Kicking off this Tuesday, the music portion of SXSW 2012 will find thousands flocking to Austin, TX with one question on their mind: Who should we see this year? Many will gather in long lines to see faces they remember from magazine covers, while others will spend their days in dimly lit bars watching bands they already know play songs they’ve been touring on for a year, but what everyone should be there for is discovery and that’s where UTG comes in. After countless revisions and late night Skype conferences to plan our own coverage for this year’s event, UTG is now proud to present our picks for the ten MUST SEE acts of SXSW 2012:
Having spent the past year on multiple national tours in between recording material for their upcoming full length, Boston’s Bad Rabbits have continually found their way into the UTG headlines and speakers with their modern twist on funk pop. If you want to dance to live music SXSW, this is the band to see!
3/16 – Presskit Takeover (530pm) @ Soho Lounge
3/16 – Paper Garden Party (6pm) @ Uncorked
3/16 – Showcase (11pm) @ Palm Door
Stream: “Stick Up Kids”
Hot on the heels of their new album Who’s Feeling Young Now, which UTG gave a perfect score, Punch Brothers will be bring their charismatic folk sound to multiple performances in Austin. Some have called them the US Mumford & Sons, but we think they have more to offer than that comparison may lead you to believe. Listen to “This Girl” below and hear for yourself.
3/14 – K Swiss Shindig (12-6pm) @ Swan Dive RSVP
3/14 – Warner Sound (9pm) @ La Zona Rosa
3/15 – IFC Crossroads (9pm) @ Vice
3/15 – Americana Music Association Showcase (11pm) @ Antone’s
3/16 – Radio Day Stage (115pm) @ Convention Center
3/16 – Sennheiser & Paste (430pm) @ The Stage On Sixth
Stream: “This Girl”
Finding a true, in it for the music rock band is hard these days, even at SXSW, but the search becomes a bit easier this year thanks to an appearance from Boston’s Ghost Thrower. Bringing together the signature passionate lyricism of New England’s punk/hardcore scene with crunchy guitars and vocals that feel uttered from one’s own soul, we dare you to find a more raw, yet badass band this year.
3/17 – Alternative Press “100 Bands” Party (12-6pm) @ Red 7
Stream: “For Austin”
The mastermind of Hippie Hop is returning to SXSW with the recent success of his single “All Night, Every Night” leading the way. Considering the buzz around this name these past few weeks, this is very likely the last year Mod Sun will be so readily accessible in these large event situations. Do not miss out!
3/16 Showcase (nighttime) @ Haven
3/17 Showcase (nighttime) @ Haven
The only Texas native on our list, Larry g(EE) is headed to SXSW for the first time this year with his own brand of dancehall inspired soul pop. Anyone who has yet to hear “Yo Mama,” has yet to hear the best unsigned pop single of the year so far (good thing we included a stream below).
3/13 Red Gorilla Kickoff Party (9pm) @ The Blind Pig
3/16 Red Gorilla Party (9pm) @ Chuggin Monkey
3/18 Roadhouse Rags (4pm) @ Roadhouse Rags Studios
Stream: “Yo Mama”
Former Woe, Is Me frontman Tyler Carter has been relatively quiet since the release of his debut solo single “Side To Side” in the Fall of 2011, but a slew of tour dates to kickoff the spring leads us to believe he has A LOT in store for the new year. SXSW will be one of the first events to be graced with Carter’s solo show, so come out and discover why this former metalcore frontman may just be the next big thing in pop music.
3/16 – Fearless Records Showcase (8pm) @ Dirty Dog
Stream: “Side To Side”
Still riding the promotional wave of their 2011 effort Ruining It For Everybody, which UTG Editor James Shotwell proclaimed the best heavy album of the year, IWABO return to SXSW ahead of what promises to be their most ambitious year to date. Come for the metal, stay for antics, and be sure to ask them when their horror movie is finally coming out.
3/16 – Road To New England Metal & Hardcore Fest (505pm) @ 522 E. 6th St.
Stream: “Karate Nipples”
The only act on our list hailing from our home state, Rocky Loves Emily are invading Austin ahead of the April release of their first full length album. If you’re looking for a Summer soundtrack with hooks that never quit, this is the band to see.
3/14 HM Mag Showcase (445pm) @ 311 Club
3/14 All Together Now Showcase (10pm) @ Neches
Dubbed by some as an underground supergroup, I Hate Our Freedom is comprised of members of Garrison, Texas Is the Reason, Thursday and Milhouse. Their music, described by the band as “no-frills,” serves as a stark reminder of the true power of raw rock and roll. Unfiltered. Uncompromising. Badass.
3/15 – Mightier Than Sword Showcase (7pm-2am) @ Barbarella Patio
3/17 – Giant Steps Productions’ NotSXSW (6pm-1am) @ Mellow Mushroom
Stream: “It’s No First”
Already a staple of UTG headlines, The Body Rampant are poised to explode in popularity at this year’s SXSW. Their latest material keeps their punk edge alive and well, but showcases a much stronger understanding of songwriting, lyricism, and making people want to dance. For a good time, look no further than the sets listed below.
3/14 – All Together Now Showcase (840pm) @ Neches
3/15 – Big Picture Party (12pm) @ Blind Pig Rooftop
Stream: “New Riot Control”