Where to Find Houston at SXSW, and Vice Versa

After 'Miss Direction,' Lyric Michelle is ready to rock SXSW.
After 'Miss Direction,' Lyric Michelle is ready to rock SXSW.
Photo by Jay Tovar

When you live this close to Austin, fallout from SXSW is inevitable. Houston gets it both ways: This city is just one tour stop away for acts coming or going to the festival, and nearby enough to send a sizable delegation of our own artists into the fray every year. As you'll see below, it's quite a company this year.

On the other hand, if you'd rather pass on all that insanity, we picked out a handful of SXSW artists passing through Houston in the next few days to save you gas money and all that. You can thank us later.

Santigold
Santigold
Photo by Christelle de Castro/Courtesy of Girlie Action

SXSW IN HOUSTON

Troye Sivan: Born in South Africa, raised in Australia, Sivan was recently anointed “the global pop star of tomorrow” by The New York Times. High praise, but it's either see him tomorrow or wait for Revention Music Center or White Oak Music Hall 18 months from now. (House of Blues, March 17)

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NOFX: More than 30 years after inciting their first pit, the Orange County band behind Punk In Drublic and I Heard They Suck Live (they don't) refuses to act their age. (House of Blues, March 20)

Jesse Dayton, Supersuckers, Thelma & the Sleaze: One of Texas country's top 21st-century outlaws; Seattle's cocaine-loving cowpunks, freshly invigorated by singer Eddie Spaghetti's successful battle with cancer; and the lady Nashville bruisers behind “Motor Tits.” Welcome to the working week! (Continental Club, March 21)

Santigold: Philly native who melds hip-hop, electronica, reggae and New Wave into a succession of dance-floor-beckoning jams; all pop music should be this inclusive and exciting. (House of Blues, March 21)

Now...

HOUSTON AT SXSW

B-Ham With the Tru & Livin' Crew: Also known as Righteous Rook, Beaumont-bred MC B-Ham is supposedly the first Texas artist drafted into the Wu-Tang Clan's Down South Killa Bees. Albums include Chess With the Devil. (Soho Lounge, 9:50 p.m. March 17)

BeatKing: The Clubgod is a force in his hometown thanks to his rubbery production, hilarious freestyles and double-take turns of phrase like “door-stopper nipples.” His latest single is the reliably R-rated “BussibaK.” (Empire Control Room, 10:20 p.m. March 17; ScratcHouse, 12:50 a.m. March 17)

Bone, etc.: The SoSouth Records MC known as “Bone the Mack” recently released the single “Sixxx” ahead of his album All About the Money; this ATL-meets-H-Town showcase also features his fellow Houstonians Doeman, Trill Sammy & Dice SoHo, Killa Kyleon, Propain, The Sauce Family and Trae Tha Truth. Turnt. (The Palm Door on Sixth, March 16)

Catch Fever: The indie/electro-pop duo is currently negotiating with fans to crowdfund the release of their latest EP, You Have All You Need; as of Tuesday, they were at 51 percent of their $8,000 goal. Donate here. (Lamberts, 8 p.m. March 17)

Trinity Dawson: Gospel singer and former college-football player whose 2015 album, With All I Am, reached No. 4 on Billboard's Top Gospel Albums chart and cracked the Top 50 on the Top Independent Albums chart as well. (PromiseLand Church, 7:15 p.m. March 19)

DJ Baby Roo: Also known as Ruben Jimenez, Baby Roo will be networking up a storm this week spreading word of mouth about his label Roologic Records, which launched in fine style last week at House of Blues. (Cheer Up Charlie's Inside, 7:45 p.m. March 17)

DJ Mz Rico: Crafting a signature aesthetic out of vintage hip-hop, house and Latin sounds, Mz Rico went from playing parties at UH to some of Midtown and Wash Ave's swankest nightspots; now she presides over Antidote, a monthly event in the much funkier climate of Main Street mainstay Notsuoh. (Karma Lounge, 8 p.m. March 18)

Doughbeezy: Once known for swagger-heavy tracks like “Fuck You (I'm From Texas)," Doughbeezy escaped a near-fatal home invasion last winter and recently returned to the game with Reggie Bush and Kool Aid 2, his most thoughtful and cathartic release to date. (Clive Bar, 12:45 a.m. March 19)

ESG: The Everyday Street Gangsta, one of Houston rap's true OGs, appears to have either donated or will be sharing his stage time with his son, Bryson. As heard on cuts like “3X Freestyle,” the apple doesn't fall far. (Clive Bar, 1:10 a.m. March 19)

GS: An abbreviation of GodSon, this Fifth Ward-raised rapper has released mixtapes including Win Souls or Die Tryin' and the Warning Before Destruction series. (PromiseLand Church, 9:20 p.m. March 18)

