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XIXA Concert Review

11:44 p.m. -- Covers are few and far between at SXSW, but when they come they can often feel revelatory -- especially after a long night of stumbling amid unrecognizable music. So it was when the six-piece Tuscon band Xixa started playing the Meat Puppet's "Plateau" to end their set at the Palm Door. The familiar guitar part -- made famous by Nirvana at their MTV Unplugged gig -- was given new life via a dusty-sounding reverbed-out effect and the band's arrangement, which oscillated between desert airiness and Tom Waits growls. It was unclear whether the audience knew it was a cover, but it didn't matter: the band delivered it with such conviction that it could very easily have been their own. -- JM