When it comes to SXSW, getting to Austin is one thing, coming up with a schedule is a whole other story.
WIth thousands of bands in town and shows crammed in every inch of downtown, SXSW is a crazy proposition, and navigating the madness can be onerous.
If you're struggling making sense of the endless options, here's a handy tip-sheet: a whole run of SXSW day parties and showcases that've assembled brilliant bills. From Pitchfork
to the Secretly Canadian, here's a run of sweet shows, with multiple appearances by buzzy acts like psychedelic Brazilian sweethearts Boogarins, '90s-indie-rock loyalists Speedy Ortiz, and honey-voiced songwriter Angel Olsen (pictured!).
Let this be your guide: it's a list of 10 Awesome Shows at SXSW 2014
Photo © Zia Anger
In indie music, come March all roads lead to Austin. The SXSW Music Conference becomes, for five days, the centre of the rock'n'roll world, with thousands of bands landing in Texas for a frenetic flurry of free day parties and beer, runamok corporate sponsorship, and the chance to see bands performing in various ramshackle situations.
Some people see the mania of SXSW as the worst place to watch bands, but I take the opposite opinion: here, bands have to think on their feet, inhabit the moment, create a vibe where they may, and, well, kind of be dragged down a few notches. At regular shows, the stage can often feel like a pedestal; here, well, sometimes there aren't even stages. You're not watching a concert spectacular, just bands playing show (after show after show).
With the blogosphere about to descend upon Austin en masse, there's a bunch of bands who're peaking at the right time: piquing interest with well-time singles, soon-to-arrive albums, or some fortuitous buzz. From Nothing to Protomartyr (pictured!), Glass Animals to Your Friend, here's 10 Last-Minute Picks for SXSW 2014
Photo © Angel Ceballos
Sharon Van Etten
has a brand-new album. Are We There
, the Brooklyn-based songwriter's fourth album, will be out May 27 on Jagjaguwar.
Are We There
marks the follow-up to 2012's Tramp
, an album that built on the buzz from 2010's Epic
, leading to Van Etten to become one of 2012's breakout acts
The first single, "Taking Chances
," is out in the world, and there's an Are We There album trailer
to boot. Van Etten already has a host of tour dates lined up, too...
Are We There Track List:
1. "Afraid of Nothing"
2. "Taking Chances"
3. "Your Love Is Killing Me"
4. "Our Love"
6. "I Love You But I'm Lost"
7. "You Know Me Well"
8. "Break Me"
9. "Nothing Will Change"
10. "I Know"
11. "Every Time the Sun Comes Up"
Tell Me Not To Trip:
May 8: Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall
May 9: Hudson, NY - Helsinki Hudson
May 10: Providence, RI - Columbus Theatre
May 11: Hamden, CT - Ballroom at the Outer Space
May 25: Brussels, Belgium - Botanique Grand Salon
May 28: Paris, France - Café de la Danse
May 30: Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound
June 1: Koln, Germany - Studio 672
June 2: Berlin, Germany - Privatclub
June 3: Amsterdam, Netherlands - Bitterzoet
June 5: London, England - KOKO
June 11: Boston, MA - Sinclair
June 12: Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall at Williamsburg
June 13-14: New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
June 17: Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
June 18: Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
June 19: Millvale, PA - Mr. Small's
June 20: Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
June 21: Nashville, TN - Exit In
June 24: Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater
June 25: Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
June 28: Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
June 29-30: San Francisco, CA - The Independent
July 2-3: Portland, OR - Doug Fir
July 5: George, WA - Sasquatch Festival
July 6: Vancouver, BC - Rickshaw Theatre
July 8: Calgary, AB - Republik
July 9: Edmonton, AB - Starlite Room
July 14: Fargo, ND - Aquarium
July 16: Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
July 17: Madison, WI - University of Wisconsin
July 18: Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival
Photo © Dusdin Condren
, the Canadian fiddler of part-time Arcade Fire membership and full-time awesomeness, is back with a new LP. It's called In Conflict
, and it's out on May 13 via the Domino Record Co.
It's his second full-length under his own name, following 2009's brilliant Heartland
, a fantasy opus that marked Pallett's continuation from his days as Final Fantasy.
Pallett recorded In Conflict
with his live-band musicians, Robbie Gordon and Matt Smith, and drew contributions from both Brian Eno and the Czech FILMharmonic Orchestra. You can get a teasin' taste of the record thanks to the obligatory In Conflict album trailer
Pallett has a handful of carefully-curated live dates on the horizon.
In Conflict Track List:
1. "I Am Not Afraid"
2. "In Conflict"
3. "On A Path"
4. "Song For Five & Six"
5. "The Secret Seven"
7. "The Passions"
8. "The Sky Behind The Flag"
9. "---> (1)"
10. "The Riverbed"
11. "Infernal Fantasy"
12. "Soldiers Rock"
13. "---> (2)"
Strung Out On the Highway:
May 13: Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands
May 14: New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
May 15: Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
May 17: Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
May 21: London, England - Oval Space
May 23: Paris, France - La Maroquinerie
May 25: Berlin, Germany - Volksbhune
May 27: Lisbon, Portugal - Lux