Georgia's Dark Meat made their leaf blower stuffed with confetti seem right at home alongside their trombones and banjos.

Who knows? This explosion of the exploded could simply be the product of an unconscious defense mechanism: the underground's immune system protecting itself from the normals by any means necessary. Then again, rock music may finally be bust — good thing for us it sounds better busted.

For oodles of exclusive photos, videos, and show reviews from this year's installment of SXSW, check out Michael Brodeur can be reached at

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