Anni Rossi

SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
Photo by Aubrey Edwards

Anni Rossi

Central Presbyterian Church, Wednesday, March 18

If falling asleep in church is a bad thing, Chicago viola player Anni Rossi took just a tiny bit of the guilt out of the offense. With just a drummer backing her, the 23-year-old bowed, plucked, and strummed her instrument, making the songs from her Steve Albini-produced 4AD debut, Rockwell, sound more like lullabies than sonic booms. Rossi's voice is certainly arresting, both sharp and crooked at once, but the lack of volume and dynamic also siphoned the set's potential. As much as she was in control of her instrument, she sounded spare on the altar, and her vocals had a hard time traveling, which is a shame, because she's a great storyteller on disc. A cover of Ace of Base's "Living in Danger" was certainly transformed with quirky reverence, but most of the set felt like the reading before communion, not the sermon that gets you out of your pew. Rockwell, like Rossi's 2008 EP, Afton, has fleeting moments of frantic, head-scratching momentum and ominously catchy folk flow, marking Rossi as a rare talent à la Joanna Newsom. Live in a church, however, she needed to pull out a bit more of the Laurie Anderson that's bubbling underneath.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Saturday Interview
Saturday Interview

Kevin Curtin, March 20, 2015

Friday Interviews
Friday Interviews
The Church, Leon Bridges, Best Coast – vintage, meteoric, and sincere.

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Review: Grandmaster, <i>Grandmaster</i>
Review: Grandmaster, Grandmaster
Funk prog rock supergroup lures listeners through each stage of cosmic cult indoctrination

Miranda Garza, May 24, 2024

Review: Nova, <i>NovApocalypse</i>
Review: Nova, NovApocalypse
Experimental folk-pop player Nova’s sophomore release gets twisted

Laiken Neumann, May 24, 2024

More by Audra Schroeder
SXSW Interactive Conference Quick Cuts
The Signal & the Noise
Statistician Nate Silver on more data, more problems

March 15, 2013

SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Kiss of the Damned'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

March 15, 2013

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle