Friday, March 8, 2013

SXSW 2013 Preview: Series Highlights Summary

How do you feel? Do you feel sufficiently prepared for SXSW Music 2013? I know it's a lot of information coming at you from a million directions. It feels like you're forgetting something, or you missed some detail that's going to fuck you and you're right. You did forget something and there will be a day-fucking missed detail in your future but you'll get over it. You'll move on and you'll find something else to do, see or say and if you don't then I have no use for you.

I'm sure by this point you're up to your ass in free advice and I'm sorry if I added to the white noise. I hope these previews will help you do some highlighting as you attempt some tentative scheduling. If you don't want to go through each of the ones I've posted so far, I've compiled a list of all of the artists I highlighted in this series. If you missed one, simply click the artist's name to jump to that particular post.

You'll also find that I sorted the artists by region. I didn't choose them based on where they were from but I like to see who is from where because it helps ME to prioritize. I'm not saying you should adopt this strategy but I rank the bands who traveled the furthest higher on my list. They are the ones I am less likely to see again in the near future so they are a higher priority for me. So, if you want to roll like that too the hard work is done for you.

I've included a video from Hiatus Kaiyote because they are the band I'm planning the rest of my schedule around. Is that an emphatic endorsement or what?


Hiatus Kaiyote - Jekyll video via YouTube

Outside U.S. but not England

England


New York


U.S.A. but not New York


Austin


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SXSW 2013 Preview: Immanu El



Swedish band, Immanu El, are making BIG, BIG Post-Rock. This is the kind of music that I like to think of as Glacier-Rock. Glacier-Rock seems to be plodding along slowly, almost meandering and then you realize it's been subtly building into this mind-melting masterpiece of sound and you're happy you took that journey. If you enjoy The Calm Blue Sea, Explosions in the Sky or Sigur Ros then we should totally see Immanu El at SXSW. Sure I'll let you buy me a beer, don't be shy.


Immanu El - On Wide Shoulders video via YouTube

I fear if you see Immanu El at some noisy day-party with bad sound and a bunch of people talking it will be tough to appreciate their majesty. It is for that reason that I encourage you to see them at one of their official showcases. I know Saturday is a tough night to plan for since there will be so much going on but of all of the listings below I'm most drawn to the show at the Blackheart.

As usual, you're on your own as far as figuring out how accurate the below listings are. Some of these things may not be free or open to the public and all of that so, pay attention.

  • Wednesday, March 13th - City Hall - 3pm
  • Friday, March 15th - Dirty Dog - 8pm *OFFICIAL*
  • Friday, March 15th - Threadgill's - 3pm $10
  • Saturday, March 16th - Blackheart - 11pm *OFFICIAL*

***Previously Featured Artist: Deaf Club***

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SXSW 2013 Preview: Deaf Club



What do you get if you add The XX to The Joy Formidable? If you answered, Deaf Club I'd need you to show your indie-rock-math for full credit but I'd probably agree with you. It's the uber-cool moodiness of a song from The XX sped up to a more normal BPM, with the big-90's sound of The Joy Formidable.

So far this Camden, England-based band has only released a couple of singles and an EP but I'd expect a full-length LP within the next couple of months. I look forward to hearing a full-set from Deaf Club at SXSW to see how their sound stands up to the litmus test of the live performance.


Deaf Club - Moving Still video via YouTube
If you've been following this series all the way through, first of all, thank but secondly I like to note that the listings can change at a moments notice. However, if you see Deaf Club listed on your sheet of potential personal appearances, you might want to take a highlighter to that shit.


  • Thursday, March 14th - Flat Top Burger Shop - 6pm
  • Saturday, March 16th - Avenue on Congress Rooftop - 12am *OFFICIAL*

***Previously Featured Artist: Cheers Elephant***

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SXSW 2013 Preview: Cheers Elephant



If Philadelphia-based band Cheers Elephant were Canadian, they would most certainly be on Arts & Crafts Records. Maybe that doesn't mean anything to you but to me that means they make radio-pop but not the sort that actually gets played on the radio anymore. Think of a band like Stars or Broken Social Scene, their music is so perfect for Adult-Contemporary radio but they don't get the airplay. It seems to me that Cheers Elephant is a band that wants to capture the spirit of a band like The Cars while maintaining their indie-rock-cred on the streets of Illadelphia.


