It's that time again. SXSW has descended upon our fair city, and as usual, there are way too many great shows than you could ever possibly attend, even without a wristband. Here we present you with some of our recommendations, so that you can cut down on the noise and make a beeline for what's worth checking out. As always, we recommend arriving early, or be prepared to wait in line as guests filter one out, one in. It goes without saying that this list is far from comprehensive, and many of the acts we've highlighted are playing more than one show, so if you're really looking to maximize the number of bands you're seeing, you might want to whip out a spreadsheet and start strategizing. But hopefully this will help you as you make your way through the labyrinth of chaos that is SXSW.
The Blind Shake. Image courtesy of The Current/Erik Hess.
Monday, March 14:
Strange Brew 5 is happening at Hotel Vegas. Highlights include Yuck and The Blind Shake, as well as local favorites Sweet Spirit and Mirror Travel. The event is sponsored by Do512 and Covert Curiosity. 1 pm. Entry is free with RSVP.
The documentary Goodnight Brooklyn - The Story of Death by Audio premieres at the Stateside Theatre. The film tells the tale of the last underground venue in Williamsburg. Screening from 4-6 pm, but wristbands are required. However, the after party at Cheer Up Charlie's is open to everyone, and features performance by two of our favorite local acts, Daniel Francis Doyle and Spray Paint. 8 pm.
Tuesday, March 15:
Spring Break Boogie V is happening at Hotel Vegas and Volstead. Featuring Future Punx, Hidden Ritual, Total Abuse, The Spits, Sheer Mag, BOAN, and many more. Noon.
Austin Cultural Exchange and Self-Sabotage Records present a line up of post-punk, noise, and experimentation, highlighted by performances by Knest and Thor & Friends, two acts which feature Austin legend Thor Harris. 1 pm at the Museum of Human Achievement.
Yonatan Gat and So Pitted are some highlights of Dojo Fest, taking place over at the Longbranch Inn. The event poster is also done by our issue 4 cover artist, Manik Raj Nakra, so you know it will be good. 6 pm.
If dark electronica is your bag, Cvrrents V takes place at Austin's favorite rave, Tamale House East. 7 pm.
Portland, Maine-based art-punk group Hi Tiger is playing at ATM Gallery. 7 pm.
Downtown Boys. Image courtesy of Impose/Stephanie Orentas.
Wednesday, March 16:
The OBN IIIs headline the excellently named Make SX Great Again, happening at noon at Side Bar. The show also features our favorite local power poppers, Sweet Talk.
Nobunny headlines the Good Vibrations party over at Hotel Vegas. Other highlights include Timmy's Organism, Pookie and the Poodlez, and Guantanamo Baywatch. 1 pm.
Super Secret Records and Twistworthy Records have a showcase over at Beerland, featuring New Berlin, Carl Sagan's Skate Shoes, Boss Eye, and many more. 1 pm.
Thursday, March 17:
She Shreds and Punctum Records team up to present three days of showcases at Studium. The first day features Pure Bathing Culture, The Shivas, and more. Noon.
A great assortment of international bands are playing at the Sahara Lounge, including The Parrots from Spain, Go!Zilla from Italy, The Roaring 420s from Germany, Big White from Australia, and Tamar Aphek from Israel. Noon.
Post-punk and electronica can be found at the Las Cruxes x Farewell Books show, which features Pill, Wall, BOAN, Bill Converse, and Jel. That last one is a new musical project by Jonny Negron, who some of you may remember from our issue 3 profile. Doors at 2.
Alex G brings his distorted bedroom pop to End of an Ear for an in-store performance at 3 pm.
Holodeck is keeping the lineup to their unofficial showcase secret for some reason, but it's sure to be good. I hear Samantha Glass will be playing, which is worth the price of admission alone. The price, by the way, is free. 6 pm.
Third Man Records is hosting a showcase at Beerland featuring Video and Wolf Eyes, among others. Pretty sure this is the only Video show of SXSW, so non-Austinites take note. $10, 7 pm.
Hardly Art's "Official Brand Awareness Showcase" (I'm just going to assume that title is a joke) features Protomartyr, Shannon and the Clams, La Luz, and others. The best of heavy and light, rock and pop, yin and yang, yada yada. Free for badge-holders, otherwise line up and pay at the door. 8 pm.
Shannon and the Clams. Image courtesy of Hardly Art.
Friday, March 18:
The Heavy and Peaches headline an eclectic day show at Waterloo Records, which also features Mass Gothic and Shannon and the Clams. Noon.
Cosmonauts and Girls Names are playing Haus x Haus West 2, which also features "live art and gallery." Live art is always... interesting. 2 pm.
Do you like Goner Records? Of course you do. Beerland or Bust features exclusive shows from Minneapolis' Shadow in the Cracks and Memphis' Giorgio Murderer, as well as a "secret guest from Detroit." Tyvek? Doors at 7 pm.
Mean Girls. Image courtesy of funeral sounds.
Saturday, March 19:
Stereogum and Exploding in Sound have two stages worth of music at Hole in the Wall, everyone's favorite campus dive bar. Palm, Guerrilla Toss, Soft Fangs, Lushes, and many more. Noon.
We Exist highlights people of color, femme, queer & trans individuals in the punk community. The show features Mean Girls, Body Pressure, Critical Dad, and more. Beerland, noon.
Wild Wild Life and Her Ladyship Productions are hosting an outdoor show with NYC's Honduras and German punks Küken. Free beer! Noon.
The Fun Fun Fun Fest Day Party at the Mohawk features Night Beats, No Age, Neon Indian, Creepoid, and more. 12:30.
Pentagram is playing at The Lost Well, alongside local heavies Sweat Lodge and others. 2:30.
The Best of Beerland is probably the best all-locals show happening, so if you're looking for the best in Austin punk, this is the show for you. Featuring Ghetto Ghouls, Borzoi, Popper Burns, and The Zoltars, among others. 7 pm.
Sunday, March 20:
Chili Dog Fest 7 is happening at 1 pm. Need I say more?