Unofficial Parties & Free Shows to See During South by Southwest

The Chronicle’s recommended concerts for the coming week

Photo by John Anderson

Our music writers recommend the best day parties and unofficial bonanzas for one-stop concert shopping during the coming week of Fest madness. Looking for more? Find the Chronicle’s complete listings of all things musically free and unofficial, March 10 through 19, here. And for official performer picks during South by Southwest 2023, check out our “​​Field Guide to 80 Essential Acts at SXSW Music.”

New Orleans Takeover

Sat 18, noon, Luck Ranch

“Good morning America, how are you?/ Say, don't you know me? I'm your native son/ I'm the train they call the City of New Orleans/ I'll be gone 500 miles when the day is done.” So sang Steve Goodman in 1971, Arlo Guthrie in 1972, and Willie Nelson in 1984 and to this day. His settlement Luck, built for 1986 film Red Headed Stranger, now hosts “Swamp Poppa” Tommy McLain and guitar gator C.C. Adcock, bouncing “Azz Everywhere” Big Freedia, Mardi Gras Indian jammers Cha Wa, brass blasters the Soul Rebels, Keith Richards survivor/funk soldier Ivan Neville, nitro Philly ringers Low Cut Connie, and more. Bring beads!
– Raoul Hernandez

Soul Glo (Photo by Alyssa Rorke)

Fiesta Destructo

Sat 18, 1pm, Hotel Vegas

Bring your earplugs. This one is going to get loud – and messy. Two decades in, Pissed Jeans’ noise-rock tantrums still shock and amuse. The radical hardcore of Soul Glo’s Diaspora Problems earned Pitchfork’s Best New Music status, Austin’s indie-punk stalwarts A Giant Dog never disappoint, and Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs revamp classic stoner metal on this year’s doomtastic Land of Sleeper. Orchestra Gold’s spiritual Malian psych-funk doesn’t quite fit the bill, but that’s probably for the best.  – Austin Powell

Nemegata (Photo by Beatriz López Bettynaa)

Spaceflight Crawfish Boil

Sat 18, 1pm, Scholz Garten

“We won Best Record Label in the 41st [annual Austin Music Awards],” posted final frontier Austin imprint Spaceflight Records on Feb. 27. “Thank you to everyone that voted, our stellar artist roster, advisory board, partners and sponsors. We couldn’t be Spaceflight Records without your continued support for our mission to find sustainability within the music industry.” Indeed, the label attempts the unheard: non-profit profitability – for its acts (Nigerian Austinite rocker Kalu James, Austin Colombian post-punks Nemegata, intergalactic Sun Ra reincarnates the Golden Dawn Arkestra). Gulf Coast soul & funk sovereign Shinyribs and San Antonio country cottage industry Garrett T. Capps host this crawfish boil, so bring a bib and your two-step.  – Raoul Hernandez

Heavy Psych Sounds

Sat 18, 2pm, Valhalla

Italian label Heavy Psych Sounds has eagerly waved the flag for burly stoner grunge and cosmic psychedelic heaviness since 2007, and salutes its sweet 16 with a day party at Valhalla, long Austin’s home for weed metal since it was Room 710. Stoner rock stalwart Nebula, who recently celebrated hitting the quarter-century mark by reissuing its catalog on HPS, headline with raging acid sludge and Motor City rock & roll. Local standard-bearers Duel and New Jersey’s preeminent power trio the Atomic Bitchwax, both of whom just released live albums on the label, provide volume-heavy support. ATX journeydudes Greenbeard bludgeon cochlea first.  – Michael Toland

Rhinestone Rodeo

Sat 18, 4pm, High Noon

White Denim linchpin James Petralli quietly packed up his Radio Milk studio in East Austin late last year and moved to Los Angeles. With a new album in the works and having recently brushed up on fan-favorite LP Last Day of Summer for a West Coast tour, White Denim (9pm) makes a suddenly rare local appearance to headline Rhinestone Rodeo. The bill also includes a solo set from the Black Angels’ dark prophet Alex Maas (7pm) and riff-heavy metallurgists Eagle Claw (5pm), with Infinite Hiss (6pm), Kevin McKinney (8pm), and Carrot T. Gaps & the Space Foos (10pm) rounding out the inside stage.
– Austin Powell

Bored Lord (Photo by Mariah Tiffany)

