SXSW seems to grow larger each year. What began as a small get-together of industry insiders and aspiring bands angling for a break has turned into an unwieldy, bloated clusterfuck of corporate sponsorship, headlined by arena-packing artists hoping to glom a little secondhand cool. But beneath all that surface bullshit, the heart of the little-festival-that-was is still beating.
Like last year, PropertyOfZack will be focussing on the smaller acts that hit closer to our hearts this March in Austin, while maybe throwing in a taste or two of rockstars as well. Erik van Rheenen, Jesse Richman, Ali Killian, and Caitlin DeWeese from POZ will all be on the ground at SXSW, and each team member put together a list of Our Must-See Acts And Showcases for this year’s festival. Reblog and let us know who we need to see while we’re in Austin this week as well!
In Defense Of South By South West
Tuesday, March 11th
Riot Act Media Showcase
Riot Act’s showcase features a diverse lineup, but the real must-see here is headliner Split Single. Split Single frontman Jason Narducy has made his rep as a sideman, playing with everyone from Telekinesis to indie icons Bob Mould and Bob Pollard, but before he was holding it down for scene luminaries, he was creating devastatingly great music of his own with his late-90s pop-rock outfit Verbow. Narducy’s a dynamic performer with a keen ear for melody, and I’m stoked to finally see him front and center once again. - Jesse Richman
Wednesday, March 12th
Yes, you probably know BrooklynVegan from their hipster-than-thou approach to music blogging and their 4chan-rivalling cesspool of a Comments section, but somehow they’ve managed to book one of the best damn lineups at all of SXSW. Headline acts Against Me!, Touche Amore and The Front Bottoms all have one thing in common — great as their albums are, they’re all even better live. And the undercard features acts like the persistently underrated Cheap Girls and recent Topshelf Records signees Frameworks. This one one of those bills where we’re going to look back at the lineup a decade from now and feel amazed that it happened. - Jesse Richman
Apparently, some things are just so good that they’re impossible to be bottled in just one day. Topshelf Records, a big name in the Emo Revival and for just plain old good music, period, is hosting two days of unofficial SXSW parties, spanning from Wednesday evening into Thursday afternoon. While the whole Emo Revival thing might just be a myth cooked up by overzealous music journalists (for more on that subject, read Jesse Richman’s brilliant March Sadness write-up), the label’s showcase lineup will either make you very happy, or very sad — in a good way. Empire! Empire!, You Blew It!, Diamond Youth, Frameworks, Prawn, and a veritable multitude of other bands are slated to play for what should make for two incredibly emotional days. - Erik van Rheenen
The Brixton Locals Party
If you watch any SPIKE TV, you may have caught an episode of Bar Rescue, which has featured: The Brixton! This bar has always been a fabulous, local staple, and when Bar Rescue tried to “fix it up”, the bar promptly got rid of everything after the show left. Thats the kind of attitude I can deal with. Headliners for this show are Austin’s The Applicators- an all girl punk band who is probably one of my favorite acts to see in town. Can’t wait to kick back, drink some brews, scream some feels, and enjoy the start of SXSW Music. - Caitlin DeWeese
Thursday, March 13th
Pure Noise, Equal Vision Records
Does the cliche “two heads are better than one” apply to record labels, too? Pure Noise Records and Equal Vision records, both mainstays in the scene and boasting strong lineups, especially as of late, joined forces like some kind of music industry Megazord for a Thursday afternoon showcase. Upstart Pure Noise pop-punkers The Story So Far get top billing (and share the bill with label mates The American Scene and My Iron Lung,) but Equal Vision doesn’t get upstaged, either, with Gameface and A Lot Like Birds scheduled to play. Double-label powers, unite. - Erik van Rheenen