The (Potential) Best Of South By Southwest 2014

South By Southwest starts this week turning Austin, TX into one giant concert where musicians from around the world will be vying for attention.  Here are the bands that we recommend giving your attention to if you’ll be there:
Buffalo Killers:
Buffalo Killers are a    hook-heavy homegrown rock ‘n’ roll band from Ohio, lead by songwriting   brothers Zachary and Andrew Gabbard. The band has drawn the attention of big   names such as Chris Robinson,   who invited them to open a string of dates for The Black Crowes, and Dan   Auerbach from The Black Keys,   who produced their sophomore effort Let   It Ride, to name a few.On their fifth   full-length album Heavy Reverie, The group worked with platinum   producer Jim Wirt who is known   for his work with Incubus, Fiona Apple, and many others. The   record will be officially released on May 13 through Sun Pedal Recordings (distributed by Warner/ADA).
SXSW Day Party @ Botticelli’s – 3/14   – Austin, TX – 6PM
SXSW New Frontier Touring Showcase   @ Holy Mountain – 3/15 – Austin, TX – 12AM
Uncle Doug’s Chili Dog Fest V   @ The Side Bar – 3/16 – Austin, TX – 6:15PM
Cerebral Ballzy:
Brooklyn-based punk band Cerebral Ballzy are   getting ready to release their forthcoming album Jaded & Faded.  Cerebral Ballzy announced in the fall that   they had signed to Cult Records. The label’s owner, Julian Casablancas, says   Cerebral Ballzy are “probably the coolest band in the world at the   moment, a truly legit modern hardcore/punk band, and by far my favorite. It’s   beyond exciting to try and help them in any and all ways we can   and we’re honored to put their deliriously great new   record out on Cult Records.” The band’s new album, produced by TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek will be   out this year, with more details to follow.
03.12 – Austin, TX @ SXSW – Maggie Mae’s
03.12 – Austin, TX @  SXSW – House Of Vans at The Mohawk (7:30pm   performance)
03.14 – Austin, TX @ SXSW – The Control Room – Blundertown Showcase
Cheap Girls:
Cheap   Girls’ fourth full-length Famous   Graves arrives May 13 via Xtra Mile Recordings Worldwide – the   label’s very first U.S. release.  Previously they have released artists   such as Frank Turner, Against Me! and Tim Berry in the UK and Europe.
Famous Graves was recorded in Chicago and Grand Rapids by Rick Johnson   (who recorded Cheap Girls’ first two records, 2008?s Find Me a Drink Home   & 2009?s My Roaring 20?s) and Jeff Dean (The Bomb, Dead Ending,   All Eyes West). Recorded over three months, the band self-produced the record   and mixed it with the assistance of Dean.  The follow-up to their 2012   release Giant Orange (which was recorded and produced by Against Me!’s   Laura Jane Grace), Famous Graves sees the band continuing to grow   their authentic Midwestern rock that’s drawn comparisons to bands such as The   Lemonheads, The Replacements, and early Smoking Popes.
3/12 – Brixton/Run For Cover SXSW Showcase @ The Liberty (2:55pm)
3/12 – Brooklyn Vegan Official SXSW Showcase @ Red 7 (10:00pm)
If you’re unfamiliar, pull up a chair – helmed by John Dwyer (currently of Thee Oh Sees/Damaged Bug) from 2001 to 2005, they were fast, nasty, unintelligible, brutally and primally basic. A telephone through a guitar amp, half a drum kit, a shitty Casio organ, and primal speed-trash riffs never sounded so good.
03.11 – Hotel Vegas – Austin, TX
03.12 – Panache Bruise Cruise – Austin, TX
03.13 – Brixton Party – Yellowjacket – Austin, TX
03.14 – Castleface Party – Hotel Vegas – Austin, TX
03.14 – Sailor Jerry Party – Gypsy – Austin, TX
03.15 – Spider House – Austin, TX
03.15 – Beerland – Austin, TX
# w/ Mary Ocher, Hyenaz, Nad, HOTT MT

The duo from New Jersey has been dubbed as leading the “emo revival”  that seems to have the entire music world buzzing after the release of their latest EP, Pretty Good (6131 Records). Pretty Good finds the indie-rock leaning Dads exploring darker territory on the four-song effort. Earning praise everywhere from Pitchfork (“irrepressible spirit and ambition”) to NPR (“one of the bands I’m most excited about right now”) to the AV Club (“it strikes [a] balance of proficiency and punchiness”), it’s clear that Dads have captured the attention of wider audiences with just four tracks.
3/12 – Brixton/Run For Cover SXSW Showcase @ The Liberty (3:35pm)
3/13 – Audiotree Showcase @ Licha’s Cantina (6:30pm)
3/14 – 6131 Records SXSW Showcase @ The Liberty (TBA)
Gainesville, FL post-hardcore quintet’s upcoming full-length Loom will arrive April 29 via Topshelf Records.  It was recorded by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Joyce Manor, Comadre) in his Atomic Garden Studios in San Francisco.  The record sees Frameworks sprawling into more experimental territory, expanding beyond their post-hardcore roots to create a record which is brightly evocative, emotional, overwhelmingly gorgeous and one that sees the band genre-bending to carve out space for what they manage to create in Loom‘s 11 tracks.
3/12 – Brixton/Run For Cover SXSW Showcase @ The Liberty (4:40pm)
3/12 – Brooklyn Vegan Official SXSW Showcase @ Red 7 (9:10pm)
3/13 – Topshelf Records Showcase @ Soho Lounge (1:30pm)
3/13 – NNHO Fest @ 21st Street Co-op (10:40pm)
3/14 – Meatspin 3 @ Habanero House (TBA)
Fucked Up:
Long running Canadian hardcore punk perpetrators, Fucked Up, will discharge the sixth installment of the “Zodiac Series” with Year Of The Dragon this Spring. Melding all the prime tenets of rock, punk, metal and psychedia into a comprehensive and imposing opus of unyielding enormity, the band are sonically and conceptually devouring in ways few bands can emulate.
3/13/2014 French Legation Museum (Pitchfork Day Party) – Austin, TX
3/13/2014 Mohawk (Stereogum Party) – Austin, TX
3/13/2014 Scoot Inn (Converse/Thrasher Death Match) – Austin, TX|
3/14/2014 Empire Control Room (Altamont Party) – Austin, TX w/ Powertrip
Ghetto Ghouls:
Ghetto Ghouls wield the torch of sloppy ‘80s noisy punk like The Dicks, Stick Men, Scratch Acid and work with a drunken urgency best summed up by the fact that their debut album was recorded in just four hours.  From Austin, the band have played in bands together since they were fourteen years old.  Inside the cinder blocks of legendary venue and bar Beerland, the Ghetto Ghouls have grown into one of the best punk bands in town.  In an over saturated landscape of ‘70s worshipping garage bands, a stripped down Texas punk band like this is most definitely needed.  Look out for Ghetto Ghouls on tour this April – May, plus a single this summer on 12XU.
Wed: Ping Pong Booking showcase (Hotel Vegas) 2PM
Wed: Monofonus showcase (Beerland) 2:45PM
Thur: Thread Pull Records Showcase (Trailer Space) 5PM
Sat: Monofonus Official show (The Hideout) 9:20PM
Sun: Panache Hangover show (Beerland) 9PM
Greys will tell you they’re a “loud rock band from Toronto”, but that’s deceivingly simple for the sound the quartet has managed to hone to caustic, powerful perfection.  After the release of three EPs in as many years (2011?s Ultra Sorta, 2012?s Easy Listening and 2013?s Drift), Greys have finally found their way home to Carpark Records and Buzz Records to release their debut full-length If Anything on June 17.
If Anything sees Greys scraping raw the influences of their punk heros, bands such as Drive Like Jehu, Shellac, and Unwound, combining them with a dirty tapestry of angular guitar textures and irregular rhythms that propel the album’s 11 tracks forward at breakneck speed.  Yes, the band writes noise rock, but it’s also some of the poppiest music that’s ever been allowed to lay claim to such a title.
3/12 Austin, TX @ The Liberty (SXSW – Brixton Agency Showcase)
3/13 Austin, TX @ Parish Underground (SXSW – Carpark Records Showcase)
3/14 Austin, TX @ Hole In The Wall (SXSW – Exploding In Sound Showcase)

Seattle rapper Grieves returns to deliver his fourth studio album, Winter & The Wolves, on Rhymesayers Entertainment. The insatiable, devil-may-care MC is well known for his meticulous exploration of life, love and loss, through a unique medley of hip-hop and soulful music. Together with B. Lewis, Grieves created 14 new tracks, combining organic pianos and guitars with boisterous synthesizers, to paint a colorful backdrop for his unique blend of rapping and singing.
A reflection on growth and maturity, Winter & The Wolves is about the instinctual fight for survival. It’s about suddenly finding that you’re all alone, facing countless hindrances to your livelihood, and having the courage to overcome them all. Tackling difficult obstacles like addiction and heartbreak, Grieves wrestles with the realization that life doesn’t get any easier as you get older. His signature combination of humor and gloom culminate to depict the struggle of a man’s inner turmoil between abandoning the dreams of his youth, and carving out a new path for himself in this world.