Cheers Elephant - Doin' It Right video via YouTube

I highly doubt Cheers Elephant will only be performing twice while in Austin for SXSW but this is a good start. Keep an eye out for their name while your sifting through all of the show.

  • Wednesday, March 13th - Lucille on Rainey - 9:20pm
  • Friday, March 15th - Wardenclyffe Gallery (1101 Springdale) - 3pm

***Previously Featured Artist: Caveman***

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SXSW 2013 Preview: Caveman



If this is your first time reading this blog then you don't know how much I love Brooklyn-band, Caveman. If you're a regular or even semi-regular reader then you already know that this is one of my favorite contemporary indie-bands. When they play Austin, I do anything and everything I can to get people to attend their shows. When they release music, I post it. I guess what I'm trying to say is LISTEN TO CAVEMAN!!! LOVE THEM LIKE YOUR CHILDREN! If you're a fan of Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire or Local Natives then for the love of all that is holy catch a set from Caveman.


Caveman - Vampirer/Old Friend video via YouTube

I found a few listing for Caveman performances during SXSW.
  • Wednesday, March 13th - IFC Crossroads House - 10pm *OFFICIAL*
  • Thursday, March 14th - Bar 96 - 9:30pm *OFFICIAL*
  • Friday, March 15th - Red Eyed Fly
  • Saturday, March 16th - Hype Hotel - 9pm

For those of us who live in Austin year-round, Caveman will be back in Austin on April 1st at the Parish. Get tickets now before you forget.

***Previously Featured Artist: XXYYXX***

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SXSW 2013 Preview: XXYYXX



I know that some of you are going to be dismayed at the music of XXYYXX and I respect that it's not for everyone. However, I am completely under this barely-legal-teen DJ's spell. His slow, woozy, DEEP, bass grooves riff on late 90's R&B music after plodding through some laborious intros. If there is such a thing as Special K electronic music, this is it. The vocals are, generally, barely recognizable samples of songs that sound familiar. Is that Beyonce? Sade? TLC? The answer to those questions and more, is yes. Are those samples cleared? Most likely not. XXYYXX is a bedroom artist, so who knows how the songs will translate live but I am making a point to catch one of his sets to find out. I'm also, curious as to how the kids dance to this.


XXYYXX - About You video via YouTube

XXYYXX is performing three times in the span of one day during his visit to SXSW, an obvious benefit to the life of a laptop DJ.

  • Friday, March 8 - AMOA Arthouse - 12am
  • Friday, March 15th - Red 7 - 2pm
  • Friday, March 15th - 219 West- 6pm
  • Friday, March 15th - Maggie Mae's - 1am
  • Saturday, March 16th - Mohawk - 12am

***Previously Featured Artist: Foxes***

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

SXSW 2013 Preview: Locals Only

There's this thing, for those of us who live in Austin, that we won't go out of our way to see local bands during SXSW. They know it. We know it. It's nothing personal and we love our local bands BUT we hung out with them during Free Week and we'll catch them before and after SXSW. We'll tip them when they're working at the coffee shop down the street, when we're all just being normal people who live in our neighborhoods. But during the festival, we're probably going to try to see some bands from out of town. Obviously, I don't speak for every person, blogger, band member, whatever BUT I know that I'm not the only person who feels this way either.

If you DON'T live here in Austin and you're just experiencing our city during SXSW let me assure you that it's not always like this here. We're normally a much cleaner, calmer environment at least our areas that aren't Dirty Sixth St. Our coolest places to eat always have lines but not lines like THIS. Our traffic always licks taint but it doesn't lick taint this nasty. Generally, our parking lots are for parking cars not constructing gigantic vending machines for money-hungry pop-rappers to perform atop. However, I should also add, Austin ain't so great and moving here is a REALLY bad idea. Have you been to Detroit? I hear it's getting really good. Maybe you'd like to move there instead? Or Pittsburgh, maybe? The Burgh? Check it out, you might like it. Thanks for visiting!

