Among all the dumped dockless scooters, food trucks, and people on hoverboards holding boa constrictors (yes, really), Austin once again hosted countless numbers of great up-and-coming artists alongside established acts for SXSW 2019. Who were some of our favorites? Only one way to find out.
Something straight out of the Upside Down
Why you should care:
Because you’re still a bit obsessed with the 80s, admit it
Production duo darkDARK is set to make their debut with the EP Heathered, which they’re releasing independently on February 24. But to tide us over, the group has released “Shelter”, a song that comes from the dark electronic depths that also brought us musicians like S U R V I V E and Zola Jesus.
Harmonious 90’s pop with just a hint of fuzzy, buzzy feedback; a tinge of The Beatles by-way-of Oasis; The Connell’s for people who aren’t, uh, wusses*
Why You Should Care:
There’s no reason that the East Coast should get all of the rock n’ roll fun (see The Trillions) and this five piece hailing from Austin, Texas is all the proof you need. On the kickoff track from their most recent EP Crocodile vs The Mutant Alligators From Space the band channels some good ol’ Gallagher brothers angst (complete with Beatles-esque “telephone-mic” vocal effect and a killer lyric hook - "I got strangers in my head that won't ever go away"), but there’s more to this band than a healthy respect for history.
In our latest episode, the internets takes us up on our offer and random listener Patrick stops by the basement to talk music with the gang. PLUS! Quinn dishes all the good and the bad on this years CMJ Music Marthon and we review Spite, the new album from the greatest band you may or may not have heard of, Austin, TX’s HUNDRED VISIONS!
Sounds Like: The loudest garage in Texas; Thin Lizzy on (all of the) acid; lo-fi fuzz pop; Hot trash (see 2012); righteous rock n’ roll malevolence.
Why You Should Care: We’ve told you before about Hundred Visions here, here, here, and oh yeah, we even talked with ‘em here. But until you all recognize the simple fact that Hundred Visions are one of the best bands you’ve probably never heard of, we’re just not gonna shut up about ‘em.
Since 2008, the Austin, Texas collective known as MOTHER FALCON have been making rock, quite literally, the old fashioned way. With instrumentation that you’re more likely to see in a symphony orchestra or jazz quartet, the [currently] seventeen piece group turns out soaring, triumphant songs that challenge the notion of what “pop” can be as much as they fit comfortably into that tradition.
Recently the band staged a run of East coast shows and, several of the members stopped by the basement to talk about the history of the band, the challenges of touring with a small army of musicians, and the ambitious Summer Camp program launched in 2011 that teaches younger musicians the ins and outs of songwriting, arranging, and pretty much everything else you would want to know on how to “make it” in a band.
Words by guest contributor and general rawk GOD, Chris Smith
Editors Note: Over the years, the annual music industry summer camp known as SXSW has grown from the coolest little music conference that could, to a nigh full blown music festival headlined by the likes of...well everyone...at once. But while the years may have brought on an increase in scope and line size (oh the lines) there are a few simple truths that have remained universal. Truths that we are now proud to present to you by way of a man that's been there and back again...and again...and again. Unfiltered. Unedited. This is SXSW and how to survive it.
Early Arcade Fire but having a bit more fun
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE:
Classically trained musicians taking aim at pop, punk and rock with deep abiding affection for all.
SOUNDS LIKE: At The Drive-In, Sparta, Sonic Youth
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Austin punks return with a politically charged video for their menacing new single
Make your own assumptions as to whom Rich Dobney may or may not be a parody of, it could be any politican really, but it seems like he's probably not who he really claims to be. Lighting stogies with money, having a rendezvous in the bathroom.. is this really what he should be doing instead of doing things that would be beneficial to the American people?
This happens to be the premise for the recently released clip for "Catatonic", the raging new single from Austin's ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. As the lead single from their upcoming album Lost Songs, the one thing that isn't lost is their love of rock and roll. Anthemic guitars are amidst the equally anthemic shouts and screams of longtime members Conrad Keeley & Jason Reece. Lost Songs, their 8th studio album (and no, it isn't a collection of outtakes), will be out October 23rd.
Sounds Like: Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, the twang of South Texas and just about everything else that is right in the world.
Why You Should Care: Trust us. We're pros.
We get our fair share of submissions here every day and in an effort to keep things somewhat organized we try to put everything into one of four piles. There's the good pile, the bad pile and then there’s the pile...well...it’s best we don’t talk about that pile. But then there’s that last pile in which we throw things that we like to refer to as "THOSE THINGS WHICH ROCK OUR FACES MORE THAN ANY OTHER THAT HAS COME BEFORE”, and right now Hundred Visions is setting right at the tippy top of that mass. Hell, they may be levitating above it.