March 10, 2013

If I Threw a SXSW Party II (A SXSW 2013 Preview)

All sights are set on Austin, TX for the 17th annual installment of the music industry-palooza disguised as an all-inclusive festival SXSW. In the coming days, a music lover's tweet, Tumblr and Instagram feeds will likely have anyone not in attendance turning the other way as copious updates, pics and reports from the scene's badge holders inundate social media to the point that someone way out in Canada might even be feeling the Tacos Locos sponsorship upchucking its way up their system. This year's events continue drawing the biggest names in music to smaller stages (Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Depeche Mode are both confirmed; Justin Timberlake and Prince are rumored to show up on the lineup fashionably late as well,) and while those acts are sure to gain instant eyeballs, AwkwardSound is more concerned with how well its favorite up and comers fair in the heart of Texas. All of your favorite sites and writers will be putting on the guise that they're hard at work (when in actuality, the live show marathon is really just the equivalent of a indie journalist's spring break) and like last year, AwkwardSound's one-man band will be licking his chops thousands of miles away. This blog's still keeping the dream alive, however. Here's the 10 acts who are at the top of the must-see food chain, if AS threw a SXSW party...

California X

Wednesday, March 13th - Cheer Up Charlie's (1104 E. 6th St.)
Wednesday, Marth 13th - Holy Mountain (617 E. 7th St.)
Thursday, March 14th - 1100 Warehouse (1100 E. 5th St.)
Thursday, March 14th - The Brixton (1412 E. 6th St.)
Friday, March 15th - The Grackle (1700 E. 6th St.)
Friday, March 15th - Pussy Palace (4407 Ave. C)
Friday, March 15th - Trailer Space (1401 Rosewood Ave.)

From their humble beginnings as a band who just this past summer was playing rundown warehouses in Holyoke, MA (it's an eyesore of a city, believe me...) to being a part of one of Austin's biggest events in Pitchfork's Day Party, it's a pretty surreal yet proud moment for the 413 to see Amherst, MA punk chompers and BUZZsound alumni California X amongst one of SXSW's most anticipated names. Their self-titled debut's high octane reverb rock has given listeners beyond the northeast a great reason to suffer from tinnitus, and for many, SXSW will be their very first opportunity ever to do just that.

Chelsea Light Moving

Tuesday, March 12th - The Mohawk (912 Red River St.)
Wednesday, March 13th - Waterloo Records (600A N. Lamar)
Wednesday, March 13th - The Parish (214 E. 6th St.)
Thursday, March 14th - Mellow Johnny’s (400 Nueces St.)
Thursday, March 14th - Scoot Inn (1308 E. 4th St.)
Friday, March 15th - La Zona Rosa (612 West 4th St.)
Friday, March 15th - The Mohawk (912 Red River St.)

Chelsea Light Moving is Thurston Moore's considerate way of filling the void in every heart out there that's sorely missing a Sonic Youth fix, tired of his quiet solo work or disinterested in his weirdo noise jam freakouts. We recently discovered that Moore and his new ensemble of co-conspirators aren't afraid to rock hard and have fun while taking on any and all settings, so no showcase that SXSW throws toward Chelsea Light Moving's way should seem too alien to them. It's also wicked cool just to see the 54-year-old alt-rock luminary flailing away at his guitar again like he hasn't been on the scene for the past three decades or anything.


Tuesday, March 12th - Nasty's (606 Maiden Ln.)
Wednesday, March 13th - Opal Divine's (700 West 6th St.)

Onlooking music scribes should have a great time trying to figure out Brooklyn post-punk deconstructionists EULA's end game when they take the stage in Austin. Professional shape-shifters who constantly leave listeners guessing what will come next, the recent BUZZSound's electric live show led by Alyse Lamb double downing on guitars and vox might leave even the in-attendance showstopper and oft-compared Karen O wishing she'd incorporated an axe into her stage act.


March 13th - Viceland (401E Cesar Chavez)
March 14th – 1100 Warehouse (1100 E. 5th St.)
March 14th - Scoot Inn (1308 E. 4th St.)
March 15th - The Mohawk (912 Red River St.)
March 16th - Red 7 (611 E. 7th St.)

Despite all the hype and build around Tampa-based hardcore punks-turned-noise-pop act Merchandise, 2012's Best New Artist here on AwkwardSound still remain a widely sought after independent act who've yet to commit themselves to one label or another. At this stage, you have to imagine that many of the largest ones out there have probably come knocking at their door. What's different since their shaky CMJ debut last fall is the band now has a permanent drummer in Elsner NiƱo, adding some much needed stability to the mix. Recent previews of their forthcoming EP Totale Nite have thus far revealed a sonic metamorphosis as well.

Parquet Courts

Thursday, March 14th - 1100 Warehouse (1100 E. 5th St.)
Friday, March 15th - Stubb's (801 Red River St.)
Friday, March 15th - Red 7 (611 E. 7th St.)
Friday, March 15th - The Mohawk (912 Red River St.)
Saturday, March 16th - Viceland (401E Cesar Chavez)
Saturday, March 16th - Red 7 (611 E. 7th St.)

