Thursday Daytime at SXSW recap in pictures and words

We started our Thursday off with some shows at the convention center. The rooms are a bit sterile, but the sound is great, and the audience is always respectful of the performers. It is not uncommon to try to listen to a performer at one of the SXSW venues only to have so much crowd chatter and bar or kitchen related noise that the show is essentially, ruined. 

The first band we saw was Mt. Joy, and the great sound provided the perfect environment to listen to Matt Quinn's beautiful voice. The intricate arrangements could also be appreciated and well heard. 


 Here is a picture of Matt Quinn

Here is a picture of Matt Quinn

 Here you have a better idea of the Radio Day Stage set up. 

Here you have a better idea of the Radio Day Stage set up. 


There is a small stage on the convention floor surrounded by merchants selling posters, shoes, perfume, jewelry, and just about anything else you can imagine. In a curtained off area, the Flatstock Stage resides. Here we were able to see and hear Liz Brasher and her powerful voice and guitar playing. 

Liz Brasher
Liz Brasher Guitar


We returned to the Radio Day Stage to see clean version of Frank Turner's act. His dry humor and British wit, quickly won over the crowd. There were multiple sing-a-longs and no one wanted the performance to end. Despite lacking a full backing band, he was able to rock the convention center.

Frank Turner


The last performer we saw during the day was Gordi. She utilizes an autotune, and picks right up where Bon Iver's last album left off. 


Our Thursday Daytime Takeaways were:

1. Mt. Joy needs to feature vocalist Matt Quinn the way Radiohead and learned to feature Thom Yorke. 

2. Liz Brasher has a voice and guitar chops to really go somewhere big, and it was treat to see her on such a small stage. 

3. Frank Turner is a fun performer with poignant lyrics and a great stage presence. Go see him, if you have the chance. 

4. Jamie does not like Autotune whether a woman uses it or Frank Ocean or Bon Iver. 


Stairwell Baby Videos from SXSW 2018

Today we took some time to put together a playlist of videos that we shot from SXSW this year. It is just a sampling of some of the artists, but we think it will give a good exposure to the variety of performers and performance spaces. We also hope that it will turn you on to some great new musicians.

LIFE, our favorite discovery

Despite listening to over 650 SXSW artists prior to heading to Austin, we had no idea who LIFE was. This is in spite of their previous trip to SXSW. The showmanship, bombast, tight musicianship , and overall great attitude make a LIFE show a truly great experience. We will be discussing the band and sharing more photos and music in the future. For now, we wanted to share a high def video of "Rare Boots" which helps to illustrate what a LIFE show is all about. 


SXSW Wednesday Pictures and recap

We began our Wednesday at the Convention Center listening to Only Girl from London on the International Day Stage. The environment may be a bit sterile, but her vocal performance was emotional and beautiful. 

Only Girl.JPG



Sudan Archives, is comprised of a solo female act that utilizes violins with guitars and loops to create a full band sound. Despite being From Las Angeles, she creates songs utilizing elements of traditional Sudanese music. 

Sudan Archives.JPG



We took a break from watching performances and listened to Kim Deal and Steve Albini discuss Kim's time in The Pixies and The Breeders. They spoke to fellow recording artists, technicians, producers and fans. There is a level of comfort during these type of conversation/sessions at SXSW that are not replicated in other interviews.  Kim is still creating some great music with The Breeders. Be sure to check out their newly release album, 

kim deal weds.JPG
kim deal 2 weds.JPG


Wednesday night we went to the annual NPR showcase at Stubbs. Though there were no free bag this year, NPR did continue the tradition of putting together an eclectic and rewarding line up. 

The night began with the beautiful voice and lovely instrumentation of Lucy Dacus. 

lucy Dacus.JPG


There were many acts on the small stage, but most we were not able to see. The next act on the big stage was a band that was united and formed via the internet, Superorganism. Despite their unusual origins, they put together are a great live performance. 

Superorganism 2.JPG
Superorganism 3.JPG



The tempo of the show changed considerably with indie rock veterans, Low. 




Okkervil River used their connection with Texas to help connect with the band. The set was filled primarily with newer, personal songs from their upcoming album.  They also hit some crowd favorites from their previous albums. 


2017 NPR Tiny Desktop winners, Tank and the Bangas, brought New Orleans funk and flare to the stage. 

    Following Tank and the Bangas we ducked inside for a quick, and quite dark set by WebsterX.    


Following Tank and the Bangas we ducked inside for a quick, and quite dark set by WebsterX. 





The night ended with a performance by August Greene, the newly formed super group of Common, Robert Glasper, and Karriem Riggins. Common was an impressive stage presence and had the crowd, including the camera pit, enthralled. 




Our Wednesday takeaways and recommended listening are:

1. If you like vocal pop, do yourself a favor and be ahead of the curve and listen to Only Girl now. Your friends and family will be listening to her by next year. 

