Today the organizers of the SXSW Music Festival announced their showcase schedule for the music portion of the industry fest starting on March 17. This is the news Rocks Off has been looking for, so let's get it on. We are now one month away from Sixth Street and one of the world's biggest conglomerations of music-industry folk. Wednesday night the festival kicks off in earnest with Spoon, The Walkmen and Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings over at Stubb's for the NPR showcase. Across town at the Hideout, Houston's own Two Star Symphony rolls out at 8 p.m. on a bill with Daniel Francis Doyle and PC Worship. Fellow Houstonian Kam Franklin dishes her out her brand of R&B over at Klub Krucial. Surfer Blood headlines the Wave at 1 a.m. at the Kanine showcase, and plays our own Village Voice Media day party on Friday afternoon. High On Fire rolls out its new album,Snakes For The Divine
, on the Mohawk patio with Canada's Priestess and the slow burning Naam. Houston prog-metallers Scale The Summit snagged an inside slot at Mohawk around the same time. Even bigger news on Wednesday is the bill at Prague with Wayne Kramer, the Foo Fighters' Chris Shiflett and British folk firecracker Billy Bragg headlining. Be sure to check out Bragg's solid collaborations with Wilco from the late '90s.
Thursday sees none other than the Lemonheads' Evan Dando making an appearance at The Ale House. Hayes Carll will be playing new material over at Antone's, and Rocks Off favorites Deer Tick will be doing the same at the Beauty Bar inside stage. The M. Ward/Zooey Deschanel project She & Him is sharing a bill with Lou Barlow over at the Cedar Street Courtyard around 9 p.m. The Wild Moccasins scored a showcase at the Friends Bar as well on Thursday, at 8 p.m. with Surf City and The Crookes. The big ticket on Thursday will surely be the triple bill of Band Of Horses, Drive-By Truckers and Broken Social Scene at Stubb's starting around 9 p.m. That's almost too much roots-rock for one venue. Spread that shit out a little guys. Maybe have the DBT play down the street or something. All the beards at Stubb's will suffocate.
There's a free show at Auditorium Shores on Friday night with Cheap Trick, Cracker and The BoDeans headlining. Fans will be seeing Cracker quite a bit that week, with David Lowery's Camper Van Beethoven also around gigging around town at a few showcases. Friday night also brings a soul revue at the Austin Music Hall. Sharon Jones, Black Joe Lewis and none other than Smokey Robinson will be tearing the house down. Our ACL find Raphael Saadiq is also in the mix at the AMH that night. If you miss the throwdown at Stubb's the night before, Band Of Horses will be playing the Central Presbyterian Church on Friday night on a bill with The xx. That should be an interesting evening with the Lord. He had did have a beard too after all. Kenny Dorham's Backyard serves up Del Castillo and the Texas Tornados that night as well. It's going to be hard for Rocks Off Senior to choose between that one and Neon Indian across town at Club Deville.[Ed. Note: Cough cough.]
La Zona Rosa offers up Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Band Of Skulls this night as well. If you can't make it to Austin, bothTwilight: New Moon
soundtrack bands will be playing the House Of Blues here March 20. Future Mrs. Rocks Off Anya Marina returns to SXSW this year as well. Last time we saw her we had just broken our elbow, but her voice made it all better.
Society's Ills, a band made up of (ready?) Thurston Moore, J. Mascis, and Andrew WK and two others play Friday night at Red 7 with Jemina Pearl. We haven't heard exactly what this is supposed to sound like, but it gives WK a shot of scene cred if he ever needed it. Justin Townes Earle, Deer Tick, and Lucero are all playing the AMA II / Lucero Family Picnic at the Red Eyed Fly. Maybe we can apologize to Earle from trying to get his band to come to Big Star with us the other night. We just wanted to party, brother. No worries. Friday's Houston showcasers include Perseph1, Yppah and Bay City's gospel group Jones Family Singers. Saturday the music festival begins to close out with the PPM showcase, which features garage-punkers No Age and Abe Vigoda. One of electro's biggest new acts Major Lazer head up a show with Yacht at the Cedar Street Courtyard. Lazer has become one of the most sought-after artists over the past year, and could easily become this year's Justice. The Black Angels will debut new work over at the Galaxy Room Backyard at 1 a.m. on Saturday night. We haven't heard much from the band since 2008'sDirections to See a Ghost
. In the same stonery vein, Americana artist Dustin Welch is playing at Lambert's a few blocks over. He's a Houston regular and his last albumWhisky Priest
was a stunner. We got word last week that
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, director Bruce Bryant's documentary on Houston's Anderson Fair will be screening at SXSW during the film festival over the first weekend of the event. The film traces the legendary local venue's history via interviews with Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams, Guy Clark, and many others. The venue, tucked away in Montrose, played has also played host to artists like Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell and Robert Earl Keen. Houstonians hitting Austin in March should make their way to theHouston @ SXSW
event on March 16. The meet-up will serve to highlight the local interactive, film and music community in Austin that week. The group's "Support Local, Grow Together" motto is something you can get behind.