We’ve already told you about all the free parties to RSVP for and our suggested official showcases. Now, in my opinion, the most important part of the puzzle. Our 15 bands to watch out for in Austin. We love each and every one of these acts with all our hearts, and now it’s time for you to share our passion. Who are your bands to watch for at SXSW this year?
Lafayette’s Givers took SXSW by storm last year, but without a full-length to promote, they could only share so much. This year, they’re armed with an upcoming LP set to be released via Glassnote Records and of course, enough charm to make the Lucky Charms leprechaun look like an amateur.
Wednesday, March 16 — Austinist SXSW Kick Off Party @ Mohawk (2:15pm)
Wednesday, March 16 — Urban Outfitters Does SXSW @ Urban Outfitter (5pm)
Thursday, March 17 — Dickies Showcase @ Lustre Pearl (6pm)
Friday, March 18 — Windish Agency’s Annual Austin Day Party @ Emo’s (3pm)
Friday, March 18 — Windish Agency, Laneway Festival, Eat Your Own Ears, Austinist Party @ Mohawk (3pm)
Saturday, March 19 — Official SXSW Showcase @ Emo’s Jr (11pm)
While New Yorkers may know all about Yellow Ostrich and their Pianos residency coming out party, the rest of the country was really just exposed during their current tour with Say Hi. Enter SXSW. Alex Schaaf and Co. are destined to burn Austin to the ground with their infinite loops, epic horns (Jon Natchez), moving percussion (Michael Tapper of We Are Scientists) and vocals akin to The Weakerthans’ John K. Samson.
Thursday, March 17 — BigDog Promo at SXSW @ The Aquarium (8:45pm)
Friday, March 18 — Muzzle of Bees Backyard BBQ @ 3217 1/2 Hampton Road (1pm)
Friday, March 18 — Billions Official Showcase @ Antone’s (10pm)
King Charles is already somewhat of a big name across the pond in the UK, but it wasn’t until his recent opening gig with Mumford & Sons that his US audience really blossomed. He released his debut EP, an acoustic album entitled Alone On the Throne, this past October, and is prepping his full-length, full electric release for this coming summer. Miss this hairy, unitard-bearing man and you’ll be sorry.
Wednesday, March 16 — Next Stage @ Austin Convention Center Exhibit Hall 4 (4pm)
Wednesday, March 16 — Austin Hilton (7pm)
Friday, March 18 — 512 (4pm)
Just as the Brits already know King Charles, the folks down under in Australia are already quite keen on The Jezabels. The vast majority of people in the US, however, have yet to catch on to the craze that is Haley Mary, Nik Kaloper, Samuel Lockwood, and Heather Shannon. It doesn’t hurt that they’re playing our party either!
Wednesday, March 16 — Eventbrite Party curated by The Wild Honey Pie @ Empire Auto (2:10pm)
Wednesday, March 16 — Windish, Laneway, Eat Your Own Ears Showcase @ Mohawk (5pm)
Thursday, March 17 — KVRX Party @ Cheer Up Charlie’s (9:15pm)
Friday, March 18 — Sonicbids, Planetary Group Day Party @ Maggie Mae’s (5pm)
Saturday, March 19 — Aussie BBQ @ Maggie Mae’s Rooftop (11pm)
This young quartet will be an epic disruptive force in the SXSW landscape this year with their brash lo-fi indie rock tunes. Oberhofer has a healthy amount of shows down in Austin, and will be one of the most talked about bands coming out of the festival. If they’re not, people are making a huge mistake. Their upcoming debut full-length means brand new material for a new batch of fans.
Wednesday, March 16 — RCRD LBL After Hours @ Pure Volume House (11pm)
Thursday, March 17 — Fat, Crooked & Unwound Day Party @ Mohawk (12:30pm)
Thursday, March 17 — SESAC Showcase @ The Bat Bar (10pm)
Friday, March 18 — BrooklynVegan Day Party @ Barbarella (4pm)
Saturday, March 19 — Urban Outfitters Back Lot Party @ Urban Outfitters (4pm)
When I listed Jonquil’s EP, One Hundred Suns, as the #2 EP of 2010, I had no idea just how closely we’d be working with them. In addition to playing our party, Jonquil is being showcased during SXSW Interactive, and throughout the music portion. I’ve never seen these Brits live, but if they’re show is even half as good as their released material, we’re all in for the show of our lifetimes. They’re currently on their first US tour with Bombay Bicycle Club, and will, without a doubt, return soon with hoards of new American fans.
