With over 2000 musical acts performing to five times that many people, SXSW is well-known for providing the showcase many hopeful bands need. Even if you were there in Austin, it’s impossible to see everything you want to at a festival that’s consistently packed to the gills with artists and fans. So The Wounded Jukebox has been doing it’s best to finger through the acts, in order to hand you the ones we think you’ll love. We’re skipping over the Duran Durans and The Wu Tang Clans to point you towards bands you might not have heard of, but still deserve some of your very valuable attention. Because that’s what these vans full of wide-eyes drive/fly hundreds of miles to perform for… just a bit of your love. A is for…
This gang of New York make joyful tunes with a trio of female vocalists that might bring the Dirty Projectors to mind, and rhythm and funk that brings Jamie Lidell to soul. With two lovely EPs full of some of the most original arrangements I’ve heard in a long time, you’ll frolic in the bass lines and wallow in the harmonies.
The Belle Brigade
Big sister and brother Barbara and Ethan Gruska make folk rock with unabashed vigor. The kind of way that only comes from being siblings willing to share anything with one another. Their lyrics are frank and their twin guitar aim is truly miraculous. There are tender moments fused into honest open feelings that make a potent mixture of music. Their self-titled LP comes out April 19th!
They would like you to think of their sound as a meeting of The Police and New Order: synth-pop swirled with addictive guitar riffs. And if you’re not swooned and swayed by the dream of beats and cloud-marching guitar on “Twenty Three”, then the volume isn’t high enough. Their Affair EP is a wonderful example of New Wave music done superbly.
The Australian Folk singer has been at it for a while in his homeland. He recently released his fifth record titled I Will Love You At All to broad praise (it is quite good) There’s an undeniable charm about the man, and his music is very much instantly likeable. He seems to have a “beautiful because it’s ugly” kind of attitude about life, which in turn brings him to highlight the unexpected, the forgotten and the hidden.
Ezra Furman & The Harpoons
Four kids from Boston town made a record in their dorm rooms in 2006. Five years later, they’re ready to set their fifth, Mysterious Power on April 5th. Doo-Wap backings to the Bob Dylan/Lou Reed warble of Ezra Furman characterizes much of their music, but on the newest long player, they’re reached their reflective period, pondering life’s musings and reasons with striking effect.
Our favorite Fresno collective. They’ve been working hard and driving all over the country to promote a whole slew of singles they’re set to release incrementally through this year. One day, they’d like folks to think of their music as “timeless”, and with bright movements and quick chapters within each song, it feels like you’re turning pages in a historical pop-up book.
And they ARE extremely generous, with amazing live-shows and a delightful blend of pop and folk that welcomes you with big hugs. The Lafayette band has made SXSW their place to shine, wowing audiences two years in a row. If Mates of State expanded their roster, it would sound like Givers.
This Oakland hip-hop crew sits down at a table every morning and eat a dictionary each. They’ve been around since 1998, making heavy lyrical beats that will leave you exhaustedly giddy. If the Jurrasic 5 weren’t enough for you, try Hieroglyphics. Their music is hypnotic.
Stay and make yourself at home! The next piece of the ABC’s of SXSW is coming soon!