SXSW Saturday Showcases

Some East (Maybe Mars), some West (UK Trade & Investment), all South by Southwest

Carsick Cars
Carsick Cars

Maybe Mars Records

Jimmy Cliff
Jimmy Cliff

8pm, 512 Bar

Plight of the Chinese musician: Fly 7,000 miles for South by Southwest and who do you end up sharing a showcase with? The other Chinese bands that made the trip. Welcome to Texas; enjoy the tacos. Most intriguing here is Beijing quartet Carsick Cars, SXSW 2011 veterans who tip their cap to Pavement, Velvet Underground, and Sonic Youth on MMR debut You Can Listen, You Can Talk. Similarly distorted, Rustic arrives as a surfer punk foursome with a love of hair metal. From Shanghai, Duck Fight Goose takes the torch from LCD Soundsystem and ignites the dance-rock party. Same could be said for Beijing songstress Nova Heart, the dark, layered, dance-pop side project of Helen Feng. Those looking to rev their engines should stick around for Snapline, while Deadly Cradle Death give proof that witch house has a home in the Middle Kingdom. – Chase Hoffberger

Nat Geo

Katey Red
Katey Red

8pm, the Stage on Sixth & the Stage on Sixth Patio

Sweet Mary mother of Marley is this showcase loaded! Nat Geo has assembled a two-headed global groove armada as formidable as any lineup at the Festival. Austin Latin funk army Brownout fires the first shot "Con el Cuete" before morphing into big band Grupo Fantasma on the patio stage. The 9pm slot poses tough choices as Chicha Libre cooks up a cocktail of psychedelic cumbia and producer Quantic joins soulstress Alice Russell to tease the lush, warm grooves of forthcoming collaboration Look Around the Corner. The pounding garage soul of UK's the Heavy (you've undoubtedly heard hit "How You Like Me Now?" on your favorite TV show) makes way for the striking voice of Nigerian war-goddess Nneka, for whom comparisons to Lauryn Hill are well-earned. Brooklyn-by-way-of-Israel electro trio Balkan Beat Box whips up a radical gypsy dance party on the patio before reggae legend Jimmy Cliff closes the evening. This lineup is as hard as they come. – Thomas Fawcett

New Orleans Bounce


8pm, Malaia Upstairs

Austin loves to bounce, so it's tough to imagine the phenom hitting Central Texas as firm and round as it has without the mad work of Austin ex-pat DJ Rusty Lazer – mish-masher of traditional NOLA sounds into bounce's hip-hop base and one of the fiercest ambassadors of New Orleans' original booty style – hitting the tables along with (Nola Fam's) DJ Q. Named for what it makes asses do, bounce has gained devotees through the aggressive touring of its gender-bent subgenre sissy bounce, typified by the lady notorious for shifting bounce's focus up front on her paean "Tiddy Bop," Katey Red (as well as fellow purveyors Big Freedia and the late, great Magnolia Shorty). Shorty, the bounce rapper whose life was tragically cut short in late 2010, lives on in beloved protégée Magnolia Rhome. And you know when Diplo said "Express Yourself"? Well, that expression would not be as unique without the urging of Big Freedia/Katey Red star pupil Nicky da B, also heading up this bill. The night will be firmed up with a generous taste of hot, fresh bounce, hip-hop, and dance crew up-and-comers right out of the oven, Nola Fam, Jean Eric, Rhodes!!, Nesby Phips, and LuckyLou. – Kate X Messer



8pm, Bar 96

For more than 15 years, Mexico City's Intolerancia has documented the bleeding edge of progressive Latin American music. Saturday's eclectic showcase furthers that mission. Hailing from Xonacatlán, Mexico, Sonido San Francisco specializes in a techno-savvy reimagining of the traditional Latin American cumbia that combines synthesizers and accordions into fresh rhythmic bliss. Bass aficionados won't want to miss Mexico City composer Alonso Arreola, whose breakneck four-string fretwork electrifies the senses without devolving into gee-whiz thwackery. Mexico City-based prog-rock quartet Turbina bounces back and forth from start/stop paint-peelers to artful slowcore passages to psychoactive noise-pop on their ambitious three-part opus, Leti' Hum Eek' – Inda Jani – Mish Masadi. Acoustic strummer Juan Cirerol's musical background includes classical guitar and punk rock, but the Mexicali native's current sound taps elements of gritty ranch folk from both sides of the border. Medellín, Colombia's Panorama pumps a breathless mix of proto-techno and futuristic rock that's straight out of Ric Ocasek's 1979, while Bogotá, Colombia, fourpiece Planes buries its stuttering synth-folk under a pleasantly discombobulating bed of blips, bleeps, and related sundry garble. – Greg Beets

