act released one of my favorite songs last year
(grab it just below this ramble), and I'm excited to
see how a full set of his Ty Segall-produced
material will play out live. I imagine it will
go well, but that stems from the assumption that his
semi-raw pop sound will translate to the stage
easily enough, and also that there has to be a good
reason so many large outlets (Pitchfork, Brooklyn
Vegan, NPR) have supported him.
hard to believe that almost 15 years have passed
since the Austin-based quartet Cotton Mather
released their classic power pop LP, Kontiki.
The album gained a cult following, received rave
reviews in the UK music press, and got a lot of love
from fellow musicians (such as Noel Gallagher from
Oasis, Britt Daniel from Spoon, and
Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign,
Kontiki is being reissued as a double disc
release complete with outtakes and acoustic versions
on February 14. The best part, though, is that
the Kontiki-era lineup (Robert Harrison, Whit
Williams, Dana Myzer, Josh Gravelin) will be
reuniting for SXSW. I can hardly wait to hear
jangly, melodic gems such as "My Before And After"
performed live again.
tends to be a little nicer to the acts that work
hard, and this one certain does. Over the last
year they've put out a full length and a single, and
then they started 2012 with a free EP and word that
they had landed the opening slot on the upcoming
Yellow Ostrich tour. SXSW will be nothing for
them! Ok, not really, but I do think they're
going to make an impact. Below you'll find one
of their catchier tunes, and then one that's a bit
more headphone worthy.
said before, SXSW tends to turn out better for those
that are in the process of doing stuff that doesnít
just revolve around the festival. Mr. Gnome, as you
probably guessed, is in that boat. They put out a
full length last year, they have a 7" due out March
20, and now theyíre about to embark on a two month
tour. In regards to their music, itís moody,
experimental and usually packing some sort of
surprise, and Iím really excited to check it out in
a live setting.
honest, I'm super picky about my folk/country acts
when it comes to SXSW. That's an exhausting
week, and watching someone lightly pluck on a guitar
while softly singing is the best way to get me to
totally fall asleep while standing up. Mr.
Corndawg, who will be using SXSW as a kick off for a
two month tour, is not capable of this. The
man oozes charm, he's hilarious on stage, and he has
a nice collection of tunes. I expect to try
hard to see him more than once.
is actually an act that hasn't been mentioned around
here before, and it's because I'm still sort of
figuring out what I think about their album,
America Give Up. So why tell you to catch
them at SXSW? Well, aside from the fact that
they're heading into it with a nice amount of buzz,
I get the feeling that their Strokes-esque
collection of tunes could be something I like a lot
more once I experience them live and in person.
Or maybe not. We'll see. Taking a chance
or seven is just part of the festival, and Howler
could end up being worth the effort.
exactly an expert on the world of hip hop, but don't
let that discourage you from believing me when I say
you need to check out Speech Debelle. Back in
2009 she took home a Mercury Prize for the album
Speech Therapy, and now she's put out a
follow-up that also seems like it's worthy of
everyone's attention. My guess (it's educated,
of course) is that her live show is one that packs a
punch, and I'm rather anxious to see if whether or
not that's correct. Let's hope it is.
instantly fell in love with the track Dominos
back in 2010, it wasnít until recently that I really
began to appreciate The Big Pink. Their debut has
turned into a solid listen for me, and now they have
the recently released Future This, which is a
fun effort that features a slew of catchy songs.
Iíve never actually seen the duo live, but I like to
think they pump out a wall of sound that makes for
the sort of show where everyone leaves sweaty from
all the dancing. Letís hope that turns out to be
you know, I'm not going to be able to convince you
that Bleached will give you anything you haven't
already gotten from the slew of lady-lead,
fuzz-filled pop acts that are so abundant these
days. However, I might at least be able to
sway you into seeing them at SXSW by mentioning that
everything I've ever heard from them has been as
infectious as can be. Catchy hooks are their
thing, and I know they'll for sure be yours when
you're exhausted and just want to smile and bob your
to think of SXSW as a great time to try out as much
stuff as possible, so the majority of my
recommendations will be acts I've never seen before.
Reptar, however, just happen to be a band I can't
wait to catch again. I saw them open for
Phantogram last year, and their infectious,
jam-filled set is still floating around in my
head. I'd be really surprised if they didn't
turn a lot of festival goers into fans.
pretty hard to catch this band a time or two last
year, but the timing never seemed to work out.
Their debut, Twister, is a super solid
effort, and a local act known as the Midgetmen have
been championing their live show for a while now.
So, to me that all adds up to something everyone
should try to see. Unless, of course, we come
up with a reason to not appreciate good rock music.
