SXSW Awards – 2018

Your friendly neighborhood ATH staff members have emerged from SXSW week and I think we’re all finally ready to reminiscence on what transpired. As we’ve done in the past, it seems like a perfect time to hand out some awards for the festival with superlatives that we made up like 5 minutes ago. Keep in mind we saw a lot of bands, had a bit to drink, and ventured out to more venues than we can possibly remember. So buckle up, hit the jump and see who we deemed worthy and deserving of our very prestigious awards.

Notes from each team member are listed by their name/nickname.

Top 5 Overall Bands


  1. Suburban Living – I saw this band twice and loved it both times.
  2. Holy Motors – Brood so hard.
  3. Death Bells – Cold Cave who?
  4. Scooterbabe – A modern day version of Christie Front Drive
  5. Omni – Bass lines no one can compete with


  1. RVG – Like watching the Cure in a club setting.
  2. Shame – You can’t get energy like that anywhere else.
  3. Strawberry Runners – Can I get an LP already?
  4. Hater – The hype is real. Pop music is good.
  5. Why Bonnie – Local band makes big sound.


  1. RVG – Too much honesty and personalization is a good thing.
  2. Touts – Into your life, some punk must fall. Spit, anger, humor.
  3. The Foreign Resort – My favorite post punk in recent years.
  4. Ought – Getting stronger as a “festival” band. Loved the new grooves.
  5. De Lux – Smooth groove oriented party jams.

Best Overall Venue

RayRay: Barracuda – Sound was much better here than many other venues and felt less crowded.

Nathan: Beerland – Sure, not always been my favorite place, but the changes made have vastly improved the venue. Not to mention that the crowd size never swells beyond enjoyable.

Brian: Cheer Up – It got crowded, but not impossible to move, friendly staff, spaces to escape noise and chill, only one wonky soundcheck, parachute.

Best Performer(s)

RayRay: Shame – “Remember this is entertainment, put a smile on your face and don’t take it so fucking seriously” – Charlie Steen (vocalist)

Nathan: Romy Vager (of RVG) – Seeing her three times wasn’t enough.

Brian: Stephen Svacina of Missing Pages – Bit of a swan song, but guitars off shoulder, eyes wide and vocal chords stretched. ATX will miss you.

Band I Loved but Knew Nothing About

RayRay: Hot Flash Heat Wave – Was at a backyard party to see another band and left more impressed with these guys.

Nathan: Surfbort – Old school punk styling with a singer that couldn’t have been having more fun.

Brian: Touts – One of those lovely band before the band you are there to see moments.

Best Local

RayRay: Glaze – So loud, so shoe gaze, so good.

Nathan: I can’t say bands on ATH Records, cuz, nepotism. So see above, Why Bonnie killed it.

Brian I can say bands on ATH Records, cuz, why not? All so good. But a tip of the cap to Glaze, too. Also, BLXPLTN was shear power.

Band That Fell Short of the Hype

RayRay: Sloppy Jane – Maybe I would have a different view if it at least sounded decent, but it did not. I cannot support taking your clothes off as entertainment.

Nathan: Soccer Mommy – The songs are good on the record, but the performance was anything but interesting.

Brian: Wye Oak – This is fairly venue related, Scoot Inn had horrible light (despite for the potential of amazing light) and something was just off for me.

WTF Moment

RayRay: Witnessing 15 cops shutting down the She Shreds show. Does it really take this many of you guys to stand around and do nothing? APD and code enforcement clearly had some hidden agendas last week targeting certain parties/venues while leaving other (over capacity) places alone.

Nathan: Really, it was the International Day Stage. Sounded great, and huge room, but for like 20 people who came to adore Say Sue Me. I feel like SXSW could open up this event/bands to more than just badge holders, as the music surely deserved it.

Brian: It was SHITKID for me. WTF, why not go see a band called SHITKID? WTF is this? WTF made them think they should be a band? WTF is wrong with a little groovy punk attitude from some kids from Sweden. WTF, I love this…

Wildcard Award #1

RayRay: “Best Stage Sound” – International Day Stage @ The Convention Center – The three of us caught Say Sue Me on this stage and man it was killer. Best money can buy.

Wildcard Award #2

RayRay: “Best New Sports Bar” –Revelry – The crew stopped in here for both soccer and basketball. Maybe the only spot that wasn’t charging SXSW surcharges.

Wildcard Award #3

Nathan: “Best Day” – Saturday is usually a grind, but I found myself at the Aussies in Austin day party over at Gingerman. Was a little worried it might get crazy, being St. Patrick’s Day, but was a relaxed vibe with great music from the likes of Stella Donnelly, RVG and Totally Mild.

Wildcard Award #4

Brian: “Worst Venue” – I know it is a prime location for SxSW, but seriously, Headhunters Metal and Lace 720 Club is a stripped down hot mess with a rotting tinder box of a back deck. They had no clue as to how SxSW worked. Struggle.

Wildcard Award #5

Brian: “Strangest Development” – Permitted occupancy at Sidewinder has been knocked backwards quite a bit. The venue will need to remedy some safety concerns. According to our reporting, the occupancy number was established based on a 2008 temporary permit that has not been challenged or reviewed since. It can be remedied, it needs to be remedied.

Wildcard Award #6

Brian: “Best Visiting Nationality” – I gotta hand it to the Scots. They see their bands, they see all the bands. They drink, they smile, they are generous… Honorary Austinites in my book, the whole lot.

Wildcard Award #7

Brian: “Hero We Deserve” – Dude in the hammock behind Sidewinder, I salute you.

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