9. Wild Flag, March 18 at the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas

The Portland quartet¿s excellent self-titled debut album (No. 1 on my year-end list) is still unrecorded when the band unveils its new songs at the annual music conference in Texas. Carrie Brownstein and Mary Timony lock guitars like swords and then tumble on the stage, Janet Weiss fires off furious drum volleys, Rebecca Cole pogos in place while playing keyboards. There¿s a giddy energy in the room, a heady reminder of what a gift great rock 'n' roll can be.
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