Seriously though, we have some great fucking bands and you shouldn't miss these ones in particular:
  • Dana Falconberry
    • Tuesday, March 12th - Cheer-Up Charlies - 5pm
    • Tuesday, March 12th - Valhalla - 10pm
    • Wednesday, March 13th - The Liberty - 2pm
    • Wednesday, March 13th - J. Blacks - 6pm
    • Friday, March 15th - Mugshots - 3:30pm
    • Friday, March 15th - Side Bar - 4:20pm
    • Saturday, March 16th - Brass House - 12am





    Dana Falconberry - Petoskey Stone video via YouTube
  • _______________________________________________________

  • Letting Up Despite Great Faults
    • Tuesday, March 12th - Cheer-Up Charlies - 10:30pm
    • Friday, March 15th - Side Bar - 3pm
    • Friday, March 15th - Maggie Mae's Gibson Room - 1am


    Letting Up Despite Great Faults - Teenage Tide video via YouTube
  • _______________________________________________________

  • Boy Friend
    • Saturday, March 16th - The Iron Bear - 8pm *FREE*

  • _______________________________________________________

  • The Calm Blue Sea
    • Wednesday, March 13th - Maggie Mae's - 11pm


    The Calm Blue Sea - Literal video via YouTube
  • _______________________________________________________

  • Feathers
    • Monday, March 11th - Elysium - 11pm
    • Wednesday, March 13th - Club Deville - 4:30pm
    • Wednesday, March 13th - Buffalo Billiards - 8pm


    Feathers - Soft video via YouTube
  • _______________________________________________________

  • Orthy
    • Sunday, March 10th - Mohawk - 10:30pm
    • Tuesday, March 12th - The North Door - 9:20pm
    • Friday, March 15th - StubHub Live @ Old School - 8:55pm


    Orthy - Sueños video via YouTube
  • _______________________________________________________

  • Mirror Travel
    • Wednesday, March 13th - Maggie Mae's - 8pm



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SXSW 2013 Preview: Foxes



U.K. artist Foxes is neither a fox nor a plural. It is a singular woman, whom I suppose one could call foxy but whose actual name is Louisa Rose Allen. She is barely 22 years old and already her song Echo is receiving International attention. I was just drinking a lot of cheap, domestic beer when I was 22.

Like so many of my highlight artists, Foxes make synth-pop that seems sugary but has a bitter finish. She doesn't have a lot of material out here in the ether just yet but what is out here is pretty fucking awesome if you ask me.


Foxes - Echo video via YouTube

Foxes have 5-6 appearances planned for SXSW but as usual, these details could change at the drop of hat, so stay on your toes! Also, some of these events are private, invite-only or require an RSVP. Don't look at me, I don't make the rules.
  • Wednesday, March 13th - Red Eyed Fly - 1am
  • Thursday, March 14th - Cedar Door -2:30pm
  • Thursday, March 14th - MTV Woodie Awards-9:30pm
  • Saturday, March 16th - Belmont - 4:30pm
  • Saturday, March 16th - Austin Music Hall - 7:30pm
  • Saturday, March 16th - Hype Hotel - 10:00pm

***Previously Featured Artist: Beach Day***

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SXSW 2013 Preview: Beach Day



Beach Day is pretty much the perfect name for the Florida band to whom it refers. Just like their name evokes, they play sunny, stoned, surf-pop. Think Best Coast meets Real Estate with a dash of Cults and you're in the right ballpark. This band was forged upon a foundation of fun but that doesn't mean their songs are throw aways. Pull back the curtains a bit and you see there is some darkness behind those bright eyes.


Beach Day - Beach Day video via YouTube

Beach Day are playing a few times during the festival but something tells me, those of us living in Austin will have a few more chances to see this trio perform later in the year.

  • Thursday, March 14th - Cheers Rooftop
  • Friday, March 15th - Valhalla - 10pm
  • Saturday, March 16th - Opal Divine's

***Previously Featured Artist: Mary Epworth***

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SXSW 2013 Preview: Mary Epworth



Mary Epworth moves from genre to genre with ease. There are elements of Nashville both old and new as well as 60's psychedelic-pop and contemporary indie. You can't just listen to the single and think you've got a good idea of what Mary Epworth is all about. Her debut improves with each listen and you notice things you didn't notice the first couple of times around. This will be her first visit to SXSW and you can expect she'll earn herself a lot of new fans while she is here.


Mary Epworth - Black Doe video via YouTube

The only appearances I could find for Mary Epworth are official showcases. Don't let that scare you though, you can pay cash to get into official showcases and for an artist who won't be back in Austin any time soon, it's worth it.

