SXSW 2015 Music Tips

It’s SXSW time and the months of preparing are now coming together oh so nicely! There are many friendly people sharing tips on twitter and music blogs that definitely should not be ignored. While I’m going on my 7th SXSW, it would have been nice to have tips at the very beginning. I’ve learned lots over the years, through trial and error and watching others mistakes. Here are a few more tips that I haven’t seen floating around.

Check out my 2011 and 2014 tips for the SXSW music portion too. See you there!

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1 :: Eat a hearty breakfast (or lunch depending on your wake-up time) to start the day. More days than not, breakfast is the only meal consumed as running around doesn’t lend much time to stop and eat. Also, a good breakfast base is key for the day and night of drinking ahead. I do carry almonds in my bag to get me through until a random taco truck appears.

2 :: Be prepared with stuff you foresee needing. A jacket for the bipolar Texas weather, sunscreen to keep those tattoos bright, and travel Kleenex for the ladies. I don’t think toilet paper exists at SXSW.

3 :: Watch your drinks. You don’t want to be slipped something unpleasant. It happened to me once (not at SXSW) and sucks big time.

4 :: Earplugs! EarPLUGS! EARPLUGS! I’ve been into live music for over half my existence and just started wearing earplugs in my early 30’s. Protect your hearing now, kids! [end of PSA]

5 :: I state this a lot, but here goes again… do not see the huge acts! This is one of the reasons why I avoid Fader Fort and stages shaped like vending machines like the plague.

6 :: Be weird and have fun. Follow Bill Murray into that elevator. Hang out with those DJs in the park at 3am. Flirt with that door guy to get into a badge only showcase. Make forever friends. Whatever.

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All photos by Annie ~ more photos here

SXSW 2015 Music Selections, part 3 :: Seattle

I love seeing Seattle bands make the trek down to Austin for SXSW. Here are a handful of my local favorites that you should check out!

Hey Marseilles, La Luz, Manatee Commune, Motopony, Odesza, THEESatisfaction

 

 

 

SXSW 2015 Music Selections, part 2

While checking out almost all of the showcasing artists, sometimes you stumble on a great 80’s glam-metal band from South Korea that you put on your SXSW list purely just to see to believe… Victim Mentality.

SXSW 2015 Music Selections, part 1

It’s that time of year! We have been listening and enjoying fresh new bands since the first lineup announcements last Fall. This is only a handful of the bands in our ‘yes’ column. If you enjoy the artists, be sure to check em out at SXSW or touring in your town soon. Adding more artists daily, or when I remember!

 

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SXSW 2014 :: SXSW 2012 :: SXSW 2011

Music Monday: Team Me

teammeTeam Me

Local artist to: Elverum Norway

RIYL: Freelance Whales, Grouplove, Highasakite, Indie Pop

Another score for the SXSW scouting as this show was on a cheerful rooftop on 6th Street and was one of my favorite performances of the week. Team Me is a pop band from Norway. Their 2011 debut album To the Treetops! won the Norwegian Grammy Awards in 2011 for “Best Pop Group of the Year.” They have performed at music festivals from Iceland Airwaves to the Great Escape Fest and more in between. The group is currently recording their second album, which hopefully will be released in 2014. With a new album, I hope another US tour is included! -Annie

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listen & like & love

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Music Monday: Motopony

Music Monday: He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister

Music Monday: The Melodic

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The Melodic

Local artist to: United Kingdom

RIYL: Tunng, Simon & Garfunkel, Indie-pop, Folk

This quietly refreshing group from across the pond got my attention before SXSW but time was not on our side during the crazy-packed festival. However they played a sweet little set at The Sunset Tavern in Seattle a month later and on my birthday! Months later, I still haven’t put this lovely album to bed yet. Nor do I plan to anytime soon!

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listenlike & love

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Music Monday: Balthazar

Music Monday: The Robot Heart

SXSW 2014 Recap

This post is dedicated to those lives lost: DeAndre Tatum, Sandy Le, Jamie West, Steven Craenmehr. I didn’t know you, but consider you kindred SXSW spirits. May your souls rest in peace.

IMG_3258Another South by Southwest has come and gone and as always, it was different from years past. The streets of Austin were definitely more chill this year and especially after the sad incident that occurred on Red River. It only felt right to back off the twitters, take less photos, hug the ones you love and enjoy life. This year Michael joined me for his first SXSW, and the first year I’ve attended non-solo. Together we teamed up and listened to all of the showcasing artists in hopes of uncovering some hidden gems. In years past, I’ve tried to tackle the massive list myself but it’s tough so it was nice to make and share discoveries with a fellow music junkie. I will be featuring some of our selections in the coming weeks on the returning Music Monday posts.

