SXSW 2014: Festival Preview
SXSW 2014: Festival Preview Extravaganza.
“RSVP here!” “Best unofficial party at SXSW!” “Free beer!” “Tacos inside!”. The twittersphere is abuzz with tweets about #SXSW. Somewhere in Austin, at this very moment, there are free beers, free tacos, and plenty of complimentary corporate advertisements; all you need to bring are your eyes and an empty stomach. Toss in some music, and the festival hits every sense. Well, not every sense, but presumably there are a few Jeffries being smoked near a furry wall on the west end.
“Complete the Quinfecta! Head to the Doritos Four-Loco Crunchwrap Supreme tent and stroke the furry wall!”
There’s a digital currency strongly influencing SXSW, and it’s not Bitcoin. I’m talking about hashtag wealth, a currency derived from an individual’s affluence with Twitter and Instagram. Fun and success at SXSW seems irrevocably linked to the size of one’s Twitter followers, and unfortunately as a ‘budding nobody’, my pockets were quite light heading into the final few weeks of preparation. Seasoned veterans tout their experience across the social universe, displaying all the confidence and swagger possible in 140 characters or less. They know the ins-and-outs, the good places to grab a piece of pizza and the great venue on the East end nobody hits up. Its an intimidating prospect, being a first time attendee and heading to a strange city by my lonesome. But whenever the stress seems to mount, I’m happily reminded by peers and loved ones that I once flew to Paris alone. Judging by the sheer size and scope of SXSW, even Mr. Magoo would would accidentally wander into the best concerts of the year, and wind up in some cuffed cargos and a pair of loafers. SXSW is the mecca of all music festivals, and as a devout and fanatical music zealot, I might collapse into a religious experience on the plane ride to paradise.
In an effort to shore up some bank, I’ve been incessantly following strangers and RSVP’ing to every whisper. The line between advertising and genuine tweeting is completely washed out, all in the name of free beer and tacos, and every band on earth. There are endless social accounts of dudes named Cameron; a slick haircut and a smart button-up, posting a bottomless list of corporate sponsored SXSW hotspots. Cameron might not even be a real person, but it doesn’t seem to matter, 12,000 other people have been feeding on his information. And if I’ve learned anything about SXSW, having a “Plan B” isn’t enough, you need the whole damned plan alphabet; luckily just a few steps away there’s a venue with a line-up you’ve never heard. It’s a win-win-win, and Austin Texas is more than accommodating.
Although the venues might be foreign, and the city in a different country (I’m a native to the True North Strong and good at hockey), the music is absolutely familiar.. and boy, is there a lot of it. For those who aren’t aware of the magnitude of SXSW, take one moment and check out the lineup. And that list doesn’t even include bands playing at ‘unofficial’ events all over the city. There are literally thousands of bands playing a handful of shows each, and a proper festival preview might approach encyclopedic length. So without any further adieu, peep these buzz bands while I pack my socks and underwear.
See you soon Texas!
(The following list comprises of my favorite song by each artist. As this is the case, the music is not necessarily ‘new’ (some of it goes back to 2004). However, it is all necessarily fantastic)
I recently wrote a post about Abram beach vibes, and he’ll surely send us swimming Thursday night (March 13th) at The Driskill.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Abram-Shook-Coastal.mp3|titles=Abram Shook – Coastal]
Abram Shook – Coastal
March 13, 9:00PM – 9:40, Victorian Room at The Driskill
BANKS is generating some serious hype after her soundcloud exploded last year. Touring with The Weeknd probably helped too. Her vibes will slot in nicely at the stroke of midnight.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/BANKS-Bedroom-Wall.mp3|titles=BANKS – Bedroom Wall]
BANKS – Bedroom Wall
March 11, 12:00 AM – 12:40 AM, Haven
March 13, 12:00 AM – 12:35 AM, Hype Hotel