  • Wednesday, March 13th - Creekside at Hilton Garden Inn - 1am
  • Friday, March 15th - Victorian Room at The Driskill - 7pm
  • Saturday, March 16th - Latitude 30 - 3pm

***Previously Featured Artist: Hiatus Kaiyote***

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SXSW 2013 Preview: Hiatus Kaiyote



Hiatus Kaiyote is an Australian band with a big, beautiful sound. The lead vocalist is a woman with a voice as big and bombastic as Bjork's but the music is closer to that of The Roots or Robert Glasper Experiment. Performing a blend of jazz, funk, and soul that still has an indie-rock aesthetic might sound like a mess on paper but it's pure magic to my ears.

A band like this is the perfect example of why SXSW remains my favorite music festival. Hiatus Kaiyote was not on my radar whatsoever before I started doing research for this year's festival. When I listened to their sample track from the SXSW website I was completely floored. I don't know what I expected them to sound-like based on their name, publicity still and vague genre tag but I did not hear what I expected. I suggest you do as I did and just press play, then tell other people to do the same and hopefully there will be a few of us who get to talk about seeing Hiatus Kaiyote at SXSW 2013.


Hiatus Kaiyote - Nakamarra video via YouTube

I'm just speaking for me here but I will MOST DEFINITELY be seeing this band at one these two locations next week. I'm leaning heavily toward the official showcase at Maggie Mae's as it also features Flume and Gold Fields. Also, it won't be taking place while I'm at work on Tuesday...so it has that going for it.
  • Tuesday, March 12th - Flat Top Burger Shop - 5pm
  • Saturday, March 15th - Maggie Mae's - 9pm *OFFICIAL*

***Previously Featured Artist: Peace***

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

SXSW 2013 Preview: Peace



Having already gained massive popularity in the U.K. Peace are coming in to SXSW with a lot of attention overseas but very little exposure in the U.S. Could they be the next U.K. sensation to break into the American market? Absolutely. Could they also be the next Razorlight? Certainly. Regardless of how successful they may or may not become they are a great band who writes great songs and you should keep your eye out for opportunities to see them. Recommended if you like, sprawling, brit-psychedelic music through a pop-guitar-music filter. Think U2 doing their songs in the style of the Nuggets compilation. No, how about Pink Floyd goes punk? Ah, fuck it, just listen to Peace and create your own musical math equation.


Peace - Bloodshake via YouTube

If you thought Peace was coming all the way from Birmingham England to play one or two sets, buddy you have another think coming. Here's a few that I found in the usual places. Speaking of "the usual," all of this information could change and become totally wrong at any given moment so stay alert!

  • Monday, March 11th - Viceland
  • Wednesday, March 13th - Red 7 - 9:30pm *OFFICIAL*
  • Thursday, March 14th - Mohawk - 3:30pm
  • Friday, March 15th - Clive Bar - 3pm
  • Friday, March 15th - The Scoot Inn
  • Saturday, March 16th - British Music Embassy

***Previously Featured Artist:  DIANA***

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SXSW 2013 Preview: Diana



Imagine Sade's backing band at their funkiest. Now, instead of a voice like Sade's imagine a voice more like Pat Benatar's or Susanna Hoffs'. Ok, well that's sort of what Diana sounds like. Are you with me?

As of right now only a few songs from Diana have been released but you can hear those songs with lots of remixes of those songs over on the band's SoundCloud page. This means, if you see them at SXSW you'll probably be hearing a lot of their music for the first time. I, for one, am a big fan of this music experience. If you prefer a singalong music atmosphere, I'm sure there's some crusty, old music person trying to earn some alimony money somewhere close-by.


Diana - Born Again video via YouTube

Is it possible Diana is the only band to only play official SXSW showcases, while they're in Austin? Yes. Is it probable? Not really. However, I combed the usual places and there were no unofficial showcases revealed. On the bright-side, you could PROBABLY buy your way until either of the official showcases listed and you'd be getting your money's worth. Both line-ups are very solid and feature other bands I'm highlighting in this series.

