SXSW: 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. 


SXSW: of 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.

SXSW: 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. 

SXSW: Copy of 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.  

SXSW: 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. 



SXSW: 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: 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

Copy of 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.

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

SXSW Recommended Artists Part 6

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

This list focuses on some singers with truly beautiful voices.

Odetta Hartman is a talented musician with a beautiful voice. She combines her talents with some gorgeous production to compete some great music.
Odetta Hartman
RIYL: Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse
Pseudo Genre: Beautifully produced Electro Singer-songwriter

Here is the official video for “Dreamcatchers”.

The second video is a live version of “Batonebo”.

Davie is an artist that straddles the line between R&B and Gospel to create some truly inspired music.
RIYL: The Weeknd, Luther Vandross, Kirk Franklin
Pseudo Genre: Rhythm & Gospel

”Testify” is a song that most embodies his overall music style.

We think that talent really shines through in live performances and this version of “Love Sick Fool” highlights his great vocals.

Sunflower Bean are a band with two lead vocalist that swap off lines throughout their songs. It creates an interesting dynamic that fans of The XX and Stars are familiar with.
Sunflower Bean
RIYL: The Cardigans, The Pixies (Popier songs), Stars
Pseudo Genre: Swapping vocals and hooks
This is the official video for “I Was a Fool”

Here is a 20ish minute live performance in the KEXP studios that allows you to hear the band live.

SYML is an American musician with a Welsh name that creates some hauntingly beautiful songs.
RIYL: Hozier, R. Kelly
Pseudo Genre: SINGER Songwriter

”Where’s My Love” is a simple and beautiful song with a very simple, yet powerful, video.

Here is a very simple live recording of “Fear the Water”.

SXSW Recommended Artists Part 5

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

This list includes one artist that you may have heard in the past (Amy Shark), and a good sample the mixture of sounds you can hear at SXSW.

We start this list with another Australian lady. Amy Shark is an Australian singer/songwriter with a beautiful voice for Pop Music. She breaks with current trends by utilizing sparse instrumentation instead of overproduced backing tracks
Amy Shark
RIYL: Kesha, Adele, Pink
Pseudo Genre: Beautiful Vocal Pop

This is a live version of her breakthrough hit “Adore”. Believe it or not, the video starts off with a real life fish story.

The “Golden Fleece” video was recorded in a studio and demonstrates how she sounds with full, but simple, production.

The next recommendation, Surfbort, brings great contrast to this the other bands we’ve recommended. Their brand of raw, hardcore Punk Rock is something you feel more than hear. These songs are definitely not for everyone
RIYL: L7, Sex Pistols, The Slits
Pseudo Genre: Punk that will shake you to your core

”Hippie Vomit Inhaler” is a song and video that are as intense as the name implies.

The ”Back to Reaction” video begins with an alarm waking someone from bed, and this is the most calming part of the video.

WILD are a socially conscious band from California that use Male/Female Harmonies to create infectious sing alongs.
RIYL: Mumford and Sons, Fleet Foxes, Lady Antebellum
Pseudo Genre: Harmony and Hooks

The video for “All My Life” includes messages about shelter animals, a subject near and dear to the SWB staff.

“Throw Me in the Water” is one of their most recent songs and gives a glimpse of what we can expect from WILD in the near future.

Uni rounds out this group of recommendations with their modern take on Glam Rock. They create fun songs while channelling the spirit of progenitors such as David Bowie, Lou Reed, and T-Rex.
RIYL: David Bowie, T-Rex, Lou Reed
Pseudo Genre: Glam is back and it is FABULOUS

”What’s the Problem?” an amazingly catchy tune with a NSFW video that embraces Glam and all of it’s excesses.


This is a live video of ”Adult Video” which was the B-side of “What’s the Problem”.

SXSW Recommended Artists Part 4

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

This list highlights some of the many amazing women that we hope to be able to see at SXSW.

Stella Donnelly is an Australian singer/songwriter whose delicate and beautiful voice shares her delicate and personal emotions.
Stella Donnelly
RIYL: Lily Allen, Courtney Barnett, Kesha
Pseudo Genre: Confesional Folk Rock

”Boys Will Be Boys” addresses rape in a misogynistic culture. It could easily serve as an anthem for the #METOO movement

This “Mechanical Bull” video demonstrates how strong her music can be when conveyed in an intimate setting. We hope to see her at a church or other similar setting this March in Austin.