Curtis Cross has been in the game for a while, and he highlights an absolutely star-studded lineup of hip-hop legends.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/BLACK-MILK-Sundays-Best-Mondays-Worst.mp3|titles=BLACK MILK – Sunday’s Best Monday’s Worst]
Black Milk – Sunday’s Best – Monday’s Worst
March 13, 12:20 AM – 12:50 AM, Half Step
Chance The Rapper
Speaking of star-studded, when it comes to rap game you don’t get any bigger than Chance the Rapper. (Well.. Kendrick Lamar will be here too). He made his album “Acid Rap” free for download many moons ago, and I’ve been enthralled ever since. Chance is currently on every single rap album being released, and he’s on the fast-track to household status.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Chance-the-Rapper-Cocoa-Butter-Kisses-ft.-Vic-Mensa-Twista.mp3|titles=Chance the Rapper – Cocoa Butter Kisses (ft. Vic Mensa & Twista)]
Chance The Rapper – Cocoa Butter Kisses (ft. Vic Mensa & Twista)
March 11, 1:00 AM – 1:50, Red 7 Patio
Chet Faker blew up this past year after collaborating with beatmaster Flume. But Chet is more than just a pretty voice, he’s also sports an incredible beard. Physical beauty aside, Chet is one hell of an artist, solo or not.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Chet-Faker-Talk-Is-Cheap.mp3|titles=Chet Faker – Talk Is Cheap]
Chet Faker – Talk is Cheap
March 12, 11:00 PM – 11:40 PM, Clive Bar
March 15, 8:00 PM – 8:45 PM, The Madison
Speaking of sex appeal, there’s no better show than funkmasters Chromeo. They’ve been dropping panties nearly ten years, and the opportunity to get intimate with these two (and the Chromettes) cannot be passed up
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Chromeo-100%.mp3|titles=Chromeo – 100%]
Chromeo – 100%
March 12, 1:00 AM – 1:45 AM, Hype Hotel
The amount of buzz is sky-high for Cleveland three-piece Cloud Nothings. Give their music all of five seconds and you’ll know why the line-up will be down the street to see them. Their new album drops on April Fools, and you’d be foolish to miss what might be one of the best shows of the whole festival.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Cloud-Nothings-Im-not-part-of-me.mp3|titles=Cloud Nothings – I’m not part of me]
Cloud Nothings – I’m Not a Part of Me
March 12, 11:00 PM – 11:40 PM, Cheer Up Charlie’s
March 13, 1:00 AM – 1:45 AM, Parish Undergrounds
Conner Youngblood is a brilliant musician. What more can be said? He’s been nestled in the corner of my iPod for a couple years, and he’s the type of artist that’ll speak to something deep down in your soul. This could be the artist who blow you away.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Conner-Youngblood-Australia.mp3|titles=Conner Youngblood – Australia]
Conner Youngblood – Australia
March 14, 9:00 PM – 9:40 PM, Mohawk Indoor
‘Erosion’ was one of my favorite songs last year, and just the type of synth-psychedelia only the UK could produce. Their new album ‘Age of Fracture’ was just released at the end of January, and the buzz is hot around the mysterious four-piece from across the sea.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Cymbals-Erosion.mp3|titles=Cymbals – Erosion]
Cymbals – Erosion
March 12, 12:00 AM – 12:40 AM, Forcefield @ Maggie Mae’s
March 13, 1:15 AM – 1:55 AM, Cheer Up Charlie’s
This is a childhood dream for yours truly. I grew up on the Gorillaz, and I remember playing their self-titled full blast in a self-made pillow fort. I’d lay on a couch cushion and draw pictures of Noodle and Murdoc, ‘Slow Country’ in the foreground. Damon, when he isn’t saving the world, is working on solo material as of late, which is what he’ll be playing. And the line at SXSW will undoubtedly be halfway to Dallas to see him and his piano.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Gorillaz-Slow-Country.mp3|titles=gorillaz – Slow Country]
gorillaz – slow country
March 12, 12:30 AM – 1:30 AM, Stubb’s
March 14, 11:00 AM – 11:40 AM, Radio Day Stage Austin Convention Center
Every year on April 1st I take a screenshot of the top 50 songs I played the most, and in one month’s time Different Sleep’s ‘Get Ahead’ will be the number one song. This song is therapy for the ears. Let Rafa Alvarez take you there.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Different-Sleep-Get-Ahead.mp3|titles=Different Sleep – Get Ahead]
Different Sleep – Get Ahead
March 15, 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Swan Dive
Dum Dum Girls
Dee Dee and her troupe of super-babes are the epitome of female-fronted rock. Their latest album “Too True” dropped back in January. and they’ve developed somewhat of a cult following. Dee Dee’s vocals ooze raw emotion, and the instrumental prowess of the whole group is exceptional.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Dum-Dum-Girls-Lord-Knows.mp3|titles=Dum Dum Girls – Lord Knows]
Dum Dum Girls – Lord Knows
March 13, 3:00 PM – 3:40 PM, Radio Day Stage Austin Convention Center
March 13, 1:10 AM – 1:50 AM, Red 7 Patio
March 14, 11:45 – 12:25 AM, The Chevrolet Courtyard at Cedar Street
The oft-nude Leanne Macomber of Neon Indian fame teamed up with Joel Ford this past year under the name ‘Ejecta’. It’s synth pop at it’s absolute finest, and the musicverse better keep it’s eyes open for Ejecta this coming year. More than a collection of female reproductive gibbly-bits.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Ejecta-Its-Only-Love.mp3|titles=Ejecta – It’s Only Love]
Ejecta – It’s Only Love
March 13, 8:00 PM – 8:30 PM, Hype Hotel
I remember reading an interview with Empress Of where she claimed she wanted to reinvent pop music, and her EP ‘Systems’ was a noticeable entry into the synth pop genre. ‘Hat Trick’ came out just over a year ago and still shines like polished glass. Empress Of seems bound to blowup soon.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Empress-Of-Hat-Trick.mp3|titles=Empress Of – Hat Trick]
Empress Of – Hat Trick
March 13, 9:00 PM – 9:40 PM, Cheer Up Charlie’s
March 15, 8:30 PM – 9:10 PM, Elysium
Brooklyn two-piece Ghost Beach has been making waves with their high-octane synth-ballads. I belt out ‘Moon Over Japan’ on my way to work, and believe me, I hit all the high notes.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Ghost-Beach-Moon-Over-Japan.mp3|titles=Ghost Beach – Moon Over Japan]
Ghost Beach – Moon Over Japan
March 14, 12:00 AM – 12:40 AM, Magggie Mae’s Rooftop
Charlie is, without a doubt, my favorite artist in the past few months. He recently remixed The Dream’s “Love/Hate” LP, and there’s nobody else in the world as smooth at sample-pop as Giraffage. His music is pure sex, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a spontaneous orgy broke out on the dancefloor. This is one show you absolutely cannot miss.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Giraffage-I-Luv-Your-Girl.mp3|titles=Giraffage – I Luv Your Girl]
Giraffage – I Luv Your Girl
March 14, 10:00 PM – 10:40 PM, Haven
March 15, 1:00 AM – 1:50 AM, Empire Control Room
Glass Animals is an eclectic group starting to gain some real traction on the blogosphere. It’s hard to categorize their music, each song seems to pay homage to different artist. This particular one reminds me quite a bit of Maynard James Keenan’s work under Puscifer (only significantly more polished). The four-piece is known for utilizing all kinds of sounds (ala Royal Canoe), and the result is heavenly.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Glass-Animals-Psylla.mp3|titles=Glass Animals – Psylla]
Glass Animals – Psylla
March 11, 9:30 PM – 9:55 PM, Haven
March 12, 8:00 PM – 8:40 PM, Haven
I absolutely adore HAERTS, the soaring vocals, the atmospheric brilliance and the heavy synth influence. Should be a great show with a decent crowd
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/HAERTS-Wings.mp3|titles=HAERTS – Wings]
HAERTS – Wings
March 13, 9:20 PM – 10:00 PM, Banger’s
March 15, 10:25 PM – 11:00 PM, Empire Garage
Hieroglyphics/Souls of Mischief
This one is special to me. One of the first rap artists I ever got into was Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, and his hip-hop supergroup Hieroglyphics was the only thing I listened to in 10th grade. I’m an absolutely enormous fan of their work, and the opportunity to see them together is a dream come true. Not much more to say here, I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about it.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Hieroglyphics-Oakland-Blackouts1.mp3|titles=Hieroglyphics – Oakland Blackouts]
Hieroglyphics – Oakland Blackouts
