The Best of SXSW Music: Wednesday 3/14/2012

Nick Rallo
Sharon Van Etten, at the NPR showcase, was a stunner. Plus, there was a box accordion
If you're familiar with chaos theory, which in its basic form is the attempt to find patterns in the random acts of shit on Earth, then you may understand the difficulty that comes with describing a full day at SXSW. To break down the bright, scintillating chaos, Village Voice Media's roving music editors have selected their favorite moments from SXSW day one. Find 'em below, and let us know in the comments what show blew your hair back.

Check out our People of SXSW 2012 slideshow.

Christopher Cross - Austin Music Hall
Yacht Rock was so 2007, but Christopher Cross is one cool customer. His 20 or so minutes during the Austin Music Awards Wednesday at the Austin Music Hall was set on maximum smooth, but with teeth. The Austin music scene has always been associated with hippies and then indie-rockers, but Cross has more Grammys than anyone else in town outside Asleep at the Wheel's Ray Benson. The four players the fedora-clad Cross had with him had Steely Dan-level chops, too. He gritted out "Ride Like the Wind" with quiet anger and yearning for freedom, then brought out local string ensemble Mother Falcon and Austin Symphony Orchestra conductor Peter Bay to cruise through "Sailing."

Bonus: Watching Rolling Stone senior scribe David Fricke secretly enjoying himself during Cross' set, or at least try not to fidget too hard waiting for Alejandro Escovedo and reported special guest Bruce Springsteen. Eat your heart out, Kenny Loggins.

Random Thought from Wednesday: Supposedly Kenny Rogers is in town. Anyone know why? -- Chris Gray