Antonio-based Hacienda return to SXSW to promote
album. I first saw them early in 2008 and was
immediately impressed by their tight harmonies and
stage presence. They skillfully combine their love
for the Beatles and Beach Boys with their South
Texas roots. Since the release of their first two
albums, they've been on the road with acts like Dr
Dog and Heartless Bastards, and they also served as
Dan Auerbach's backing band on his 2009 solo
project. Hacienda has also recorded all three of
their full length with Auerbach at his studio in
Akron. Check out their eclectic range of influences
on the track below, which has a bouncing bass line
groove, spacey keyboard riffs, and some nice family
harmonies (the band consists of 3 brothers and a
being one of the most buzzed about acts heading into
SXSW, I hadn't heard a single note from them until a
couple of days ago. I'd love to tell you why I
waited so long, but I have no idea. The band
has a really fun soul-enthused sound that I should
have been digging for months now. Anyhow, I'm
anxious to see them perform and to find out if
they're worth the massive amount of hype that's been
swirling around them.
could get my hands on a time machine I'd definitely
make going back and catching a Mclusky performance a
top priority. I straight love that band, and I
hate that I never got to see them play. Oh
well. At least I can still make a play for the
next best thing, which is Future Of The Left.
Former Mclusky singer/guitarist Andy Falkous leads
the way for this fierce act, and I'm very anxious to
see them tear it up on a stage.
the sort of recommendation that's going to come
across as a bit of a no-brainer for some of you, but
I had to give them a mention just because of how
much I love their new album. It's fantastic,
and there are so many songs on it that I can't wait
to experience in a live setting. Here's hoping
the new material translates well, or I might end up
enough, Maps And Atlases were one of the better
bands that I saw at SXSW last year.
This, of course, has me excited to catch them again,
but I have to admit I'm more interested in hearing
songs from their new album than I am in just
watching them play again. Why? Because I
think their upcoming full length is going to garner
a lot of attention, and I want to find a permanent
(and comfy) spot on the bandwagon while I can.
Join me, friends.
an entirely lowercased and abruptly ending assertion
evoking understatement. How deceptively devious.
Come the end of March, when the SXSW hashtags are
all tallied, Iím sure the chatter of their name will
be much more uppercased and exclamatory. And how
will it not be? FUN! is much more deserving of the
band behind the truly awesome sophomore effort that
is Some Nights. Melding a stunning array of
various inspirations to craft a powerfully theatric
album filled with heroic Queen-like harmonies, fun.
is sure to be a band to garner plenty of coverage
having to slightly shake up the order of my SXSW
recommendations so that I can make sure to get the
name Brazos floating around in your head. I
thought Martin Crane had given up on the
Austin-based indie rock act long ago, but he (and
whoever else) are officially set for the Dead
Oceans/Jagjaguwar/Secretly Canadian showcase, and I
very badly want to be there. Hopefully there
will be some new stuff on display.
This is a band thatís floated in and
out of my head for the last year or so, and I think
itís time I gave them a real shot at a permanent
spot in my brain. I like their dream-enthused
electronic sound, and Iím confident that live itís
going to come across as something worth
championing. Hereís hoping that wherever I see them
thereís a slick lighting system that will be used in
all the right ways.
A few years ago Light In The Attic
reissued a couple of Rodriguezís "lost" albums, and
I fell deeply in love with both of them. Theyíre
incredible. Check them out if you havenít. As far
as he goes, Iíve seen him live before, and neither
time was exactly stellar. Still, I get the
impression his show is hit or miss, and I want to be
present in case itís a hit. Plus, I just dig his
stuff so damn much that itís hard to imagine
skipping a chance to see it played.
Purity Ring is on (or maybe even at the top) of my
"must see no matter
what" list of acts at SXSW. They absolutely
wowed me at FunFunFun Fest last year, and I've been
aching to see them again (minus the dust and
festival atmosphere). If you like electronic
music, then trust me when I say you need to bump
this duo to the top of your priority list.
They'll make your life better. I promise.
act was all over my radar for a quite a while, and
then they sort of got lost in the shuffle as 2011
came to an end. In case you missed my posts on
them last year, Waters is centered around former
Port O'Brien frontman Van Pierszalowski, and they
play the sort of sloppy, infectious pop music that's
sure to be great live. Let's hope that turns
out to be true.
features a lot of cool/trendy names, so I get that
you're ideal situation probably does not involve
tweeting out that you're currently seeing an act
called Radical Dads. However, you're just
going to have to trust me when I say you won't
regret fielding a few questions on why you'd do such
a thing. The band does 90s-style indie rock in
a fantastic fashion (as was shown on their debut
last year), and you need to experience it. So
go, and then tell all you've joined the Radical Dads
To be honest,
I'm still not entirely sold on Polica. Some of
their album is fine (if I'm in the right mood), but
I've yet to find myself wanting to spend some real
quality time with it With that being said,
they recently played here in Austin, and everyone
that went had plenty of great things to say.
So perhaps it's a better live than recorded sort of
thing with them? I'm guessing yes, but I'll
find out for sure when I make a little time to see
I tried to keep the SXSW
recommendations separate from what the staff and I
were covering throughout February and March, but to
bring our "favorable mentions" to a close I decided
that Yellow Ostrich, whoíve been frequently
mentioned around here lately, should be included.
They topped my album list last year, and their
sophomore effort is already a favorite of mine in
2012. Donít miss them, as the bandwagon will surely
be rather crowded once SXSW ends.