March 13, 1:00 AM – 2:00 AM, Half Step
March 14, 12:00 AM – 12:40 AM, Holy Mountain
I’ve been sweet on Aussie two-piece High Highs for a few years, and they’re now practically SXSW veterans. From interviews I’ve seen, these two gents seem almost as chill as their music (which is hard to beat). They’ve been stealing the show in Austin, and if you’re looking to relax to some slick production and keys, this is your show.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/High-Highs-Flowers-Bloom1.mp3|titles=High Highs – Flowers Bloom]
High Highs – Flowers Bloom
March 14, 10:00 PM – 10:40 PM, Speakeasy Kabaret
I had the opportunity to see Hundred Waters at last year’s Sasquatch, but apparently 1:00 PM was ‘too early’ to rouse any of my festival mates. Luckily i’ll get the opportunity to redeem myself this year. The song ‘Boreal’ is absolutely beautiful; lyrically and melodically. I’m not familiar with much of their work, but if it’s anything like this song their set is going to be star-spangled.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Hundred-Waters-Boreal1.mp3|titles=Hundred Waters – Boreal]
Hundred Waters – Boreal
March 14, 9:00 PM – 9:30 PM, Central Presbyterian Church
Kurt is my hero. I had the pleasure of meeting him after his set this past year at Calgary Folk Fest, and I might botch my coverage of other bands just to see every show he plays. If Kurt asks me to be a groupie after the show, i’m probably leaving. Say bye to my mom for me.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Kurt-Vile-Wakin-on-a-Pretty-Day1.mp3|titles=Kurt Vile – Wakin on a Pretty Day]
Kurt Vile – Wakin On A Pretty Day
March 12, 12:00 AM – 1:00 AM, Cheer Up Charlie’s
March 13, 10:00 PM – 10:40 PM, Clive Bar
March 13, 12:50 AM – 1:30 AM, Red 7
Norwegian electro duo Lemaitre have been spinning since 2010, and their music is absolutely unique. They hit number #1 on the electro charts two years ago, and are a definite standout in an SXSW lineup jam-packed with synthetic talent.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Lemaitre-Excuse-Me1.mp3|titles=Lemaitre – Excuse Me]
Lemaitre – Excuse Me
March 11, 10:00 PM – 10:40 PM, Yahoo’s Brazos Hall
March 12, 11:20 PM – 12:00 AM, Parish
March 14, 12:00 AM – 12:40 AM, Lustre Pearl
Strong voice, strong presence, strong song. London Grammar will be making the festival rounds all season. Their debut album “If you Wait” was a smash success, drawing comparisons to powerful female heavyweights Florence and Lana Del Rey. The line-up will be big to see this English three-piece.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/London-Grammar-Strong.mp3|titles=London Grammar – Strong]
London Grammar – Strong
March 11, 7:30 PM – 8:00 PM, ACL Live at the Moody Theatre
March 13, 1:00 AM – 1:45 AM, Hype Hotel
March 14, 10:00 PM – 10:40 PM, Stubb’s
Misun is an absolutely gorgeous three(four)-piece from DC. They effortless blend elements of swingpop and “spaghetti western”, all within their own self-proclaimed genre “Aquawave”. They’re bound to put on a polished performance, and I can’t wait to bounce to ‘Hills and Trails’. It’s my go-to jam on my way to work.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Misun-Hills-and-Trails1.mp3|titles=Misun – Hills and Trails]
Misun – Hills and Trails
March 11, 10:00 PM – 10:40 PM, Lit Lounge
March 15, 11:00 PM – 11:40 PM, Soho Lounge
Mutual Benefit had one of last year’s strongest albums, and for those of us who like to lay in bed and think about pretty girls we’ll never date, Mutual Benefit has our back. Absolute gorgeous tunes from this one-man music machine Jordan Lee. Imagine this dude as one of your artsy friends who likes to play music in your living room while ten of your closest friends sit huddled in a circle. It’s intimate stuff, seething with emotion and personal reflection, and will undoubtedly be one of the most popular shows at SXSW this year.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Mutual-Benefit-Advanced-Falconry.mp3|titles=Mutual Benefit – Advanced Falconry]
Mutual Benefit – Advanced Falconry
March 12, 11:00 PM – 11:35 PM, Hype Hotel