  • Wednesday, March 13th - Empire Control Room - 11pm *OFFICIAL*
  • Thursday, March 14th - Red 7 - 10:40pm *OFFICIAL*

***Previously Featured Artist: Paws***



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SXSW 2013 Preview: Paws



Paws might be the best 90's College-Rock act that never was. Based in Glasgow, they played their first gig in 2010 and have released a plethora of singles, and EPs. However, it was the release of their full-length record, Cokefloat! that really started to gain the band a reputation. Filled with hooky, garage-pop it's hard to not think about bands like Dinosaur Jr or Polaris when you listen to Paws but is there really anything wrong with that? I suppose you could consider bands like Yuck and The Joy Formidable to be their peers but I feel like even if you don't like those band you might still like Paws.


Paws - Sore Tummy video via YouTube

It's usually a good sign for an artist when they have multiple, official showcases at SXSW. As you can see, if you're strictly official you still have two chances to catch a set from Paws. If you're unofficial or doing the blend, you have twice as many opportunities.

  • Wednesday, March 13th - Red 7 - 1:15pm
  • Wednesday, March 13th - Latitude 30 - 10:00pm *OFFICIAL*
  • Thursday, March 14th - Scoot Inn - Noon
  • Thursday, March 14th - Side Bar - 4:45pm
  • Thursday, March 14th - Valhalla - 11pm *OFFICIAL*
  • Friday, March 15th - Home Slice Pizza - 1pm

It's possible this performance information will change, shit happens.

***Previously Featured Artist: MS MR***

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The Ruby Suns at Holy Mountain



Worlds will collide Saturday night as a normal, non-SXSW show attempts to take place amongst all of the free, corporate shenanigans of SXSWi. However, I am writing this because I think seeing The Ruby Suns at Holy Mountain Saturday night is worth your time, money, attention and the hassle of actually getting to and from the venue itself. With four LPs under their belt, trend has finally caught up to what The Ruby Suns have been doing for years, which is to make 80's-synth-infused-indie-R&B. Now, before you try to "call me out," yes that's a real trend so shut up. Also, I know you are but what am I and all of that. It's going to be an all-ages show Saturday night so if you already have a previous engagement babysitting, that's no excuse. Kids LOVE 80's-synth-infused-indie-R&B!


The Ruby Suns - Kingfisher Call Me video via YouTube

Painted Palms share the bill with The Ruby Suns Saturday night, which I think is a great pairing. Painted Palms specialize in slightly off-kilter, keyboard-drive, dream-pop. They have yet to release a full-length LP so expect to hear lots of unreleased material, so to speak.


Painted Palms - Carousel video via YouTube

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SXSW 2013 Preview: MS MR



If the music of MS MR is good enough for the latest Game of Thrones trailer, it's good enough for you. Making moody synth-pop that's reminiscent of 90's music this New York duo has been making waves since the release of their song, Hurricane. As of right now they have yet to release a full-length album but it's coming soon and even if it was never released their four song EP, Candy Bar Creep Show is good enough to cement their place in indie-rock. I'm warning you now, MS MR are coming into SXSW with a lot of buzz so expect any of their appearances to be pretty mobbed with people. I saw one of my co-workers post on Facebook that he hoped their appearance at Lambert's would be low-key. I didn't want to quell his hopes but I can tell you, that is not going to happen.


MS MR - Fantasy video via YouTube

Here's what I have dredged up for info regarding appearances of MS MR at SXSW:
  • Wednesday, March 13th - Lambert's - 3:30pm
  • Thursday, March 14th - Hype Hotel - 12am *OFFICIAL*
  • Friday, March 15th - Cedar St. - 2pm

As usual, it's possible there are more shows in the words and/or that they won't be able to make all of the ones you see above. It's also possible that some of these events require secret passwords/handshakes for you to get in so do your research.

***Previously Featured Artist: High Highs***

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SXSW 2013 Preview: High Highs



New York band, High Highs is certainly deserving of all of the "Band to Watch" attention they've been receiving. With beautiful, delicate songs that start as meditations and then evolve into big, grand tunes it's easy to compare them to bands like Local Natives or The National. This is music you listen to with the windows down on a breezy summer night or even better on your turntable with the lights turned low. If you're doing SXSW the free route, I don't think you're going to appreciate High Highs as much. I feel like their music will be ruined by drunk people talking over their set and if they get an amateur sound person the whole effect will be ruined. In other words, it could be worth it to buy your way in to their Wednesday night showcase.


