Saturday Picks & Sleepers

The blurbing of SXSW 2010

All showcases subject to change



7:45pm, Emo's Main Room With his 2005 debut, Creek Water, Alabama's YelaWolf shook the South with his fresh take on funky gospel stank. 2008's Arena Rap EP mixed back-porch fiddles and banjo-picking with Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. Whatever comes next – and a new album's out this year – should really be an exercise in bringing it together. Eat your heart out, B.o.B. (Also: Sat., 11:30pm, Klub Krucial.) – Chase Hoffberger


8pm, Mohawk Deconstructionists YellowFever have a knack for ripping out the square melodies of 1950s/1960s bubblegum pop and replacing them with minor-key rounds. Instantly hummable choruses and guitar-drum shortcuts make up the bulk of the local duo's self-titled LP on Vivian Girls-run label Wild World. – Audra Schroeder

Fergus & Geronimo

9pm, Red 7 "You'll find empty classrooms and busted parties, and indie kids who think they're artsy," boasts Denton Denton USA! (Play Pinball! Records) closer. Fergus & Geronimo, an offshoot of the like-minded Teenage Cool Kids, are helping put their slacker-rock scene on the map with a series of 7-inch singles for Woodsist ("Harder Than It's Ever Been"), Tic Tac Totally ("Blind Muslim Girl"), and Transparent ("Tell It [In My Ear]"). – Austin Powell

Mickey Factz

9:25pm, Beauty Bar Backyard Tracks like "Automatic" would have you believe Mickey Factz is more Kid Cudi than Kid Capri, but the NYC MC was one of the surprise electrifiers of last year's Nah Right party. A debut is still vaguely in the works. – Chase Hoffberger

Black Tusk

10pm, Encore Compositionally clean and sound as Baroness – whose John Baizley arts their covers – and viscous like Kylesa, fellow Savannah, Ga. raiders Black Tusk add a hardcore ferocity and thrash density already peaking on 2008 debut LP Passage Through Purgatory. Relapse Records mints long-player No. 2 in May. – Raoul Hernandez


11pm, Red 7 Woods sounds like Neil Young locked in a remote root cellar with tin-can recording equipment, tripping on mushrooms. Even more surprising, the Warwick, N.Y., quartet's songs are good, drifting between lo-fi pop and epic folk meanderings. Last year's fourth LP, Songs of Shame (Woodsist), split the difference between Vetiver and Animal Collective. – Doug Freeman


11pm, Galaxy Room Backyard Yesterday's bedroom psychedelia survives today in alternately hermetic and road heroic L.A. fourpiece Dios, whose masterful new piñata of pop, third disc We Are Dios (Buddyhead), takes Lindsey Buckingham's inscrutability all the way to Abbey Road for mind-bending pastiches of harmony, riff, and arrangements never at the expense of the song. – Raoul Hernandez

The Postelles

11:30pm, Antone's Given that only half of this New York quartet is of legal drinking age, its mastery of vintage pop-rock is admirable. It's Elvis Costello meets the Strokes, the latter of which is no coincidence, as single "123 Stop" was produced by Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. No LP yet; satisfy yourself with new White Night EP. – Melanie Haupt

Ha Ha Tonka

12mid, Red Eyed Fly In a fit of Ozark pride, Ha Ha Tonka took its name from a state park in southwestern Missouri, their stomping grounds. Last year's Novel Sounds of the Nouveau South, its second LP for Bloodshot Records, was a song cycle based on The Shepherd of the Hills, a 1907 novel by Harold Bell Wright. Darker than previous work, it still possessed the potent guitars and cogent lyrics the quartet is known for. – Jim Caligiuri


12:15am, Klub Krucial Rhymefest has never had the sweetest name in rap, but he does have pretty good flow. The Chicago native first hit in 2004 as a co-writer on Kanye's "Jesus Walks," and his Blue Collar debut rode on the West-featured "Brand New" two years later. A two-time Scribble Jam champ, Rhymefest drops second album El Che in May. – Chase Hoffberger