I accidentally stumbled upon mr. Gnome last year when I was wandering across that ‘weird part of youtube’ where the music gets significantly better. I’ve been a huge fan ever since, and I was as stoked as a bicycle to learn they’d be headed to SXSW this year. I read somewhere that the duo had been friends for some time, working behind the scenes as technicians for the porn industry. It’s a fabulous backstory, and cool context to their dirty synthetic psychedelia.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Mr.-Gnome-The-Way.mp3|titles=Mr. Gnome – The Way]
Mr. Gnome – The Way
March 12, 1:00 AM – 1:50 AM, Javelina
March 13, 8:00 PM – 8:40 PM, Rowdys Saloon
Danish superstar Nabiha is probably one of the most known names in pop music in my homeland. As a man of nordic origin, I feel a special bond with her, and although the only song of hers I own is her smash hit ‘You’ from her first album ‘Cracks’, she’s bound to put on a hell of a performance.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Nabiha-You.mp3|titles=Nabiha – You]
Nabiha – You
March 15, 11:00 PM – 11:40 PM, The Iron Bear
Oberhofer gained international acclaim after touring with industry heavyweights Matt and Kim for nearly two years. Lead singer Brad Oberhofer has a revolving door of talent helping to bring his music to the live stage, and his style is a throwback to the hazy, beachy pre-punk acts of the 60’s and 70’s. Brad is an eclectic dude, just three minutes on his facebook page will leave you in stitches, and his show will undoubtedly shine with his abstract sense of humor.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Oberhofer-Gotta-Go.mp3|titles=Oberhofer – Gotta Go]
Oberhofer – Gotta Go
March 15, 10:00 PM – 10:30 PM, Parish
After sitting atop the Hype Machine’s charts for a number of days, Panama are poised to take the leap from a small following to superstardom. Their heavily 80’s influenced sound gleams like neon, and their performance at SXSW will surely turn heads. Hike those leg warmers up to knee-length and don’t miss these guys.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Panama-Destroyer.mp3|titles=Panama – Destroyer]
Panama – Destroyer
March 15, 9:00 PM – 9:30 PM, The Madison
Phantogram is quickly becoming one of the biggest names headed to SXSW. It’s hard to believe their first album ‘Eyelid Movies’ came out five years ago (Protip: 2009 was now five years ago. Proceed to feel old). They’re fresh off their second full length, ‘Voices’, and will undoubtedly be making the rounds at every festival in North America. This Greenwich duo is BUSY, and chances are you’ll be able to see them three or four times this year just down the street. Gotta be the hardest working band in the biz, and the show will be packed to the roof.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Phantogram-Bill-Murray.mp3|titles=Phantogram – Bill Murray]
Phantogram – Bill Murray
March 14, 2:00 PM – 2:40 PM, Radio Day Stage Austin Convention Centre
People Under the Stairs
I first heard hip-hop group People Under the Stairs about two years ago, and ever since their song ‘Acid Raindrops’ has been a bit of a personal anthem for me. In times of stress, they always seem to pop up on my shuffle, and the result is meditative bliss. Whoever said hip-hop can’t preach about non-violence? Fuck Will Smith. You don’t have to slap a ‘G’ rating on rap to make it peaceful. Of course, not all their music is as pleasant, but Thes One and Double K are all about positive vibrations.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/People-Under-the-Stairs-Acid-Raindrops.mp3|titles=People Under the Stairs – Acid Raindrops]
People Under the Stairs – Acid Raindrops
March 13, 9:00 PM – 9:40 PM, The Gatsby
Prince Paul is an absolute legend, producing albums with superstars Big Daddy Kane, Queen Latifah, Xzibit, Kool Keith, Cypress Hill, Gravediggaz, MF DOOM and many others. It’s impossible to talk about hip-hop production and not mention his highness, and at age 46 Prince Paul is absolute royalty. I’m not entirely sure what music he’ll be showcasing at SXSW, but my favorite project Prince Paul had his hands on was ‘Handsome Boy Modeling School’. A hip-hop amalgamation in the early 2000’s, Paul collaborated with another one of my heroes, Dan the Automator, and pumped out two albums satirizing the upper class, mostly building off an obscure episode of Chris Elliot’s brief 90’s television show ‘Get a Life’. It’s obscure material, but absolutely hilarious. And this song, ‘Rock and Roll (Part 2)’ served as an interlude on their second album. You can hear the absolutely chaotic nature of the concept (where the hell does Linkin Park come from?). Be sure to check out his showcase and meet a legend.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Handsome-Boy-Modeling-School-Rock-N-Roll-Part-2.mp3|titles=Handsome Boy Modeling School – Rock N’ Roll (Part 2)]