Music From Ireland

Django Django
Django Django

8pm, Friends

Music From Ireland is an arts collective set up to promote Irish talent at international conventions. Acts must first be invited to events like SXSW, then MFI steps in with support. Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hands kick things off with a dance-synth sound that brings to mind the post-New Wave mod Eighties. Golden Syrup, released last year, added a goth edge to the quintet's disco. Lisa O'Neill, a new folk firebrand, was personally invited to open and perform with David Gray on his most recent tour. Currently one of Dublin's best live acts, Squarehead is threepiece garage band with Buzzcocks-like hooks and near-Beach Boys harmonies. Critically acclaimed throughout the UK, Belfast's Cashier No. 9 is an unclassifiable pop band that's drawn comparisons to such dissimilar acts as the Stone Roses, Byrds, and Flaming Lips. The Minutes play with a bare-bones urgency that's earned them a rep as "the greatest rock & roll band in Dublin." The trio's boozy debut took heavy inspiration from Thin Lizzy. Winners of the Northern Irish Music Awards Best Live Band, Belfast's And So I Watch You From Afar are an incredibly inventive post-punk instrumental band.
Jim Caligiuri

Huw Stephens/UK Trade & Investment


8pm, Latitude 30

Manchester's Dutch Uncles' debut, Cadenza, caused the press to coin "math-pop" to describe their oddly danceable tunes reminiscent of a hooky, denser Talking Heads. Clock Opera is an eclectic fourpiece led by former "pop-chop" guru Guy Connelly. The Londoner's debut, Ways To Forget, is due in April. With a deafening buzz already surrounding them, London's Django Django are a young quartet with a psychedelicized mix of familiar styles presented in a new way. Its self-titled debut was just released in the UK to roaring reviews. Maverick Sabre, aka Michael Stafford, was hailed by the BBC's Huw Stephens as "the male Amy Winehouse." The new voice in UK soul issued his first album, Lonely Are the Brave, in February. 2011's Paradise, the second effort from London's Slow Club, found the duo of Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor boldly exploring new sounds while retaining their quirky bubblegum folk appeal. One of the UK's most popular dance DJs with his own show on BBC 1, Toddla T (aka Tom Bell) is more dubwise than dubstep. – Jim Caligiuri

Lucero Family Picnic

9pm, Cedar Street Courtyard

Cedar Street's substreet courtyard is the perfect venue for this annual hell-raisin' picnic, which mixes its namesake's Memphis guitar skronk with such brethren acts as Tennessee revivalists Star & Micey's stripped-down stomp 'n' holler. Follow that with a straight shot of the Kneiser sibs' soaring harmonies, and you've got Glossary's anthemic "Long Live All of Us." Can we get an amen? "Hell yes," sayeth Baltimore badasses J Roddy Walston & the Business, dive-bar sinner-saints with raw, red roadhouse heart to spare. William Elliott Whitmore's cracked and crackling vox and sorrowful solo guitar recall the Iowan lands he hails from. Hot Water Music's former punk-rock balladeer Chuck Ragan returns with glorious new album Covering Ground (SideOneDummy), right before this shindig picks it all up, sets it alight, and goes off with a Lucero-sized bang. The longtime rockers drop new LP Women & Work this very week, which, alongside Ben Nichols' trademark raggedy man yowl and Brian Venable's gee-tar, sort of sums up all of SXSW, doncha think? Amen to that. – Marc Savlov

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Thursday Showcases
Thursday Showcases
International hip-hop, or domestic, Modern Outsider sounds?

March 20, 2015

Thursday Interview
Thursday Interview

Nina Hernandez, March 20, 2015


Maybe Mars Records, Carsick Cars, Nat Geo, Jimmy Cliff, Katey Red, Intolerancia, And So I Watch You From Afar, Django Django, Glossary, J Roddy Walston, Lucero

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