A wealth of options, all of them good

    “Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted.” Sir MacPherson Robertson might have been talking about the gentlemanly sport of croquet when he said that, but damned if that sentiment doesn’t fit the bill for Austin’s annual South by Southwest Festival, set for March 9-18. The music portion of the festival begins March 14 (some acts play the night before, including Chamillionaire at the Carver museum at 6:30 p.m.). There is indeed an ass-ton of shows packed into one capital city for a four-day span — some rare (Jandek, on March 15 at 7 p.m. at the Central Presbyterian Church), some exciting (a reunited Stooges, playing at Stubb’s on March 17, just three days before the release of their first album in more than thirty years), and some that maybe won’t be as hard to get into thanks to less-than-stellar recent reviews (Bloc Party, on March 16 at midnight at Stubb’s). But after considering each band on the massive bill, we’ve come up with this: your best options for maximum SXSW enjoyment.



    What: Little Radio Austin, Good Magazine, Leapfro.gs and SESAC day party

    Where: Red Eyed Fly, noon to 6 p.m.

    Why: The best afternoon show for the festival’s opening day. It will be a nice juxtaposition to see shoegazers Dead Meadow and VietNam playing with the sun high in the sky. It’s also nice that this event is free — including beer and bloody marys.

    Lineup: Black Angels, El-P, Tokyo Police Club, Dead Meadow, The Octopus Project, Amy Millan, Apostle of Hustle, VietNam, Mooney Suzuki, Brothers and Sisters, Moon Upstairs, Yellow Fever, Restaurant, Bloodcat Love, twelve deejays and two special guests


    What: 4AD party

    Where: Emo’s

    Why: Be one of the first to hear tracks from the upcoming Blonde Redhead album, 23.

    Lineup: Wolf & Cub (8 p.m.), Emma Pollock (9 p.m.), Beirut (10 p.m.), The Mountain Goats (11 p.m.) and Blonde Redhead (12:45 a.m.)


    What: Devin the Dude release party

    Where: Club Visions

    Why: Because the Dude is Prefix’s reigning favorite rapper.

    Lineup: Kidz N Da Hall (11 p.m.), Evidence of Dilated Peoples (11:45 p.m.), Coughee Brothaz (12:30 a.m.) and Devin the Dude (1 a.m.)


    What: Free YR Radio

    Where: La Zona Rosa

    Why: It’s a free show with the Rapture. Why not?

    Lineup: The Pipettes (8 p.m.) and the Rapture (9 p.m.)


    What: Americana Music Association

    Where: The Parish

    Why: Charlie Louvin, one half of the legendary Louvin Brothers, plays at 8 p.m.

    Lineup: Charlie Louvin (8 p.m.), Sunny Sweeney (9 p.m.), The Holmes Brothers (10 p.m.), Ruthie Foster (11 p.m.), Ray Wylie Hubbard (midnight) and Marc Broussard (1 a.m.)


    What: Frenchkiss

    Where: Red Eyed Fly

    Why: The best way to finish off your first night in Austin is with party-rockers Les Savy Fav and Thunderbirds Are Now!

    Lineup: Rahim (8 p.m.), Call Me Lightning (9 p.m.), Fatal Flying Guilloteens (10 p.m.), The Big Sleep (11 p.m.), Thunderbirds Are Now! (midnight) and Les Savy Fav (1 a.m.)



    What: Spin and Schuba’s 11th Annual SXSW Round-Up

    Where: Yard Dog Folk Art Gallery, noon to 7 p.m.

    Why: A tough call between this free jam and the Onion’s, but the Spin lineup is pretty damn stellar. Plus, you get the champagne of beers for free and free Saucony shoes (while supplies last).

    Lineup: The 1900s, Architecture in Helsinki, Benjy Ferree, Bishop Allen, Cold War Kids, David Vandervelde, Elvis Perkins, Midlake, Prototypes and Russian Circles


    What: The Onion and Tag Team Media day show

    Where: Emo’s and Emo’s Jr.

    Why: If you can’t make it to Spin’s party, head on over to the Onion’s. Another amazing lineup, this one anchored by Prefix favorite Andrew Bird. Free grub and booze, not to mention some great comedic relief by the always-awesome Patton Oswalt.

    Lineup: Andrew Bird, Tokyo Police Club, Matt and Kim, Amy Millan, Patrick Watson and Future of the Left, Clem Snide, Maritime, Land of Talk, Young Galaxy, Kaki King, and The M’s. Comedians: Patton Oswalt, Michael Showalter, Aziz Ansari, Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel, and Jon Wurster.


    What: Rainbow By Rainbow West day show

    Where: Chain Drive

    Why: If both Spin and the Onion turn you away, Rainbow by Rainbow brings another great free show. Goes Cube is a massively fun band to see live, and Catfish Haven is no slouch, either.

    Lineup: Catfish Haven (1 p.m.), Black Tie Revue (2 p.m.), The Midgetmen (3 p.m.), Reykjavik! (4 p.m.), and Goes Cube (5 p.m.)


    What: FatCat, DiCristina and friends

    Where: Central Presbyterian Church                    

    Why: The best folk lineup at this year’s festival. Shearwater’s live set is a transfixing experience, and Tom Brosseau can spin a yarn like no one’s business.

    Lineup: Shearwater (7:30 p.m.), David Karsten Daniels (8:30 p.m.), Jana Hunter (9:30 p.m.), Tom Brosseau (10:30 p.m.), Nina Nastasia & Jim White (11:30 a.m.), and Vashti Bunyan (12:30 a.m.)


    What: Kemado Records showcase

    Where: Bourbon Rocks

    Why: By all accounts, shows by the Misfits-conjuring Cheeseburger are laced with good         times galore.

    Lineup: Lords (8 p.m.), Turzi (9 p.m.), Marissa Nadler (10 p.m.), Danava (1 p.m.), Cheeseburger (midnight) and VietNam (1 a.m.)


    What: Signature Sounds

    Where: Creekside EMC at Hilton Garden Inn

    Why: We don’t know much about the rest of this lineup, but Chris Smither is a truly legit folk singer who can pick the hell out of a guitar. He can also recite “The Wasteland” from memory without sounding like a pompous ass.

    Lineup: Kris Delmhorst (8 p.m.), Chris Smither (9 p.m.), Eilen Jewell (10 p.m.), Ruth Minnikin (11 p.m.), Pete Teo (midnight) and Hera (1 a.m.)


    What: Oyafestival / Oh My Rockness

    Where: Emo’s Jr.

    Why: Apparently this Datarock group is a big deal, but we’re going so we can see the Ponys close this one out with some quality garage rockingness.

    Lineup: Ra Ra Riot (8 p.m.), New Violators (9 p.m.), Trondheim, Cloud Cult (10 p.m.), Lionheart Brothers (11 p.m.), Datarock (midnight), and the Ponys (1 a.m.)


    What: Sire Records

    Where: Exodus

    Why: Mostly a dud of a lineup, but Against Me! goes on at 12:45 a.m.


    What: Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar & Dead Oceans

    Where: Mohawk Patio

    Why: Every band on this lineup pretty much rules, though this show could get a bit                 tedious on the whole.

    Lineup: The Besnard Lakes (8:30 p.m.), I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness (9:30 p.m.), Bishop Allen (10:30 p.m.), Richard Swift (11:30 p.m.), and Okkervil River (12:30 a.m.)


    What: Soho Lounge showcase

    Where: Soho Lounge

    Why: If you score some mushrooms, head over to this show when Citay goes on and you’ll feel pretty durn good for the rest of the night.

    Lineup: The Chairs of Perception (8 p.m.), Pink Reason (9 p.m.), Psychedelic Horseshit (10 p.m.), Citay (11 p.m.), Deerhunter (midnight), and Do Make Say Think (1 a.m.)

    What: Hip-hop showcase

    Where: Copa

    Why: Expect the craziest rhymes and deliveries at SXSW from newly signed Epitaph artist Cadence Weapon and seasoned freestyle champ C-Rays Walz.

    Lineup: DJ Spinner T and DJ Crop Diggie of the Superstardjs (8 p.m.), C-Rayz Walz (8:30 p.m.), Monster Maker (9:15 p.m.), Grand Analog (10 p.m.), El Axel (11 p.m.), Chris Lee (11:30 p.m.), Cadence Weapon (12:15 p.m.), C-Mon & Kypski (1 p.m.)

    What: Hip-hop showcase

    Where: Fox & Hound

    Why: If you love hip-hop and you’re at a music festival in Texas, you cannot pass up a chance to see the legends of Texas hip-hop, UGK, along with the Geto Boys’ Willie D.

    Lineup: Short, Bird Street, Mike Moe & DJ Wrecka of Beltway 8 (8:20 p.m.), Saint (8:45 p.m.), Steve Austin (9:15 p.m.), KB da Kidnappa of Street Military (9:45 p.m.), Willie D Introducing Huntzville (10:45 p.m.), UGK (12:15 p.m.)


    What: The Hot Freaks

    Where: Mohawk

    Why: This free show brings two stages of blogger-curated rock. Seating is first-come, first-served, so get there early.

    Lineup: Catfish Haven (outside at noon), Briertone (inside at 12:30 p.m.), Thunderbirds Are Now! (outside at 1 p.m.), Sea Wolf (inside at 1:30 p.m.), Apostle of Hustle (outside at 2 p.m.), St. Vincent (inside at 2:30 p.m.), Imperial Teen (outside at 3 p.m.), Midnight Movies (inside at 3:30 p.m.), Annuals (outside at 4 p.m.), Bishop Allen (inside at 4:30 p.m.) and Shearwater (outside at 5 p.m.)


    What: Super Deluxe and 857 present Mess With Texas!

    Where: Red 7, noon to 6 p.m.

    Why: David Cross curates and hosts this show from the extremely funny new video Web site Super Deluxe.

    Lineup: Les Savy Fav, The Black Angels, Gossip, Dead Meadow, Erase Errata, David Vandervelde, Matt and Kim, Dark Meat, Danava, Brother Reade and Spindrift

    Comedians: David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Eugene Mirman, Leo Allen, Laura Krafft, Kristen Schaal, Bob Odenkirk, Brian Posehn, Jon Glaser, Scott Auckerman, BJ Porter, Jon Benjamin, Zach Galifianakis, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Michael Showalter and more.


    What: WOXY day show

    Where: 6th Street

    Why: If you get shut out of Hot Freaks and Super Deluxe, stop by the free WOXY day show right smack in the middle of 6th Street.

    Lineup: Bob Mould, The Bird and The Bee, The Little Ones, The Broken West, Aqueduct, and Snowden. Hosted by Zach Galifinakis.


    What: SESAC showcase

    Where: Eternal

    Why: The best show of the evening, if only because the best neo-dance-punk band ever, the Faint, is playing.

    Lineup: Flowers Forever (8 p.m.), Hymns (9 p.m.), Peter and the Wolf (10 p.m.), Pela (11:15 p.m.), and The Faint (12:30 a.m.)


    What: The Billions Corporation

    Where: Antone’s

    Why: Afro-beat collective Antibalas might be the most talked-about group after SXSW wraps up.

    Lineup: St. Vincent (8 p.m.), Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s (9 p.m.), My Brightest Diamond (10 p.m.), The Black Angels (11 p.m.), The Dap-Kings featuring Sharon Jones (midnight) and Antibalas (1 a.m.)


    What: Dew Music Festival

    Where: Town Lake Stage at Auditorium Shores

    Why: It’s a free show featuring Public Enemy. Enough said.

    Lineup: X-Clan (6 p.m.), Ozomatli (6:45 p.m.) and Public Enemy (8 p.m.)


    What: Pop/rock showcase

    Where: Stubb’s

    Why: Very solid lineup at the classic Austin venue.

    Lineup: Pete and the Pirates (8:30 p.m.), Andrew Bird (9:30 p.m.), Satellite Party (10:30 p.m.), Badly Drawn Boy (11:30 p.m.) and the Good, The Bad & The Queen (12:45 a.m.)

    What: Hip-hop showcase

    Where: Beauty Bar Patio

    Why: The Federation is one of the most underappreciated groups in hip-hop. The Pack have songs built for parties, and Saafir is more than just one-third of the Golden State Warriorz (Xzibit, Ras Kass). Also, find out if super promoter Roxy Cottontail can spit rhymes.

    Lineup: DJ Catchdubs (8 p.m.), Doujah Raze (9 p.m.), Wale (9:30 p.m.), Roxy Cottontail (10 p.m.), Qualo (10:30 p.m.), Rico Pabon (11 p.m.), Saafir (11:30 p.m.), The Pack (12 a.m.), Balance (12:30 a.m.), The Federation (1:15 a.m.)



    What: Super Deluxe and 857 present Mess With Texas!

    Where: Red 7, noon to 6 p.m.

    Why: The second day of the Super Deluxe party is hosted by Patton Oswald and features the Walkmen. 

    Lineup: The Walkmen, Apples in Stereo, Sloan, The Black Lips, The Ponys, Fucked Up, Deerhunter, Fatal Flying Guiloteens, Ladyhawk, The Carbonas, and The Cubical


    What: Dew Music Festival

    Where: Town Lake Stage at Auditorium Shores

    Why: Show up after Priestess ends and you’re in for an amazing free show of badass metal (Mastodon and Boris) and punk (Against Me!).

    Lineup: Palm School Choir (11 a.m.), Daddy A Go-Go (11:45 a.m.), The Sippy Cups (12:30 p.m.), The Jellydots (1:15 p.m.), Gallows (2 p.m.), Fake Problems (3 p.m.), Priestess (4 p.m.), Boris (5 p.m.), Riverboat Gamblers (6 p.m.), Against Me! (7 p.m.) and Mastodon (8 p.m.)


    What: Absolutely Kosher/Misra Showcase

    Where: Habana Calle 6 Patio

    Why: A great show with Kosher/Misra’s revamped lineup on full display.

    Lineup: The Affair (9 p.m.), Chris Garneau (10 p.m.), Palomar (11 p.m.), +/- (midnight) and Frog Eyes (1 a.m.)


    Where: Emo’s Main Room

    Why: There is no better way to spend your last night in Austin than with a band that has a song about literally fucking the world.

    Lineup: Buzzcocks (8 p.m.), Meat Puppets (9:15 p.m.), Bad Wizard (10:15 p.m.), The Gamblers (11:45 p.m.) and Turbonegro (12:45 a.m.)

    What: TheScrewShop.com 10-year anniversary

    Where: Zero Degrees

    Why: See the Trae the “Truth,” one of the darkest, grittiest rhymers in hip-hop today, in his home state.

    Lineup: The Gray Kid (8 p.m.), Negmaron (8:45 p.m.), Plan B (9:30 p.m.), Circle G’z (10:15 p.m.), Big Sid (10:35 p.m.), Ryno (10:55 p.m.), South Bound (11:15 p.m.), Dok Holiday & Set 4 Life (11:35 p.m.), Sparkdawg (11:55 p.m.), Grit Boys (12:15 a.m.), Basswood Lane (12:35 a.m.), Carnival Beats (12:50 a.m.), Trae (1:20 a.m.)


    The Internet has a wealth of information about this year’s festival. Some of our favorite links are below.