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SXSW Update: Watch Out for Devo; Peter, Bjorn & John; Justin Townes Earle; Hungry Villagers and More

Devo on the BBC's Top of the Pops 2

With the big bad final band announcement coming next week, all is quiet on the SXSW front. For now. This past week was slow, with the biggest names confirmed being Devo, Cursive, Peter, Bjorn & John, and Justin Townes Earle. Devo will be closing out the BMI showcase March 20 at the Austin Music Hall, with (fingers crossed) one or two other shows yet to be announced.

More than likely we see those guys playing at the huge annual Vice magazine day parties. They can't hit town and play only one show for industry wags and not give some love to vintage Spuds and their Spud offspring, right? At this point some may even have grandspuds! 

PB&J (right) will of course be pimping their new album, Living Thing, which hits stores a few weeks later. From the tracks we have heard, it's not all couple-core like the last one. We got sick of seeing young yupsters listening to Writer's Block after awhile. This time around, they have a darker edge and children's chorus backing them up.

Earle is going to be playing shows promoting his new Midnight at the Movies, his follow-up to last year's breakthrough debut The Good Life. He previewed some of the new stuff at his sold-out. much-commented Mucky Duck show in December. The new stuff is decidedly bluesier than his Ernest Tubb-laden first outing, with first single "Mama's Eyes" a bittersweet look at father-son relations. You do know who, ahem, Earle's dad is, right? Just checking...

Houston's own Hungry Villagers (right), according to band manager Aaron Morris, are said to have scored a showcase with Brooklyn's Grizzly Bear. We also heard that at SXSW they will be releasing not an EP as promised, but in fact a single. Their track "Little Fingers" will be paired with their own cover of Echo and The Bunnymen's Donnie Darko classic "The Killing Moon". Both should also be hitting iTunes in February at the latest.

David A. Cobb of Houston Calling's sister blog, Done Waiting, has come up with a kick-ass tool for anyone looking to delve deeper into the bands hitting Austin. "Paul's SXSW Artist Catalog" is the most obsessively intricate site devoted to the festival we have seen so far. It has Flickr, YouTube,, maps and even FooFahRah links for each band performing. (We made that last site up, btw... haha, made you Google!)

We noticed in the past few weeks that some of our past conjecture about bands like the reunited Faces and even the Jesus Lizard (right) were being robotically thrown back onto the Internet as truths and not educated, um "rumors." That's awesome. Here are some other names to recklessly throw out into the Web wind. At The Drive-In, the Monkees and Soundgarden are playing Saturday night at Stubb's. Oh, and Billy Joel and Elton John are gigging on the corner of Sixth and Brazos while official Austin mascot Leslie writhes on top of their dueling pianos for spare change.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty