SXSW Thursday Picks & Sleepers

Thursday blurbs slim down from the Wednesday bloat

R. Ring
R. Ring



12:30am, Malaia Upstairs Lawrence, Mass., rapper Termanology has worked with producers Pete Rock, DJ Premier, and Large Professor throughout his seven-year recording career, one that reached new heights last year on 1982, made with fellow Lawrence native Statik Selektah. In January, Termanology dropped Cameo King II, a mixtape doused in East Coast classicism, with features from Sean Price, Bun B, M.O.P, and Freeway. – Chase Hoffberger

We Are Augustine

9pm, Maggie Mae's Rooftop Touched by tragedy (frontman Billy McCarthy's brother killed himself, as did his mother), this sprawling, hard-rocking trio – which got its start as Pela – has a touch of Arcade Fire's ambition and sweep. We Are Augustines played the Late Show With David Letterman last month, received raves for 2011 debut Raise Ye Sunken Ships with several songs focused on mental illness, and notched a coveted spot on Chimes of Freedom, covering Dylan's "Mama, You Been on My Mind."
– Dan Oko

Bass Drum of Death

9pm, the Parish Mississippi multi-instrumentalist John Barrett started Bass Drum of Death in 2008 as a one-man guitar/drum band while working at Fat Possum Records. Although Colin Sneed has since joined as a proper percussionist, the kick drum still drives this bus. The duo's 2011 album, GB City, oozes hot, primal, rock energy in excess. – Greg Beets

Zona Tango

9:15pm, Elephant Room Veteran bandleader and multi-instrumentalist Pedro Menéndez has been pioneering the landscape of Latin jazz, electronic music, and modern tango since 2004, if not before. He returns to the scene of previous astounding South by Southwest performances with new work, the tracks from his self-produced Folklore Electronic. Sultry, smooth, and unlike anything you're likely to hear beyond the streets of Buenos Aires, Brazil. – Dan Oko

Two Gallants

10pm, the Parish It's been more than two years since Tyson Vogel and Adam Stephens unleashed their unbridled, caustic blend of lo-fi folk, and almost five more since their last release on Saddle Creek. Yet the San Francisco duo has dusted off its guitar/drums barrage with a slew of dates and new songs, reviving its dirt-soaked dirges of outcasts, deadbeats, and hopeless romantics with brittle harmonies and embittered stomps. – Doug Freeman


10:40pm, La Zona Rosa Curren$y has to be on the short list of most prolific stoners in rap. Following his June 2010 Rock-A-Fella debut Pilot Talk – a Ski Beatz production with beats the New Orleans native told The Village Voice sound like he's falling out of an airplane but won't end up dying – Curren$y dropped a sequel in November before prepping last June's Weekend at Burnie's. Eight-song Muscle Car Chronicles followed in February, with a third Pilot Talk already in the works. – Chase Hoffberger


11pm, the Madison; Wed., 7:30pm, Barbarella Michael Silver's CFCF project makes delightfully off-kilter dance music steeped in foggy, New Age hippieness; tranquilizing lounge; and flamboyant, old-school house. The Montreal native works in a deceptively peculiar place, but the hooks on 2009 breakout Continent are endlessly repeatable and woefully unhip in the best way possible. – Luke Winkie


11pm, the Studio by HGTV Is it just random coincidence or something more profound that brings Motopony to town in the wake of Davy Jones' funeral? When Motopony frontman Daniel Blue sings, "I am a seer, baby, I am a believer," on "Seer" from the Seattle quartet's eponymous 2011 debut, he means it. Sounding very Laurel Canyon introspective, Motopony's still probably not gonna buy you a dog. – Marc Savlov

Class Actress

11pm, 512 Rooftop; Fri., 12mid, Buffalo Billiards Retro-chic, Brooklyn-based Class Actress is perfectly happy with the once-futuristic musical technologies of the early Eighties. Colorfully brittle synth blasts, robotically efficient vocals from the fashionable Elizabeth Harper, and a liberal dosage of hooks condense an epoch's worth of highs into last year's debut Rapprocher. Good way to make waves. – Luke Winkie


