My favorite new artists from SXSW 2013

#10: Social Studies

SXSW, Social Studies Music, Social Studies Band, Haus of Hipstamatic, Paste Magazine, Stages on Sixth

Social Studies’ Natalia Rogovin belts it out at the Haus of Hipstamatic Day Party at SXSW.

On the last night of the official SXSW music festival, I was assigned to shoot photos on the Hotel Vegas Patio on the East Side.  There were 10 punk and psuedo metal bands playing back to back 30 minute sets on a small outdoor stage with red can lighting.  I was exhausted.  My feet hurt.  I was over it.  The crowds were relentless.  The audience at Hotel Vegas was moshing, throwing beer and generally seemed to be under age drunkards.   I knew the majority of the photos I was taking were total shit but I didn’t care.  I would spend the last 10 minutes of a set and the first 10 of the next set taking photos and then I would walk around the corner to the delightful quiet, clean and sparse comfort of Vintage Heart Coffee where there was french pressed roasts, multiple double espressos purchased and a couch that I could sit on a dream of shooting a band where people didn’t poor beer on each other during the show.

On one such venture over that night, there was a young man asleep on one side of the couch.  I sat down next to him to do exactly the same thing.  Turns out, he was Jesse from Social Studies, a band that I’d had the good fortune of catching twice at unofficial SXSW shows: once at the Haus of Hipstamatic and once at the HGTV and Paste Magazine Stages on Sixth Day Party.   I spoke with Jesse and their front woman Natalia for quite some time before she rushed off to catch the Zombies and he to a real bed.  I told them I thought the band, which hails from San Francisco, CA, would do well in a venue like Lake Tahoe’s Divided Sky.  They were extremely nice, clearly exhausted, but social and their willingness to chat pushed them higher up on my list of bands I want to support.

Their brand of dreamy electronic pop (think Beach House or Poolside) is just my style and simply complex: carefully arranged adornments by the organ that don’t delve into anything too fancy or with too many overwrought layers.  Also, they book their own shows so hire them, now!

Previously in my SXSW wrap-up:

Intro to SXSW

#12: Devendra Banhart

#11: PHOX