While the surface layer of the modern Alternative scene has been fiddling with the shifters on its keyboards, a movement of raw underground skronk rock has started to mature.


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Pangea: If you put your ear to the ground right now, you can see and feel the tremors of a wave about to break. While the surface layer of the modern Alternative scene has been fiddling with the shifters on its keyboards, a movement of raw underground skronk-rock has started to mature. Nurtured by tape labels like Burger Records and the jankier dives that pepper the axis between Sacramento and Downtown L.A., artists like Ty Segall, King Tuff, Audacity, FIDLAR, Wavves and others with a nose for reverb, grit, Televisionish guitar arabesques and a snarl of raw guts have started to turn these corners of the Asphalt Riviera into something that hearkens back to what Seattle was before the flood. While you never quite know who gets to be Love Battery (who were great BTW) and who gets to be Nirvana when a scene breaks through, my strong bet is that L.A.’s Pangea has the song chops and ungodly guitaricity to be one of the ones that matters. Fresh out of a set of sessions at Ryan Adams’ (yes THAT Ryan Adams!) own PaxAm Studios, Pangea hits SXSW in full stride and is not to be missed:  Shows:  Wednesday 13  3:30 pm Scoot Inn (Converse/Thrasher); 10:30 pm Trailer Space (Burger Party); Friday 15 4 pm Jerry House (1504 E. 6th St.); 8:30 pm Cherrywood Coffee House (1400 E. 38½ St.); 10:15 pm Spiderhouse; Saturday 16; 9:30 pm Hotel Vegas

John Baizley (Baroness): Those who listen closely to metal (and if you don’t, you shouldn’t really admit that to me) can’t help but notice that over the last few years, the genre has incubated bands whose musical reach far transcends its traditional limits. Baroness is perhaps the perfect object case in point. Powered by an energy that makes them riveting for those who love thrash, they also craft not so much songs but experiences, as layers unfold with beautiful guitar work.  In my mind, they are none other than the new Pink Floyd a bold statement I know, but one that seems more credible as you watch their evolution from album to album, culminating most recently in the spectacular Yellow & Green. As many know, however, the band’s celebratory lap on the album cycle was cut short by a horrific bus accident in the UK.  In what is sure to be perhaps the most moving emotional moment of this year’s SXSW, the band’s John Baizley is playing a solo set, among his first since his recovery. Reason alone to go to Austin:  ShowSaturday 16 12 am North Door.

Gaby Moreno: With breathtaking ease and elegance, Guatemala/L.A.’s Gaby Moreno is casually bilingual, compositionally immaculate, able to craft a song for any situation (including the Parks & Recreation theme), and is hitting SXSW on her way to a European tour.  ShowsTuesday 12; 11pm Central Presbyterian; Wednesday 13 11:10 pm Karma Lounge.

M/O/D: The new model of DJ collective. Imagine if the Wu Tang Clan were a set of DJs from Boston and were throwing down multi-hour sessions this year at SXSW.  Well, imagine no more.  ShowsWednesday 13 8 pm/2am Pure Ultra Lounge; Thursday 14 10 pm Buffalo Billiards; Saturday 16

I’m also excited about: Paramore’s unveiling of an album full of new songs at the Warner Sound Party; the return (literally first show in 18 years) of power-pop icons the Shoes; the soon-to-be-breakout hip-hop of Chicago’s Chance the Rapper; a talk from the undeniable 50 Cent; a solo set from uber-producer, sometime Crooked Vulture, sometime QOTSA, Eleven and Sound City Player uber-guru Alain Johannes; love and wipes from Andrew W.K.; the new turbo pop version (and it suits them!) of Tegan & Sara; non-stop hooks from fast up-and-coming American Authors; heartland country pathos from Ashley Monroe; the always flawless Brendan Benson; gorgeous new solo material from Brooke Waggoner; underground metal’s best-in-breed Pallbearer; avant-dancers Flume; the Japandroids (whose “Younger Us” functions as a scarily pure anthem for a fair number of us, I suspect); hunka-hunka rock with Canada’s Monster Truck; classic guitar ripper Reignwolf; avant-guitar ripper Marnie Stern; the inimitable Mike Scott of the Waterboys; Australian indie dancers Gold Fields; the return of lost Austin undersung Cotton Mather (check out Kon Tiki seriously); a few of the obvious treasures Nick Cave, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Iggy and the Williamson-version Stooges; electrifying up-and-comers Ain’t No Love; Jason Isbell; already well-buzzed Alt J, Joy Formidable, Sky Ferreira, CHVRCHES, Frightened Rabbit, Wallpaper, Michael Kiwanuka, Ambassadors, Lord Huron, Local Natives and Family of the Year.

As always it’s a great year for songwriters:  Josh Rouse, Jake Bugg, City & Colour, Josh Ritter, and more than a few not-named Josh, Jake or Dallas!

Also a pretty stunning year for hip-hop (again) with Kendrick Lamar, Earl Sweatshirt, Freeway, Action Bronson, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, A$AP Ferg, Killer Mike, YelaWolf, Trindad James and Joey Bada$$

METAL: Skeletonwitch, Royal Thunder, Clutch, Black Tusk, Orange Goblin, Lacuna Coil, and, yes, Assacre.

Plenty of dance/EDM on its way to Ultra Paul Oakenfold, Wolfgang Gartner, Ryan Hemsworth, etc.

Note a special group appearance by the legendary Muscle Shoals rhythm section on Thursday (including Ben Hood, father to Patterson Hood of the Drive-By-Truckers), as well as Hawkwind’s Nik Turner doing their stone(r) cold classic Space Ritual

And for those so-inclined, a few badly-kept celebrity cameos Green Day, Justin Timberlake, Depeche Mode and….???

The Schedule: Multidirectional, pan-genre, geographically impossible, but hey, worth a try:

Tuesday, March 12

4 pm: Blondfire (Clive Bar)

7 pm Striking Matches (Empire Control Room)

8 pm Ashley Monroe (Empire Control Room) or Charlie XCX (Belmont)

8:30 pm Skaters (Viceland)

8:45 pm Torres (Mohawk Indoor)

9 pm People of Letters, Amanda Palmer et. al. (Hilton Garden Inn 18th floor)

9:15 pm IO Echo (Mohawk Outdoor)

9:30 pm Blue Hawaii (Mohawk Indoor)

9:40 pm Icona Pop (Belmont) or Macklemore (Main)

10 pm Milk Carton Kids (Central Presbyterian)

10:15 pm Marnie Stern (Mohawk Outdoor)

10:45 pm Divine Fits (ACL Live at Moody)

11 pm Gaby Moreno (Central Presbyterian)

11:25 pm Action Bronson (Belmont)

11:30 pm Japandroids (Viceland) or Tegan & Sara (Main)

12 am DIIV (Red 7 Patio) or Icona Pop (Mohawk Indoor) or Shurman (Bungalow)

12:10 am Macklemore (Belmont)

12:20 am Hit Boy (404)

12:30 am Divine Fits (Viceland) or Special Guest (?) (Mohawk)

1 am Adventure Club (La Zona Rosa) or Amplified Heat (Headhunters) or Jim James (Empire Control Room)

1:20 am Freeway (404)

Wednesday, March 13

1:30 pm Sun Araw (Red 7)

1:35 pm Shoes (Molotov)

1-4 pm Caroline Party (804 Christopher)

2 pm Neighborhood (Clive Bar) or Audacity (Trailer Space)

2:30 pm St. Lucia (Parish) or A Silent Film (Rusty’s)

3:30 pm Pangea (Scoot Inn)

4 pm Brooke Waggoner (Ginger Man)

4:30 pm Ambassadors (Brew Exchange) or The 1975 (Maggie Mae’s) or Artifact screening (Paramount Theatre)

5 pm  !!! (Lustre Pearl) or [Meeting] or Depeche Mode Interview (Conf Center)

5:30 pm Skatalites (Ginger Man)

6 pm Lord Huron (Clive Bar)

6:30 pm Thirty Seconds to Mars/Artifact party (Swifts Attic)

6:50 pm The Chevin (Brew Exchange)

7:30 pm Japandroids (Mohawk) or Mike Scott/Waterboys (St. David’s)

7:45 pm Nick Cave (Stubb’s)

8 pm Burning of Rome (Dirty Dog) or Christopher Denny (Stage on Sixth) or Hunter Hunted (Club DeVille) or Pyyramids (Hangar Lounge) or Wild Belle (Haven)

8:30 pm Iggy and the Stooges (Mohawk)

8:45 pm Calvin Love (Hype Hotel) or Ratking (Scoot Inn)

9 pm Hanni El Khatib (Buffalo Billiards) or Kendrick Lamar (1100 Warehouse) or Merchandise (Viceland) or Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (Bungalow)

9:20 pm Holydrug Couple (Holy Mountain) [Holy!]