Handsome Boy Modeling School – Rock and Roll (Could Never Hip Hop Like This) Part 2 (feat. Mike Shinoda & Chester bennington of Linkin Park, Finesse, Jazzy Jay, Grand Wizard Theodore)
March 15, 11:50 PM – 12:30 AM, The North Door
New Jersey five-piece Real Estate is perhaps one of the biggest indie rock bands in the world. They’re fresh off their third LP (released literally four days ago to widespread critical acclaim), and there’s really not much more to say. These guys are absolute giants. This will be one of the biggest shows of the festival that isn’t under a giant iTunes banner. Check out their later shows and show up about ten minutes early, chances are all the seasoned music vets will be too tired and ornery to stay up past 1 AM.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Real-Estate-Its-Real.mp3|titles=Real Estate – It’s Real]
Real Estate – It’s Real
March 13, 4:00 PM – 4:40 PM, Radio Day Stage Austin Convention Center
March 13, 12:30 AM – 1:10 AM, Bar 96
March 14, 1:00 – 2:00 AM, Central Presbyterian Church
Roadkill Ghost Choir
Folk six-piece Roadkill Ghost Choir are set to release some new material off the height of their first huge EP, “Quiet Light”. ‘Beggars Guild’ opens the album with subtle brilliance, and the vocals of Andrew Shephard will literally scare the bejesus out of you. Without a very strong showing of folk artists this year, Roadkill Ghost Choir will surely make some down-home noise.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Roadkill-Ghost-Choir-Beggars-Guild.mp3|titles=Roadkill Ghost Choir – Beggars’ Guild]
Roadkill Ghost Choir – Beggars’ Guild
March 13, 11:00 PM – 11:40 PM, Blackheart
Sam Smith is the smoothest thing since machine-sliced bread, and he’s practically a world-wide celebrity. His album comes out this coming May, and don’t be surprised if you hear Sam propel to the mainstream world of radio and uberstardom. If I could place a sports bet on this guy becoming incredibly famous this next year, i’d take every dime I had and put it on his name. You must not miss this show.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Sam-Smith-Money-On-My-Mind.mp3|titles=Sam Smith – Money On My Mind]
Sam Smith – Money on my Mind
March 12, 11:00 PM – 11:40 PM, Haven
March 14, 11:45 PM – 12:25 AM, St David’s Historic Sanctuary
Representing Montreal, not much is known about ambient-pop band Seoul. ‘Stay with us’ wound up with hundreds of thousands of listens on Soundcloud, and they might be one mystery worth exploring.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Seoul-Stay-With-Us.mp3|titles=Seoul – Stay With Us]
Seoul – Stay With Us
March 14, 7:45 PM – 8:20 PM, The Velveeta Room
St. Vincent has to be one of the coolest individuals alive. Every once in a while we see the emergence of a completely eclectic and unique personality. Along a similar road paved by the likes of Lady Gaga and Grimes, St. Vincent has solidified herself as one of pop music’s premier artists. St. Vincent has had plenty of practice at her craft pumping out EP’s and full lengths for eight years, and her latest self-titled album is literally the biggest thing on the planet right now. This show probably has people camped out days in advance. Perhaps the biggest performance outside the much maligned iTunes fest.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/St.-Vincent-Birth-In-Reverse.mp3|titles=St. Vincent – Birth In Reverse]
St. Vincent – Birth in Reverse
March 12, 11:00 PM – 12:00 AM, Stubb’s
Set to release their first LP in May, duo Sylvan Esso is the pet-project of Amelia Randall Meath and electro producer Nick Sanborn. As one of the newest acts this year, Sylvan Esso is sure to turn some heads and see a spike in hype once us blogosphere maniacs get a hold of their music. And what better location than Hype Hotel?
