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SXSW Music Face-Off MP3s Round 3: Cut Off Your Hands vs. Alela Diane

SXSW Music Face-Off MP3s Round 3: Cut Off Your Hands vs. Alela Diane

Time for Round 3: There are nearly 2,000 artists performing at SXSW, in over 70 venues throughout five nights. How do you decide who to see? What happens when two cool and promising acts are booked at the same time on the same night? Thankfully, the SXSW Web site helps you out with samples of songs by the up-and-coming artists. For the first round of the SXSW Music Face-Off, let’s examine Friday, March 20, at 10:00 p.m.

In this corner we have New Zealand buzz band Cut Off Your Hands, who sort of convey a Split Enz meets The Smiths sensibility. Their proper debut LP, produced by Bernard Butler, is out now and the band can be seen Friday, March 20 at Aces Lounge. Take a moment and give a listen to the shiny new tune “Turn Cold.” So, meanwhile, in the other corner is Portland singer-songwriter Alela Diane. She’s drumming up attention and acclaim thanks to her sincere and subdued indie folk-rock. Her sound is like Beth Orton, but with a nod to ’70s acoustic arrangements. She will perform, in the very same slot, at the 18th Floor at the Hilton Garden Inn club. If you have to miss her show, at least check out the simple and pretty song “White As Diamonds.” See what I mean? Who to see? Decisions, decisions…

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