Tuesday, March 15 — Next Stage @ Austin Convention Center (4pm)
Tuesday, March 15 — 7digital Official SXSWi Showcase @ British Music Embassy (10pm)
Wednesday, March 16 — Fader Fort (2:15pm)
Wednesday, March 16 — Eventbrite Party curated by The Wild Honey Pie @ Empire Auto (3:50pm)
Thursday, March 17 — Dovecote Showcase @ Emo’s Annex (TBA)
Friday, March 18 — BMA Brunch @ British Music Embassy (12:55pm)
Friday, March 18 — Red House Pizza (5pm)
Saturday, March 19 — Official SXSW Showcase @ Emo’s Jr (10pm)
Hailing from the same great state as Givers, Louisiana that is, Generationals comes into SXSW riding a wave of momentum. If their latest single, “Greenleaf”, is any indication of what’s to come with their upcoming LP, Actor-Caster, we’ll be treated to one of the most delicious albums of the year. I will be making it to as many of their showcases as it will likely be the last time I’ll have the chance to see them in such an intimate setting.
Wednesday, March 16 — Forcefield PR, Terrorbird Media Party @ Red 7 (3pm)
Thursday, March 17 — In-Store @ Waterloo Records (2pm)
Thursday, March 17 — Treehouse Party @ Cheers (5:15pm)
Friday, March 18 — Music For Listeners Party @ Red House Pizzeria (3pm)
Friday, March 18 — Full Service Project Party @ The Eastern (4:45pm)
Friday, March 18 — The Orchard Showcase @ Cedar Street Courtyard (9pm)
Friday, March 18 — Park The Van Showcase @ Mi Casa Cantina (1am)
Saturday, March 19 — KUT Radio Party @ KUT Cactus Cafe (12pm)
Saturday, March 19 — Old No. 2 (TDA)
Lady Lamb The Beekeeper
Lady Lamb The Beekeeper has quickly become a BrooklynVegan and The Wild Honey Pie favorite. Her crooning love songs, brimming with angst and fury, are ready to be unleashed on hoards of SXSW fanatics. I couldn’t be more excited to see her gain the recognition she’s already received in the northeast.
Wednesday, March 16 — BrooklynVegan Showcase @ Swan Dive (8pm)
Friday, March 18 — Consequence of Sound Showcase @ Austin Convention Center Dot Com Day Stage (5pm)
The Head and the Heart
The Head and the Heart is as lovable as can be. Their folk pop blends elements of bluegrass with melodic pop melodies that makes for an amazing listen through and through. Three-way vocal harmonies are honey smooth, served best with their combination of sweet piano- and guitar-driven tracks. I will be completely shocked if this Seattle-based sextet’s trip to Austin doesn’t result in some mainstream attention.
Monday, March 14 – Moody Theater (8pm)
Tuesday, March 15 — Malverde (8pm)
Thursday, March 17 – Lustre Pearl (TBA)
Thursday, March 17 — WFUV, The Current Showcase @ Austin Convention Center Radio Day Stage (2:20pm)
Friday, March 18 — The Billions Corporation Showcase @ Atone’s (8pm)
Foster The People
Los Angeles trio Foster The People has been likened to MGMT and Peter Bjorn and John, and rightfully so. We’re talking college party, balls to the wall MGMT, of course. Their debut self-titled EP, released on January 18, has been buzzing louder than a swarm of killer African bees. And that’s before SXSW! Foster The People is also heading to Coachella and Sasquatch.
Wednesday, March 16 — IAM Sound Party @ Shangri La (3pm)
Wednesday, March 16 — Windish Agency Party @ Mohawk (5:15pm)
Thursday, March 17 — MTV Garage @ TBA (1:30pm)
Thursday, March 17 — Columbia Records Showcase @ Cedar Street Courtyard (4pm)
Thursday, March 17 — AOL Spinner Party @ Stubb’s (8:30pm)
Friday, March 18 — Windish Agency Party @ Emo’s (2pm)
Since being discovered by Pitchfork last year, Brooklyn duo Cults has grown wings and flown very high. They were signed by Columbia Records and announced their debut LP which will hit shelves this spring/summer. They’re all the talk heading into SXSW, and I can’t wait to see how people feel about them after. No doubt, it will be all spectacular things.
Wednesday, March 16 — Windish House @ ND at 501 Studios (11pm)
Thursday, March 17 — Columbia Records Showcase @ Cedar Street Courtyard (2pm)
Thursday, March 17 — Urban Outfitters (6pm)
Thursday, March 17 — Pitchfork @ Central Presbyterian Church (9pm)
Friday, March 18 — Windish Showcase @ Emo’s (1pm)
Friday, March 18 — Other Music Party @ French Legation Museum (4pm)
Saturday, March 19 — Stereogum Party @ Purevolume House (1:30am)
Given that SXSW will certainly be a break from the chill of the Northeast, I’m more than excited to enjoy the sun-soaked tunes of GROUPLOVE. With incredible full-band harmonies and striking guitar riffs throughout, their live show will be, if anything, the perfect combination of exciting instrumentation and genuinely crafted vocals. SXSW is all about having a good time, and GROUPLOVE will absolutely do their best to make that happen.
Tuesday March 15 — Conflict of Interest @ The Pure Volume House (8pm)
Wednesday March 16 — Live on KEXP @ Mellow Johnny’s (4pm)
Wednesday March 16 — NME Official Showcase @ Latitude 30 (9pm)
Thursday March 17 — Floating Fest @ Lovejoys (7pm)
Friday March 18 — Nylon @ The W (6pm)
Saturday March 19 — Neon Gold @ The Music Gym (4pm)
After seeing them perform multiple times in New York, we were more than impressed with how Braids has been able to transform the sounds on their album into an amazing live show. Paying attention to the ticks, small sounds, and electronic elements, Braids faithfully reproduces the unique essentials in their music and do so in a really compelling way. Even after multiple views, I’m incredibly excited to continue to see this band grow!
Wednesday March 16 — Eventbrite Party curated by The Wild Honey Pie @ Empire Auto (4:40pm)
Wednesday March 16 — Forcefield Party @ Red 7 (2:15pm)
Wednesday March 16 — Kanine Records Party @ Palm Door (10pm)
Thursday March 17 — Urban Outfitters Party @ Urban Outfitters (5pm)
Thursday March 17 — Floating Fest @ Lovejoy’s (12:45pm)
Friday March 18 — The Windish Agency @ Emo’s (5:15pm)
Friday March 18 — Impose Magazine @ Longbranch Inn (9:30pm)
Saturday March 19 — BrooklynVegan & M For Montreal @ Red Eyed Fly (TBA)
The Joy Formidable
With a mixture of tones, moods, and force, The Joy Formidable can certainly craft music that remains entertaining and diverse throughout. While I’m more excited for the gristled guitars and amazing energy of songs like “The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade”, I’ll take a break from the indie shuffle with “9669”. Front-woman Ritzy Bryan will surely not disappoint anyone with her spot on vocals and captivating liveliness on stage.
Wednesday March 17 — NPR Party @ The Parish (2pm)
Thursday March 18 — Live on KEXP @ Mellow Johnny’s (6:30pm)
Friday March 19 — Waterloo In Store @ Waterloo Records (2pm)
The dream of the ‘90s is alive in… Yuck (for those of you who didn’t immediately understand click here). Comprised of two former members of the indie band Cajun Dance Party, Yuck brings out a Sonic Youth sound from that former decade while still keeping a fresh tone and take for their tracks. Catchy riffs and a garage feel will, no doubt, have people moving and following them from one showcase to the next.
Wednesday March 16 — Live on KEXP @ Mellow Johnny’s (12:30pm)
Thursday March 17 — Under the Radar @ Flamingo Cantina (1:35pm)
Friday March 18 — #Offline @ East Side Drive-In (3:30pm)
Picks by Eric Weiner and Lauren McKinney