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March 20th, 2013 MATTHEW SINGER | Top 5
 

Top Five Really Unofficial SXSW Showcases

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Drunk Kid Waiting for the Late-Night Bus
He started his set by staggering into the street, where he came nail-bitingly close to getting hit by a car. Narrowly surviving the trip to the other side, he interpretive danced to the accompaniment of a bucket drummer, before grabbing the sticks for some arrhythmic pounding of his own. Now that’s showmanship!

Old Guy on Bus
Rocking shades, a Kangol hat, several dozen necklaces and giant headphones, he serenaded the bus heading downtown with 45 minutes of soul classics. He may have been a Blind Boy of Alabama, but that is unconfirmed.

The Yeah Babies
This electro soul-rock combo from Columbus, Ohio, had the most cumbersome setup of all the street performers: bass, drums and a four-sided rig carrying multiple keyboards, a drum machine, amps and a PA system. If the thing also morphed, Transformer-like, into a tour van, I wouldn’t have been surprised.

Clothing Store DJ
He set up in the storefront’s window and spun hip-hop and dancehall, attracting a small, curbside mob of bikini-topped dancers. It was the only party on 6th Street without a line, so why not?

Two Strangers on a Bench
One was a bedraggled, possible Vietnam vet. The other had a VIP badge around his neck. Spontaneously, while waiting for a bus, they began trading lines from the blues classic “Black Betty.” Of course, the former kept singing long after the latter returned to checking his phone, but they had a real human connection there for a minute.

MORE: See WW’s South by Southwest coverage at wweek.com/sxsw.
 
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