Seven Local Acts to See at SXSW Music

Annabelle Chairlegs

Photo by Shelley Hiam

Seven Local Acts to See at SXSW Music

Annabelle Chairlegs' compound on the Eastside houses a dreamy setup for local musicians: a duplex in a spacious 78702 lot serving as home for three of four band members, a practice space, and occasional recording studio. Plus, it boasts a big front porch, where the band sits to discuss SXSW.

"Two of us work in pizza, two of us work in juice," explains vocalist/guitarist Lindsey Mackin, gesturing to her bandmates.

Bassist Derek Strahan and drummer Billy Wong strain fruit, while Mackin and guitarist Matt Schweinberg knead dough. Like most Austin musicians, they face the eternal dilemma of swinging enough time off from work during the busiest week of the year. They're optimistic.

Annabelle Chairlegs started in 2014, after Mackin moved from Santa Fe to Austin. She met Schweinberg that SXSW at her house show, and by late summer the band performed its first set – opening Holy Wave's European tour kickoff at Hotel Vegas. Not a bad bow for a local act in a scene where 50 Tuesday night sets at Beerland offer a typical rite of passage for newcomers.

"We don't party super hard," says Strahan, also noting that they practice a lot. "We're all good people with good heads on our shoulders. I think our parents would be proud of us."

Mackin bristles at Annabelle Chairlegs being labeled a psych group or suggestion that her kaleidoscopic lyrics are drug-related.

Annabelle Chairlegs plays out around town often, exuding polished, glitzy, Sixties-inspired rock & roll fleshed out by guitar licks straddling the line between surf-y and noir. Helmed by Mackin's strange, arresting voice, usually either a powerful belt or contorted into theatrical yelping, the band commands the stage with intense authority. After last spring's Levitation cancellation, they got re-booked at Barracuda for an early spot inside, which they packed and coursed electricity through the front room audience.

A sophomore LP is written and ready to be recorded, once they scrounge up the cash or land with a label. Mackin, the primary songwriter, says the new material leans darker, pulling the dreaminess of the band's sound to a spookier place. She bristles at Annabelle Chairlegs being labeled a psych group or suggestion that her kaleidoscopic lyrics are drug-related.

"It's not like I'm tripping out and writing about the experience," shrugs Mackin. "Most of life is trippy enough as it is."

Annabelle Chairlegs

Mon., March 13 @ Sidewinder, 10:30pm; Wed., March 15 @ Hotel Vegas at Volstead, 12:15am

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More SXSW Music 2017
Playback – SXSW Recap: Love, Hate, Garth & Trump
Playback – SXSW Recap: Love, Hate, Garth & Trump
Final love / hate SXSW listicles

Kevin Curtin, March 24, 2017

Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom

Thomas Fawcett, March 17, 2017

More by Libby Webster
ACL Live Review: Nilüfer Yanya
Nilüfer Yanya
English singer-guitarist animates acclaimed Miss Universe

Oct. 7, 2019

ACL Live Review: Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish
Superstar teen proves she should’ve been a headliner

Oct. 6, 2019


SXSW Music 2017, Mobley, Capyac, Hikes, Annabelle Chairlegs, Bonnie Whitmore, Dylan Cameron, Soaked

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle