Outside Austin’s Clive Bar, Audrey Horne and Log Lady cosplayers and other assorted Twin Peaks superfans swarmed Kyle MacLachlan. The rustic wood-paneled watering hole in the Texas capital’s Rainey Street Historic District was hosting the marketing arm of David Lynch’s television series Twin Peaks—in town to promote the May 21 premiere of the new season on Showtime—and Agent Dale Cooper was working the long line that snaked around the block like a politician. The bar’s wooden patio was decked out with tables trading swag for social media posts, with cute references to the show’s style cues throughout. Because it’s #SXSW, the brand presence was stronger than the faithfulness to the canon: Mini pies from Tiny Pie, jelly donuts from Voodoo, and cold brew from High Brew—though Agent Cooper probably stuck to the drip.
Eight bands would grace the red-velvet-draped stage, any of which would sound right at home at the Roadhouse. Think lots of delicate guitar picking and sultry rolling baritones—music imbued with drama. Aldous Harding brought her bluegrass Joanna Newsom vibes from New Zealand, and the U.K.’s Alex Cameron sang about his credit rating while his drummer channeled James Hurley’s motorcycle chic. Julie Byrne played selections from her gorgeous new LP Not Even Happiness, gracefully tuning out the swelling noise of chatter on the patio and the bleed from the stage across the street, the notes of her gentle finger picking dancing inside the stage’s tent. “In this song we use silence as an instrument,” she laughed, “so we’ll see how that goes.” Maclachlan would make another cameo before the night was through, to introduce Real Estate; he joked he finally got his “rock star moment,” but there was never any doubt about who the star of this show was.
—Matthew Ismael Ruiz