South by Southwest 2012: A Daily Guide


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Sticking to your schedule at South by Southwest (SXSW) takes discipline and heaping portions of luck. You better swallow this pill now: You will not be able to see all of the bands you want to see, even if you are trying to be conservative with your schedule. Think about the fact that every year in Austin the crowds get bigger and bigger, yet the venues stay the same size. Clubs and bars will hit capacity faster than ever this year, so it’s time you have some back up options, and some outlying parties to check out.

The following is some of our favorite parties and showcases from the week, including a band who we really want to see at a party, and a couple of up and coming acts who we’re curious about. And because we’re determined not to just eat slices of pizza and drink Redbull, we’ve also tossed out a good food option for each day.

tuesday South by Southwest 2012: A Daily Guide


The Syndicate’s Conflict of Interest

08:00 p.m. – Oberhofer
09:00 p.m. – Incan Abraham
10:00 p.m. – Little Hurricane
11:00 p.m. – Miniature Tigers
12:00 a.m. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
01:00 a.m. – Delta Spirit

Reasons I’m There: Despite the fact that the last three acts have made the trip to Austin before, they continue to show more and more promise with each SXSW gig. In a festival where unfamiliarity is the name of the game, something well-known is just as welcome as an open bar.
Curious About: The psychedelic shoegaze of Cali’s Incan Abraham. If Cameron Crowe approves of them, they must be good.

Incan Abraham – “Biege”

Free Swag: Taco Bell and desserts (yum!)
Location: Hype Hotel (504 Trinity)
Times: 7 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Age Restrictions: N/A

Art Disaster No. 14

08:15 p.m. Outside  – Sleepy Vikings
09:15  – Pomegranates
10:15 – Young Man
11:15  – Metal Mother
12:15 a.m. – Belaire
01:15  – Boy + Kite
08:00 p.m. Inside – Automusik
09:00 – Xylos
10:00 – The Tins
11:00 – The White White Lights
12:00 – Cotton Mather
01:00  – White Mystery

Reasons I’m There: This show deserves some foot traffic thanks to its flood of buzz bands. From the raucous jams of White Mystery to the mopey shoegaze of Boy + Kite, the evening’s sure to be jam-packed with indie rock’s next big things.
Curious About: The quirky, ultra gimmicky Automusik. With music reminiscent of The Flying Lizards, the band’s pseudo-military/world-dominating supervillain shtick is pure gold.

Austomusik – “General Masses”

Free Swag: N/A
Location: Beauty Bar (617 East 7th Street)
Times: 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Age Restrictions: N/A


Lucky’s Puccias – Everyone knows Austin is the Mecca for Tex-Mex. But why not try something new with a delicious Puccia (wood-fired Italian sandwiches). Whether it’s the Puccia Vegetariana with fontana cheese and pesto sauce or Puccia Contadina with turkey and olive tapenade, this is the place to get away from the overwhelming BBQ places for something fresh. Manga! [Yelp]

Hot Dog King – In keeping with the Austin alternatives, the Hot Dog King has a simple menu of hot dogs, sausage, and bratwurst. But the ingredients (oh man those grilled onions) and the love and care put into each tube makes all the difference. Quick note: having a few beers in you will only make this place that much more delicious. [Yelp]

Curated by Chris Coplan

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11:30 a.m. – Doors
12:00 p.m. – Future Unlimited
12:30 – Princeton
01:00 – The Henry Clay People
01:30 – Bleached
02:00 – Mikal Cronin
02:30 – Mr. Dream
03:00 – The Men
03:30 – Screaming Females
04:00 – Titus Andronicus
04:45 – Cloud Nothings

Reason I’m There: To see one of the first sets by Cloud Nothings of the week. Their remarkable third studio LP, Attack on Memory, hasn’t left its rotation since it surfaced in January, and it’s just got to sound good live, right?
Curious About: Mikal Cronin. His self-titled debut last year offered a delectable escape into psychedelic alternative that should prove interesting onstage.

Mikal Cronin – “Apathy”

Free Swag: Kingston Wi-Drives, free CoS mobile app
Location: Beauty Bar (617 East 7th Street)
Times: 11:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Age Restrictions: 21+

KVRXplosion 2012

Lineup/Schedule: Bass Drum of Death, Ava Luna, Spectrals, Young Prisms, White Fence, Sun Hotel, Blue Sky Black Death with Nacho Picasso, Candy Claws, Dent May, Dirty Ghosts, Grave Babies, Caddywhompus, El Ten Eleven, Dustin Wong, Time Wharp, R. Stevie Moore, Psychedelic Horseshit, Vockah Redu, AU, Eternal Summers, Ninjasonik, Unstoppable Death Machines, Javelin, and Ernest Gonzales

Reason I’m There: There’s a good mix of genre-pushing artists and mainstays, including Bass Drum of Death, Candy Claws, AU, and White Fence. A little bit of everything you’ll want to know about in 2012.
Curious About: Dent May. This Paw Tracks export promises to sell us on the marriage of 60’s psychedelia and disco balladry with his forthcoming sophomore LP, Do Things, out this June. This should be a good preview.

Dent May – “Fun”

Free Swag: N/A
Location: Spiderhouse (2908 & 2906 Fruth St., Austin, TX 78705)
Times: 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Age Restrictions: N/A

Terrorbird / Force Field PR

12:15 p.m. – Mr. Gnome
12:30 – White Arrows
01:05 – Tycho
01:20 – Forest Fire
01:55 – Teengirl Fantasy
02:10 – La Sera
02:45 – Young Magic
03:00 – Widowspeak
03:35 – Korallreven
03:50 – The Fresh & Onlys
04:25 – AU
04:40 – Youth Lagoon
05:15 – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
05:30 – We Were Promised Jetpacks

Reason I’m There: Youth Lagoon. This Boise, ID, artist put together one of 2011’s most exciting LPs, splashed with delicate exercises in electronica. Plus, seeing “17” or “July” live with a beer in hand certainly will make me feel at home in the ensuing Austin chaos.
Curious About: White Arrows. Psychotropical pop? Yes, please.

Free Swag: Free beer while supply lasts, and the first 100 patrons receive gift bags.
Location: Red 7 (611 E. 7th Street)
Times: 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Age Restrictions: All ages


Mmmpanadas – It’s a food truck that serves empanadas; simple idea, but bold tastes. Get something savory (green chili chicken) alongside something sweet (pineapple cinnamon), and then clean up your exploded head off the ground. [Yelp]


Consequence of Sound

08:00 p.m. – Miracles of Modern Science
09:00 – Hey Marseilles
10:00 – Ezra Furman
11:00 – Emily Wells
12:00 a.m. – Thomas Dolby
1:00 – Free Energy

Reason I’m There: Thomas Dolby and Free Energy. One’s an innovator, the other act is months away from a highly-anticipated sophomore LP. Aren’t those two top reasons one would be at South by Southwest, anyhow?
Curious About: Emily Wells. She’s a born guru at the violin, her latest single “Passenger” sizzles, and there’s a collaborative album with Dan the Automator down the pipeline. There’s a lot going for her, but what about her stage show?

Emily Wells – “Passenger”

Location: Stubb’s (801 Red River Street)
How to Get In: Badges and wristbands only.

Curated by Michael Roffman

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Slow Motion & 120 Minutes Present: “Stay Dark and Dress Well” 

12:00 p.m. – Ssleeperhold
12:45 – Bestial Mouths
01:30 – Tearist
02:15 – Soft Metals
03:00 – Nguzunguzu
03:45 – White Ring
04:30 – Chelsea Wolfe
05:15 – Pictureplane
06:00 – Light Asylum

Reason I’m There: Because after your first day of exuberant bands playing sunshine hooks, it’s time to move over to the other side of the spectrum and experience Chelsea Wolfe and her sprawling, noise-heavy doom-pop. Her songs are like rare crystals with ancient curses on them.
Curious About: Both Nguzunguzu (deftly pronounced en-goo-zoo en-goo-zoo) and Light Asylum are similarly alluring in that shadowy, noir kind of way, but they stand to make the party move a bit more. The former skews more toward house/hip-hop and the latter toward dark-wave industrial.

Nguzunguzu – “Water Bass Power”

Free stuff: Not much.
Location: Beauty Ballroom (2015 E Riverside Dr)
Times: 12:00p.m. – 6:00p.m.

NPR Day Party 

01:00 p.m. – La Vida Boheme
01:45 – Sugar Tongue Slim
02:30 РPoli̤a
03:15 – Lower Dens
04:00 – The Magnetic Fields

Reason I’m There: Poliça. Formed from former Gayng members, the dual-drum-kit grooves have a Portishead meets a more muscular bedroom pop thing going on, and it’s just enchanting and hypnotic.
Curious About: Lower Dens‘ latest single, “Brains”, is right in my wheelhouse of hyper-extended pop jams whose live performance would be worth the trip alone. Of course, The Magnetic Fields will be phenomenal.

Lower Dens – “Brains”

Free stuff: Nah, but it’s a very intimate space that will fill up quickly, so a free show from The Magnetic Fields is just about worth it.
Location: The Parish: 214 East 6th Street

Fool’s Gold Party

Troy Ave
Party Supplies
Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire
Nick Catchdubs
Cubic Zirconia
Danny Brown
Just Blaze

Reason I’m There: Danny Brown hands down. Which, OK, there’s a lot of fun bound to be had at this party, but Brown has the most unique #style of everyone there. Sticking around to see top-tier hip-hop producers/remixers Just Blaze and A-Trak spin into the wee hours should be a #party.
Curious About: Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire keeps getting stronger and stronger with each lascivious mixtape he puts out. His shows are high-energy, liquor-fueled extravaganzas.

Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire – “Mau Mau”

Free stuff: Nope.
Location: Beauty Ballroom (2015 E Riverside Dr)
RSVP (also email


Max’s Wine Dive: The first thing on their website is “Fried chicken and Champagne? … Why the hell not?!”, so sign me the hell up. More classier fare again, but you’ll be eating Korean BBQ at 3:30AM again anyway, so you might as well go “classy” early in the evening. (Yelp)


Paste Magazine Showcase

08:00 p.m. – Cold Showers
09:00 – Night Beats
10:00 – Arkells
11:00 – Titus Andronicus
12:00 a.m. – The Jesus and Mary Chain
1:00 – Special Guests

Reason I’m There: As the name implies, this showcase is for JAMC. It’s part of their first US “tour” in five years. If you’re trying to collect the full set of College Rock Bands That Have Reunited, then this is your night. Bring earplugs.
Curious About: Pretty much everything else about this showcase, including the post-punk, New Wave upstarts Night Beats and whatever the hell could be billed above JAMC at 1:00 a.m.

Night Beats – “Puppet on a String”

Location: The Belmont (305 W 6th St.)
How to Get In: Badges, wristbands, or a receding hairline with an original ’86 JAMC tour shirt and proof of hearing loss.

Curated by Jeremy D. Larson

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Under the Radar Magazine Party

12:00 p.m. – Django Django
12:45 – Lost in the Trees
01:30 – Cymbals Eat Guitars
02:20 – Deerhoof
03:10 – La Sera
04:00 – Youth Lagoon
04:50 – of Montreal performing The Sunlandic Twins (only SXSW 2012 performance of the album)

Reason I’m There: Having never seen of Montreal before, it’s only fitting that I see them for the first time performing The Sunlandic Twins, one of Kevin Barnes and company’s best albums and the one that introduced me to them. Plus, I hear Barnes is something of a must-see live, to say the least.
Curious About: Django Django. The British quartet’s mind-melding psychedelia and African polyrhythms should do quite well in the Austin heat. Listen to “Default” below to hear what I’m talking about.

Django Django – “Default”

Free Swag: Alcohol
Location: Flamingo Cantina (515 East 6th Street)
Times: 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Music By The Slice (Home Slice Pizza)

11:35 a.m. – Imperial Teen
12:10 p.m. – Yukon Blonde
12:45 – The Darcys
01:20 – Lost Lander
01:55 – Husky (AU)
02:30 – Hospitality
03:05 – Typhoon
03:40 – Strand of Oaks
04:15 – Yellow Ostrich
04:50 – Dark Dark Dark
05:25 – Family of the Year
06:00 – Dan Mangan
06:35 – Mother Falcon
07:10 – Great Lake Swimmers
07:45 – Radiation City
08:20 – The Belle Brigade

Reason I’m There: This is the first year that Home Slice is hosting a lineup this full (in the past, it’s been limited to one or two acts). All the bands on this bill exemplify compelling niche folk, from the Yellow Ostrich’s erstwhile tUnE-yArDs-ian arrangements to Great Lake Swimmers’ misty-voiced evocations of the Pacific Northwest.
Curious About: Aussie roots group Husky. The first Australian band to sign with Sub Pop, the band has been earning much-deserved press from Down Under’s own Triple J Radio in addition to more relatively localized publications like Rolling Stone.

Husky – “Farewell (in 3 Parts)”

Free Swag: None, but proceeds from bar sales go to sustainable, accessible agriculture project Urban Roots.
Location: Home Slice Pizza (1421 South Congress Avenue)
Times: 11:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Hype Hotel

Lineup/Schedule (Night Party)
10:00 p.m. – Caveman
11:00 – White Rabbits
12:00 – Lower Dens
01:00 – Neon Indian
03:00 – Star Slinger

Reason I’m There: I’ve wanted to see White Rabbits ever since I heard Britt Daniel was so taken with them that he produced their debut LP. Now that their upcoming sophomore release, Milk Famous, is even darker, edgier, and more brittle, I can’t wait to see it replicated live.
Curious About: UK producer and DJ Star Slinger, who alternatively goes by real name Darren Williams and other monikers Firework Splints and First & Last. With a 3 a.m. set, I’m curious to see how he’ll keep an undoubtedly exhausted audience movin’ and groovin’ until presumably the sun rises. Check out his re-fix of Rihanna’s “We Found Love” below.

Free Swag: Alcohol
Location: 504 Trinity Street
Times: 10:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m.


Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill – If you’re looking for some flavor, but also a seat that’s not a street curb, check into this downtown mainstay, perfect for an evening dinner (keyword: reservations). But, for heaven’s sake, do not skip out on that Dr. Pepper-flavored BBQ chicken. [Yelp]


Biz 3 Official Showcase

08:30 p.m. – Nick Waterhouse
09:00 – Hanni El Khatib
09:30 – Hollywood Holt
10:00 – The Cool Kids
10:30 – El-P
11:00 – Spank Rock
11:30 – Asher Roth
01:00 – Skrillex

Reason I’m There: In one lineup, you basically have a complete cultural cross-section of SXSW attendees. I’m interested to sit back and watch how the chic, in-the-know fans of neu-blues yowler Nick Waterhouse will get along with the Skrillex ravers and Asher Roth’s “I Love College” friends.
Curious About: The Cool Kids. Their last release, When Fish Ride Bicycles, expanded upon the old-school beat sampling and lethargic rhymes that made them famous in the first place, so we’ll see how well it translates live.

The Cool Kids – “Rush Hour T”

Free Swag: Alcohol
Location: 1100 Warehouse (1100 East 5th Street)
Times: 8:30 p.m. – 3:00 a.m.

Curated by Harley Brown

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The A.V. Club’s March Into Softness Day Party

12:00 p.m. – The Jealous Sound
01:00 – Cymbals Eat Guitars
02:00 – The Twilight Sad
03:00  – We Were Promised Jetpacks
04:00 – The War on Drugs
05:00 – White Rabbits

Reason I’m There: If you put a knife to my throat then I’d have to say The War On Drugs, but there’s hardly a single wrinkle in this lineup. Also Andrew W.K. is hosting the whole thing so it’s party certified.
Curious About: Even We Were Promised Jetpacks put on a great show, and The Jealous Sound have this pop-rock thing going on that could cross over from innocuous to sing-a-longy.

The Jealous Sound – “Hope For Us”

Free stuff: Not much.
Location: Club Deville  (900 Red River)
Times: 12:00p.m. – 6:00p.m.

SXSan Jose Hotel Parking Lot Party

12:00 p.m. Dan Dyer
12:45 – Chelsea Crowell
01:10 – The Bluebonnets
02:00 – Tennis
03:00 – Howler
04:00 – Amy Cook
05:00 – Jonathan Wilson
06:00 – Kool and Together/ The Relatives
07:00 – Ben Kweller
08:30 – Built to Spill

Reason I’m There: Built to Spill’s guitar tone will mend (or open) any wounds from the week.
Curious About: Kool and Together, Texas’ own 70’s soul and psych group, will probably be one of those moments that gets written about as an “authentic” and “unique” experience and that will be 100% correct.

Kool and Together – “Sittin On a Red Hot Stove”

Free stuff: Nah.
Location: San Jose Hotel (1316 S. Congress Ave)
Times: 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

HoZac Records Showcase


Puffy Areolas
Rayon Beach
Heavy Times
Far Out Fangtooth
Bleeding Rainbow
The Band in Heaven
Eric & the Happy Thoughts

Reason I’m There: If you’ve got any energy left at the end of the week, you might want to spend it with Chicago’s own trash label HoZac Records and these psychpunk garage noise shit-gaze bands and keep on dancing until the world ends. Puffy Areolas will melt anything in the room.
Curious About: Both The Band in Heavan and Nones have some pretty killer singles out. Check them below.

The Band in Heaven – “If You Only”

Free stuff: Nope, but it’s free and 21+
Location: The Liberty (1618 1/2 E 6th St)
Times: 8:30 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.


Lambert’s: Forego the Food Trucks for one day and splurge for some refined ribs at Lambert’s. And by refined I mean a little more expensive, but I’m not sure if you can call Wild Boar Ribs refined. (Yelp)


Showcase at The Loft

08:00 p.m. – Ape Machine
09:00 – Zorch
10:00 – My Education
11:00 – Torche
12:00 – The White Eyes
1:00 – Electric Eel Shock

Why I’m There: Torche’s latest album is a tank, and they will be sure to rawk the rafters of The Loft. Austin psych-experimentalists Zorch should balance Torche’s knitted hard rock with some loose noise-pop compositions.
Curious About: The White Eyes from Taiwan are tagged as grunge, punk, trashy, and provocative. While that last one may get lost in translation, I’m ready to give into lead singer Ms. Gao Xiao-gao’s scuzzy sound.

The White Eyes – “In Lust I Lost”

Location: The Loft (215 E 6th St.)
How to Get In: Badges, wristbands only.

Curated by Jeremy D. Larson