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Anyone who has seen my desktop paper stack or lived within 50 yards of me knows that I’m not a compulsive person—until it comes to SXSW.
JEFF LEVEN’S SXSW ITINERARY: LOADED TO THE MAX
Our Man in Austin Lays Out His Itinerary, Continues to Show Symptoms of OCD
So it’s time for my annual SXSW list. I’ve finally had my 10 hours to compile it, and the results are pretty exciting—to me at least.

Anyone who has seen my desktop paper stack or lived within 50 yards of me knows that I’m not a compulsive person—until it comes to SXSW. While the last few years have brought some very, very exciting changes in my life (two amazing kids, recently making partner at DSLH, a lot of great new people, music and experiences along the way), the more things change the more they stay the same. SXSW is next week, I’m hopping around like a kid at Christmas (or Hanukah, or whatever you celebrate), I’m dizzy in a stack of day party schedules and I’m planning, trying, hoping against hope to wring the most out of every second out of my time in Austin. Put the Shiner Bock on ice, marinate the brisket and start packing the tacos, because HERE WE COME!!!!!!

I will be reachable at all hours by blackberry email: [email protected]. I'm also covering SXSW for Hits again, so feel free to feed me suggestions, revelations, amazing photos, shameless plugs, updates, etc.

Ok also -- after 918 emails on the subject, let me address a key topic: the legendary perennial institution that was the DSLH party is on hiatus this year. Regrettably, not of our choosing. The venue where we’ve always had it closed, and on relatively short notice. Rather than scramble for a stopgap and confuse everyone, we figured we’d go out on a high note (in like a Steve Perry kinda way), at least for now. You can have a front row seat when we announce the reunion gig. But I’m bummed. I honestly may swing by that patio area on Thursday at 6pm just to see how many people show, but sadly there will be no open bar, unless enough of you show up with flasks and plastic cups or something. Which could be interesting, actually….

Before I go into all the schedule details, though, as always let me quickly highlight my clients who are performing (alphabetical order):

The Henry Clay People
In a nutshell: The Henry Clay People just f’in get it. They get the restless, shiftless energy of a Recession Generation casting about for something to strive for. They get how that vital spiritual artery that unites devotees of Mott the Hoople, Springsteen, Op Ivy, The Replacements and all the full and partial disciples thereof risks emptying out into a sad desert delta unless the right people cut channels to the mainstream. As such, HCP grind up the volume knobs, admit their awe at the hill they are about to climb and just f’in have at it. With the right amount of alcohol in you (or the band) it's the most fun live show you'll see for months, but maybe, just maybe, with a deeper message. Past touring includes runs with The Airborne Toxic Event, Silversun Pickups, Drive By Truckers, Ben Harper and festival plays at ACL, Lollapalooza and Coachella. This year’s run in Austin also finds them clocking in their 382nd day party, or something like that. Their second album comes out on TBD/ATO this summer! Managed by Mike Hayes at BSE, booked by Ron Opaleski at WME.

Shows:
Wednesday 3/14
1pm Beauty Bar
617 E. 7th
*Consequence of Sound

3:45pm Opal Divine’s
700 W. 6th
*Dear Austin: Love LA

Friday 3/16
4:15pm Side Bar
602 East 7th

5:15pm Lovejoys
604 Neches
*Texas Jumpstart 5

Saturday 3/17
12am Soho Lounge
217 E. 6th

Menew

In a nutshell: It’s amazing what happens when bands just want it. Before even a soul was officially involved, Canada’s MENEW managed to open for U2 in Toronto (Bono and the Edge joined them on one of their songs!), get themselves onto Letterman and push an EP (!) onto the Grammy Short List. Since then they’ve recorded a stunning full-length (with the able assistance of none other than Jack Joseph Puig), toured near and far (including prestigious slots such as Rock on the Range Canada) and built a production-heavy live show that electrifies even in small rooms. With their first official visit to SXSW, MENEW brings arena rock spirit to a few Texas dayparties. Managed by Jamie Talbot at Sanctuary.

Shows:
Wednesday 3/14
1:20pm
Rusty’s
405 E. 7th St.
*Swinghouse

Saturday 3/17
2pm
FUEL
607 Trinity

The Parson Red Heads
In a nutshell: If it didn’t sound obnoxious I’d say a fair part of the legacy of American music just might find its logical endpoint in the Parson Red Heads. Touching on the lush power pop of bands like Beachwood Sparks, Big Star and Let’s Active, the cosmic American music of the Byrds, Neil Young and Gram Parsons, and pretty much every iteration of well-crafted, cared for indie/country/folk/pop/whatever our shared musical history has ever produced, the Parson Red Heads their music is blissful in its warmth, ease and earnestness. Working alongside legends like Chris Stamey, Scott McCaughey and up-and-comers like Raymond Richards, every note rings with love of their craft. With artistic allies ranging from Blitzen Trapper to The Airborne Toxic Event (who released a song called “Parson Red Heads”), they are an invigorating dose of sunlight revelation, hearth-light romance, wee hours toil and reverent inspiration. On the strength of endless touring, the Parsons have come to SXSW with a big brace of shows and an open invitation to join the family. Managed by Jeff Wooding. Previous releases on Arena Rock Recordings, Timber Carnival and Jaxart. Check out most recent press release: http://ymlp.com/zZjVsb

Shows:
Wednesday 3/14
2:30pm Joe’s Place
1814 E. MLK (corner of MLK & Chicon)
*Dos Pedros Party

4:30pm The Grackle
1700 E. 6th
*Portland Party

Thursday 3/15
7pm Paramount Theatre
719 Congress Ave.
*Big Star Showcase (band playing with ensemble later!!!)

Friday 3/16
1pm Ginger Man Pub
301 Lavaca
*Blurt Day Party

6pm Soular Garden/Fiesta Red
1110-1112 E. 12th St.
*Nick Lowe Tribute Day party

9pm Maggie May’s Rooftop

Saturday 3/17
6:30pm Maison D’Etoile
2109 E. Cesar Chavez
*Kevchino.com Party

Roll the Tanks

In a nutshell: Mark my words the great rock takeover that’s about to happen starts here and now with the album that a band called Roll the Tanks just recorded with Fred Archambault. It’s got the streetwalking-cheetah attitude of a band that’s seen its share of barroom floors, the tweed-capped esprit de corps of a band that finds community in community and the punch of a hotwired Telecaster cranked to the redline. Tough but nice guys from Boston all of them, and with a swagger you can’t manufacture. One of them was even in another little band called the Mighty Mighty Bosstones (btw, those who want proof of the essential unrelenting irony of the music business should read the Bosstones booking cameo in my Aquarium Drunkard confessional from years back: http://www.aquariumdrunkard.com/2009/07/11/wilco-the-near-miss/ ) But deepest, first and foremost, these guys have SONGS. Not just good rock songs with shout choruses and guitar hooks. Not just clever refrains and turns of phrases. Songs that you could play any which way and they’d still squeeze feelings out of you whether you wanted them to or not. I mean, yeah, like me this is a band that has chewed through their share of Replacements records and believes that St. Joe Strummer might have been our only decent teacher, and they do indeed hang out with like-minded soul rebels like Gaslight Anthem and Against Me!, but they are more than just the type of underdog band that you can’t count out, even in an era of turbo-pop. They are, simply put, great music, bar none, categories aside and amen. Check out Carson Daly’s special feature on them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv3y433kCnY. Carson, in fact, was so taken by them that he repaired their van on his own dime out of the sheer goodness of his heart and the strength of his fandom. A good dude for good dudes. m/ m/

Show:
Wednesday 3/14
8:00pm
Red 7 Patio
611 E. 7th St.
* Carson Daly showcase

The Silent Comedy (http://www.thesilentcomedy.com)
In a nutshell: Forget Manhattan and Berlin, first they take San Diego (sold out the Belly Up the other night, no less) and now they take Austin (again). Since the band’s stop at SXSW in the midst of a tour with Ryan Bingham, the band have visited a stop on Dave Matthews’ Caravan, opened for the Dropkick Murphys, shared tours with other up-and-comers like Kopecky Family Band and Saint Motel, and have just generally roamed the countryside throwing down. Fusing intricate musicianship and a keen sense of presentation with a seething wallop of a live show, The Silent Comedy are part big tent revival, part Prohibition-era moonshine orgy, part bluesy kingsnake crawl and captivating at every turn, making music for both the open road and the over-packed bar. Simply one of the best performances you'll see in Austin or anywhere else this year. Managed by Bruce Flohr, Mark DiDia, Brandon Ginsberg at Red Light. Booked by John Pleeter, Kyle Wilensky and Randy Salcedo at CAA.

Shows:
Thursday 3/15
11:00am
Stubb’s
801 Red River St
*Red Light/C3 Party

1am
The Velveeta Room
521 East 6th St

Friday 3/16
3pm
Bayou Lounge
500 East 6th St # A
*All Together Now

5:15pm
Whole Foods Rooftop
525 North Lamar Boulevard

Saturday 3/17
1pm
Mohawk
912 Red River Street.
*MOG Party
5pm
Scottish Rite Theatre
207 West 18th Street
*Tomb Tradition Party