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Sylvan-Esso-Coffee.mp3|titles=Sylvan Esso – Coffee]
Sylvan Esso – Coffee
March 12, 8:00 PM – 8:35 PM, Hype Hotel
March 12, 12:00 AM – 12:40 AM, Holy Mountain
March 13, 7:45 PM – 8:25 PM, The Chevrolet Courtyard at Cedar Street
The 1975 are, without a doubt, my favorite pop band. Their self-titled came out last September, and has since generated MILLIONS of views on YouTube. I’ve already bought tickets to catch them in Calgary on April 29th, and their boyish charms are sure to send bloggers and fans swooning at SXSW. This show will be massive, and regardless of the line I won’t be missing it.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/The-1975-Sex.mp3|titles=The 1975 – Sex]
The 1975 – Sex
March 15, 12:30 AM – 1:30 AM, Stubb’s
The Barr Brothers
The two folk bands featured coincidentally wrote hits with the word “Beggar” in the title, but that’s about all Roadkill Ghost Choir and The Barr Brothers have in common. Oh. And they both consist of brothers… well now.. regardless of the minute similarities, The Barr Brothers are a beautiful Canadian quartet out of Montreal. For those of you who’d like to chill and would prefer a shot of wheatgrass instead of barley beer, this show is for you.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/The-Barr-Brothers-Beggar-In-The-Morning.mp3|titles=The Barr Brothers – Beggar In The Morning]
The Barr Brothers – Beggar in the Morning
March 13, 8:00 PM – 8:40 PM, Lamberts
March 13, 12:00 AM – 12:40 AM, St David’s Bethell Hall
The Kite String Tangle
The Kite String Tangle is one of the many acts from Australia this year, and part of an exploding electronic scene from down under consisting of artists Active Child, Japanese Wallpaper, and Oliver Tank. Danny Harley is a brilliant musician, and should put on one of the best shows of the festival.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/The-Kite-String-Tangle-Given-The-Chance.mp3|titles=The Kite String Tangle – Given The Chance]
The Kite String Tangle – Given the Chance
March 15, 9:00 PM – 9:30 PM, Parish
I once described Tennis to a friend as “Gwen Stefani if she didn’t sell out and make all that stupid shitty Harajuku girl bullshit”. But that’s probably not even a fair comparison, considering these two love-birds are far superior to anything Stefani made. (There’s No Doubt about it.. sorry). Their latest EP ‘Small Sound’ has been making the rounds for a few months, and they’re one of the better pop acts of SXSW. (I should mention that their official bio says quote “3 people are in our band”, presumably the third-wheel would be their drummer)
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Tennis-Mean-Streets.mp3|titles=Tennis – Mean Streets]
Tennis – Mean Streets
March 12, 2:00 PM – 2:40 PM, Radio Day Stage Austin Convention Centre
March 13, 11:00 PM – 11:40 PM, Buffalo Billiards
March 14, 10:45 – 11:25 PM, St David’s Historic Sanctuary
Vancouver Sleep Clinic
On the subject of Aussie electro stars, 17-year old Tim Bettinson is two days away from releasing his ‘Winter’ EP. His vocals soar, drawing heavy comparisons to indie-God Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame, and Bettinson is undoubtedly the most talented youngster you’ll see at SXSW. I’m not sure what they put in the water in Australia/New Zealand, but they keep pumping out absolutely phenomenal acts all under the age of 18 (Lorde anyone?). Probably has something to do with all the murderous creatures, only the strong survive and produce music.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Vancouver-Sleep-Clinic-Vapour.mp3|titles=Vancouver Sleep Clinic – Vapour]
Vancouver Sleep Clinic – Vapour
March 13, 8:30 PM – 9:10 PM, Swan Dive
March 15, 11:00 PM – 11:40 PM, Maggie Mae’s Rooftop
Ernest Greene remains as one of my favorite artists i’ve yet to see, but all of that will change next week. I’ve been a massive fan of Washed Out since his first EP, and the moment I heard ‘Feel it All Around’ my life changed. This was the song that single-handedly got me into music blogging, and into the Hype Machine. I owe almost everything to this band, and this will be a show I will not miss for the life of me. The king of chillwave released his perfume-scented floral soundscape ‘Paracosm’ back in August, and it’s been on loop ever since. Check him out at SXSW, or if you’re headed to Sasquatch in May, be sure to catch some rays at the gorge and chill with Washed Out.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Washed-Out-Dont-Give-Up.mp3|titles=Washed Out – Don’t Give Up]
Washed Out – Don’t Give Up
March 14, 7:00 PM – 7:40 PM, Butler Park Stage Lady Bird Lake
March 14, 12:30 AM – 1:10 AM, Bar 96
March 15, 1:00 AM – 1:45 AM, Hype Hotel
We Were Promised Jetpacks
Ever since the release of their first album, ‘These Four Walls’, We Were Promised Jetpacks has been my favorite rock band. Words cannot express my excitement to catch these gents, i’ve been a rabid fan for five years, and Adam Thompson will blow everyone away with his titanic vocals. This show will surely level city blocks. I’m as giddy as a Scottish school-lass.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/We-Were-Promised-Jetpacks-Ships-With-Holes-Will-Sink.mp3|titles=We Were Promised Jetpacks – Ships With Holes Will Sink]
We Were Promised Jetpacks – Ships With Holes Will Sink
March 13, 1:00 AM – 1:40 AM, Holy Mountain Backyard
March 14, 12:00 AM – 12:40 AM, Latitude 30
Hometown heroes Wild Child are fresh off being crowned the “Best indie band” and “best folk band” of 2013’s SXSW festival. They’re a charming duo, weaving their stories together with clever asides, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they’re both singing about one another. It’s music you might want to listen to if you just got married and bought a tiny run-down house in an old community. Heartwarming, heartwrenching, and heartfelt. This show will be special.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Wild-Child-Pillow-Talk.mp3|titles=Wild Child – Pillow Talk]
Wild Child – Pillow Talk
March 11, 12:45 – 1:45 AM, The Main II
March 15, 1:00 AM – 1:50 AM, Dirty Dog Bar
Quitely, Wye Oak has become one of the biggest bands in the indie folk world. Set to release their fourth album ‘Shriek’ on April 29th, they’re bound to make some noise on their North American tour this spring and summer. The song i’ve chosen is off their sophomore release, ‘The Knot’. Although their sound has ‘spiraled’ towards the more synthetic, ‘Mary is Mary’ remains one of the most powerful songs i’ve ever heard. I’m a rabid fan, and Wye Oak is one of my top 5 ‘must-see’s’ of SXSW.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Wye-Oak-Mary-Is-Mary.mp3|titles=Wye Oak – Mary Is Mary]
Wye Oak – Mary Is Mary
March 13, 11:45 PM – 12:25 AM, Parish
‘Solar Laws’ is one of my favorite songs of the year thusfar, and small-town two-piece Yellerkin are one of the many artists flying under the radar. They’re banjo-infused brilliance can be caught at The Beehive party at Cheer up Charlie’s on Saturday (an event headlined by a bunch of aforementioned artists). Remember when a wise man once said “Never miss the opening acts”, Yellerkin is exactly the type of band that old bastard was touting. Radical tunes from two radical dudes.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Yellerkin-Solar-Laws.mp3|titles=Yellerkin – Solar Laws]
Yellerkin – Solar Laws
March 15, 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM, Cheer up Charlie’s
And finally, representing the Brookyln indie-rock scene, we have Yellow Ostrich. Since 2009 they’ve managed to sneak their way onto my iPod without much notice, but I can’t be ignorant of these gents any longer. Their latest album ‘Cosmos’ is available all over the internet, and i’m pretty stoked to catch them live and finally put a face to the music i’ve been hearing for years.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Yellow-Ostrich-Shades.mp3|titles=Yellow Ostrich – Shades]
Yellow Ostrich – Shades
March 12, 9:00 PM – 9:40 PM, Maggie Mae’s
Phew! We made it! Needless to say, my blood has been pumping for every word of this article, and I’ve never embarked on a journey more monumental in my life. This will surely be one of the greatest weeks of my life, and all of it has been made possible by the amazing folks down in Austin organizing this massive event. Before I head off, I leave you with a few parting shots of wisdom.
The dates of the shows provided were simply those made available on SXSW social, and in no way represent the exhaustive set-times of each artists. If there’s a particular band you’re dying to see, the best approach is to check their facebook account. Almost every artist will be playing a show a day, sometimes multiple shows, and the best way to catch them without a crowd is to keep your ears to the rails via social networking. Also, there are plenty of bands I would’ve loved to feature in this article (SOHN, Small Black, French Horn Rebellion to name a few), and in no way does this piece represent even a small portion of the talent playing this coming week. Nevermind giants like Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent and Willie Nelson.. the list goes on and on.
So, my dear friends, thanks for reading and thanks for showing your support for the gang here at The New LoFi. This year will be the biggest in our history, and i’m one early plane ride away from my destiny. Wish me luck, and keep up to date with live posts via our instagram and twitter feed
– Fresno Enzo