King Khan & the Shrines
Thu., El Sol y la Luna, 12mid; Fri., Emo's Main, 1am
King Khan, lead growler for soul collective the Shrines and one-half of the King Khan & BBQ Show, riffs on his adopted home of Berlin:
"Someone told me once that Berlin was built on sand, and for the past five years, it's been my oasis of choice. Musically, it's like any other place with lots of different scenes; 1960s nightclubs play the best R&B and garage punk, and people actually dance until 8am. Occasional trannies run around in crazy outfits picking on jocks and rockabilly squares. Some streets in Berlin smell like a mix of sewage and burning tires.
"A few nights ago, BBQ and I were invited to play a private party during the Berlinale [film festival]. The best part was I got to eat six raw oysters right after coming offstage, and the guy who gave them to me told me New York City is built on oyster shells, because back in the day, when they were paving the first streets, there was such an abundance of oysters that they built the city on top of them. So, in a nutshell, I like cities that are built on sand or oysters. They make you feel like you're in some giant aquarium being watched by a villain who's about to blow up the universe." – Audra Schroeder
Three More Berliners to Swallow:
Popular Damage (Fri., Speakeasy, 10pm)
Kamikaze Queens (Sat., Club 115, 12mid)
Twangy carnival punk.
Damero (Sat., Karma Lounge, 9pm)
Ambient dance meets torch song.
Hip-Hop in Dutch
In Stereo (Perceptie & Kapabel) (Thu., Karma Lounge, 11pm) You won't understand a word, but true mic skills need no translation.
Arts the Beatdoctor (Thu., Karma Lounge, 11:30pm) Cinematic soundscapes hint that the Beatdoctor has studied the surgical procedures of DJ Shadow and RJD2.
Pete Philly & Perquisite (Sat., Buffalo Billiards, 11pm) The deeply soulful flow of Pete Philly paired with Perquisite's orchestral beats make this Amsterdam duo more potent than purple haze. – Thomas Fawcett
Gallows (Wed., Emo's Main, 8pm; Fri., Latitude 30, 1am) Kerrang! sez: "Best British Newcomer."
Bring Me the Horizon (Fri., Latitude 30, 11pm) They look 15 and sound like an eternity of hellkilldeathfuckarrrrggh.
Fuckshovel (Thu., Spiros Amphitheater, 9pm) Bruce Dickinson loves 'em.
Turbowölf (Wed., B.D. Riley's, 1am) They'll rock the mustache clean off of your face, pick it up off the beer-sticky floor, lick the back of it, and make it their own.
Tat (Sat., Spiros Amphitheater, 10pm) Short for Tatiana DeMaria. Her dead-sexy punk yowl will leave you neutered. – Marc Savlov
Seven Japan Nite Highlights
Flip (Fri., Elysium, 8pm) Femme foursome of teen poppers cut cute with power chords.
Grapevine (Fri., Elysium, 12mid) Alt-rock trio aims epic.
Detroit7 (Fri., Elysium, 1am) Fuel-injected garage rock trio firing on all cylinders.
Stereo Pony (Sat., Elysium, 8pm) Young female trio riding melodic rock frequencies.
Specialthanks (Sat., Elysium, 9pm) Teen queen fronting frenetic pop punkers.
The Emeralds (Sat., Elysium, 10pm) Perennial SXSW trio returns riffing garage punk rhythms.
Sa (Sat., Elysium, 11pm) Tokyo punks get Rancid. – Doug Freeman
The Ones & Twos of Swedish Indie Rock
Loney, Dear (Fri., Habana Calle 6 Patio, 11pm) Emil Svanängen splits the difference between the chamber pop of Jens Lekman and Andrew Bird collaborations with Dosh on third LP Dear John.
The Tallest Man on Earth (Thu., Buffalo Billiards, 12mid) Former Montezumas frontman trades in stark ballads on folktastic debut Shallow Grave.
Wildbirds & Peacedrums (Fri., Antone's, 9pm) Male-female duo from Gothenburg builds on the sparse avant-pop of 2008 debut Heartcore with jazz leanings on latest The Snake.
Dag for Dag (Fri., Radio Room, 8pm) Unsigned Stockholm-based brother-sister twopiece trades vocals over minimalist rock beats, like a heated exchange between P.J. Harvey and the National's Matt Berninger.
Marching Band (Sat., St. David's Church, 11pm) Formerly known as Second Language, this Swedish pair makes laptop-based bedroom rock for the The OC generation. – Austin Powell