In addition to the bands above, there are lots of other bands to watch: Jack White brings his solo act (with a band that includes my client Brooke Waggoner) to Austin under his now-famous Third Man banner; longtime rock-Americana stalwarts Lucero come on the eve of a career-bar-setting new LP; the buzz-deafening Alabama Shakes join The Delta Spirit, Justin Townes Earle, Blitzen Trapper, The Lumineers, Lost Lander, Good Old War, supergroup Diamond Rugs, a reconstituted dB’s, Quilt and the Dunwells on a long-list of thinking and feeling man’s open-air soulful rock choices. Meanwhile punk legend and one of my all-time personal favorites Bob Mould will be everywhere on panels, showcasing with his new label Merge and playing Sugar’s classic Copper Blue end-to-end at the MOG party. New punk legends abound, too, including As always, the metal presence is fairly strong this year, including sets by Black Tusk, Trivium, DevilDriver, Nachtmystium, Austin’s own The Sword, and a celebratory extra-long set from Raleigh, NC, punk/metal legends Corrosion of Conformity, who are back with a new album and a reminder that they never fail to rule. This year numerous shows are also coupled with film offerings. Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and members of Old Crow Medicine Show celebrate their stint on the Railroad Revival Tour with a film called Big Easy Express and special performances, including at an Austin high school!!! Meanwhile, a special Big Star documentary honors the legacy of the band Alex Chilton built with a tribute that includes a host of power pop legends ranging from Let’s Active’s Mitch Easter to members of The Posies (with my own clients The Parson Red Heads joining the moment). SXSW also proves that they, too, do not live in caves with a radical expansion of EDM offerings, culminating in a couple Skrillex sets sprinkled throughout the fest. Hip hop offerings include ASAP Rocky, Big K.R.I.T., Kendrick Lamar, Danny Brown, MURS, Wale, T.I. and the amazing Childish Gambino. Oh and some guy named Jay-Z is supposedly about to play the Interactive fest. Meanwhile some other big stars like John Mayer, Norah Jones and Counting Crows join the mix. Oh and then Springsteen, Springsteen, Springsteen. God Bless Bruce Springsteen.
Also, pretty much every publication I’ve ever written for (Paste, Alternative Press, Aquarium Drunkard, Revolver, even, briefly, Pitchfork) is having a party, so check them all out in due course.
OK, so if THAT's not enough, here is my planned overall schedule, which, as always, is aspirational, not necessarily geographically or physically possible and very much subject to change. Apologies if I seem to be missing your band/your showcase/your party, etc. I'll try to cover as much ground as humanly possible and am open to being redirected on the fly where it doesn't conflict with client and/or other obligations.

So the game plan for now is:

Tuesday, March 13
Arrive in Houston, drive to Austin
Arrival: Registration
TBD: LB meet-up
8pm Oberhofer (Hype Hotel) / Twin Atlantic (Stubb’s)
830pm Joshua James (Club 606)
855pm Outasight (La Zona Rosa) / Star Slinger (Mohawk Patio)
9:30pm Heartless Bastards (Club 606)
10pm Little Hurricane (Hype Hotel)
10:30pm FIDLAR (Black Iris)
11pm Calhoun (Treasure Island)
1130pm Tycho (Mohawk)
12am Frank Turner (Latitude 30) / Smoke and Feathers (Hotel Vegas)
1am Kendrick Lamar (1100 Warehouse)/ Built To Spill (Belmont)

Wednesday, March 14

11am bfast (R + C)
12pm MyNameIsJohnMichael (Stages on Sixth) - *Paste
120pm Menew (Rusty’s)
230pm Parson Red Heads (Joe’s Place) *Dos Pedros Party (Jesperson + Blackstock)
3pm Michael Kiwanuka (Day Stage)
345pm Henry Clay People (Opal Divine’s)
445pm Cloud Nothings/Titus Andronicus (Beauty Bar) - *Consequence of Sound
5pm Honey Honey (Day Stage)
6pm 730pm Meeting/Dinner
8pm Roll the Tanks (Red 7 Patio)
845pm Black Tusk (Barbarella Patio)
9pm Thee Oh Sees (Red 7 Patio) / Big K.R.I.T. (Antone’s) / Mansions On the Moon (Velveeta Room) / Tribes (1100 Warehouse)
940pm Ed Sheeran (La Zona Rosa)
950 Blue Sky Black Death (512) / Turbo Fruits (Beauty Bar Backyard)
10pm Fun. (1100 Warehouse) / Nachtmystium (Barbarella Patio) / Outernational (Flamingo) / Kimbra (La Zona Rosa) / Apache Relay (Maggie May’s Rooftop) / Jimmy Cliff (the Main) / MURS (Malaia Upstairs) / Wedding Present (Swan Dive)
1025 Korallreven (Barbarella)
1030pm Saviours (Dirty Dog Bar)
1045 Devin (Stage on 6th)
11pm M. Ward (Central Presbyterian) / Zola Jesus (Elysium) / Band Of Skulls (Haven) / Royal Baths (Beauty Bar)
1040pm Dr. John (La Zona Rosa)
12pm Rodriguez (Mohawk) / Alberta Cross (Red 7)
1230p Corrosion of Conformity (Dirty Dog Bar)
1am Cults (Red 7 Patio)
230am Wallpaper (Purevolume)

