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VCR Headed for South By Southwest

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VCR will be in the thick of it, capping off an action-packed winter. In late February, it finished recording its first studio album at Richmond-based Sound of Music's new location outside of Amsterdam. Then the band spent two weeks touring in Europe.

In Dresden, the group finally found a computer where they could use the Internet — always a treat when touring abroad, says VCR keyboardist Mya Anitai. That's how they discovered their next adventure.

"I visited our label's Web site for the first time in a while," Anitai says. It listed the groups the label planned to send to the South by Southwest music festival. To the band's surprise, VCR was one of them. "OK, guess we're going to Texas," Anitai said.

So after two weeks recording, two touring and two back in Richmond, they're off for the festival Thursday, where they'll formally meet the people from their label and hope for the best.

They'll be sharing a bill for the second time with gypsy-punk darlings of the art world, Gogol Bordello, whose raucous stage show, Soviet sensibilities and catchy numbers like vs. "Mussolini vs." Stalin." have won international acclaim. (Its latest album "East Infection," produced by the legendary Steve Albini, is due out March 22.)

Ideally, Anitai's hoping to go full time with VCR so she'll "never have to go back to work in Richmond again." So far, she's on track. The band formed in November 2002 and recorded its first album the next summer. Its label is rereleasing the band's self-titled EP April 12. Its full-length album is slated to come out at the end of summer.

"I can't complain one bit — everything seems to be happening quickly and without a hitch," Anitai says. "Even when the van broke down touring it got fixed in a day." — Amy Biegelsen

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