9:30 pm Ben Sollee (Parish) or Roomrunner (Palm Door)

9:40 pm American Authors (Red Eye Fly)

9:45 pm Andy Stott (Elysium)

10 pm Ain’t No Love (Swan Dive) or Middle Class Rut (Mohawk Outdoor)

1030 pm Pangea (Trailer Space)

1050 pm The Specials (Mohawk Outdoor)

11 pm Atlas Genius (Haven) or Diamond Rugs (Stage on Sixth) or Foxygen (Hype Hotel) or Iron & Wine (Moody) or Tegan & Sara (Belmont) or Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Stubb’s)

11:10 pm Gaby Moreno (Karma Lounge)

12 am Ab-Soul (404) or Ash (Buffalo Billiards) or Earl Sweatshirt (Scoot Inn) or Flume (Red 7) or Jake Bugg (Maggie Mae’s Rooftop) or Joy Formidable (Viceland) or Toro Y Moi (Haven) or Alain Johannes (Rusty’s)

12:10 am Paramore (Belmont)

1 am The Airborne Toxic Event (Buffalo Billiards) or Angel Haze (Cedar Street) or Heaven’s Basement (Avenue on Congress Rooftop)

1:20 am Kitty Pryde (Palm Door)

8 pm/2 am M/O/D  (Pure Ultra Lounge)

Thursday, March 14

11 am Dave Grohl keynote (Conf Center)

12:45 pm Audacity (Side Bar)

1 pm Alt J (Belmont Warner)

1 pm-6 pm Paste Party (Stages) Josh Rouse, Brendan Benson, Mount Moriah, etc.

1:40 pm Widowpeak (Club Deville)

2:25 pm Foxygen (Flamingo Cantina)

2:45 pm Tijuana Panthers (Clive Bar)

3 pm Shark Week (J. Blacks) or Gold Fields (Waterloo)

3:15 pm Michael Kiwanuka (Red Eyed Fly)

Hype Hotel Party (CHVRCHES, Flume, etc.)

4 pm Cotton Mather (Patagonia) or Wild Child (Bungalow) or Tacks the Boy Disaster (Progress Coffee) or Leagues (1808 E. Cesar Chavez)

4 pm-6 pm Jesse Hughes: Communion on a Tour Bus (Stubb's)

4:30 pm PAPA (Mohawk)

4:45 pm Sky Ferreira (Red Eyed Fly)

5 pm New West Party (Threadgill’s)

5:15 pm Radkey (Dogwood 715 E. 6th)

5:45 pm Andrew W.K. (2015 E. Riverside Dr.)

6 pm Royal Teeth (Brew Exchange)

7:30 pm Diamond Rings (Austin Music Hall)

8 pm Gypsyhawk (Dirty Dog) or PAPA (Tap Room) or Vintage Trouble (Six Lounge)

830 pm Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era (Hangar Lounge)

9 pm Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire (North Door) or New Beat Fund (The Main) or Pacific Air (Mohawk Outdoor) or Ain’t No Love (VEVO) or RDGLDGRN (Mohawk Indoor) or Sound City Players (Stubb’s)

9:20 pm Pissed Jeans (1100 Warehouse)

9:30 pm M/O/D/ (Buffalo Billiards) or Mavado (Viceland)

9:45 pm Rockie Fresh (Easy Tiger)

10 pm Beach Fossils (Hype Hotel)  or Reignwolf (Town House) or Richard Thompson (Antone’s) or Savages (1100 Warehouse) or Frightened Rabbit (Belmont) or Muscle Shoals (!!! Stage on Sixth) or M/O/D/ (Buffalo Billiards)

10:20 pm A$AP Ferg (North Door)

10:30 pm Chance the Rapper (404) or Major Lazer (Viceland) or Royal Thunder (Dirty Dog)

10:45 pm Mykki Blanco (Easy Tiger) or Thee Oh Sees (Vegas Patio)

11 pm Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell (Antone’s) or Yelawolf (Club Deville)

11:10 pm Alt J (Belmont) or Capital Cities (Empire Warehouse)

11:25 pm RiFF RaFF (Emo’s)

11:30 pm Besnard Lakes (Red 7)

11:50 pm Luther Dickinson (St. David’s)

12 am Divine Fits (Lustre Pearl) or Jason Isbell (St. David’s) or Snoop Lion (Viceland) or Ryan Hemsworth (1100 Warehouse) or T.I. (Brazos)

12:20 am Action Bronson (North Door)

12:40 am Crystal Method (Haven)

12:50 am Death [Detroit punk classics] (TenOak)

1 am Jake Bugg (Hype Hotel) or Matthew E White (IFC Crossroads) or Local Natives (Mohawk) or Paul Oakenfold (Buffalo Billiards) or Unknown Mortal Orchestra (Red 7 Patio)

1:10 am Ghostface Killah (Scoot Inn)

1:15 am Wallpaper (Empire Automotive)

Friday, March 15

10 am BMI Brunch  [Meeting]

12 pm Paste Party (Stages on Sixth) or Divine Fits (Day Stage)

1 pm Rolling Stone Party (La Zona Rosa) or Leagues (210 Guadalupe St.)