Thursday, March 15
TBD Springsteen show (when and if)
11am Silent Comedy (Stubb’s)
12pm BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE (keynote)
1pm CAA brunch
1pm Zulu Winter (Cedar Street)
130pm Second Act Panel (Rm 16AB)
245pm Management Panel (Rm 15)
3pm Quilt (Baby Blue Studio) 1522 E. 12th / Band of Skulls (Cedar Street) / Ximena Sarinana (Day Stage)
4pm Kaiser Chiefs (Cedar Street) / Delta Spirit (Day Stage)
5pm Hanni El Khatib (Lustre Pearl)
6pm Alabama Shakes (504 Trinity) *Aquarium Drunkard / Brendan Benson (1102 E. Cesar Chavez) *Rachael Ray
615pm Beast Make Bomb (Budare’s)
7pm Big Star movie (or dinner) / Low Anthem (ACL Moody)
8pm Fiona Apple (Central Presbyterian)
830pm Spoek Mathambo (Copa)
9pm 1045pm Parson Red Heads (Paramount Theatre)
11pm Brendan Benson (Cedar Street) / Tennis (Club DeVille) / Titus Andronicus (Belmont)
11:15pm Big K.R.I.T. (Stage on Sixth)
11:30pm War On Drugs (Mohawk Patio)
12am Temper Trap (Stubb’s) / Skrillex (The Main) / Chasing Kings (the Loft) / Tommy Stinson (Lambert’s) / Dope D.O.D. (the Jr.) / Jimmy Cliff (Hype Hotel) / Jesus & Mary Chain (Belmont)
1am Silent Comedy (Velveeta Room)
230am Screaming Females (PureVolume)

Friday, March 16
11am BMI Brunch
1pm Parson Red Heads (Ginger Man) *Blurt Party
2pm Chuck Prophet (Ginger Man)/Honey Honey (Buffalo Billiards) / Fanfarlo (Day Stage)
3pm the dBs (Ginger Man) / Diamond Rugs (Lustre Pearl)
315pm Tommy Stinson (Dirty Dog) - *Minnesota Party
4-6pm Alejandro Escovedo, Jesse Malin, Tommy Stinson (Jackalope)
415pm Henry Clay People (Side Bar)
430pm Quilt (Mohawk) *Windish Day Party
515pm Henry Clay People (Lovejoys)
630pm Peter Case/Paul Collins (Gingerman)
730pm M. Ward (Frank)
8pm Wintersleep (Spill) / White Rabbits (Stage on Sixth) / Ed Sheeran (Stubb’s)
845pm Magnetic Fields (ACL Moody)
9pm Parson Red Heads (Maggie May’s Roof)
940pm Zulu Winter (Antone’s)
10pm Big Pink (Lustre Pearl) / Bear Hands (Empire Automotive) / Dunwells (Maggie May’s Gibson) / Fake Problems (Palm Door)
11pm MyNameIsJohnMichael (Maggie May’s Roof) / fun. (Stubb’s) / Arkells (Trinity Hall)
1130pm Lucero (Bar 96) / Grimes (Clive Bar)
1145pm Jack White (Stage on Sixth)
12am Temper Trap (Parish)
1am Skrillex (1100 Warehouse) / Blackalicious (Beauty Bar) / Cloud Nothings (ND)
2am Motion City Soundtrack (Pure Volume)
245am Doomtree (Pure Volume)

Saturday, March 17
11am bfast (Mick)
1230pm (til 5) Agency Group Event (Lambert’s)
1pm Silent Comedy (Mohawk)
2pm MENEW (Fuel)
330pm Bob Mould plays Copper Blue *MOG (Mohawk)
4pm War On Drugs (Club DeVille)
4-6pm RRT/BEE film premiere
5pm OFF! (Lustre Pearl) / Built to Spill (Cedar Street)
6pm Reptar (Side Bar)
7pm Dinner, etc.
745pm Norah Jones (La Zona Rosa)
8pm ASAP Rocky (Madison) / The Cult (Town Lake) / Glasses Malone (Kiss & Fly) / Ceremony (Red 7) / Palenke Soultribe (Stage on Sixth)
830pm Micah P. Hinson (St. David’s)
9pm Justin Townes Earle (Stubb’s)
10pm Belle Brigade (Clive Bar) /
11pm Best Coast (Hype Hotel)
12am Henry Clay People (Soho Lounge)
1am Mumford, etc.
230am Electric Touch (Pure Volume)

Sunday, March 18

Waterloo Records
BBQs (RRT, Marsh)
Woof!!!! There you go!!! Thanks for reading.

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