High Highs - Flowers Bloom video via YouTube

There are at least three opportunities for you to get swept up into High Highs at SXSW:
  • Wednesday, March 13th - Empire Control Room - 9pm
  • Thursday, March 14th - Homeslice Pizza - 6:15pm
  • Saturday, March 16th - Dirty Dog Bar - 1:00pm

***Previously Featured Artist: Robert Delong***

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nightlands and Efterklang



People of Austin, hear me now! This could be your last chance to attend a show at the Mohawk before it's overrun by people who are drinking Lone Star because it's quaint! Efterklang have traveled all the way from Denmark to perform for you on the Mohawk's outside stage. Tickets are still available and will only set you back $12. I know this is a tough time of year to head out to a show since you'll be taking time off work and you'll be seeing SO much music next week. However, it's a good chance for you to stretch out your liver and break in some new concert shoes. It's also a good chance to make friends with the bartenders, tip big, become Facebook friends and hopefully they'll remember you and hook it up next week. Don't you wish there was some sort of secret handshake or wink that would let people know you live here year round so they could charge you regular price?


Efterklang - The Living Layer video via YouTube

Tomorrow night's Efterklang show is most definitely a, don't miss the opening act, situation. Playing the support slot right before the Danes is, War on Drugs spin-off project, Nightlands. The Nightlands project is a, somewhat creepy, take on R&B music through an indie-rock filter...sort of. Does that sound confusing? Confusing or not, I love this trend of indie-boys doing their own spin on R&B and I credit Active Child. This show starts early, which means you can expect Nightlands to begin shortly after 8pm.


Nightlands - I Fell In Love With a Feeling video via YouTube

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SXSW 2013 Preview: Robert Delong



I feel like Robert Delong doesn't need my promotional help in the least. He has been signed to Glassnote Records and everything he touches is a motherfucking JAM! If his song, Global Concepts isn't lauded with Best Song of 2013 reviews then there is no justice in this world. At his point he's already been embraced by Satellite and non-commercial radio. After SXSW Delong goes on tour with Two Door Cinema Club then I'd expect a large-club tour followed by the Summer Festival circuit. Robert Delong should reach Phoenix/Passion Pit levels of success by 2014 or I'll eat my hat.


Robert Delong - Global Concepts video via YouTube

I only noticed three sets from Delong listed so far but that is bound to change.\

  • Wednesday, March 13th - Frank - 4:20pm
  • Wednesday, March 13th - Waterloo Records - 6pm
  • Thursday, March 14th - Empire Automotive - 11pm *OFFICIAL*

If you live here in Austin, Delong will be in April when he'll open for Two Door Cinema Club at Stubb's.

*UPDATED LISTINGS FOR RDL*



***Previously Featured Artist: Toy***

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SXSW 2013 Preview: Toy



To be honest, I was hesitant to feature U.K. buzz-band Toy. Not because I don't like their music but because I'm still not sure if their Visa issues have been sorted out. They posted on Facebook that they had to cancel some New York gigs due to Visa issues but they were working on still being able to perform at SXSW. So, at this point I'm not really sure if they will actually be in Austin. If they do show up, we all need to do our best to see them. Their music sounds like what I would imagine would be rock music for the World of Harry Potter. It's somewhat glam, somewhat goth and 100% English. It gives me 70's psychedelic-vibes but it's also a little bit My Bloody Valentine. Are you confused yet? Well, you should be.


Toy - Motoring video via Toy

It's pretty clear that with three *OFFICIAL* SXSW showcases the festival organizers are putting a lot of promotional weight behind Toy. This is a good thing for those of us with official credentials but if you're planning to only attend unofficial events you don't really have a lot of opportunities to see a set from Toy and if they don't get their visa issues in order you might not have another chance for awhile. In other words, keep an eye out and plan hard.

  • Thursday, March 14th - Cedar St. - 9pm *OFFICIAL*
  • Thursday, March 14th - Hotel Vegas - 12:45am *OFFICIAL*
  • Saturday, March 16th - Lustre Pearl - 4pm
  • Saturday, March 16th - Latitude 30 - 10:00pm *OFFICIAL*

***Previously Highlighted Artist:  So Many Wizards




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SXSW 2013 Preview: So Many Wizards



As I have mentioned before, I am a big fan of any and all things dream-pop. Music that makes you want to dance like a Peanuts character is the perfect music for me. This is why when I first heard California band, So Many Wizards, I was sold on them within the first few bars. Like, Lips whom I highlighted earlier today, So Many Wizards are coming into SXSW with very little support. They have received a bit of press from the L.A. music blogs but they still aren't getting nods from the big boys. This means they need people like you and I to talk them up and see their shows. If you enjoy Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Tennis or Atlas Sound then you should be listening to So Many Wizards.