Guilla: Son of a rap DJ and opera singer, Guilla is writing a new chapter of Houston rap more in tune with experimental music and trip-hop than chopped and screwed; he calls this SXSW spot “a pit stop on the way to Saturn.” People of the Sun, the followup to 2015's excellent Rap, Trap and Drums, is due next month. (Soho Lounge, 10:10 p.m. March 17)

Fat Tony at last weekend's 8th Wonder bash
Fat Tony at last weekend's 8th Wonder bash
Photo by Marco Torres

Fat Tony: As we reported Monday, Large Anthony has recently been killing it with a new track extolling the virtues of Whataburger. It's delicious. (Sledge Hammer, 11:05 p.m. March 17)

Free Radicals: This year the kitchen-sink jazz ensemble founded by Nick Cooper celebrates its 20th anniversary; it's simply impossible to imagine the Bayou City without Free Radicals around. (Elephant Room, 1 a.m. March 19)

Kyle Hubbard, etc.: A gifted MC who often turns his probing wordplay on himself, Kyle Hubbard returned from a sabbatical in Arkansas last year to release Raven Hotel, a career high-watermark LP that attracted the attention of Roologic Records. Like our man Bone, Hubbard will share this showcase with several fellow Houston rappers, among them Le$, T2 “The Ghetto Hippie,” Roosh Williams and ESG. (Clive Bar, 11:30 p.m. March 19)

I Am Justified: Rapper who has that slow and syrupy H-Town sound nailed, except with a higher purpose in mind. “We in a holy war and me on the front line,” he promises on “Testify.” (PromiseLand Church, 8:10 p.m. March 17)

Lyric Michelle: Traditionally the Houston rap landscape has been about as male-dominated as the average Saturday-morning barbershop – a notion Lyric Michelle all but obliterated earlier this year with her relentless LP Miss Direction. About time someone did. (Barracuda Backyard, 12:10 a.m. March 19)

Jon Rambo: 23-year-old DJ who has been at it a decade, going from high-school parties to a midnight spot at SXSW. (Swan Dive Patio, 12 a.m. March 17)

Maxo Kream: MC whose gritty trap-raps from the SWAT – “Clientele,” “Paranoia,” “Sold Out,” “KKK” and many more – are ominous, intricate and seductive. (Palm Door Patio, 1:25 a.m. March 16)

Mikey & the Drags: Rising Houston garage-rockers are a gas, gas, gas. (The Velveeta Room, 8 p.m. March 19)

Chris Mitchell: Young jazz saxophonist with a thing for bossa nova. Put on latest album, I Found Forever, and dim the lights. (Elephant Room, 10 p.m. March 18)

Moji's Moji Abiola
Moji's Moji Abiola
Photo by Anna Vasilova/Courtesy of Moji

MOJI: Coming on like a latter-day Sade, Moji Abiola is rooted in longing and mysticism. Her eponymous trio is going on after Lizzo, if that tells you anything. (Buffalo Billiards, 1 a.m. March 18)

Corey Paul: The rapper and South Park native's new album is Today, Tomorrow, Forever; his showcase is co-sponsored by NGEN Radio, the Christian-pop network that recently bought 91.7 FM from the University of Houston. (PromiseLand Church, 9:50 p.m. March 18)

Say Girl Say: The utterly charming Afropop/indie-folk trio just played 8th Wonder Brewery's third anniversary celebration. (Lambert's, 12 a.m. March 17)

Tina B: A spoken-word artist and former member of the Rockets' G-Force Step Team, Tina B will appear at a showcase sponsored by the syndicated radio program Inside Gospel. (Carver Museum Boyd Vance Theater, 7 p.m. March 18)

The Tontons: The indie favorites have been keeping a low profile since opening for the B-52's this past New Year's Eve. Expect new music sooner than later. (Swan Dive Patio, 10 p.m. March 16)

-Us: Electro-pop artist and producer who is equally prolific as a remixer and composer, as heard on his blissfully sad 2015 EP V.XXVII.IX. (Lamberts, 10 p.m. March 17)

Kay Weathers: The young singer-songwriter, formerly of the groups Beach Bones and We Scare Coyotes, puts some in mind of Fiona Apple. Watch for an EP soon. (Lamberts, 9 p.m. March 17)

WhyJae: A Houston rapper in a different turnin' lane, WhyJae has put himself in front of crowds there to see the likes of A$AP Ferg, Dom Kennedy and Joey Bada$$, which speaks to how many fucks he gives: zero. His latest release is last month's 30MLFTI. (Karma Lounge, 8:50 p.m. March 18)

Willie D: The Geto Boy and our personal favorite advice columnist is hosting an all-day unofficial showcase dubbed Certified Music, "where the next star will be made.” Among those scheduled to roll through are Death Row legend the D.O.C. (410 Speed Shop, 410 Pressler, 1 p.m. March 19)

Wrestlers: It's not a party until Wrestlers get here, because the debonair electronic duo swerves only the smoothest jams. Bring champagne. (Lamberts, 1 a.m. March 17)

Note: this article was updated after publication to add the Tontons and Kay Weathers.


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