SXSW 2016: Eleanor Friedberger

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.”)



Author: Luke Quinton

Freelancer for the Austin American-Statesman and public radio.

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