So Many Wizards - Lose Your Mind video via YouTube

This is going to sound rude, which is not my intent but I feel like the name So Many Wizards could be a buzz-preventer. I'll admit when I saw their name on the SXSW list I thought I was going to hate them before I even listened to their music. I was proven quite wrong when I listened to their album though and I'm confident that when people hear them performing they'll want to know more about them. I could only scrounge up two listings for So Many Wizards but that doesn't mean they won't play more, so keep your eyes peeled.

  • Tuesday, March 12th - Valhalla - 1am *OFFICIAL*
  • Wednesday, March 13th - Cheer-Up Charlies

***Previously Featured Artist: Lips***

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SXSW 2013 Preview: Lips



I am incredibly excited to highlight Lips. This is one of my strongest recommendations of this series both because I'm completely in love with the cool, smokey, electro-80's grooves of Lips but also because I feel like this is a highly overlooked artist. Several of the bands I've highlighted so far are coming into SXSW with the backing of big labels, big management groups, and lots of attention from the press. This is not the case with Lips. Hailing from New Zealand, Stephanie Brown aka Lips won't be swinging through Austin many times in the near future and really isn't playing very often while she is here in town. It is for all of these reasons that I strongly implore you to make a point to catch one of her performances during SXSW. Also, if you are promoting SXSW artists as well, feel free to jump on the Lips train I won't hate on you. Recommended if you like, Oh, Land, Lykke Li or Kate Bush


Lips - Everything to Me video via YouTube

It is hard to believe that you only get three shots at seeing Lips during SXSW but these are the times in which we live y'all. So, plan accordingly.
  • Wednesday, March 13th - Brush Square Park - 5:00pm
  • Friday, March 15th - The Velveeta Room - 10:00pm *OFFICIAL*
  • Saturday, March 16th - Free Now! - The Brew Exchange - 12:30pm

***Previously Featured Artist: Dan Croll***

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Monday, March 4, 2013

SXSW 2013 Preview: Dan Croll



Dan Croll is one of those artists that other artists love to hate. Everything he has released thus far has gained attention including one of his first demos, which was highlighted by Q Magazine. Forgetting that he's cute and riding a Tsunami-sized wave of buzz into SXSW 2013, Dan Croll is a legitimately talented songwriter and musician. If you love indie-pop artists like Geographer, Generationals or Yeasayer then be sure to catch a performance from Dan Croll. Also, he's from the U.K. so you might not get another chance in the near-future.


Dan Croll - From Nowhere video via YouTube

There aren't a ton of listings for Dan Croll during SXSW but there are a few chances to catch one of his sets. I should note that, I know that the Friday event, at least, is a private event so be sure to check all details before planning to show up at any of these places.
  • Wednesday, March 13th - Cheer Up Charlies
  • Wednesday, March 13th - Windish Showcase - Red 7 - 9pm *OFFICIAL*
  • Friday, March 15th - Asos Party - Cedar Door
  • Saturday, March 16th - British Music Embassy - Latitude 30

***Previously Featured Artist: The Crookes***

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SXSW 2013 Preview: The Crookes



The Crookes are one of those bands that I fully expect to breakout every year and then year after year they get overlooked. Well, I'm putting their hat in the ring again for U.S. success this year. Their music is incredibly accessible, radio-ready rock but that doesn't equate automatic success. In the U.K., The Crookes would be considered mainstream rock but in the U.S. I'd expect to hear them played on an Adult-Contemporary station like KGSR. If you are, or wherever, a fan of Oasis, Of Monsters and Men or Snow Patrol you're going to be a fan of The Crookes.


The Crookes - American Girls video via YouTube

There only seems to be one unofficial chance for you to see The Crookes at SXSW. However, I find it hard to believe that this band would fly all the way from England to Austin and only play three sets while they're here. Keep your eyes peeled for more chances to see them but here's a few to get you started.