After Death

Sat 18, 10pm, Highland Collective

There is no test of SXSW stamina quite like a closing night warehouse party. This year’s rager happens in the shadow of the ACC Highland Campus, at the Highland Collective maker space. Local techno legend Bill Converse goes back-to-back with Collin Bass, and genre-smashing Oakland producer Bored Lord plays alongside their T4T LUV NRG labelmate Introspekt. Scene standard-bearers Daetron Vargas and Millhouse add decades of house music expertise. A trio of visual artists (Devras Plexi, Panoptikon.Party, and Teneyenet) plus a custom sound install make this worth the $20 door price.  – Dan Gentile

SoCo Stomp!

Wed 15 – Sun 19, 1pm, C-Boy's

Kicking off the new five-day, two-stage SoCo Stomp! party, Wednesday's lineup boasts Austin Music Awards Songwriter of the Year Ray Wylie Hubbard, carrying no shortage of accolades already. Ben Kweller notches the 20th anniversary of adventurous pop breakout LP Sha Sha, while Kalu & the Electric Joint drop funked R&B grooves. Terry Allen scion Calder Allen showcases 2022 debut The Game and the Greyhounds bring the blues. Inside, Alabama boys Lee Bains & the Glory Fires rev Southern rock from last year's Old-Time Folks and the Last Jimenez stomps South Texas soul, alongside songwriters Bonnie Whitmore and Hilary York.  – Doug Freeman

Feels So Good Fest Volume 4

Thu 16 – Sun 19, Feels So Good
$20 day, $40 weekend

Local label/record store/print shop Feels So Good vibes across four days, kicking off with the smooth Latin psych jams of Chicago quintet Divino Niño's chilling Last Spa on Earth, L.A. trio Boyo's warped eclectic grooves on latest Science Fiction, and Why Bonnie's dreamy guitar fuzz. Friday kicks country, highlighted by Jonathan Terrell's rebellious rockers and sharply twanged ballads, plus the deep country croons of Austin's Aaron McDonnell and Arkansas' Dylan Earl – while the Pink Stones skip stoner roots jams and Banditos blow out Southern boogies. A Giant Dog attacks the explosive day three behind bandleader Sabrina Ellis' fury, with Pigsx7 dooming in heavy behind the UK quintet's blistering new Land of Sleeper LP to the psych slices of L.A.-via-Denton's Pearl Earl and locals White Dog. The Sunday closeout calms in contrast, with Juani Mustard strumming Chilean anti-folk and UK's Mui Zyu haunting downtempo soundscapes. Little Mazarn's evocative banjo/saw ballads meet Annie Blackman's understated songwriting edge and Alicia Walter's provocative powerhouse pop vocals.  – Doug Freeman

Cajun Backyard Party

Sun 19, 2pm, Sam’s Town Point

No better place to close out SXSW than down south at STP. Jesse Lége & Bosco Stomp stir the gumbo with the Cajun Music Hall of Famer’s hard-driving accordion and traditional Louisiana dance hall sound. Austin icon and armadillo purveyor Jim Franklin makes a rare onstage appearance, and Nashville guitarist Sean Thompson spools up the sidewinding jams of solo debut Sean Thompson’s Weird Ears. Brooklyn quintet Dropper lays down slinky psych-infused rock to the wild fusion turns of Joe Roddy and Jack Montesinos’ the Point, and Cactus Lee strums his indelible folk realism before pedal steel maestro Rose Sinclair’s Cocktail Steel.  – Doug Freeman

Godcaster (Photo by Riley Buttery)

Two Stage Rager

Sun 19, noon, Far Out Lounge

Ring in the final day of SXSW with the loudest and rowdiest showcase of the week. Nashville-based queer Southern rock act Thelma & the Sleaze takes the helm, weaving flecks of blues rock, power-pop, and metal into their eight-year discography. Local shredders Pussy Gillette, the Pinky Rings, and Die Spitz support with a wicked blend of punk, garage rock, and grunge. Brooklyn noise sextet Godcaster amplifies chaos further with unwieldy 2021 EP Saltergasp, while the Netherlands' Iguana Death Cult churns uneasy grooves with latest single, "Sensory Overload." Rage on.  – Kriss Conklin

[SXSW Week 1 events are cataloged below]

BearyGood Blast Off

Fri 10, 5pm, the Ballroom

During fest season, alignments are crucial. Austin booker Beary Good's inaugural showcase places local college indie scenesters in perfect formation: on the same Ballroom bill. Most notably? Riya Mahesh's Quiet Light, the UT-Austin alumna's folk-pop project known for sparking endearing mosh pits and sing-alongs during crowd favorites like "Giving Up on You" and "Til I Get Tired." With Mahesh on vocals and guitar, the singer-songwriter reimagines stories of love and heartbreak via indie rock flair and a live band. Less active since she enrolled in med school out of state, Quiet Light's long-awaited return is not one to miss.  – Kriss Conklin

Might Be Magic

Fri 10, 10pm, Club Eternal

Austin house-heads know Might Be Magic as the team behind the legendarily sweaty Secret Garden parties at Ah Sing Den. Helmed by DJ Brett Johnson and Claudia Hz, the outfit will celebrate its second anniversary by hosting DJ Heather, a legendary Chicago DJ whose 2005 Fabric 21 CD sounds just as good today. Local support comes from Whisky Disco edit king the Silver Rider, with ATX expat Delwyn of Capyac bringing the electrofunk energy. Advance ticket purchase recommended ($17.15-22.85), expect it to go late.  – Dan Gentile

SX Soundcheck Saturday

Sat 11, noon, Hotel Vegas
Free until 7pm

Forty-eight hours before this 20-act blowout indoors, on the patio, and next door at Volstead, East Sixth's reigning live music hub turns 12. Twelve years of what makes Austin a live music hub nationally, internationally, globally: sonic bacchanalia. Outdoors, the Austin Music Awards encore a trio of winners – astral projection Golden Dawn Arkestra, Nineties rock ascension squad Die Spitz, and Best Rapper Deezie Brown – that anchor a half-dozen core ATX indie acts. Just inside, meanwhile, a cumbia festival led by local leading lights El Combo Oscuro hosts Denver homies Ritmo Cascabel, San Antonio's Tarasco Tropical, Dallas' Papi Chulo, and many more. Hot tamales, SXSW begins.  – Raoul Hernandez

Kerrville Folk Festival Preview

Sat 11, 3pm, Radio Coffee

A showcase lineup for the annual Hill Country campout comes to the South Austin string scene hangout. Good Looks' 2022 debut album Bummer Year harbingered anything but for the quartet, their slacker charm and chiming guitars earning them Best Rock honors at the Austin Music Awards. Ley Line unfurls intoxicating world rhythms as the local quartet harmonizes with a beautifully healing, spiritual ethos, and Brennen Leigh rolls her traditional Western ballads and honky-tonk-infused country back to town from Nashville. Georgia Parker caps the night with new single "Cowboy's Life" and the freshest Western swing sound in town.  – Doug Freeman

Pinoy Potluck ATX Block Party

Sun 12, 3pm, Kenny Dorham's Backyard

While organizing this day party, Christine Pascoo wanted to celebrate three elements etched into Filipino culture: food, community, and music. Besides creating a space for Pinoy vendors, the event spotlights a lineup of seven local Filipino American artists, including Pascoo herself. Enveloped in soul, Gianne Villaverde's voice glides above emotional, dreamlike ballads like "nevermind" and "sike, i don't." Folk singer-songwriter Pam Reyes pours heart-stirring narratives into her expositions, emphasizing every syllable ("Dear Dreamer"). Sayang, the last performer of the evening, fuses R&B and hip-hop with blunt commentary in "Catcall & Response." Share a Filipino dish and enjoy some good company.  – Angela Lim

Side One Track One vs Austin Town Hall

Sun 12, 3pm, Hotel Vegas

The yearly local blog showdown packs over two dozen artists across three stages. Darkbird headlines outside with the sextet's dark, danceable beats and scorching crescendos from new Ballad of a Junebug EP, with setup from Night Cap's swelling indie grooves and Caleb De Casper's charged Euro-pop flex from 2022's Femme Boy. Jane Leo and Animals on TV surge New Wave punk to Bondbreakr's metal barrage and Lord Friday the 13th's trash glam. Other highlights include Chief Cleopatra's iridescent R&B, Slomo Drags and the Stacks' mellow indie edge, and Being Dead's garage art-pop.  – Doug Freeman