1:10 pm Iron & Wine (Day Stage)

2 pm Vacationer (Clive Bar) or Karen Glauber's Panel (Room 16AB)

3 pm Radkey (Shangri La 1016 E. 6th) or Ducktails (Clive Bar)

3:15 pm Ed Kowalcyzk (Ginger Man)

3:20 pm Wild Belle (Cedar Street)

4 pm Pangea (Jerry House 1504 E 6th)

5 pm Hacienda (Papi Tino’s)

5:30 pm Allen Stone (Rusty’s)

6 pm Frightened Rabbit (Lustre Pearl)

7 pm North Mississippi Allstars (Hotel San Jose) or Jim James (Town Lake)

7:30 pm Mac DeMarco (Swan Dive)

8 pm Goldroom (Hype Hotel) or Andrew W.K. (Belmont)

8:30 pm Pangea (Cherrywood Coffee House)

8:45 pm Monster Truck (Dirty Dog) or Ghost Beach (Empire Automotive)

9 pm Kids These Days (Hype Hotel) or Reignwolf (Stage on Sixth)

9:15 pm Danny Brown (Viceland)

9:30 pm The Chevin (Belmont)

10 pm Depeche Mode (Brazos Hall) or Butch Walker (Vice Bar) or Gold Fields (Buffalo Billiards) or Middle Class Rut (Blackheart)

10:15 pm Pangea (Spiderhouse)

1030 pm Metz (Bar 96)

11 pm Blue Hawaii (Swan Dive) or JJ Grey and Mofro (Holy Mountain) or Richard Thompson (Parish) or Ryan Hemsworth (512 Rooftop) or Savages (Club DeVille) or Third Eye Blind (Pandora Porch) or Atomic Tom (Belmont)

11:15 pm Merchandise (Mohawk Outdoor)

11:30 pm King Tuff (Bar 96)

11:45 pm Eagles of Death Metal (Belmont)

12 am Chiodos (Dirty Dog) or Fitz and the Tantrums (Lustre Pearl) or New Politics (Vice Bar) or Parquet Courts (Mohawk) or Wolfgang Gartner (Speakeasy Kabaret)

12:15 am Clutch (1100 Warehouse)

12:30 am Nik Turner from Hawkwind performs Space Ritual (Rebel’s Honky Tonk) or Wavves (Bar 96) or Orange Goblin (Red 7)

12:45 am French Horn Rebellion (Karma Lounge)

1 am Frank Turner (Blackheart) or Trinidad James (Suite 101)

Saturday, March 16

11 am Rachael Ray Party (Stubbs)

12 pm Waxahatchee (Liberty)

12:30 pm-5 pm Agency Group Party (Lamberts)

12:30 pm American Authors (Brew Exchange)

1:15 pm Wild Belle (Mohawk)

2 pm Metz (Mohawk) or Eagles of Death Metal (Stubbs)

2:30 pm Josh Rouse (Ginger Man)

3 pm Wildcat! Wildcat! (Cedar Street) or PAPA (Clive Bar)

4 pm Poolside (Lustre Pearl)

4:25 pm Kongos (525 N. Lamar Blvd.)

5 pm Frightened Rabbit (Mohawk) or Bernie Worrell (Liberty) or French Horn Rebellion (Brew Exchange) or Dawes (Waterloo)

6 pm Soulhat (Patagonia) or Phosphorescent (Hotel San Jose) or Steve Earle (Town Lake)

7:15 pm The Memories (Hotel Vegas)

8 pm Parquet Courts (Viceland) or RDGLDGRN (Latitude 30) or Shark Week (Headhunter’s Patio)

8:45 pm White Fang (Hotel Vegas) or Elephant Stone (Brazos Hall)

9 pm Kitty Pryde (Townhouse) or Paul McDonald and Nikki Reed (St. David’s) or True Believers (Moody) or Rosie Flores (Lambert’s)

9:30 pm White Mystery (Hotel Vegas Patio)

10 pm Chance the Rapper (Suite 101) or Free Energy (Iron Bear) or Gold Fields (Maggie Mae’s Rooftop) or Ivan & Alyosha (TenOak) or Micah P Hinson (Red Eyed Fly) or Wallpaper (Doritos) or Radkey (Hickory Street)

10:15 pm FIDLAR (Hotel Vegas)

10:30 pm Chief Keef (1100 Warehouse)

11 pm Parenthetical Girls (TenOak)

12 am John Baizley (The North Door)

1 am Pallbearer (The North Door)

1:15 am Pharcyde (Club DeVille)

1:50 am Just Blaze (Ballroom Annex)

Sunday 17

(sounds of last air seeping out of the balloon)….

A journey through the past. (8/18a)
Giving Encanto its due. (8/18a)
They're the cat's meow. (8/16a)
The greatest (8/16a)
Oh, no, not again. (8/12a)
New categories! New rules! New WTF!
It's the one you didn't see coming.
"Who took my passports?"
Allow us to apologize in advance.

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