13 Bands You Should See At SXSW 2013 - Oh My Rockness

Band We Like
February 15, 2013
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Written by Patrick McNamara

SXSW is coming soon. Ready or not. Head over to our SXSW site for all the latest information.

So you know the SXSW situation. Lots of shows. Lots of them official. Lots of them unofficial. Lots of those free RSVP parties. Lots of those free RSVP parties that also have lots of that free food. Lots of those free RSVP parties that also have lots of those free.... drinks. The pause was purely for dramatic effect. You didn’t think we’d make special lists and not include one for free drinks, did you?

Oh, yeah. There are lots of bands playing SXSW too. You definitely know that. You also know there are way too many to see them all. And we’re just talking about good bands. Oh, well. Life is short. You do what you can to enjoy what you can.

We want to help you enjoy at least 13 bands, though. Below are 13 up-and-coming bands you should really try to see. These are the bands gaining traction - picking up steam - deciding to do it. Are there others you should really try to see too? Yes. There are. But these bands - these 13 bands. They won’t let you down.

ABSOLUTELY FREE

Note to self: buy stock in Toronto music scene. Absolutely Free are another good new band coming from that fine city. This band makes weird, tribal sounding pop music full of tiny explosions. It's accessible and destructive and clean and muddled and meandering and concise. It's all over the place. In a good way. In an absolutely free way. Let’s not even try to categorize them. Because NOBODY PUTS ABSOLUTELY FREE IN THE CORNER.

VIEW ALL UPCOMING ABSOLUTELY FREE SHOWS AT SXSW >>



BIG UPS

NYC's Big Ups are a completely fun and instantly likeable band. They play high energy ramshackle punk rock that you'll want to get messy and sweaty in Texas to. See Big Ups when you feel like mixing it up. But in a pleasant way. Be nice. Stay cool. Have fun. And Long Live -- Punk Rock.

VIEW ALL UPCOMING BIG UPS SHOWS AT SXSW >>



CHEATAHS

Guitars! Oh, guitars like these! London's Cheatahs (yes, that's a sic - as in "I'm gonna sic you if you don't listen to their jam that I put below these words") are a super solid new band that tap into the gone-but-not-forgotten heyday of old school shoegaze. Think early Swervedriver. Think pretty melodies. Think noise. Think Cheatahs.

VIEW ALL UPCOMING CHEATAHS SHOWS AT SXSW >>



CHRVCHES

CHVRCHES are a trio from Glasgow that play bright and squiggly synth-electro-pop. It's beautiful and happy and destined to help sell out this summer's massive festivals. Why? Because this song below is just a massive song. That’s why. Get ready for the big time.

VIEW ALL UPCOMING CHVRCHES SHOWS AT SXSW >>



FOXYGEN

These two dudes are tapping into a different time. Los Angeles’ Foxygen is Sam France and Jonathan Rado. They make pop that's swirly and hazy and druggy. It captures that musical era when rock and psych and hippy and pop all sort of merged to become something great. So if you dig, put a flower in your hair - gather a bunch of merry pranksters - do whatever it is you merry pranksters do - and then go see these guys do their thing. It’s a good thing.

VIEW ALL UPCOMING FOXYGEN SHOWS AT SXSW >>



MAJICAL CLOUDZ

Deliberate typos in your band name is the new CAPS LOCK in your band name which was the old punctuation marks in your band name. Montreal’s Devin Welsh is the mastermind behind Majical Cloudz. He makes cerebrally eccentric electronic jams. Maybe he learned some tricks from Grimes - a friend and regulator on the regular. Welsh has a good voice too. He’s a crooner. I’m always in favor of crooners. How about you? (p.s. Early indicators say bands that use symbols in their names might already be the new bands that use deliberate typos in their name - we’ll let you know.)

VIEW ALL UPCOMING MAJICAL CLOUDZ SHOWS AT SXSW >>



METZ

METZ played the Oh My Rockness CMJ show this past October. Thanks for the tinnitus, guys. We appreciate it. Just kidding. We were wearing our earplugs. We may like to rage - but we also like our hearing. It’s been good to us over the years. Anyway, these guys slay. And their shredding guitars go LOUD. They’re not angry. They’re just having fun up there.

VIEW ALL UPCOMING METZ SHOWS AT SXSW >>



PALMA VIOLETS

Another buzzy British guitar band coming over to take us over. Well, if we’re going to be taken over and held captive by someone - at least it’s someone that's armed with the good guitar jingle-jangle. So at least there’s that.

VIEW ALL UPCOMING PALMA VIOLETS SHOWS AT SXSW >>



PARQUET COURTS

Speaking of the good guitar jingle-jangle - Parquet Courts rock that solid sound too. Bouncy punk from one of the Fergus & Geronimo guys that reminds me of The Van Pelt. I liked The Van Pelt.

VIEW ALL UPCOMING PARQUET COURTS SHOWS AT SXSW >>



PAWS

Fuzzy lo-fi garage punkness from Scotland. PAWS come at you on the playful tip. See songs "Boregasm” and “Sore Tummy” for more on that. The rapid fire jams from this hyper melodic band will put you in a better mood. Bet.

VIEW ALL UPCOMING PAWS SHOWS AT SXSW >>



ROOMRUNNER

Roomrunner also played our CMJ party this past October. They blasted it. Ain’t gonna be no chit-chatting when Roomrunner play. Because you can’t hear your neighbor. No matter how loud you shout in their ear. And anyway, what could possibly be so important that you can’t wait 'til they get done playing. You’re probably just shouting, “These guys slay!” Trust us, your neighbor already knows.

VIEW ALL UPCOMING ROOMRUNNER SHOWS AT SXSW >>



SINGLE MOTHERS

Brutally fun punk from London. The one in Ontario, beeyotch. Go see them blast it. Live it. Love it. Let's get sloppy.

VIEW ALL UPCOMING SINGLE MOTHERS SHOWS AT SXSW >>



WAXAHATCHEE

Katie Crutchfield runs this show. She sings and strums mostly sad, country-folk-punk songs. I don’t know if that description will make you want to see Waxahatchee play. But this isn’t about words, anyway. This is about feeling. Watch it. And maybe you’ll feel it. And then you’ll know.

VIEW ALL UPCOMING WAXAHATCHEE SHOWS AT SXSW >>



For more show suggestions, check out our BANDS WE LIKE section here >>

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