Big-hitting acts are piling up at this year's SXSW, with the likes of Jack White, Fiona Apple, GZA, 50 Cent, Bruce Springsteen, Skrillex, and the list goes on. Though, whether you're travelling with a fancy badge or wristband, or especially if you're just going to partake in the free festivities, don't forget that Houston is providing a great amount of talent to SXSW this year that's worth supporting.
Here are a few of Rocks Off's personal picks from our noteworthy local acts.
Buxton: This six-member group plays roots folk music. Their music is refreshing, honest. Houston loves this band already. They have the power to bring venues to at least near-capacity. You can find them at one of their 7-plus showcases and parties scheduled as listed on their Facebook page.
American Sharks: I reviewed these guys for their record-release show a couple of weeks ago, actually. Basically, it was a good show. Their punk-tinged classic metal sound is nothing short of a fun powerhouse live. You can catch them free at 1 a.m. Sunday, March 18 at Spiderhouse.
The Wild Moccasins: They've sold out shows here several times. They're melodic. They're catchy. They're energetic and stylish. Sounds like a recipe for success. Catch their official show at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 15 at tenOAK.
The Tontons: They had to make this list. Reaching full cliché heights, I must admit that they are just unique. They don't sound like any other band I know, in a good way. Catch their official show 8 p.m. Thursday Deseo Centro Lounge.
Fat Tony: The Houston Press once said, "Tony brings people together in a way no entertainer we have ever seen, and he's ours, Houston's, and thank God for that." It's true. Even if he's not in town at the moment, he's still from here. We still claim him. Find him at one of his many official and unofficial shows as listed on Tony's Web site.
Indian Jewelry: Compared to these other guys listed, Indian Jewelry could be considered veterans, having been around since 2002. They're basically a brand of space-age mind-bending droning atmospheric noise-rock. You either hate them or love them for that very sound. They've gotten fancy nods from the likes of Pitchfork. You can catch them at their official show at 1 a.m. Saturday at Iron Bear. They will also play free 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Spiderhouse.
Radio Galaxy: They soar through neo-soul heights. Basically, everything their record label Peace Uv Mine has to offer is lovely. You can catch their official show at 10:20 p.m. tonight at Malaia Upstairs.
The Niceguys: They slam percussion over their freestyle raps, and the crowd goes wild. With a recent collaboration with Bun B, The Niceguys are bound to be a hit. You can catch them at their official show tonight at 1100 Warehouse.
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Finally, don't forget the Houston Invasion, a free show Friday at the Gypsy Lounge (1504 E. 6th St.), where a couple of the bands I have already listed here will be performing as well.
Note: Badges and/or wristbands required for entry to some shows.