As South By Southwest enters the weekend, some of the festival’s best acts take the stage to showcase their skills. Because of the outrageous number of performers and the near-limitless options in scheduling, we present here a guide to help you pick some of the more interesting poisons.
1,2,3 – Can’t Bribe God (0:00 – 4:17)
8:00pm at Club De Ville
1,2,3 is a folk/soul/rock duo from Pittsburgh, and they are so good. I mean, listen to this. It’s so good. It deserves to blow up like… I don’t even know. Something explosive. It’s the scream that gets me. And the singing. And the songwriting. Keep an eye on these guys—they’re onto something rare.
Dirty Beaches – Lord Knows Best (4:17 – 7:40)
8:00pm at Kiss & Fly
Imagine the music you might hear drifting from a long-abandoned ballroom, or the ghost of Roy Orbison in a car radio on a deserted highway at night. Dirty Beaches sounds like that. This one-man band is a great way to kick off the night if you’ve been up since last.
Twin Shadow – Slow (7:40 – 11:37)
11:00pm at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop
Brooklyn’s Twin Shadow is soaked and dripping in New Wave. His music flows with the texture and feel of the eighties. He’s synthed-out beyond belief, but it works—he creates lush pictures and images with sound. Bring neon.
Mother Mother – Baby Don’t Dance (11:37 – 15:07)
11:00pm at Swan Dive
Comparing one band to another may be lazy journalism, but man oh man, Mother Mother channels the Pixies in the best way. While I’m at it, let me throw the Scissor Sisters and the B52s onto the pyre. This Canadian five-piece brings tunes that will freak you out and make you dance while it’s happening. They’re near the top of my SXSW to-see list.
Foster The People – Houdini (15:07 – 18:28)
12:00pm at Radio Day Stage Austin Convention Center
With the catchiness of the songs on their debut EP, these L.A. indie rockers have been likened to bands like MGMT. Whether or not that is a fair comparison is up for debate, but their live show looks to be energetic and full of, well, “pumped up kicks.”
Toro y Moi – Still Sound (18:28 – 22:58)
1:00pm at Radio Day Stage Austin Convention Center
“Bull and Me” is the one-man project of Chillwave pioneer Chaz Bundick. He’s supporting his second album, Underneath The Pine. During live performances, he’s supported by a drummer, and from all reports, they produce a sound that rivals a full band. An afternoon show should be perfect for some laid-back electronic grooves.
Curren$y – Elevator Musik (22:58 – 26:07)
10:15pm at Billboard Bungalow @ Buffalo Billiards
After a series of albums and mix tapes, Curren$y has finally signed to Warner Bros. But judging by his recent work, he’s hitting his stride, hard. His SXSW showcase (where he’s followed by Big K.R.I.T and Odd Future) is clearly the one to attend on Saturday.
Big K.R.I.T. – Hometown Hero (26:07 – 29:34)
11:10pm at Billboard Bungalow @ Buffalo Billiards
Big K.R.I.T.’s first effort was a self-written, self-produced, and self-recorded mix tape. Def Jam signed him only weeks after its release. If his talents in every other area of music production are any indication, his live performance should be amazing.
Tyler The Creator (Odd Future) – Yonkers (29:34 – 33:45)
12:05am at Billboard Bungalow @ Buffalo Billiards
Last month’s mind-blowing performance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon has catapulted Tyler the Creator and his hip hop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All to the status of SXSW’s most buzzed-about band. But unlike many buzz bands, these guys are here to stay. There’s no question about it—they are that good.
Gobble Gobble – Where Is My Mind (Pixies Blasphemy) (33:45 – 36:28)
1:00am at Club De Ville
If insane electronic freak-outs are your thing, Gobble Gobble is your band. Playing at 1 am on the last big night of the festival is the perfect time slot because your senses will be so assaulted that you’ll have to coax them out of the fetal position. Sounds like fun? You bet it does.
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Catch SXSW 11 Wednesday and Thursday's playlist here.