SXSW Showcases


SXSW Underage Day Party

The Fireants
The Fireants (Photo by Shelley Hiam)

Noon, Momo's So just how widespread is this teen scene bubbling in and around Austin? 1980s pop queen Debbie Gibson, better known today as Broadway star Deborah Gibson, is showcasing her wunderkind, Casey Lee Smith, at this first-ever official SXSW day party for teen acts. This isn't aw-aren't-they-cute-li'l-darlings. This is rock & roll at its most authentic, written, performed, and sung with teenage heart. It's also hip-hop, blues, electronica, indie, emo, psych, roots, pop, and original. Smith joins Texas teen talents such as Chief Rival, Edison Chair, the Diving Captain, Avenging Poor Yorick with guest Jenny Wolfe, the Nouns, the El Guapos, Aftermath, the Fireants, Anarchy on Mars, Team Next, the O'My's, Carson Brock Group, You & Me, Blankberry, and Blues Mafia. You think Austin's boast about being the live music capital of the world is hype? Wait 'til you hear what the town is breeding. – Margaret Moser

Ponderosa Stomp

Silver Apples
Silver Apples

7pm, Continental Club If you can't make April's Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans, check out this fringe-dwelling blast from Top 40's golden age. The Excels are best known for 1963's Metroplex hit "Let's Dance," while DFW contemporaries the Elite rule the Fort Worth teen-scene reissues. Austin's Eve & the Exiles deliver R&B-spiked garage rock to set the stage for Dallas' Floyd Dakil Combo and its 1964 regional smash, "Dance Franny Dance." Big D's Huelyn Duvall influenced young Robert Plant with the 1958 rockabilly summer anthem "Three Months to Kill," while Waco-based guitar whip Classie Ballou backed Boozoo Chavis on 1952's "Paper in My Shoe." Houston's Little Joe Washington plies electric blues iconoclasm with a wail to match, followed by Beaumont southpaw guitarist Barbara Lynn, whose "You'll Lose a Good Thing" went Top 10 in 1962. Memphis soul revivalists the Bo-Keys feature Stax session guitarist Charles "Skip" Pitts and original Bar-Kays trumpeter/vocalist Ben Cauley. Longtime Clifton Chenier guitarist "Lil Buck" Senegal brings a dose of Acadiana R&B, then it's "Treat Her Right" time with Roy Head. Finally, NOLA-bred Simeon Coxe fronts 1960s electro-psych machine Silver Apples on a mechanical mind warp to put the Stomp to bed. Sweet dreams, baby. – Greg Beets

The Renderers
The Renderers

WFMU/Aquarius Records

7pm, Spiros/Spiros Ampitheater Jersey City free-form pacesetter WFMU joins San Francisco retailer Aquarius Records to unleash a circus of aural curiosities on dueling stages. Brooklyn's Gary War jump-starts the indoor stage with brain-curdling synthadelic warble from debut New Raytheonport, followed by Monterrey, Mexico, bass-and-drum noise duo XYX. The Mayyors export incendiary freak-punk destruction from Sacramento, Calif., while New Zealand combo the Renderers ply their smoldering psych-folk stateside for the first time in 11 years. San Francisco's Ovens turn out poppin' fresh scruff-rock, sharply contrasting the Celtic/Gothic tribal fusion of Denver-based 16 Horsepower successor Wovenhand. On the outdoor stage, San Frannies Prizehog mine slow-roasted ambient drone to pave the runway for screaming night thunder from Seattle's Wildildlife and Maiden-esque epic metal from San Francisco's Slough Feg. Sole Texan entry Absu hammers black metal from deep in the heart of Plano. Drive Like Jehu/Hot Snakes guitarist/vocalist Rick Froberg leads Brooklyn's Obits, whose Sub Pop debut, I Blame You, arrives this month. Cambridge, Mass., collective Major Stars deliver a psychedelicized stoner-rock smackdown exacerbated by the Dead Kennedys-meets-Legendary Stardust Cowboy weirdness of Grenoble, France's Gunslingers. – Greg Beets

Southern Lord

Wolves in the Throne Room
Wolves in the Throne Room

7:30pm, Emo's Annex Los Angeles metal mint Southern Lord stamps out six acts, while the seventh, Neurot recorders It's Casual, open in duo format fronted by the sponsor label's promo man, Eddie Solis. Baton Rouge swamp thing Thou follows as quintet quicksand. A pair of deuces next in Utah twosome Eagle Twin mining Tuvan throat epics and S.F. steel assault specialists Black Cobra spitting out Jason Landrian, Rafael Martinez, and soon a third LP and first for the Lord. Punctuated Equilibrium leverages the solo debut of doom progenitor Scott "Wino" Weinrich (the Obsessed, Saint Vitus, the Hidden Hand). At the last, two showcase overlords break the Emo's Annex tent pole when hissing Olympia, Wa., trio Wolves in the Throne Room unveils its third release, Black Cascade (wicked witch metal, and we don't mean J Mascis), and Chicago instrumentalists Pelican soar after having flown the coop from Hydra Head for an upcoming bow on SL. South by Southern Lord. – Raoul Hernandez

Ubiquity/Wax Poetics

Brownout (Photo by Todd V. Wolfson)

7:30pm, the Scoot Inn A natural pair: California's Ubiquity Records has been pedaling funk, soul, and hip-hop since 1993, and Waxpoetics is the bimonthly bible for rare groove fanatics that recently launched a label. DJs Chicken George of Austin and San Francisco's J-Boogie lay the foundation with hypnotic jazz and dubtronica. The understated California soul of Damon Aaron and strangely compelling R&B falsetto of Mayer Hawthorne from Ann Arbor, Mich., play the perfect foil to the Brooklyn-based Chin Chin's psychedelic brand of disco. The night gets a dash of Lone Star style, as well, with Gulf Coast rhyme posse HISD (Hueston Independent Spit District) dropping gems like a resurrected Freestyle Fellowship and Austin's own Brownout unleashing a fury of Latin funk. – Thomas Fawcett

Slumberland/Cake Shop

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

8pm, Emo's Jr. Slumberland Records has peddled sweet and hazy sounds since 1989, with a roster including Black Tambourine, Velocity Girl, Lilys, and Whorl. 2009 marks a year of twee-vitalization (sorry) and a slew of new releases. This showcase, in conjunction with NYC indie venue the Cake Shop, features buzz band the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, which recently dropped a self-titled dish of late 1980s fuzz pop. Fellow New York foursome Crystal Stilts' debut, Alight of Night, detunes and distorts behind big 1960s girl-group beats. The night's rounded out by the sugar pop of Cause Co-Motion!, the mellow quirk of Woods, the lo-fi crawl of Air Waves, and the cats and rats of local trio YellowFever, which purrs like a Slumberland band from 1991. – Audra Schroeder


Asobi Seksu
Asobi Seksu

8pm, Habana Calle 6 Patio Topping the Champaign, Ill., indie label's showcase is Japanese-American dream-pop duo Asobi Seksu, which dimmed the lights for its third shoegazed kiss, Hush. Well-respected Swedish solo indie popper Loney, Dear is a new addition to Polyvinyl's roster, releasing his fifth full-length, Dear John, in late January. Champaign's own Headlights, a cheerful indie pop quartet that made a splash with Kill Them With Kindness in 2006, preps for its August release. Brooklyn-based, prog-influenced percussionist and composer Cale Parks dropped Sparklace in November and plans a follow-up later this year. – Melanie Haupt

Little Steven's Underground Garage/Wicked Cool Records

The Cocktail Slippers
The Cocktail Slippers

8pm, Red Eyed Fly "Silvio Dante" himself hosts this showcase, which kicks off with Montreal psych-pop quintet the High Dials. S.F.'s Magic Christian features guitarist Cyril Jordan (the Flamin' Groovies), bassist Eddie Munoz (the Skunks, the Plimsouls), and drummer Clem Burke (Blondie) grinding out harmonic power-pop, while Copenhagen's the Breakers mix Faces-era Rod Stewart rasp with a pelvic backbeat. Dublin's the Urges nail the acid-daubed spirit of mid-1960s garage rock on 2008's Psych Ward. All-girl Oslo quartet the Cocktail Slippers balance that out with sugar-pop paeans to love. Then it's time for the Woggles, Georgia-bred purveyors of the hottest garage rock stage show around. L.A. indie quartet the Shys deliver stein-swinging sing-alongs such as "She's Already Gone" from last year's acclaimed You'll Never Understand This Band the Way I Do. We end where the revival began as Rochester, N.Y.'s the Chesterfield Kings preach the fuzz-tone gospel just as they have since 1979. – Greg Beets

Heavy Metal Islam


10pm, Club 115 "We play heavy metal because our lives are heavy metal," remarks a Moroccan metal-scene pioneer in Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam by Mark Levine. The book explores underground counterculture from Morocco to Egypt, including punk, hip-hop, and metal. A documentary of the same name is in the works, and the music, repressed in much of the region, comes alive in Austin for this special showcase. Tarantist has been called Iran's best death metal band, while Punjabi war-core punks the Kominas (new album: Wild Nights in Guantanamo Bay) are Boston-based, Lazywall imports Moroccan metalheads, and Palestinian Rapperz celebrate frontman Mohammed Al-Farra finding political asylum in the States. Levine wonders if heavy metal can transform the Islamic world, and while that's up for debate, it will certainly have heads banging on this night. – Thomas Fawcett

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