SXSW 2016: Eleanor Friedberger

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Eleanor Friedberger has an unmistakable Patti Smith thing going on, and it’s not just the haircut.

Friedberger, of the Fiery Furnaces (now on hiatus), is keeping things going as a solo artist, carving out a niche for fans of 70s singer-songwriters and millennial beach rock.

It’s good stuff. Her lyrics seem intensely personal but relatable, and Icewater, the Brooklyn band backing her up, have no trouble setting into a groove.

The stage at the Urban Outfitters backlot on Guadalupe is some sort of concert going dream. Not too busy, surrounded by food trucks, a michelada station, and a coffee truck. Not to mention shade.

Though, maybe it’s just SXSW fatigue or complaints about the mix in their monitors, but Friedberger and her band hardly cracked so much as a wry smile their entire set.

Too bad, because Friedberger, who went to UT, and recently posted a video from footage of her own experience at SXSW 1996, has a connection here that not many artists have.

Aside from the lack of cheer, it was a good set, with both new material from her spanking new¬†release “New View,” and great songs¬†from her 2011 record, including “Roosevelt Island,” with its enviable lyrics about a day trip, in the both senses of the word, (“Woke up next to that guy we used to hate.”)



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