2. If you like melodic vocals and music, Lucy Dacus is definitely your cup of tea. 

3. Expect big things out of Superorganism as they grow together as a band. 

4. Okkervile River has a very personal album coming out that touches on everything from having a tracheostomy to life in general. 

5. If you can, see Tank and the Bangas live. 

6. Common is still a powerful force in music. 

Unpacking SXSW

Obviously, we at SWB think that music is important. To quote the always energetic music ambassador Andrew W.K. “Music is worth living for!  Music makes life worth living, music is worth living for!”

That being said, some things actually are more important than music. If home is where your heart is, then Austin is one of our homes away from home.  Quite literally, it is our musical home for about 2 weeks a year. On a serious note, we would like to say that our heartfelt thoughts and concerns go out to those people killed or injured and the families and friends touched by the recent bombings in Austin. 

We hope that the authorities are able to apprehend those responsible and prevent any further tragedies.  

Here at SWB, we will be unpacking our photos, videos, and experiences of the last week. There will be a ton of new content and images posted through the next 10-14 days, so please come back often. 

In the meantime..... 


More Tuesday SXSW pictures.

Chelsea Manning introduced Pussyriot.  


Yahyel Mesmerized during an inside early evening set. 


Superchunk rocked like it was 20 years ago.  


Starcrawler played, sang, and danced their asses off.  


Shamir showcased great style along with some new and old tunes intermixed with some insightful stage banter.  


Bat Fangs tore through their set with some great guitar playing and high energy.  


Lee Baines III mixed Southern charm with Liberal politics.  


Sammus shared personal stories and even more personal songs.  


We will add more pictures as we get the chance.  

Some Tuesday Pictures

Pussy Riot spread anti-establishment, anti-fascist, anti-commercialism art-rock.  


Starcrawler let it all hang out on stage.  


Bat Fangs proved ex-Ex-Hex is not cursed. 



Alice Bag brought #MeToo mentality and female positivity to SXSW. 



Bad Gyal put on a show for all the registrants. 



Monday: a day in pictures

Here are some more SXSW 2018 music day one pictures.  

we visited the Langford Lunchbox, from the TV show Rosanne. 


We saw an interview and poolside performance by Tunde Olaniran. 


We saw a lively performance from Lido Pimienta. 


There were dance horns and more during an entertaining showcase by Golden Dawn Arkestra. 


As we can we will post more images and stories.  

SXSW 2018 Day 1 Highlight: LIFE at the British Music Embassy

The band LIFE ended our first night at SXSW 2018, and it was a raucous yet tight 35 minute set. They are an amazing English punk band that recently released their debut album, Popular Music, in 2017.  

Here are a few pictures and a video from the show. Using every part of the bar and stage, Mez, was mesmerizing with his showmanship. The band kept pace tearing through song after song. The video below best embodies the set. 

 Here is a video recording of "Rare Boots" if the video quality is not great, we will upgrade it to high def as soon as we get a chance. 

Here is a video recording of "Rare Boots" if the video quality is not great, we will upgrade it to high def as soon as we get a chance. 

Life's great performance of "Rare Boots" at the British Music Embassy on 3/12/18. See more music, pictures and video at

Our SXSW Rankings

We have rated about 650 of the bands that will be at SXSW our lists are compiled in downloadable PDF and Excel files. Here is a link


The stars or numbers are our ratings and the ratings are 1-5.  

1 is a band to avoid,

2 is a band that might be worth seeing if you are there, but is not worth seeking out. 

3 Is a band you should try to see and will add to any show they are at.

4 is a very good band

5 is a band that we think are amazing

The first column is related to how much the SWB staff would like a band. The second column is how much a fan of that genre is likely to enjoy the band. The other column are comments about the bands to help you find out who you like. 

Starting Monday, we will have a ton of SXSW posts and pictures, so be sure to check back often. 




SXSW 2018 Recommendations Part 8

Here is our Eighth group of recommended artists that will be performing at SXSW 2018

This list is all Hip Hop artists. Most of the tracks have lyrics that are NSFW

J.I.D. is from Atlanta- real name: Destin Route. He attended and played cornerback at Hampton University. He is signed to J. Cole's Dreamville Records- likes turtles and is being compared to Kendrick Lamar, which he loves so much, he has a DARN. shirt he wears in recognition.
RIYL: Kendrick Lamar, Killer Mike
Pseudo Genre: American Grime

Here is the official video for “Never”.

“EdEDDnEddy” demonstrates his obvious love for eponymous cartoon.

Junglepussy is Shayna McHayle from NY. Her father is from Jamaica, and her mother is from Trinidad. She promotes healthy lifestyle choices in her songs. Was recently invited to speak at Yale and Columbia.
RIYL: Princess Nokia, The TV show Insecure
Pseudo Genre: Empowering Hip Hop

Here is the official video for “Nah”.

”Bling Bling” was featured on Issa Rae’s HBO show, Insecure.

G Yamazawa was born and raised in Durham, NC with a Buddhist background, G is a National Poetry Slam Champion, two-time Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist, and three-time Southern Fried Champion. He has toured in over 40 American cities and 5 European countries, and has been a featured performer at the Sundance Film Festival, TV One's Verses and Flow, the Pentagon, and the White House Initiative for AAPI.
G Yamazawa
RIYL: Hamilton, Poetry Slams, a good book
Pseudo Genre: Rap that challenges your mind
Here is the official video for “North Cack”

Here is a freestyle wrap video that was filmed in South Korea.

Cure For Paranoia are a hip-hop collective from our hometown of Dallas that has dropped some really interesting tracks.
Cure for Paranoi
RIYL: Odd Future, Doomtree
Pseudo Genre: Hip Hop Collective

Here is their video for “Wired”

Here is a live video from a small show in Dallas.

Oscars tonight

We are anxiously anticipating tonight’s performance by Sufjan Stevens along with St. Vincent (Annie Clark), Moses Sumney, and Chris Thile. They will be performing the beautiful “Mystery of Love” from Call Me By Your Name. 

Here is Elliot Smith’s amazing Oscar performance which helps to remind us of why it is worth having the songs featured during a movie award show.  



SXSW 2018 Recommendations Part 7

Here is our seventh group of recommended artists that will be performing at SXSW 2018

This list is chosen by Jamie.

Hayley Heynderickx is a doom folk artist from Portland, OR. We originally heard her on an NPR All Songs Considered Podcast
Hayley Heynderickx
RIYL: Courtney Barnett, Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen
Pseudo Genre: Doom Folk

Here is the official video for “Yom She La La”. This was written as an entry into a one day song writing contest.

The second video is a live version of “Drinking Song” performed at NPR’s Tiny Desk.

Lucy Dacus was inspired by a reunion with her birth family that occurred after she released her first album. She is about to make a splash in a big way after signing with a new label.
Lucy Dacus
RIYL: Courtney Barnett, Lily Allen
Pseudo Genre: Punk Folk

”Night Shift” is a 6 plus minute epic track that changes tempo and showcases her singing and musicianship.

We love the raw performances at Bob Boilen of NPR’s desk. Here is Lucy’s Tiny Desk Concert

IDER are old schoolmates that formed a band and moved together into a 2 bedroom apartment music studio where they create songs with lovely harmonies.
RIYL: Lucius, Dirty Projectors, Wilson Phillips
Pseudo Genre: Folktronica
This live version of “Body Love” really showcases their strong harmonies.


This is a studio version of “Learn to Let Go” that demonstrates their fully produced sound.

Invoke is a string quartet making modern classical music. They are currently in residence at The University of Texas, Austin
RIYL: Yo Yo Ma, Orchestras
Pseudo Genre: Modern Classical

Here is a video from a a TED talk

Friday Playlist 3/2/18

This week we get ready for SXSW which starts next week, so it is a bit of a short list. We have a lot of covers and songs with guests artists this week.

One of the songs we couldn’t find on Youtube so you will have to click right HERE in order to hear a reinterpretation of Kanye West’s “Runaway” by Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Now onto our Youtube playlist....

Iceage put out another new song from their upcoming album. “Pain Killer” is a bit more upbeat than typical the Iceage sound and it features Sky Ferreira of acting and music semi-fame.

Superorganism covered the classic Pavement song “Cut Your Hair” on Sirius radio. You have to love when a new band you are excited to hear from covers one of your old favorites.

Lucius and their silky smooth voices pull off a cover of another band with silky smooth voices, Dirty Projectors. The vinyl looks gorgeous with optical illusions and the ladies of Lucius always sound amazing.

The Breeders return with a new album this week. Kim, Kelly and the rest of the band area always pushing boundaries and creating new sounds.

Suuns new album is out this week and you can get a taste of their sound with “Watch You, Watch Me”.

Finally our list is rounded out with a new song from CHVRCHES that features the distinctive baritone of Matt Berninger of The National.

Cupcakke Concert Review 2/27/18

Cupcakke is a 20 year old hip hop artist from Chicago who has found her niche by creating songs that are empowering, especially to women. Her show tonight, at RBC in Dallas, had a crowd that was predominantly women and members of the LGBT community. It was apropos that her show was a mixture of a concert and drag show atmosphere. Despite lack-luster opening performers, the crowd was crazy and into the music from the moment she hit the stage.  

She performed a furious and unrelenting 40 minute set for the raucous and exuberant crowd. The larger than life personality that Cupakke projects may be more character than substance, but it is truly all entertainment. Our video below is NSFW, but then again, nothing Cupcakke ever does is safe for work.