Let's Get Free Fundraiser

Mon 13, 5pm, Far Out Lounge
$10 suggested donation

Local cannabis advocacy and event company Keep Austin Weed is partnering with the national nonprofit Last Prisoner Project and legacy cannabis marketing company DeLisioso to host a benefit concert. The fundraiser will feature a performance by the legendary hip-hop duo Dead Prez, along with special guests. Alongside legacy music, speakers include Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs, creators of Starz 2021 network dramedy Blindspotting. The concert also marks the appointment of Mutulu Olugbala, aka M-1 of Dead Prez, to Last Prisoner Project's Board of Directors. He joins a coalition of industry leaders and activists supporting LPP's mission to free the country's cannabis prisoners.  – Kahron Spearman

Fire in the Hole

Tue 14, noon, Hole in the Wall

This year's Fire in the Hole billows a flora-and-ice-studded list of seven acts beyond Austin, painting sonic impressionist and avant-garde styles. Liverpool-based instrumentalist Strawberry Guy played his first American showcase at last year's SXSW, where he exhibited compositions that could accompany Claude Monet's lush, whimsical landscapes. On the other end of the spectrum, NYC-based duo Frost Children bends genres from hyperpop to punk rock, glitching and sampling the internet in sophomore LP SPIRAL. Headliner Sunflower Bean, a trio from NYC, blooms in a garden of mellow rock on grungy soil ("Who Put You Up to This?").  – Angela Lim

Divino Niño (Photo by Matt Allen)

House Johnson No. 5 Goodbye

Tue 14, 1pm, 907 E. 39th

House Johnson, the Hall Johnson-established, homey hallmark of the Austin college indie scene, celebrates its final backyard shindig via a benefit show. The farewell lineup boasts Austin-launched, NYC-relocated eruptive indie rockers Why Bonnie, Chicago-based psych-pop quintet Divino Niño, and Winnipeg funk-pop project JayWood. Also available: custom merch, a tapas pop-up kitchen, and free drinks courtesy of Anheuser-Busch, Liquid Death, and Guayakí Yerba Mate. Tickets start at $10, and half of all sales will go to reproductive rights nonprofit the Lilith Fund. Hail, hail, House Johnson!  – Kriss Conklin

Eastside Block Party

Tue 14, 2pm, Long Play Lounge East & High Noon

Austin promoters Howdy Gals and Happen Twice join forces for Eastside Block Party, a double-venue delight consisting of 15 dazzling artists from the Lone Star State and beyond. Situated at adjoining bars on East Cesar Chavez Street, the function offers a fusion of indie rock, R&B, and pop performances in 30-minute doses. Garage pop band Eli Josef, indie/R&B duo Rococo Disco, and alt-rockers Shooks round out a portion of local Texan talent, while Los Angeles multi-instrumentalist Girlscout and Boston groove quintet the Q-Tip Bandits bring coastal pop sounds to the 512. Mind Shrine and Manwolves headline.  – Kriss Conklin

J Soulja (Photo by Jana Birchum)

DAWA's Unity Showcase

Tue 14, 7:45pm, Stubb's

Austin organization DAWA (Diversity Awareness and Wellness in Action) presents a comprehensive and historic week of arts, music, and cultural events titled Vision:8291. Founder/director Jonathan "Chaka" Mahone says Vision:8291 will be a space "where the innovative visions of BIPOC designers, ecologists, thinkers, creatives, inventors, and humanitarians can have their work elevated, celebrated, and empowered." The events, running March 14 through 18, are all free and open to the public with RSVP at "Every year, millions of dollars flood the city of Austin for this Festival, and most of it flows around the BIPOC organizations that make this city worth living in," says Mahone. Following up last year's well-attended edition at Stubb's outdoor stage, DAWA's Unity concert lineup includes Austin rapper CP Loony, riding melodic 2022 record godspeed., and local sister trio the Tiarras, celebrating latest pop single "Cumbia en el Cielo." The Chronicle recently declared Urban Heat's Wellness EP a "darkwave road map for uncertain times." Eimaral Sol, Caramelo Haze, and J Soulja round out the powerhouse evening of homegrown talent.  – Kahron Spearman

Baby Rose (Photo by Nicole Hernandez)


