Posted in music on March 13, 2013

by Bill Pearis, Fred Pessaro and Andrew Sacher

Savages @ CMJ 2012 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Savages

SXSW gets underway today (3/13) in earnest, with 83,207 bands* playing SXSW this year. Trying to figure out who to see can be an overwhelming feeling. (Actually, just standing on 6th St. on Friday night is an overwhelming feeling.) Hopefully this post will give you some inspiration if you're among the throngs of people. Or maybe just some new stuff to listen to if you're not there.

Of course you could just hang out at all our day parties (our first starts at noon today!) and evening showcases, as we're really proud of our line-ups. But there are bands who we are pumped to see who aren't playing too. So here are 40 bands we're genuinely pumped to see in Austin this week. We made a Spotify playlist of all the bands (at least the ones on the service) you can stream below.

Check out our list below...

*not the actually number of showcasing bands. But it feels accurate.

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40 Bands we're excited to see at SXSW:

Autre Ne Veut at a NYC Church, 2011 (more by Erez Avissar)
ANV

Autre Ne Veut has been making electronic R&B for a few years now, but on his new album, Anxiety, he's taken it up a notch and tracks like "Counting" and "Ego Free Sex Free" are some of the most substantial and catchy R&B songs this year. Catch Autre Ne Veut at our Saturday day party. (AS)

Dressed in matching outfits that have them looking like house band in some dystopian sci-fi flick, Minneapolis trio The Blind Shake jackhammer out fierce krautpunk and posses a beast of a drummer. Their live show packs a wallop. (BP)

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds returned this year with Push the Sky Away, their first album since 2008. It's a great comeback and with great comebacks comes the demand for live shows, which have been looking pretty good for the Bad Seeds on this tour. (AS)

Despite the gothy spelling of their name, Irish synth-wielders CHVRCHES make pure, undeniable pop and are arguably the most-hyped new band at this year's fest. (BP)

Mikal Cronin @ SXSW 2013 (more)
Mikal Cronin

Mikal Cronin may be better known as being bassist in Ty Segall's band, but that may change with the release of his terrific second solo album, MCII, which will be out on Merge in May. (BP)

It's been three years since Delorean's much-loved Subsiza dropped. A new album is promised for this summer so their shows this week are the first taste most of us will get. (BP)

Hailing from Leeds, UK, Eagulls only have a couple 7"s to their name, but their brand of uber-hooky, '90s-style shout-alongs bode well for a killer live show. (BP)

Finnish trio K-X-P defy catagorization. The self-described "anti-band" employ elements of Krautrock, early '80s minimal synth as well as the club sounds of big beat and acid house, with some diversions into almost madrigal folk. How will this play out live? We can't wait to find out. (BP)

Foxygen @ Bowery Ballroom this month (more by Jonathan Bernstein)
Foxygen

With a 1968-in-a-blender sound, bicoastal group Foxygen are not ashamed to swipe from the classics. But the've got the skills -- and perhaps, more importantly, the charisma -- to make stealing acceptable. You can catch them at our free day party on Saturday on the Pianos stage. (BP)

Pennsylvania band Full of Hell not only understand powerviolence, but also its root causes. Mixing sludgey Eyehategod riffs, 1000-MPH blasts and ear-piercing Bastard Noise-style squalls, the band is also unafraid of experimenting with Swans-ian dirge in pursuit of the perfect audio hatred. Catch Full of Hell at the official Invisible Oranges showcase. (FP)

For three years, we have been singing the praises of Richmond's Inter Arma, even inviting them to play our CMJ showcase in 2010 with a then-young Royal Thunder. Now all of the band's hard work has finally come to fruition with the amazing Sky Burial, an LP that will be mentioned in "best of the year" conversations for its mix of authoritative doom-y riffage, black metal blasts and stellar songwriting. Metal fans, do not miss this band. (FP)

If you love the kind of harpsichord and Mellotron-soaked baroque psychedelia of the late '60s, Dutch youngster Jacco Gardner does an amazing job of recreating that sound on his new album, Cabinet of Curiosities. He and his ace band can do it live too. See for yourself at the BV day party on Thursday on The Jr. stage (noon), one of his many shows this week. (BP)

Moody and danceable, Belfast, Ireland's Girls Names travel under cloudy skies at all times. That's a good thing. Their new album on Slumberland recalls early Echo & the Bunnymen while avoiding pastiche. (BP)

Iron Lung are the current reigning champions of what remains of that well-worn scene called powerviolence. It has been a long six years since the band released their mammoth Sexless/No Sex, but their new LP White Glove Test shows very little indication of burnout, just a refocused and caustic band ready to swallow you whole. Fantastic live too! (FP)

KEN Mode @ SXSW 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)
KEN Mode

The parade of bands dipping their toe into the Am-Rep pool twenty-plus years later is staggering, if not laughable. But what separates KEN Mode from the rest of the pack is the fury; this three piece play their noisy-hardcore with some of the same fervor that sparked bands like Deadguy and early Today is The Day. Unmissable. Check them and Today is the Day at the Invisible Oranges stage on Friday. (FP)

Kendrick Lamar is one of the most thrilling and intriguing rappers at the moment, and the impact of his 2012 album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, hasn't faded at all into the new year. (AS)

Burned out on M83's last album but want more synthy shoegaze goodness? Check out Man Without Country whose debut LP, Foe, does the trick nicely. Among their Austin appearances is our official BV showcase on Friday night at Maggie Mae's rooftop. (BP)

Mutilation Rites released their best effort yet with Emyprean last year, the cherry on top of an already ambitious touring schedule for the self-described "filthy" Brooklyn band. While the record was clearly one of the shining moments of 2012, their live show is where it's at. Look for MR's black metal filtered through crust punk to bless the official Invisible Oranges showcase on Saturday. (FP)

Members of Horror Show make up the Philadelphia crew Nothing, but don't look to see any pits at their shows. The band deals in shoegaze-y beauty, crafting noise-ridden songs that remind us why we fell in love with My Bloody Valentine in the first place. (AS)

The Orwells @ CMJ 2012 (more by Tracy Alison)
The Orwells

Hailing from Chicago's suburbs, teenage punks The Orwells took the CMJ Festival in NYC by storm last year, including one of our day parties' most memorable, rauccous sets. We couldn't not have them back again for SXSW -- they play our Saturday day party on The Jr. stage. (BP)

Pallbearer's melancholia, thumping doom riffs and melodic tendencies took the metal world by storm in 2012, and with good reason. Sorrow & Extinction was an instant classic and immediately shot to the top of most year-end lists. Look for the band to play the Invisible Oranges stage on Friday and the official Invisible Oranges showcase on Saturday. FP)

Former Texans who formed in Brooklyn, Parquet Courts aren't the first band to get compared to the Minutemen and Pavement, but they are one of the few who live up to it. It's the attitude, man, and they got it. Plus hooks for miles and highly-quotable lyrics. Great live too.

Montreal band Pat Jordache are taking a break from finishing up their second album to preview material for SXSW audiences. A late night set we caught in the band's hometown last year (reminding us of Roxy Music and Talking Heads) left us wanting more. (BP)

Like many of the best bands of their time, Pinkish Black defy genre. Though the Denton duo has a tendency to be unfairly lumped in with metal, heaviness is only one of many elements that propel their gothic, synth-driven post-punk. A wholly unique band that should not be missed at the official Invisible Oranges showcase. (FP)

Our first experience with Power Trip came as we were assembling a lineup for a Fun Fun Fun Fest afterparty in 2011. Our natural inclination was to have Touche Amore headline the indoor stage that night, but locals pushed for Power Trip. They were right. Power Trip's amazing early-Metallica-meets-Leeway style of thrashy hardcore got the crowd moving and made my jaw drop. One of the best metal/hardcore bands in Texas right now. (FP)

Rhye (aka Mike Milosh and Robin Hannibal) might fit in with the recent trends of indie-meeting-R&B but they don't blindly follow it, instead sounding more like the smooth pop of Sade than the more frequently used comparisons in that scene. (AS)

Royal Thunder at Music Hall of Williamsburg (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
Royal Thunder

Let's be frank, the waters that Royal Thunder are treading in aren't exactly undisturbed territory. But what makes this 70s-style hard rock crew so great is their amazing melodies and the voice of frontwoman Mel Parsons. Royal Thunder is a band that should be mentioned in the same breath as projects like Black Mountain and Graveyard. Check them out at the Invisible Oranges stage on Friday. (FP)

While CMJ is not a competition, if there was a winner at the 2012 fest it would've probably been Savages, whose blisteringly intense performances made believers out of even the most cynical New Yorkers. Among their SXSW performances will be a 4:10 PM set at our Wednesday day party on the Glasslands stage. (BP)

Single Mothers boast the kind of rude, angry, and honest punk rock that doesn't care what you think of it, and it's very welcome in a time when bands can too often sound overly self-conscious. Show up early to our Thursday day party to catch Single Mothers on the main stage before the place fills up for Death, Cloud Nothings, METZ and more. (AS)

It's hard to argue against a band like The Spits. Practicing a mix of Ramones and Misfit-isms drenched in battery acid and too many downers, this quartet has quietly been ruling the punk underground for years. Don't miss them at our Thursday day party. (FP)

Torres @ The Paper Box earlier this month (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Torres

Torres released one of the most confident debuts this year so far -- an album that mixes grunge grit, loner folk, and confessional lyrics -- and her tight live band rounds the sound at well at her shows. Torres is on first at our Wednesday day party on the outdoor stage right before it gets way more spastic during Marnie Stern and Anamanaguchi. (AS)

UK band TOY play motorik postpunk with an ear for big choruses and a flair for drama. You can catch them Friday at our day party on the main stage at 12:40 PM. (BP)

Brainfeeder-signed NYC hip hop duo The Underachievers are the newest group to shine in the New New York scene that birthed Flatbush Zombies, Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire, A$AP Mob, Joey Bada$$, and more, and with the recent release of their Indigoism mixtape, they'll be a great act to catch this year. Their SXSW shows include the BrooklynVegan Official Showcase, which happens on Friday (3/15) on the Maggie Mae's Rooftop. (AS)

Formed from the ashes of Bare Wires, San Francisco's Warm Soda make superior garagey power pop. Their debut LP, just out on John Dwyer's Castle Face records, is hit after hit. (BP)

We've been Waxahatchee fans for a while, and Katie Crutchfield's mix of  slowcore, early Death Cab/Rilo Kiley-era emo, and punkish indie pop is an appealing sound. We've seen her many times and we're very excited for other people to get to see her too. (AS)

First and foremost, Denton Texas crew Wiccans are a furious hardcore punk band. Yet what separates Wiccans from the pack is their clean tones, psychedelic touch, odd breaks, and dual leads, creating a sound on par with early incarnations of Fucked Up, Pissed Jeans, or The Men. Get their latest LP Field II for free HERE. (FP)

White Lung rip with the intensity of early '80s hardcore and they pack an emotional punch that puts them in a league above the backwards-looking punk bands of today. (FP)

YYYs @ Union Pool, Aug. 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)
YYYs

With their new record, Mosquito, imminent, Brooklyn scene veterans Yeah Yeah Yeahs are here remind everyone why they're one of the most influential rock acts of the last ten years. (BP)

Montreal's Young Galaxy went to Sweden to make their new album which owes much to '80s widescreen pop but still sound very now. They swing for the fences live too. (BP)

With all of the harmony-laden psychedelic pop that has populated the indie scene in recent years, it's important to remember the bands that pioneered the sound in the late '60s, like The Zombies, who will be at SXSW this year, and though they don't have exactly the same lineup as back in the day, their shows are still a treat. (AS)

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Comments (17)

What about Green Day or Depeche Mode?!?!?!

Posted by Anonymous | March 13, 2013 12:11 PM

Depeche Mode will still be going after 95% of these sxsw artist bit the dust! Gahan has been to hell and back and he still is going!

Posted by Anonymous | March 13, 2013 12:24 PM

As to Depeche Mode, we in *general* tried to put bands on here that are playing a few times during the week and you can get into their show without entering a lottery.

Posted by bill p | March 13, 2013 12:29 PM

Props to Mode for lasting, but I have not had the urge to revisit them since high school.

Posted by Anonymous | March 13, 2013 12:31 PM

^fair enough...people change. I stopped listening to Aerosmith after high school so who am I to judge!

Posted by Anonymous | March 13, 2013 12:37 PM

no Roomrunner?

Posted by Anonymous | March 13, 2013 2:37 PM

When a band is noted for longevity first, Cher comes to mind...

Posted by Anonymous | March 13, 2013 3:44 PM

3:44 Cher? Really? When was her last album smart guy?

Posted by Anonymous | March 13, 2013 6:06 PM

Why isn't their any mention of Reignwolf anywhere here or on any other 'bands to watch' list on any website?
Are you people insane, deaf, or allergic to mind-blowing, melt your face raw talent??
You will walk away after seeing Reignwolf live feeling like you just got hit by a guitar wielding bus.
This dude is insane, and if you're at SXSW and don't catch him at least once, then you don't deserve to be called a fan of music or a journalist.
He makes Jack White look like a boy scout, in my humble opinion.

Posted by Eric | March 13, 2013 6:17 PM

No daft punk?

Posted by Anonymous | March 13, 2013 6:32 PM

You're better than this BV. You're better than this...

Posted by Anonymous | March 13, 2013 8:20 PM

Be careful with the coffee enemas. Austin joe is strong like bull.

Posted by Larbone | March 14, 2013 12:25 AM

they cut cocaine with it

Posted by Anonymous | March 14, 2013 12:30 AM

@sennheiser419- you've got the world by the balls. Run. Run with those balls.

Posted by Anonymous | March 14, 2013 12:40 AM

i'm waiting for justin bieber to implode

Posted by Anonymous | March 14, 2013 1:53 AM

no ROOMRUNNER??

Posted by Anonymous | March 14, 2013 10:05 AM

Not a bad list, I haven't heard of some of them, but need to get on it. Some of my picks are here: http://www.bitcandy.com/plogs/plogDedicated/music/sxsw-2013-best-unsigned-artists-pt-1

Posted by Anonymous | March 14, 2013 9:31 PM

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