'The Guardian' Recommends
Who better than the Brits to handicap SXSW UK?
8pm, Beauty Bar Backyard Not strictly a band but a club night conceived and run by, among others, Joe Goddard from Hot Chip. From cavernous warehouses to pokey East London pubs, the Grecian wrestling-themed night thrives on a reputation of playing the best in new UK dance music as well as classic dancehall, house, and garage sets. If its temporary home in Austin is anything like the UK, it's a night that offers plenty of fun that even the humourless hipster can't ruin.
9pm, Red Eyed Fly Not long ago, Summer Camp quietly released "Ghost Train," a sweet, lo-fi pop song that might belong to a long-lost cassette from our youth. Even with the group's identity as electronica artist Jeremy Warmsley and blogger Elizabeth Sankey revealed, our desire to join the duo on their gorgeous, 1980s-inspired nostalgia trip continues. (Also: Wed., 1am, Latitude 30)
9:15pm, Stubb's Blake's music has been arriving in drips and drabs through the ether (otherwise known as music blogs) ever since he worked wonders with a tiny snippet of Kelis' "Caught Out There." His taste for chopped-up samples and atmospheric soundscaping marks him very much as an artist of now, but it's his voice that's proven the true victor on his self-titled debut album. Fortunately, that voice is just as ghostly, fractured, and enchanting when he hits the stage.
10pm, Club de Ville The Vaccines bear mentioning because everyone else is talking about them. Hype, eh? The thing is that since the Strokes, "everyone" is desperate to get their teeth into a guitar band they can believe in, hence the London-based fourpiece nailing everything from an NME cover to the BBC's tips list. Their live shows consistently notch up the critics' stars. Last year, America gave us the Drums – a Brooklyn threepiece that sounded like many a British band, namely the Smiths. Now we give you the sleeves-rolled-up rock of the Vaccines: Think Interpol meets the Ramones.
11pm, Mohawk A lone beatmaker hunched over a desk's worth of cables, knobs, and laptops is not necessarily the most inviting image for your average gig-goer, but it's the look of an entire generation's worth of producers and DJs facing the live crowd. Such is the stage presence of 30-year-old Gold Panda (real name Derwin), purveyor of bedroom-made emotronica in the style of Caribou and Metronomy and winner of this year's Guardian First Album Award for debut Lucky Shiner. Even with his hood up and nothing but a slide show of images for company, he manages to compel.
1am, Club de Ville Say what you will about shoegazey quintet Yuck, the name is undeniably excellent. While you could hardly taint their music with the same suggestions of originality, they join the likes of fellow Brits the Vaccines and Tribes in offering a younger generation's take on trans-Atlantic retro inspiration. You wanna know what Dinosaur Jr. would sound like if its members were actually 25 years younger and from the UK? Yuck! (Also: Fri., 11pm, Kiss & Fly)