Wed 15 – Sat 18, Scholz Garten

Waking up is the hard part. KUTX handles the rest. The $10 ticket comes with unlimited coffee and benefits the Central Texas Food Bank, with five bands over five hours, starting at 7am. The Heavy Heavy's sun-kissed choogle packs plenty of next-big-thing buzz on Wednesday, but don't sleep (literally) on L.A.'s Baby Rose (8am), who operates on the outer limits of modern R&B. Geto Gala, the project from leading Austin hip-hop act Deezie Brown, kick-starts Thursday's lineup, followed by Ron Gallo, Indigo De Souza, and Sports Team. Friday offers a quick trip around the world. Caramelo Haze is the latest offshoot of Grupo Fantasma to beckon your attention and is only one degree removed from Girl Ultra, the Mexico City-based vehicle of Mariana de Miguel, who starred on Adrian Quesada's Bolero Psicodélicos. In between, Nigeria's Obongjayar infuses Afrobeat with post-Frank Ocean R&B. But if you only set your alarm clock once, make it Saturday, which features Daptone's latest soul throwback Thee Sacred Souls and rising indie-pop artists Hannah Jadagu and Pearl & the Oysters, not to mention the Nude Party.
– Austin Powell

Balming Tiger

Tiger Den Showcase

Wed 15, noon, Cheer Up Charlies
Free before 7pm

Alternative K-pop collective Balming Tiger headlines Tiger Den, which Tiger Balm – the pain-relieving ointment brand the 11-piece group got its name from – intentionally sponsors. Aiming to share a new wave of Asian music, this first-of-its-kind full-day showcase at Asian American-owned Cheer Up Charlies features artists from across the Asian diaspora. Japanese Filipino singer-songwriter Ena Mori, who hails from Manila, boasts a classical piano background that translates into boundless, lustrous pop with breathtaking harmonies and futuristic soundscapes ("TALK! TALK!" and "RUNAWAY HOLIDAY!"). Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-born Lunadira reflects on her remnants of romance, oozing honey-flavored melodies in songs like "ur cute but boring." The Chairs, a Taiwanese trio that met in their high school guitar club, impart gentle indie rock songs – in languages from Japanese to English – that bring listeners back to sunny old days. South Korean singer/DJ/producer Loren, who appeared in BLACKPINK's "Lovesick Girls" music video and co-wrote three of their 2020 album's songs, will present his own heavy pop-punk at the showcase, including tracks such as "All My Friends Are Turning Blue."  – Angela Lim

Restless Fest Austin

Wed 15, 1pm, Far Out Lounge

The new one-day hip-hop festival – aiming to spotlight artists falling somewhere within the genre's underground – debuted seven weeks ago in its home base of Dallas. An unofficial showcase featuring 30-plus artists across two stages succeeds Restless Fest's January inaugural effort, headlined by JPEGMAFIA. Notable names include potential buzz generator Armani White, 19-year-old Midwxst, the wildly energetic Jeleel!, and Bankrol Hayden. Midwxst primarily conducts melodic tracks over hyperpop-esque beats, but the Indiana-cultured talent further displayed his versatility on recent horn-heavy single "Tally."  – Derek Udensi

Ballroom Bash

Wed 15, 4pm, the Ballroom

Austin record label Happen Twice, UT-Austin music publication Afterglow ATX, and local music collective unite to put on a Ballroom Bash. The West Campus venue fills the eight-hour event with January residency band Slurp the World, as well as other local bands like Homemade Bangs, Dress Warm, Grocery Bag, and the Point. Adding to the showcase, Charlotte Rose Benjamin, Closebye, and Moon Kissed all hail from New York and, much like the melting-pot city, represent an array of genres. The exciting blend continues with Houston's bubbly Mind Shrine, Liverpool's alternative Brad Stank, and Vancouver's heavily layered Meltt. Diverse in location and genre, their sounds merge for an unforgettable bash.  – Katie Karp


Wed 15, 8pm, Sheraton Backyard

Confucius Jones and Aaron "Fresh" Knight's annual showcase turns five with a demonstration of talent making strides within Austin's hip-hop and R&B scenes. Performers include promising local rapper Stasseny and 2022 the Smoke Out ATX tournament-winner J.Mill. R&B constant Alesia Lani headlines. The bill notably includes four women solo acts (five including DJ Yupthtsher), a new high for the event. “We didn't do it so much on purpose. It's just that women in the city are doing really, really well culturally," Jones affirmed during the Feb. 18 broadcast of KUTX show The Breaks. The event is free to the public, but Festival badges/wristbands will grant priority entry.  – Derek Udensi

