FT5: SXSW Bands I Have To See

What’s that ya say?  SXSW is almost upon us?  Get the F*** out!  With our fancy little music festival we call SXSW coming up in March, I wanted to take a quick look at some of the bands I just gotta see during the upcoming week.  Now obviously I had to stick to a few strict rules here.  For starters, the band has to be one I haven’t seen before.  Two, it has to actually be possible to see the band (sorry STP & Band of Horses).  Three, the band needs to be fairly new with high praises coming from us and others.  I’d say that about does it.  These are bands on the verge of breaking it big in the national scene.  Will they have what it takes to impress me and the snobby Austin music scene with their live shows?  Only time will tell…  Follow the jump for my full list of bands I’ll be waiting in line to see during SXSW.


5. Warpaint

This is the band on my list that I’ve goofed on a few times when they’ve come to Austin.  Apparently they wooed some Austinites at SXSW last year, they recently made a stop at Emo’s in October, AND they played Wednesday night with Akron/Family at the Parish.  I couldn’t make it out to any of these shows… Boy is my face red.  These ladies have been tearing up the local and national blogosphere media since their workaholic attitude at SXSW & CMJ in 2009.  Some have been quick to label them the next Cat Power, but I think they can bring the rock in a much heavier way (no offense Chan, I still loves you).  Check out their myspace page for some SXSW shows already anounced.


4. Local Natives

California band Local Natives have put out easily one of my top 5 records of the year so they have to be on this list.  This band also made a stop in Austin during last years SXSW and played tons of shows, but I yet again missed them.  From what I hear & read online, Local Natives are just about as legit as comes when speaking about their live shows.  The passion, energy, and sometimes spot on harmonies supposedly translate incredibly well in the live setting.  If you have yet to pick up their new album Gorilla Manor, do so now before I have to really get mad.  A few dates for these guys can also be found via myspace.


3. Surf City

What is this?  Shameless self-promotion from ATH!?  Never I tell you!  You can cry foul if you want jerk faces, but myself and fellow ATH crew members have been about this band for a long time.  The hype really started building behind this band in 2008 when they released their critically acclaimed debut self-titled EP.  Lots of local media, along with bigger sites like P4K and The Gum, jumped on the release and labeled these guys the next big thing.  Since then however the band has been relatively quiet as they work on their debut Long Player out sometime this year.  If you dig these New Zeland boys, head out to our free showcase on Thursday for a chance to catch their sure to be rockin’ live show.


2. Free Energy

This 70s classic rock throwback band have only been around for a year or less after the demise of their old band Hockey Night.  The buzz for Free Energy really began after some stellar live shows at CMJ last year and some solid singles/videos dropping recently.  It also doesn’t hurt that their upcoming LP out in two weeks, Stuck On Nothing, was produced by legendary LCD Soundsystem front man James Murphy. From my research and memory, they’ve never been to our little town so this should be a great opportunity to check them out.  Daytrotter also has some live MP3s if you want to preview what they bring to the table.  Myspace has a couple of their SXSW shows listed.


1. Surfer Blood

Ah, with all these “surfin” bands, one might start getting a little confused about who you really need to see during SXSW.  Just to distinguish, Surf CITY are a band from New Zealand who have yet to release an LP and have never been stateside (to my knowledge anyway).  Surfer BLOOD on the other hand are a Florida band currently touring and building hype behind their outtasite debut LP Astrocast.  Festival goers at CMJ say this band worked their asses off and built a name for themselves by face melting crowd members during live shows.  I have no doubt that this is my numero uno band to see this year at SXSW.  They are again playing numerous shows all over town so catching them at some point shouldn’t be a problem.


Obviously some of these bands have already made a pretty big name for themselves outside of Austin, but we’ll just see about that…  Let’s hope these bands rock my face off.  Who are you dying to see during the SXSW music week?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.