  • Wednesday, March 13th - Volumen/ACHE Producciones - The North Door - 9pm *OFFICIAL
  • Friday, March 15th - Music for Listeners - Flat Top Burger Shop - 2pm
  • Friday, March 15th - Latitude 30 - 11pm *OFFICIAL*

***Previously Featured Artist: Ex-Cops***

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SXSW 2013 Preview: Ex Cops



Ex Cops make shoe-gaze through a pop filter. Their songs sound simultaneously precious and rollicking. Rolling elements of 90's college-rock, brit-pop and surf music into a shiny blend of power-pop bliss. Their debut LP, True Hallucinations is the first album released by New York City record shop, Other Music. It's basically like part of the plot for High Fidelity has become realized. If you're a fan of The Joy Formidable, Teenage Fanclub or The Feelies you might enjoy Ex-Cops.


Ex Cops - Separator video via YouTube

I could only hunt down three scheduled sets for Ex-Cops but I suspect there might be more than what I've listed below. If you live in Austin, I'd expect that you'll have a couple of more chances to catch this band in town within the next few months. However, we all know if you don't catch the band at SXSW you forfeit all bragging rights for the rest of the year. Also, if you're traveling to Austin from Idaho or something, this could be your only chance!
  • Wednesday, March 13th - Cosigns II - Parish - 3pm
  • Wednesday, March 13th - High Road Touring Showcase - Parish *OFFICIAL*
  • Thursday, March 14th - Volstead Showcase - Hotel Vegas *OFFICIAL*

***Previously Featured Artist: Flume***

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SXSW 2013 Preview: Flume



Hailing from Sydney, Australia Flume is the stage-name of Harley Streten. He is playing all over Austin during SXSW and wherever he is you can expect to see asses a shakin'. After playing 8 showcases at CMJ, Flume is poised to become one of the big names in the indie-electronic community. It wouldn't surprise me to hear his production work hit U.S. radio within the next year as his work starts to be commissioned by bigger-name pop stars. In a day-and-age where an artist like Calvin Harris can finally break-thru it seems like this could be Harley Streten's moment. If you're a fan of Chet Faker or Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs I'm sure that you'll enjoy Flume.


Flume - Stay Close video via YouTube

As I mentioned, you'll have many opportunities to catch a set from Flume during SXSW 2013. I've listed some of them below but as usual, it's possible that these listings will change so keep an eye out.


  • Wednesday, March 13 - Windish Showcase - Red 7
  • Wednesday, March 13 - Spotify Party - Spotify House
  • Thursday, March 14 - I Guess I'm Floating - Hype Hotel
  • Thursday Mar 14 - Austin - Transgressive Showcase - Latitude 30
  • Thursday Mar 14 - Austin - And/Hidden/Kobalt - The Blackheart
  • Friday Mar 15 - Austin - Laneway Party - Red 7
  • Friday Mar 15 - Austin - Future Classic x Bond - Electric Lounge
  • Saturday March 16 - Austin - Aussie BBQ - Maggie Mae's
***Previously Highlighted Artist: Hey Ocean!***

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SXSW 2013 Preview: Hey Ocean



Hey Ocean! is another great Canadian band that I wanted to highlight for you this year. I swear I don't know where most of the bands are from when I decide to highlight them, all of them are chosen based on listening to their music. It just so happens that this year Canadian bands kick ass just like last year Scandinavian bands kicked ass.

Hey Ocean! plays my favorite genre of indie, which is jangly-indie-pop. They fold various styles into one beautiful piece of pop magic that will work its way into your cold, dead heart. Their latest release is entitled, Is. From what I can tell it was funded by a Kickstarter campaign, which is especially interesting to me because they seem to be signed to Universal Records Canada. I don't really know what that means but I know they have a big-time manager, a big-time record label and an indie sound so, good for them and good for us.


Hey Ocean! - I Am a Heart video via YouTube

You have several opportunities both official and unofficial to see a performance from Vancouver's-own Hey Ocean! during SXSW 2013.
  • Wednesday, March 13th - Canadian Blast BBQ
  • Thursday, March 14th - Vyclone Launch Party
  • Friday, March 15th - Maggie Mae's (OFFICIAL SHOWCASE)

As usual, all performances subject to last-minute changes. Also, some of the events listed may be private or require an RSVP and it's also highly possible that Hey Ocean! will add more performance between now and then.

***Previously Highlighted Artist: Palma Violets

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