Mixtape Mash-Up

Thu 16, 11:45am, BLK Vinyl

"The SIMS Foundation provides mental health and substance use recovery services and support for musicians, music industry professionals, and their dependent family members." Meaning, tip heavily at this free ATX music primer, because behold four leading lights of authenticity. Best Hip-Hop/Rap Austin Music Award winner Deezie Brown (2:30pm) stands in the pocket and delivers tough Southwestern bars of Hill Country hot rods and inner-city blues. Perfectly in sync, Cha'keeta B (1:45) supports via Instagram bona fides: Recording Academy Austinite, #YourFavFemcee, and "I Rap YOU LISTEN!" Porcelain (12:45) jolts nü post-prog, and veteran ATX psychics My Education transmit progressive virtuosity. Give 'til it hurts.
– Raoul Hernandez

Stereogum Range Life

Thu 16, noon, Cheer Up Charlies

The days of endless SXSW parties from the same music blogs giving the Fest breathless daily coverage are long behind us (not unrelatedly, so are most music blogs). But through Stereogum – preeminent survivor of the MP3 era – the dream of 2007 lives on (briefly pausing at 2:30pm, when hyper-pop duo Frost Children performs, at which point it becomes the dream of 2019). Free with RSVP, the performance slate features a wildly eclectic selection of acts, from electro-industrial to cloud rap. Special exception: consecutive performances from two similarly situated young shoegaze acts, They Are Gutting a Body of Water and Knifeplay.  – Julian Towers

KUTX Rock the Shores

Thu 16, 6pm, Austin Convention Center

Full disclosure: I work in the same building as KUTX. There, the sentient sounds of the public frequency thump like heartbeat – Austin artery. Likewise, my third-grader rendezvouses with his homies at the station's Rock the Park concert series at Lake Mueller. "Nine eight nine" brands their Friday dance party. For SXSW, they bust out NPR beacon Thao (8:30pm), Welsh Americanist Jonny Langford & Silver Sands Roustabouts with ATX posy Rosie Flores (8pm), rap poet SaulPaul (7:30pm), nerdcore rapper Mega Ran (7pm), familycore duo Red Yarn & Aaron Nigel Smith (6:30pm), and kiddie sensation Lucky Diaz (6pm). Sound of our town.  – Raoul Hernandez

Waterloo Records Day Parties

Tue 14 – Fri 17, Waterloo Records

Having relaunched excellent in-store performances, Austin's iconic Downtown record shop reenters participation in SXSW. For three afternoons, the shop will host three performances – finishing the four-day run with a Friday morning show. On Tuesday, soulful singer Devon Gilfillian, peppy alt-rockers Circa Waves, and Austin's very own Good Looks start festivities. Psychedelic pop legends the Zombies kick off Wednesday's show, followed by Enumclaw's cinematic sounds and Ron Gallo's new rock with heavy Sixties inspiration. Thursday welcomes Julianna Riolino's folk songs, locally launched Carson McHone, and Austin establishment Ken Weller. To wrap up, find Oakland's African-psych-infusing Orchestra Gold; Zürich, Switzerland's Fifties Latin American-inspired Hermanos Gutiérrez; and Australian punkers Civic.
– Katie Karp

Third Man Records

Thu 16 – Fri 17, 11am, the 13th Floor

Jack White's Third Man Records has been popping up at SXSW on and off since 2010. This year the esteemed label sets up shop at the 13th Floor for two crammed days of high-voltage punk and indie rock, starting at 11am. Don't miss Hannah Jadagu on Thursday. The Texas teen's bedroom-pop blossoms on her Sub Pop debut, Aperture. Friday gets even better, featuring the highly anticipated reunion of Be Your Own Pet, a prodigious punk outfit with an untamable bandleader in Jemina Pearl, and Olivia Jean, Jack White's better half, whose new single, "Trouble," rips like early White Stripes. Get there early. Chances are there will be some ridiculously rare vinyl available.  – Austin Powell

Dr. Martens Presents

Thu 16 – Fri 17, 1pm, Clive Bar

Dr. Martens takes over Clive Bar on Rainey for two days of music and free ink. Thursday will be anchored by crunchy punchline rapper and fairly new Austinite Danny Brown, whose eponymous podcast is recorded at YMH Studios in South Austin. Armani White, Haru Nemuri, Divino Niño, Lime Garden, and Joon join. Collective Balming Tiger, which comprises not only the self-described "alternative K-pop" musicians but visual artists and writers, captains Friday's lineup. Priyanka, Ron Gallo, Dream Wife, Enumclaw, and the Mauskovic Dance Band wrap this first-come, first-served fete. If you want to take home a permanent souvenir, local artists Nick Freidline and Michael Williams will be tattooing gratis.
– Abby Johnston

The Austin Chronicle Hair of the 3-Legged Dog Day Party

Fri 17, noon-4pm, Hotel Vegas

Of all the mid-March day parties, I believe Hair of the 3-Legged Dog stands among the great truly Austin experiences during SXSW. It takes place at one of the city’s most vital venues, Hotel Vegas; it draws a super townie crowd; the sponsors are all legit local delights (stumble in to free breakfast tacos from Eldorado Cafe); and – as always – it waves the flag for Austin music. While we basically threw a punk show last year, this year’s event presents an all-over-the-map smattering of incredibly engaging live performers who all happen to be hitting a creative peak right now.

The haunting, high-energy, dark Americana quartet Rattlesnake Milk – recommended for fans of Hank Williams Sr. and people who keep an unregistered firearm in their truck’s glove box – just made a career album, Chicken Fried Snake, that’s sure to be a staple on Best of the Year lists from outsider country commentators. Kydd Jones, a longtime linchpin of Austin hip-hop and creator of the Onyx D’or fashion line, recently seized the spotlight with a immaculate opening verse on the X.O and Quin NFN collab “Pressure,” contrasting “Dog I’ve been grindin’ forever – came out the Salvation Army and ghettos” with “Can’t even stand next to the King like Coretta.”

Synth rock/post-punk trio Urban Heat is having a banner year: breaking out nationally with their emotionally resonant single “Have You Ever?” gracing the cover of the Chronicle, and getting booked to play May’s Cruel World Festival at the Rose Bowl with acts like Iggy Pop, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Gang of Four. Being Dead, with their unfathomable quirkiness, hilarious stage demeanor, and garagey, harmonious, psychedelic outsider pop, were recently signed to indie springboard Bayonet Records with a yet-to-be-announced masterpiece coming soon.

In addition to Eldorado, free sips from ATX Cold Brew will be available while supplies last. Find drink specials from Bloody Revolution, Rambler Sparkling Water, Johnnie Walker, and Copper Dog Whiskey, or stop by vendors including IVitamin's Hydration Therapy lounge and Austin Pets Alive! RSVP at  – Kevin Curtin

Jobber (Photo by Sofie Vasquez)

Post-Trash Day Party

Fri 17, noon, Hole in the Wall

Between the name of the event host and that of the venue, this day party boasts quite the charming synchrony in self-deprecating humor. Indeed, much like the humble UT campus bar, this well-loved music blog makes a virtue of unpretentiousness, championing under-the-radar artists with humorous, convivial writing. The free lineup reflects that generous spirit with a fine selection of indie underdogs. Highlights include stalky, shouty San Fran post-punks Fake Fruit; crust-inflected, dungeon-synth-laced, Philly D-beat deathrockers Poison Ruïn; and Big Muff Fuzz worshippers Jobber. (Hailing from Brooklyn, the lattermost sweetly melodious band shares a home base with Post-Trash itself).  – Julian Towers

Yard Dog Party

Fri 17, 3pm, ABGB

ABGB inherits the Yard Dog Gallery’s previous SoCo mainstay party and brings familiar roots-rocked flair despite the Bloodshot Records hangover. Jon Langford holds down headlining slots with cowpunk pioneers the Waco Brothers and his own Jon Langford & the Far Forlorn, while the Silos excavate their breakout 1987 sophomore LP, Cuba. Locals Churchwood lay down gritty bayou licks from funky latest The Boule Oui and the Wild Seeds revivie their Nineties post-punk. Bob Schneider continues his more contemplative, melodic turn, and Jon Dee Graham pairs in songswap with son William Harries. Alice Spencer and Brian Beattie set up alongside Ethan Azarian’s outsider folk.  – Doug Freeman

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