Well, just about everywhere you turn on the Internet this week (if not on the radio and elsewhere), you’ll find something about Austin’s beloved annual hipster prom know as the South by Southwest Festival. Wired Magazine this week ran the short article, Austin Calling: 10 SXSW Bands You Shouldn’t Miss. Of course, Spoon, would be at the top of the list. Those guys could take a shit and a zillion people would call it solid gold. Not that I don’t like the music, it’s just… there ARE other bands! MP3 blogs last year went completely ga ga over latest releases from Spoon and Grizzly Bear and seemed to forget that, you know, it’s nice to hear some other stuff now.
I guess if you’re going to write an article about bands to watch for at a popular music festival, though, especially one with as much coverage as SXSW has received this year, wouldn’t it be nice to highlight bands that everyone hasn’t already heard of? Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings were also included in the list, and although they’re a terrific band (AC and I proudly went to a show and they brought bald middle age white men to a furious sweat from all the dancing… yeah, dancing!), but once you’re playing in the opening credits of oscar nominated movies (Up in the Air), it’s not like people might not be keeping an eye out for you anyways. Surprises on the list, however, are the eccentric Man or Astro Man, which I haven’t heard about since high school and assumed not to be around anymore. And, one of my recent favorites, Happy Hollows, which I include in this Friday’s music video post selection (as though I’m only posting things like this on Friday anymore). Their track “Vietnam” isn’t one of my favorites, but I love the video. It looks like something the Waitresses would have toyed around with 20 years ago.
You can download some tracks by showcasing artists on the SXSW website. If I could add to the list of bands to watch out for, I would definitely suggest: Jookabox (The Other AC and I attempted to see a falsely advertised show of theirs at a studio rental in DC, but I’d still recommend it), the Austin-based Black and White Years and Candian goof-rockers, You Say Party We Say Die (coming to MD next week now that they were finally able to get visas reinstated after a 2-year ban!), both of which I included in Montag back when it was still in print and was surprised to find that they’re still alive and kicking and better than ever, The Young Republic (another show The Original AC and I saw, and they had catchy songs despite a horrible soundcheck), Billy Bragg (he’s old timey blues rock), The Walkmen (The Other AC and I saw them live and probably not on their best night), Broken Bells (the band that should be getting all of Spoon’s publicity), Those Darlins (bona fide country girls!… NOT rednecks!), and Surfer Blood (Florida natives with a reverb fetish).