Wed 3/12 – Antiquiet Showcase @ Rusty’s/Outlaw Roadshow – 5:30PM (405 E 7th Street) *
Thurs 3/13 – Audiotree Showcase – STREAMED LIVE @ Licha’s Cantina (formerly Papi Tinos) – 5:40-610PM (1306 E 6th St.) ^
Sat 3/15 – Copy Cats Showcase – 5:00-5:40PM @ Blind Pig – (317 E. 6th Street) %
Sat 3/15 – SXSW Official Showcase @ 1:30 – 1:50AM 512 Bar (408 E 6th Street) $
* = w/ Nicole Atkins & Ume
^ = w/ The Hood Internet & Psalm One
% = w/ Sol & Astronautalis
$ = w/ Sage Francis & B. Dolan

Formed in 2008 in Athens, GA, among indie- and math-rock contemporaries, Lazer/Wulf is an experimental metal trio that’s easy to get behind, but hard to peg. It’s instrumental but with flashes of distant vocals, a jazz collective with thrash roots, funk players with sludge issues, or a prog band reeled in by a satisfying hook. Every cathartic fit backs against a tense silence. Whatever it is, it’s useless to describe. Just imagine L/W as a trampoline rigged to explode: it’s fun for just about anybody, but likely to kill them at any moment.
The band announced today that Retro Futurist will be releasing their debut full-length, The Beast of Left and Right.  They’re circling a May release.
3/11 The Lost Well, Austin, TX
3/12 Wonderland, Austin, TX
3/15 Red Eyed Fly, Austin TX
Male Gaze:
Male Gaze is a trifecta of bad vibes from the dudes that brought Blasted Canyons, Mayyors and The Mall. Sheets of fuzz, feedback peeking out the corners, and a B+ Ian Curtis impression dress these diet pill pop tunes in your favorite sweater from 1996. Records to come, and a teaser of some demos for their upcoming release on Castle Face:
3/14 – @ Hotel Vegas (Castle Face Showcase), Austin
3/15 – @ The Owl (Castle Face party show), Austin
As the title to Austin trio Megafauna’s sophomore album Maximalist might suggest, it’s optimistic, expansive and unabashedly over-the-top; an endeavor to take music to its utmost potential. The band’s supercharged mixture of sounds ranging from prog-rock flash to alt-rock iconoclasm to pithy power-pop and garage rock energy is as infectious as it is inclusive. Megafauna paves their own hook-laden path — much like the Pixies and Queen, who taught the world that even the most unusual pairings of styles can result in unforgettable and eternal classics.
Maximalist was mixed by legendary engineer Tim Palmer (U2, Pearl Jam, David Bowie; recently featured in Tape Op Magazine) and recorded with Dwight Baker (Blue October, Bob Schneider) in Austin. Maximalist will be available on LP, CD and download on April 15 via Danimal Kingdom.
03/11  Austin, TX @ Guero’s (Future of Indie Showcase)
03/15  Austin, TX @ Shiner’s Saloon
03/16  Austin, TX @ Danimal Kingdom Party
September Girls:
September Girls arrive in Austin this week for SXSW in the wake of their new album Cursing The SeaCursing The Sea, the debut album from Ireland’s September Girls, is a dark kaleidoscope of echoey drums, buzzsaw bass, angular guitars and reverb-drenched vocals that blends garage rock and post-punk to extraordinary effect.
Named after a Big Star song via The Bangles, September Girls are comprised of Paula (Bass/Vocals), Caoimhe (Guitar/Vocals), Lauren (Keys/Vocals), Jessie (Guitar/Vocals) and Sarah (Drums). Drawing inspiration from the likes of Phil Spector, The Velvet Underground, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus And Mary Chain, the five-piece play reverb-soaked noise-pop of the finest order, with distant layered harmonies, swirling organ and distorted guitars once described as “sounds from a transistor radio abandoned in a rural cinema.”
Cursing The Sea is out today through Fortuna POP!
March 13 – Austin, TX – Austin Psych Fest Presents: Levitation Austin – Hotel Vegas, 1500 E. 6th St – 9:30pm
March 14 – Austin, TX – Music for Listeners Party – El Sapo, 1900 Manor Rd – 2pm
March 14 – Austin, TX – Full Irish Breakfast – BD Rileys, 204 E. 6th St – 4pm
March 15 – Austin, TX – Waterloo Cycles Party – 2815 Fruth St – 4pm
March 16 – Austin, TX – Panache Booking Hangover – Beerland, 711 Red River St – 2pm
Sweet Cobra:
Prolific Chicago noise-rock three-piece Sweet Cobra has just announced the completion of their upcoming new album Earth set for release this summer on a label still to be announced.  Recorded by Matt Talbot (Hum) and Kurt Ballou (Converge) at Earth Analog Studios in Champaign, IL (mixed by Kurt Ballou at Godcity Studios Nov 2013), the new album follows the band’s previous full-length album Mercy released in 2010 on Black Market Activities.
In addition to the upcoming full-length, the band is announcing a series of smaller releases, including the Young Widows / Sweet Cobra “Live at Three Floyds” Split LP (out April on Hawthorne Street, art by David M. Cook), and Sweet Cobra / Get Rad “Split” 7? out later this month on Hawthorne Street, Lifeline, and Underground Communiqué Records.
03/11 Austin, TX @ Spider House (Texas Is Funny & Better Days Will Haunt You SXSW Showcase) *
03/12 Austin, TX @ The Annex at 1808 (Ground Floor Booking Unofficial SXSW 2014 Day 1)
03/13 Austin, TX @ The Grackle
Topshelf Records:
Boston’s Topshelf Records has announced the lineups/schedules for their Unofficial SXSW Party and Showcase, happening Wednesday, March 12 and Thursday March 13, respectively.
Check out a teaser video here. More details below.
Topshelf Records SXSW Party (unofficial)
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
6pm – 2am
21st Street Co-op (707 West 21st Street, Austin, TX 78705)
All ages, free.
6:00 – 6:25 – Foxing
6:40 – 7:05 – Duck. Little Brother, Duck!
7:20 – 7:45 – Caravels
8:00 – 8:30 – Diamond Youth
8:45 – 9:15 – Donovan Wolfington
9:30 – 10:00 – Special Explosion
10:05 – 10:35 – Bob Nanna
10:40 – 11:10 – Joliette
11:15 – 11:45 – No Somos Marineros
12:00 – 12:30 – You Blew It!
12:45 – 1:15 – Prawn
1:30 – end – Empire! Empire!
Topshelf Records SXSW Showcase (unofficial)
Thursday, March 13, 2014
11am – 6pm
Soho Lounge (217 East 6th Street, Austin, TX 78701)
18+, free.
12:00 – 12:30 – Special Explosion
12:45 – 1:15 – Donovan Wolfington
1:30 – 2:00 – Frameworks
2:15 – 2:45 – Wild Ones
3:00 – 3:30 – Diamond Youth
3:45 – 4:15 – Prawn
4:30 – 5:00 – Caravels
5:15 – 5:45 – You Blew It!
Warm Soda:
Warm Soda (aka. Matthew Melton) has done it again! Just when it seemed as though he’d reached the pinnacle of power-pop confection with last year’s excellent Someone For You, he’s topped himself with his latest masterpiece Young Reckless Hearts. The unlikely addition of cello only serves to bitter-sweeten his teenage pop fantasias, the hooks are deviously barbed to lodge themselves into your memory, and the production (done himself at his Fuzz City Studios in Oakland) is dimensional, technicolor, and wide-screen. This is the record to fall into and possibly out of love to in 2014. Out on Castle Face Records March 11 (tomorrow).
03.11 – Austin, TX – SXSW – Cheer Up Charlies – 01:00 pm
03.12 – Austin, TX – SXSW – Hotel Vegas – 10:30pm
03.13 – Austin, TX – SXSW – Trailer Space Records – 09:45pm
03.14 – Austin, TX – SXSW – Hotel Vegas – 06:30pm
03.15 – Austin, TX – SXSW – Hotel Vegas – 11:45pm
Austin, TX hyper-kinetic duo Zorch are knownfor playing shows numbering in the double digits every year during SXSW — in 2011 they played 19 times, in 2012 they played 20 times during the event. So, it may be surprising that they’ve scaled back this year to a comparatively sane nine sets during this year’s festival. The band’s full length debut Zzoorrcchh was released everywhere on CD, LP and download via Sargent House on July 23, 2013.
03/11  Austin, TX @ No Play Music at Cheer Up Charlie’s (4:30pm)
03/11  Austin, TX @ Official Showcase at The North Door (11pm)
03/12  Austin, TX @ Local Gold at Spider House (5pm)
03/13  Austin, TX @ SXSWendys at Chain Drive
03/14  Austin, TX @ Snax by Snax Wonderland at Wonderland (4pm)
03/14  Austin, TX @ Volcom Party at OK Mountain
03/15  Austin, TX @ Breakthru Radio Day Show at The Liberty Bar (4:15pm)