Unlike most SXSW virgins, the journey down to Austin will be a pseudo-homecoming for Parquet Courts, seeing that the Brooklyn quartet’s frontman Andrew Savage is a Texas transplant formerly of the area's experimental indie duo Fergus & Geronimo. The scratchy post-punkers’ debut album Light Up Gold has experienced a rare fete in the usually prematurely praising critical world by catching its buzz well past its original release, but its re-release this past January on What’s Your Rupture? is giving listeners a second shot at hopping on board with their high energy angular bounce.

Pissed Jeans

Thursday, March 14th - 1100 Warehouse (1100 E. 5th St.)

Pissed Jeans brand of sludgy noise rock is arguably riding on a "popularity" high at the moment, between the recent release of their Recommended fourth LP Honeys and the indie rock world's resuscitated interest in heavier sounds. The group of dads with regular jobs fronting as a punk band whenever they feel like it rarely have time to stray away from their real life responsibilities in Philly, but as was witnessed at last year's CMJ, expect frontman Matt Korvett and company to make their one and only appearance a head turner by laying every ounce of sweat to waste on the stage.


Tuesday, March 12th - Tillery Park (801 Tillery St.)
Wednesday, March 13th - Palm Door (401 Sabine St.)
Thursday, March 14th - Club DeVille (900 Red River St.)
Friday, March 14th - Spiderhouse Ballroom (2908 Fruth St.)
Friday, March 15th - Hotel Vegas (1500 6th St.)
Saturday, March 15th - Longbranch Inn (1133 E. 11th St.)

Like their Mid-Atlantic punk scene counterparts Pissed Jeans, recent BUZZSound Roomrunner take live loud physicality to the next level, even going as far as to wreck the stage in the process. Yet, unlike the aforementioned, there is no ensuing pig fuck to your eardrums -- Just really tightly wound grunge pop officiated by the band led by ex-Double Dagger drummer Danny Bowen. You probably got more than your fix of METZ last year, and with Roomrunner's forthcoming debut Ideal Cities due out on May 14th via Fan Death Records, SXSW is the time to get yourself acquainted with these dudes before their showcases next year become impossible to get into.

Sky Ferreira

Monday, March 11th - Republic Live (301 W. 5th St.)
Tuesday, March 12th - The Mohawk (912 Red River St.)
Wednesday, March 13th - The Mohawk (912 Red River St.)
Wednesday, March 13th - The Fader Fort (1101 E. 5th St.)
Thursday, March 14th - 1100 Warehouse (1100 E. 5th St.)
Friday, March 15th - Hype Hotel (3rd and San Jacinto)
Saturday, March 16th - Stubb's (801 Red River St.)

Sophisticated pop darling Sky Ferreira is everything that is right about intelligently crafted songwriting that has an accessible slant in 2013. Last year’s Ghost EP offered a promising facelift to the singer-model-actress triple threat’s career after spending way too long in major label limbo before she wisely took control of her direction and aligned herself with the likes of red hot producers Blood Orange and Jon Brion. Still in the honeymoon phase of having all eyes on her once she takes the stage, expect Ferreira to use SXSW as a vehicle to debut new material off her highly anticipated first full-length. Bonus points if you spot her palling around Austin with this dude.


Wednesday, March 13th - Stubb’s (801 Red River St.)
Wednesday, March 13th - Holy Mountain (617 E 7th St.)
Thursday, March 14th - 1100 Warehouse (1100 E. 5th St.)
Thursday, March 14th - Beerland (715 Red River St.)
Friday, March 15th - Trailer Space (1401 A Rosewood Ave.)
Saturday, March 16th - The Liberty (1618 E. 6th St.)

SXSW was originally started as a means to discover new talent (that's since gone out the door with the obligatory arena act making a one-off industry insider appearance,) but if that intention still holds true today, then Waxahatchee's timing is perfect. Just last week, the emotive indie outfit spearheaded by ex-P.S. Eliot guitarist Katie Crutchfield released its sophomore effort Cerulean Salt to highly favorable reviews across the board. Her quieter way of connecting with audiences in intimates spaces will be a great contrast to the many bands on this list whose physical presence can easily implode them.

White Lung

Wednesday, March 13th - Parish (214 E. 6th St.)
Wednesday, March 13th - Urban Outfitters Backlot (2406 Guadalupe St.)
Wednesday, March 13th - Holy Mountain (617 E. 7th St.)
Thursday, March 14th - Scoot Inn (1308 E. 4th St.)
Thursday, March 14th - 1100 Warehouse (1100 E. 5th St.)
Friday, March 15th - Gypsy Lounge (1504 E. 6th St.)
Friday, March 15th - Bar 96 (96 Rainey St.)
Friday, March 15th - The Long Center (701 W Riverside Dr.)
Saturday, March 16th - Old Emo's (Corner of 6th and 603 Red River St.)
Saturday, March 16th - The Yellow Jacket (1704 E. 5th St.)

Everybody should make room for a little devastation in their SXSW schedule, and Vancouver punks White Lung are a sure bet for that intensely physical experience. Still riding high on the critical adoration for last year's breakthrough effort Sorry, White Lung represent a great example of where moderns hardcore sits, and since the quintet's touring van rarely strays away from the Great White North / top half of the States, AS is going to bank on vocalist Mish Way putting on many, many performances (as evidenced by the long list of them.)

1 comment:

  1. michael, this is dick litman, from SG. how can i contact you through email (the only mode of communication i use/feel comfortable with)