Ty Segall

12:30am, Mohawk The vintage sounds on San Francisco self-helper Segall's Lemons (Goner) are pretty impressive considering they come from just him, a guitar, and a drum kit. He's a rock & roll purist, songs unfurling in three minutes or less, ready for the sock-hop, even his Captain Beefheart cover. – Audra Schroeder


1am, Galaxy Room Japandroids' 2009 release, Post-Nothing, came out of nowhere (Vancouver) to land on just about every credible year-end top-something list. The Canadian duo makes a mirthful sonic ruckus out of guitar and drums and a slightly larger allocation of angst than the average post-collegiate kid. – Michael Bertin

The Band of Heathens

1am, Amsterdam Cafe What started out as a songwriters' circle once a week at Momo's has turned into a juggernaut that's earned praise worldwide. Austin's Band of Heathens, centered around singer-songwriters Ed Jurdi, Colin Brooks, and Gordy Quist, had a tremendous 2009, releasing an acclaimed second LP, One Foot in the Ether, and appearing on Austin City Limits paired with Elvis Costello. – Jim Caligiuri

The Fresh & Onlys

1am, Red 7 San Francisco's the Fresh & Onlys spent last summer backing revered cult songwriter Rodriguez, an act that not only illustrated the band's reverence for the past but it's keen pop sense and surprisingly eclectic range. Last year the foursome released its self-titled first LP and a follow-up, Grey-Eyed Girls (Woodsist), which mirrored the dark, druggy connection between the Doors' debut and Strange Days. A third LP is due this spring on In the Red. – Austin Powell

T Bird & the Breaks

1am, Opal Divine's Freehouse One of Austin's most dynamic new bands, T Bird & the Breaks' soul revue burns Texas hot. Vocalist T Bird, aka Tim Crane, leads his ninepiece in the manner of the funk forefathers, but make no mistake, those are real rivers of sweat. – Jim Caligiuri

New Wine

1am, Dirty Dog Bar Peter Lewis guest stars at the Austin Music Awards in advance of his bandmates Jerry Miller, Don Stevenson, and Omar Spence fronting some of John Mellencamp's band. Plus, one of Lewis' musical backers at the AMAs, the Explosives' Freddie Krc, is producing a new album by the veteran rock pioneer's once and former S.F. leviathan. What's big and purple and swims off the coast of "Omaha"? – Raoul Hernandez


Silver Pines

8pm, the Hideout At times recalling Hope Sandoval backed by Great Lake Swimmers, the eerie psychedelia of San Marcos' Silver Pines dwells in darkened corners. The quintet's hand-numbered EPs – 2007's Fort Walnut and 2008's Forces – are rare finds, evocative Americana backdrops cast against the lunar pull of vocalist and slide guitarist Stefanie Franciotti. – Austin Powell

Dustin Welch

8pm, Lamberts Austin's Welch follows in the footsteps of his famed songwriting dad, Kevin. The younger Welch possesses the same shrewd way with words, but he's much noisier, and his band, while leaning toward Americana, can deliver a gut punch with the best. Welch's 2009 LP, Whisky Priest, showed American Indian and Celtic influences, as well. – Jim Caligiuri

Parlour Steps

8pm, Habana Calle 6 Maybe they're a Pacific Northwest staple, but here the Parlour Steps have flown below the radar despite being signed to local label Nine Mile Records. The Vancouver quintet's fifth LP, The Hidden Names, showcases earthy indie rock with bite, thanks to singer Caleb Stull's acid tongue. – Melanie Haupt

St. Deluxe

8:30pm, Antone's While this Glasgow quartet's only been together four years, St. Deluxe boasts a mature sound. Heavily influenced by the Jesus & Mary Chain, the group describes its sound as "Glaswegian fuzz-pop." Its self-titled debut was released in the UK and Germany in 2008. – Melanie Haupt

The Sandwitches

8:50pm, Mohawk American folk's got nothin' on trio the Sandwitches. Its sound manifests from get-in- the-room-and-play production, Shaggs-y fuzz guitar, and eerie vocals splashed across debut How to Make Ambient Sadcake. – Kate X Messer


9pm, Maggie Mae's Rooftop New Orleans musician John Michael Rouchell embarked on a personal odyssey to create a song for every week of 2008. "Create" meant write, record, release, and as the project grew, so did the number of equally nutty multi-instrumentalists he dragged in to participate. Now at six members, the band ups the ante with 2009's The People That Come and Go. – Kate X Messer

