It’s that time again! Monday AM, Amanda and I are headed to Austin to enjoy what will inevitably be my favorite week of the year at SXSW. My goal, as always, is to discover great new bands that I can see again when they come to LA (and of course share with you!). I’ve gotten a decent head start by listening to and ranking all of the announced official artists. I also have done a fair amount of pre-scouting this year so I know who to really prioritize when faced with 50 different band options every hour. Whether you’ll be joining us in Texas or just want to know what I’m digging this year, here are my top picks for SXSW 2016:
Wild Wild Horses
I heard this British band’s single, “Demon Days (Do It All Again)” and they were instantly granted a place on my list and after seeing them during their Echoplex residency, they jumped straight to the top! One of those rare bands where every single song hits you at your very core.
Watch the entire video…it’s worth it
See them: Thursday 8:30 at Javelina (69 Rainey St)
This year’s “James Bay” has all the appeal and on the strength of single, “7 Years” gets top marks and the can’t miss distinction.
See them: Tuesday at noon at The Spotify House Main Stage
Judy Collins and Ari Hest
I grew up listening to Judy Collins and as a long time Ari Hest fan, this duo, in my estimation, bears the potential to create one of the most magical experiences of SXSW. They have one show announced and you bet it’s highlighted and double starred on my schedule.
See them: Saturday 9pm at Central Presbyterian Church (200 E 8th St)
Germany’s AudioDamn! play fun and catchy rock songs that are aimed to entertain. I had the pleasure of seeing them a few months ago and their talents extend beyond their 4 song self-titled EP.
See them: Wednesday 1:30 at Volcan Gas Company (418 E 6th St)
Of all the songs on my SXSW mix, it’s Tor Miller’s “Carter & Cash” that gets stuck in my head and won’t let go. I feel like seeing him live will be the perfect antidote to my ear worm problem…or at the very least will have me dancing.
See him: Wednesday 9pm at Blackheart (86 Rainey St)
- Ninet – Ninet is an Israli superstar for a reason. I saw her last week and the woman knows how to rock!
See her: Saturday 10pm at Scoot Inn (1308 E 4th St)
- Barns Courtney – undeniable voice. Just listen to “Glitter and Gold”
See him: Saturday 11pm at Latitude 30 (512 San Jacinto)
- DNCE – making crazy fun pop songs one “Cake By The Ocean” at a time
See them: Thursday 3pm at Waterloo Records (600 N Lamar)
- The Virginmarys – UK faves returning to SXSW in front of a new rocking album
See them: Saturday 5pm at Shady Grove (1624 Barton Springs Rd)
- Rooney – I watched The OC along with everybody else…
See them: Soho Lounge Wednesday 1am (217 E 6th St)