Over the course of 5 days, we saw a total of 43 bands live. My favorite performances of the week were Team Me, Mutual Benefit, Black Violin, Public Service Broadcasting, Jungle, Mire Kay, Sun Club, Cleanup, Boyfrndz.

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THE GOOD :: Spotify House :: The Wild Honey Pie Showcases ::  :: Tyson’s Tacos :: Bill Miller BBQ :: Enjoying a drink and chat with Julien Maury, French horror film Director & Writer :: my secret venue to chill and regroup on 6th was not crowded

THE BAD :: A tad bit chilly, so no skirts for me :: Seeing less bands due to the horrendous lines this year :: SXSW has gotten too corporate :: Debating if I will attend SXSW in the future (it’s been a good 6 years, but geezus with the large acts) :: missing our other 100+ top selections, but hopefully will see them at a Seattle venue soon!

THE MEH :: Torchy’s Tacos :: Waylayers played one rad song then quit because they weren’t pleased with the sound :: Brooklyn Vegan Showcases (I blame the venue choice)

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All photos by Annie Cuce

except my family took a few… pi in the sky by Davey and the red roses at Mohawk by Jannette (she also made the pretty flower arrangement)

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SXSW 2013

SXSW 2012

SXSW 2011

SXSW 2010

2014 SXSW Music Tips

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Each year, I learn more about SXSW…what you can get away with, secret spots, best venues, parties to avoid, etc. The main goal being to be exposed to as much new music as possible while having a damn fine time. So far, I’m to be on the right track. Each year gets better than the last, which is difficult to believe since the previous was a fucking blast. The key is to be prepared. I spend months planning for my absolute favorite week of the year. I am giddy and the best feeling is walking down 6th Street on the first day with the warm sun on my skin and feeling the energy in the air. And I hate the sun, so this says a lot. Also, Mr Wackdelly will be joining me for his first SXSW so we have both been listening, planning together, scheduling and I’ve been filling his head with tips and tricks.

Check out my 2011 tips too, but you’ll notice that some tips are outdated (RIP Leslie).

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1 :: Do not see the big acts (also on the 2011 list). Seriously, you spend all your time standing in line for hours to see a popular band that tours in your city multiple times a year, when you could be experiencing what SXSW is really about… fresh new music. The undiscovered gems are where it’s at! Over the years some of my favorite SXSW discoveries before they blew up were Baths, Cloud Nothings, Beirut, Warpaint, Of Monsters and Men and Grouplove.

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2 :: Check out the free shows at night. My friend at Blue Sky + Hard Rock (along with Music Saves Lives) put on a fantastic showcase last year with free music all day AND night (including free delicious sushi). Be on the lookout for unofficial night parties for they do exist. I believe there will be even more free night stuff this year. (photo: Seryn at Firehouse Lounge & Hostel, 2013)

3 :: There is a new addition to the wrist bands you will be collecting during the week, the Guest Pass wristband. It is a free credential and allows you to get in certain venues/areas (that use to not require any credentials). More info here.

4 :: Be sure to check out Waterloo Records’ free shows from 3/12-3/15, but plan to get there hella early if you want to get in the door. Also, it’s a hike from the main 6th Street music festivities so plan for that and no RSVP necessary! Lineup here and more info here.

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5 :: While the beers of the Pacific Northwest are pretty boss, I do miss old Texas favorites like Firemans #4 from Real Ale Brewing and the always refreshing Lone Star. I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it. Also, be sure to tip those great people slinging drinks behind the bar. They are working hard so you can enjoy yourself.

6 :: If you can find a rad band playing a tiny venue off the beaten path, pay the cab fare to check em out. The best shows are the smallest. This is easier said than done. I have skipped seeing some top picks due to location and later found out what I missed out on and that just plain sucks.

7 :: Don’t invest all your time and planning into one showcase or party… the venue will be at capacity, there was a schedule change, the distance is too far, gotta follow the friends, etc. Just have lots of backup music options. I usually plan 10-15 backup options, and that’s just for the day parties.

8 :: Twitter is one of the best on-the-go tools. Ask questions about line status, tweet a band to confirm times, or just see what’s blowing up at the moment in Austin (Prince, Bill Murray sighting, etc). Be sure to use the proper #sxsw or #sxsw2014 hashtags and someone is bound to respond to your inquiries. Secondary tools that work well are the SXSW app and a spreadsheet via the Google Drive app. I’m at @wackdelly if you have any questions.

9 :: Earplugs are a necessity. I wish someone (anyone) would have told me the importance of earplugs at a younger age. Anyhoo, I took 3 pairs of earplugs last year and managed to lose them all. My backpacked savior, Bruce, came to the rescue with a whole bag of earplugs. I might pay it forward and stock-up, then proceed to shove them in the ear holes of all the clueless youth.

10 :: Don’t be a stuck up asshole. Talk to people. If they are friendly and you are friendly, then keep talking. Buy them a Lone Star and chat about your favorites of the fest or suggest bands to check out. I was chatting and giving some suggestions to a lady and it turned out to be Ann Powers of NPR. I’ve met some really great people over the years at SXSW that I still keep in touch with.

All photos by Annie Cuce

Music Monday: He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister

Local artist to: Los Angeles California

RIYL: Flamboyant Folk, Vaudeville Pop, Devendra Banhart, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister was one of my choices for SXSW this year. Their performance was the first show I saw of the festival and well worth the trek ten blocks to Key Bar.

HMBSMS are heading out on tour starting May 1!! Some of the dates include opening for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Unfortunately, there are no dates in the PNW, but I will keep my fingers crossed for the next tour. Go see this band, you won’t be sorry! Tour dates here! He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister could be the Grouplove of 2012, just sayin…

How’m I Gonna Get Back Home Tonight

Tales That I Tell

Clip I shot from SXSW 2012 …no, that’s not Zach Galifianakis

listen & like & love

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Music Monday: The Mother Truckers

Music Monday: Grouplove

SXSW Days 4 and 5

Craft Spells play the Brooklyn Vegan party at Hotel Vegas.

Alex Maas of The Black Angels. I love him!

The Black Angels (left), People listening outside of Hotel Vegas (right)

Joe Lifto showing me his rad shirt.

Air Review performs at Doc’s patio. They were a nice surprise since we were shopping next door at Parts and Labour.

Air Review (left), Austin sign on South Congress (right)

Crawfish at Shoal Creek (left), Mike and Leslie dancing to Sam Cooke on East 6th St (right)

Jan van Lier at Kingdom.

           

It’s not SX without a Bill Murray sighting (left), Art by Tim Doyle on South Congress (right)

The Spring Standards play on the 18th floor of the Hilton, shortly past 2am.

The Spring Standards

Parlovr!!!

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The lovely and talented Tara McPherson shows me her bunny ring at her Flatstock booth.

Abe Lincoln. Holding a pizza. With a guitar purse. WIN.

Ben Kweller singing “Wasted & Ready” (one of my faves). We listened from across the street while indulging in beer and Amy’s ice cream.

Balthazar was a must see on my list and they were the perfect last band of SXSW!

All photos by Annie Campos
 
 

SXSW Day 3

Of Monsters and Men :: Incredible live!!

Of Monsters and Men

Glen Hansard :: Such a sweetheart!

Half Moon Run

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Hospitality :: One of my favorite bands currently!

I met Jacquie who saw way more bands than me. I met her doppelganger, Margot, the day before.

Korallreven :: Members of the amazing band, Radio Dept!!!

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Killer set by Fanfarlo

The Drums :: 2nd show

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This Will Destroy You

On our way to Leslie’s 1st Shins show at Auditorium Shores

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The Shins

All photos by Annie Campos
 

SXSW Days 1 and 2

Another SXSW is behind us and the recaps, photos and best-of lists are endless. And I love to read them all! It is impossible to see and do everything that SXSW offers, but it is fun to try. There was never a night where I was asleep before 4am only to wake up early each day and do it all over. Some bits from days one and two…

The Drums at Flamingo Cantina for the Under the Radar party. I haven’t had a crush on a blonde boy since high school. Jonathan Pierce is adorable when he does that arm sway thing.

I met these super nice people at the bus stop and hung with them for a bit. They are touring in a lime green school bus that runs on veggie oil (I love that). They are members of Lost in Atlantis, Thomas King, and Meagan from Blue Sky and Hard Rock.

 

incredible eggrolls at Yakitori food truck (left), cookies being passed around at The Drums set (right)

friendly guys, Jason and TJ of The Grey Area

Hooray for Earth (left), I didn’t make any hip-hop shows this year, but heard some while walking by (right)

Reggie Watts! I convinced Don and Steve from Vancouver to stay for his set and they loved Reggie! I also met Tamara (a former Seattlite and photographer), Derek, and Margot.

The Love Language (left), Margaret of the Seedy Seeds (right)

He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister… this band is so friendly and fun live!! I have video of a Zach Galifianakis lookalike (TJ from New Hampshire) dancing to one of their songs.