11:30pm, Central Presbyterian Church; Fri., 11:30pm, Clive Bar Grimes, aka Claire Boucher, is the ultimate manic pixie, producing art and music with odd but entrancing twists. Her music floats around, held down only by intense and often dark beats, while her high-pitched, girlish voice snaps listeners to attention. Last month, 4AD put out Grimes' third album, Visions, which was quickly accepted with press attention and acclaim. – Zoe Cordes Selbin

The Davies Cardinal Cosmos Mole Roadshow

12mid, Beale Street Tavern In 1994, Richard Davies and Eric Matthews released a lovingly crafted orchestral-pop album as Cardinal before embarking on solo careers. That self-titled LP didn't sell a lot of copies, but it's been worshipped by indie pop lovers ever since. The duo surprised fans this year by releasing a follow-up called Hymns and now performs its catalog live – something not done during the band's original existence. – Michael Toland


12mid, the Madison; Fri., 11pm, Club de Ville What better way to resurface a former song-of-the-moment than a remix? RAC provides smart homages to the chicest songs on the indie airwaves, and after four years of mixing, it's decided to take its creations live. The Portland, Ore., leg of the five-member group, André Allen Anjos and Karl Kling, represent RAC for the Austin crowd, spinning their own remixes. – Abby Johnston

R. Ring

12mid, Frank Alt-rock icon and Breeders lead guitarist Kelley Deal, Kim Deal's sister, continues making indie rock, albeit of a more acoustic, ambient sort than the Ohioan's previous outfits. Besides a newfound knitting addiction, she's teamed lately with Mike Montgomery of Cincinnati post-punk trio Ampline, playing college town club dates. With a new Ampline disc in the works, the duo's coy about whether this is a one-off. – Dan Oko


12:15am, La Zona Rosa Released from prison on Sept. 29, 2011 after an 11-month sentence for violating probation, Atlanta boss T.I. got right back to work, dropping the streetwise I'm Flexin' with Big K.R.I.T. a day later and getting papers in order for a follow-up to 2010's No Mercy. That'll come in the form of Trouble Man, T.I.'s eighth album, which is slated for a summer release. The ruler's back. Better yet, the King.– Chase Hoffberger


12:15am, Elysium Since inventing Moombahton, a style of house music that involves slowing down Dutch house to 120 beats per minute and infusing elements of reggaeton, the Washington, D.C.-born DJ duo of Dave Nada and Matt Nordstrom relocated to Los Angeles and performed with such behemoths of dance and rave culture as Deadmau5, Bassnectar, and Major Lazer. Diplo recently picked up the duo for a Mad Decent record deal. – Chase Hoffberger

Nicolas Jaar

12:30am, Central Presbyterian Church For the 21st century, Nicolas Jaar arrived in a predictable way. The Brown University comparative literature student released a few EPs, owned an artsy-fartsy label, and had some interesting friends. That was before Space Is Only Noise emerged as the very unpredictable marquee title of 2011's electronic generation. We're watching him become a legend in real time.– Luke Winkie

Cloud Nothings

1am, 512 Rooftop; Fri., 1am, ND at 501 Studios Coming out of Cleveland, Cloud Nothings has been the talk of the scene since the January release of its third album, Attack on Memory. The band has long been a blog darling, but Pitchfork adoration and headlining shows have been building the Cloud Nothing empire. Its traditional and simple indie rock is reminiscent of bands like Pavement and Built To Spill. – Zoe Cordes Selbin

Night Beats

1am, the Belmont; Wed., 1am, Buffalo Billiards Birthed in Austin and finessed in Seattle, the Night Beats' reverb-soaked garage rock is laced with the spirit of nascent mid-Sixties Texas psychedelia. "The Other Side" from the trio's 2011 self-titled debut on Trouble in Mind is a seven-minute meditation on the eternal power of "You're Gonna Miss Me" that'll leave you reeling with a contact buzz. Credit guitarist/vocalist Danny Lee Blackwell's perfectly cultivated tone for finding the golden road to infectious authenticity. – Greg Beets

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Thursday Showcases
Thursday Showcases
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