Helena Deland has a beautiful voice and she accompanies it with elegantly layered musical tracks.
Helena Deland
RIYL: Adele, Joanna Newsom, Fiona Apple
Pseudo Genre: Elegant Songs written by a singer

”Aix" was our first exposure to Helena and the doubled vocals and backing track coupled with her lead vocals just blew us away.

”There is a Thousand” is a song off of her upcoming album.

Sammus (Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo) is an erudite, Ivy League educated rap artist. She entertains and will likely educate you with her lyrics.
RIYL: Open Mike Eagle, Homeboy Sandman, Lauryn Hill
Pseudo Genre: Scholarly Hip Hop Rock

Immediately upon hearing Sammus I thought of Open Mike Eagle and was pleased to find out she has a song “Qualified” that features Mike.

“1080p” is a very personal track that includes a voice mail from her mother.

SXSW Recommended Artists Part 3

Here is our third batch of recommended artists that will be performing at SXSW 2018

This list is a bit different than the previous, and we are making a prediction that these are artists that are going to “make it big” after SXSW. Now is your chance to listen to them before they become really popular. March, in Austin, might be one of your last chances to see them in a small venue.

Sam Fender is a singer/songwriter from England with a soulful voice and great indie rock insticts. Sam is only 21, and he has a bright future ahead.
Sam Fender
RIYL: Hozier, Jack Johnson, John Mayer
Pseudo Genre: Soulful indie rock

This live video demonstrates the beauty of his voice and music while he sings his most renowned song “Play God”

“Greasy Spoon” demonstrates the harder edge that exists in some of his music.

Ruby Fields is a self taught musician that composes earnest and catchy indie rock songs. She is driven to express herself and even creates her own music videos.
Ruby Fields
RIYL: Avril Lavigne, Kesha, Lady Gaga
Pseudo Genre: Indie Rock for a new generation

”P Plates" is a perfect example of her DIY ethics. The music and video are all her own.

The song that first brought her some attention was “I want”.

Sinead Harnett is a English R&B artist born to Thai and Irish parents. Who, like Sam Smith, gained attention by being featured on a Disclosure track.
Sinead Harnett
RIYL: Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse, Adele
Pseudo Genre: Soulful, experimental R&B

The true test of the quality of a singer’s voice is how they sound live. Here is a live tape of Sinead’s biggest hit ”If You Let Me”.

Here is the video from one of her more recent tracks “Still Miss You".

SXSW Recommended Artists Part 2

Here is our Second batch of recommended artists that will be performing at SXSW 2018

Ahi has a voice that has been described as "gravel on silk". His lyrics and voice are a timeless pleasure to listen to.
RIYL: Chris Stapleton, Shawn Mendes, James Taylor
Pseudo Genre: Modern Country Folk Pop

His biggest hit is "Ol' Sweet Day".

You can also check out his Tiny Desk Concert from NPR.

Cape Francis is a nom de plume of Kevin Olken Henthorn. Most of his previous experiences are in power chord driven Indie Rock bands. Despite the slower pace of these songs, his Indie Rock background shows through.
Cape Francis
RIYL: Real Estate, Jason Mraz
Pseudo Genre: Indie Soul-Folk

"Olly" is a great example of his new signature sound.

Rapsody is a politically and socially conscious MC. She gained her largest audience as a featured guest on Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly. Her topics and reference vary from life experiences and political opinions to movie and superhero references. She pulls no punches and is not afraid to speak her truth.
RIYL:Kendrick Lamar, Open Mike Eagle, Dessa
Pseudo Genre: Hip Hop with a message

Kendrick returns the favor and features on "Power".

Here is the smooth flowing "OooWee".

SXSW 2018 Recommended Artists Part 1

Here is our first list of recommended artists that will be performing at SXSW 2018.

Flyte are a London band with a Timeless sound that would have fit into the late 60s as well as today. Their beautiful harmonies and catchy melodies will have you humming along.
RIYL: The Beatles, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Mumford and Sons
Pseudo Genre: Classic Catchy Pop Rock

Here is their video for "Faithless".

Fabrizio Cammarata is an Italian crooner with a soulful voice and gorgeous melodies. Don't worry, he sings in English
Fabrizio Cammarata
RIYL:Rod Stewart, Josh Groban, Sam Smith
Pseudo Genre: Singer/Songwriter/Wife Stealer

Here is a live video for "Misery".