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SXSW: Five Other Divas & Not-So-Divas

Who besides Lady Gaga? Here’s a handful

By Abby Johnston, 2:35PM, Thu. Mar. 6

Angel Olsen
Angel Olsen

Lady Gaga performing under a giant Doritos vending machine was initially thwarted, but South by Southwest moved the electro diva to Stubb’s next Thursday. If hordes of “Little Monsters” swarming the Red River amphitheater proves too much for your fest sensibilities, there are other diva-status-worthy women to check out at SXSW.

Arc Iris
Tue., Central Presbyterian Church, 9:30pm; Thu., Bungalow, 9pm

There aren’t many musicians who can include “dabbled in rocket science” on their biography, but Arc Iris frontwoman Jocie Adams can count that as well as time in folk group the Low Anthem. This will be Adams’ first SXSW sans Low Anthem, but the brand new outfit takes her folk tendencies and ramps up the whimsical.

Kelela
(TBA)

The L.A. songstress quietly dropped Cut 4 Me last year, and while it didn’t garner many year-end mentions, the album was an impressive pop-R&B joint that kept me coming back for more. She’s got a sultry, come-hither deportment, but lets ambitious beats shine alongside her voice rather than slaying them diva style.

Hurray for the Riff Raff
Fri., the Gatsby, 10pm

Alynda Lee Segarra, the center of Louisiana swamp folders Hurray for the Riff Raff, stands as one of the few Puerto Rican honky-tonkers we can name off the top of our heads. Fresh from the release of fifth LP Small Town Heroes, the singer comes backed by the Tumbleweeds, which fires up her Americana to full-blown rowdiness.

Angel Olsen
Fri., Central Presbyterian Church, 8pm; Fri., Red Eyed Fly, 12mid.

Hard to believe that something so beautiful could come out of the Midwest, but you’ll have to pardon my jaded slant. The bitter cold has made me a grumpy grad school student. Regardless, fellow Missourian Angel Olsen (a native, whereas I’m simply an interloper here) used her childhood in St. Louis learning to command an intoxicating vox. She released third Burn Your Fire for No Witness last month.

Pins
Tue., Central Presbyterian Church, 11:30pm; Fri., Brazos Hall, 9pm

Dum Dum Girls may be no secret to Austin crowds, but former show support Pins are fresh faces. They share the D.D. Girls’ penchant for all-black and thick fringes, but the Manchester quartet fires up harder and faster than its California counterpart.

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