Lauren Brown is adorable! He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister

Bush Baby Beer girls. BB turns beer into water for countries that need it. (left), Jake Shimabukuro, a ukelele master!!! I can’t believe I got to see him live. The whole place was full of badge holders and I was one of a few that got in with cash. He played amazing covers like Bohemian Rhapsody and While My Guiter Gently Weeps. (right)

In The Pink: So much energy and great stage presence!

All photos by Annie Campos
 

SXSW Music Selections :: 3rd round

This is the final chunk of SXSW bands that I sampled. The full list of bands can be found here, but just remember the list can change. It will be impossible to see all of these bands, but at least I’m prepared if someone asks me if I want to see so-and-so band. I’m super psyched!

 

Peter Bradley Adams (Brooklyn NY) – singer/songwriter
A.Dd+ (Dallas TX) – hip hop
Allah-Las (Los Angeles CA) – surf rock
Anamanaguchi (Brooklyn NY) – electronic rock/8-bit
Andrea Balency Trio (Mexico City MEXICO) – french
Balkan Beat Box (Brooklyn NY/Tel Aviv ISRAEL) – world/electronic
Baloji (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO) – belgian french hip hop
Bez (Lagos NIGERIA) – soul
Brite Futures (Seattle WA) – indie rock
Built to Spill (Boise ID) – indie rock ***
Chicha Libre (Brooklyn NY) – latin/surf pop
Chokeules (Toronto CANADA) – rap/hip hop
Clubfeet (Melbourne AUSTRALIA)
Craft Spells (Seattle WA) – dream pop
Cuba Cuba (Cardiff UK-WALES) – indie rock
Cuff the Duke (Toronto CANADA) – folk
Da C.O.D. (Austin TX) – rap/hip hop
The Dandies (Hochdorf SWITZERLAND) – rock
Daughter (London UK-ENGLAND) – singer/songwriter
Delta Spirit (Long Beach CA) – folk rock
Dent May (Oxford MS) – singer/songwriter
DIVE (Brooklyn NY)
Electric Empire (Melbourne AUSTRALIA) – soul
Electric Guest (Los Angeles CA) – indie pop
Elephant Stone (Montreal CANADA) – indie rock
Frank (Just Frank) (Queens NY) – post punk
French Films (Helsinki FINLAND) – dream pop
Gold Fields (Mitchell Park AUSTRALIA) – indietronic
Gold Motel (Chicago IL) – indie pop
The Good Natured (Newbury UK-ENGLAND) – brit pop
Gospel Music (Jacksonville FL) – indie pop
Grimes (Montreal CANADA) – electro pop ***
Half Moon Run (Montreal CANADA) – alt pop
Horse Feathers (Portland OR) – folk **
Hospitality (Brooklyn NY) – indie pop ***
Sarah Jaffe (Denton TX) – singer/songwriter
JENNY O. (Los Angeles CA) – pop/singer/songwriter
Jonti (Sydney AUSTRALIA) – electro/experimental
Michael Kiwanuka (London UK-ENGLAND) – soul/folk
Lights (Toronto CANADA) – synch pop
Lost Lander (Portland OR) – alt rock
Emma Louise (Toowong AUSTRALIA) – pop/singer/songwriter
Metric (Toronto CANADA) – indie rock
Mord Fustang (Tallinn ESTONIA) – electronic
Krista Muir (Montreal CANADA) – singer/songwriter
Natty (London UK-ENGLAND) – reggae
Oh Land (Copenhagen DENMARK) – pop ***
1,2,3 (Pittsburgh PA)
The Seedy Seeds (Cincinnati OH) – indie pop **
Soul Khan (Brooklyn NY) – rap/hip hop
Squarehead (Dublin IRELAND) – surf/pop/rock
Tall Ships (Falmouth UK-ENGLAND) – indie rock ***
This Will Destroy You (San Marcos TX)
Tilly and the Wall (Omaha NE) – pop **

**so fun/amazing that I want to see again

***been wanting to see this band live for a while

SXSW Music Selections :: 2nd round

In alphabetical order, I have chosen my second round selections for the SXSW music portion. The first round can be seen here the complete sxsw band list can be viewed here. Click on the band name to learn more about them. Again, enjoy!

Capsula Bilbao SPAIN (garage rock)
Choir of Young Believers Copenhagen DENMARK (folk pop)
Duran Bogotá COLOMBIA (dance pop)
Miles Zuniga Austin TX (singer songwriter)

Nive Nielsen & The Deer Children Nuuk GREENLAND (singer songwriter/folk)
Oh Mercy Melbourne AUSTRALIA (alt rock)
Radiation City Portland OR (lo-fi pop)
The Record Summer New York NY (singer songwriter)
You Can’t Win, Charlie Brown Lisbon PORTUGAL (indie pop)
Zulu Winter London UK-ENGLAND (indie rock)