Go Chic

9pm, Spill According to the Taipei Times, Go Chic bass player Sarah Wen took up the instrument because "everyone who plays bass is hot and sexy and really tall." From atop Taiwan's electro club nights and beyond, Wen and the rest of Go Chic certainly appear hot and sexy and tall to their growing legion of fans. – Kate X Messer

The Capstan Shafts

9pm, Wave Rooftop If brevity is the soul of wit, then Dean Wells is the Oscar Wilde of indie rock. His rapid-fire bursts of drowned-in-sound lo-fi tunes rarely exceed two minutes, each song a brief, fuzzy snapshot of fleeting pop emotion. While the Vermont songwriter can distill a song to its essence, 17 albums in the past six years beg for some focus. – Doug Freeman

The Bright Light Social Hour

10pm, Lamberts That shiny glow emanating from the bandstand is the Bright Light Social Hour, one of the current buzz bands heralding a youthful wave of talent born and raised in Austin. As winners of the 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival Sound and the Jury competition, BLSH lit up onstage, plying exuberant indie with a touch of soul and loads of charisma. – Margaret Moser

James Husband

11pm, Galaxy Room Some of the harmonies here might sound familiar if you're at all conversant with post-Elephant 6 activities out of Athens, Ga. Put another way, James Husband is the alter ego of multi-instrumentalist James Huggins from Of Montreal, plus four other players. That E6 aesthetic is certainly present among Husband's albums, most recently A Parallax I (Polyvinyl), which is a collection of sound collages and covers. – Melanie Haupt

Sleepy Sun

11pm, Encore Patio San Francisco's Sleepy Sun clearly followed Jefferson Airplane down Alice's rabbit's hole. The sextet's debut, Embrace, recently reissued by ATP Recordings, is a dark seduction of lysergic dual guitars, bottom-heavy grooves, and tribal incantations balanced by the dual vocals of chanteuse Rachel Williams and Bret Constantino. Sleepy Sun also makes a cameo on Unkle's forthcoming LP, Where Did the Night Fall. – Austin Powell

Frank Smith

11:30pm, Habana Calle 6 Patio Originally from Boston, this quartet moved to Texas in 2007 and began garnering new fans with a razor-sharp mix of indie and country folk. 2009's Big Strike in Silver City (Big Snow), its first Texas disc and sixth overall, puts secret weapon/vocalist Aaron Sinclair up front, languorous or agitated depending on the moment. – Jim Caligiuri

Major Lazer

12mid, Cedar Street Courtyard Major Lazer is a Jamaican commando who lost a limb in a secret zombie war in 1984 and is now equipped with a prosthetic arm that shoots laser beams. The duo behind the music and fictitious character are global tastemakers and beat-scrapers Diplo and Switch, who pepper the over-the-top dancehall of People Don't Kill People, Lazers Do with top-flight guest appearances. – Thomas Fawcett


12mid, B.D. Riley's Urban Dictionary gives "double penetration" as the slang meaning of "DP," but the fact that there are just two dudes in this Hong Kong metal outfit means they have to rock twice as hard to get their point across. They succeed, making them worthy of comparisons to Soundgarden and post-Sabbath Ozzy. DP's recent EP, Songs of Man & Beast, is venomous. – Dan Oko

She Keeps Bees

12mid, Victorian Room at the Driskill If Meg White were a better singer, played fuzzy blues guitar, and someone else played drums, you'd have Brooklyn duo She Keeps Bees. On last year's self-released Nests, singer Jessica Larrabee minces no words when she says, "Work me like my back ain't got no bone," while drummer Andy LaPlant keeps time. Is it hot in here? – Melanie Haupt

Stars of Track & Field

1am, the Parish If you took Kevin Calaba's vocals off last year's A Time for Lions, you'd have a hard time distinguishing it from Coldplay. If you put Calaba's vocals back on, you'd likely have the same issue. And if Stars of Track & Field don't get famous, they'll probably be on the soundtrack of an upcoming Zach Braff movie. – Michael Bertin

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