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SXSW 2011 Music – Starter Picks


Hurray! It’s that time again kiddies. The SXSW Music and Media Conference is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2011, during the week of March 16 – 20.  With less than two months to go and literally thousands of performing acts, it’s time to start the music adventure planning now.

Thankfully, SXSW has already announced a bevy of Showcasing Musical Artists slated to play the Austin fest, making it easier for you and me to check out who’s going to be on our must-see list. While the dates and times for performances are not yet announced, we expect those details to be released soon.

So, first things first; to help you in this endeavor we’ll be publishing our recommendations beginning this week with this Starter Picks list.

Keep in mind that bands travel from all over the country and the world to perform, so it would be wise to take advantage of being able to see those international acts that may not travel the states to tour again until the next SXSW.

Go Chic from Taipei is reminiscent of The Waitresses, full of piss ‘n vinegar and snarky subject manner, from the toe-tappin’ electro ride of “Hard Date” to the club ditty “24hr Party Pooper.” Go Chic is a part of the SXSW alumni club, having played the Austin fest last year along with the Fuji Festival.

go chic-culture supervisor

Go Chic// ALBUM OUT NOW!!! | Myspace Music Videos

The Joy Formidable
hails from Wales, comprised of Ritzy Bryan (vocals, guitar), Rhydian Dafydd (vocals, bass), and Matt Thomas (drums), has been a group since 2007.  The vibrancy of the 2011 re-release of “Austere” has the ability to draw fans of The Oohlas and Duke Spirit, with deep hooks compliments of Bryan’s glittered vocals.

In 2008 the band was on the BBC Introducing stage at the Reading Festival, the Glastonbury Festival last year, and have headlined for the Editors and Passion Pit.

The Joy Formidable’s new album The Big Roar was released today (January 24, 2011) in the U.K. on Atlantic Records. It’s not clear if this is a major label thing, but the video for “Austere” is not available for embedding, so here’s the link:

You may be familiar with the Portland band, Starfucker, even if you haven’t come across their music previously through the normal channels. Apple and the iPhone announcement with Verzion has been in the news lately (a long time coming for many), but before all that buzz Starfucker’s “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second” track was the musical backdrop to showcasing all the functionality of said iPhone. That song was also used on a less-appealing Pepto Pink commercial on Target, giving them some sell-out cred that could have come in handy if the band had been invited onto the Colbert Report with The Black Keys and Vampire Weekend.

Starfucker includes Joshua Hodges (vocals, keyboards, guitar, drums), Ryan Biornstad (guitar, keyboard, vocals, turntables), Shawn Glassford (bass, keyboards, drums), and Keil Corcoran (drums, keyboards, vocals). The band has played its color-enriched shows at the Monolith Festival here in Denver, along with past appearances at SXSW, CMJ, and the Capital Hill Block Party. The new album, Reptilians, is due out around the time of SXSW in March on Polyvinyl Records.

Experimental Aircraft
doesn’t have to travel for SXSW given the band’s H.Q. is Austin. Their music, on the other hand, seems to flow from another world, including “Stellar,” which aptly complements the space-infused moniker.

“The Upper East Side,” which the band performed at SXSW 2007, breaks from the more cerebral tendencies, paying tribute to the grittiness and bare-bones mood of those New York Streets, pre-Guliani.

According to Experimental Aircraft, the band is “looking forward to completing our fourth transmission in 2011.” In earth talk I’m thinking that a new album is coming out sometime this year, and it may be called Fourth Transmission. But my Neptune is a little rusty.

Kids of 88
will get your tight pants in a twist if you’re fans of Chain Gang of 1974, Miami Horror (which is also playing SXSW), and Passion Pit. Coming in from Aukland, the Aquarian duo consisting of Sam McCarthy and Jordan Arts will be pulling tracks from the new E.P. Just A Little Bit, full of disco ball fervor and plenty of booty shake to make the girls and boys sweat like little piggies.

Hitting the speakers hard with harmonies that reach sky high, “Downtown” is a saucy trip to bounce town, while the 1997 remix of the title track kicks back to the year when the boys were just nine years old (and the year of Chemical Brothers’ Dig Your Own Hole and Daftpunk’s Homework were released). Who knew grade school kids could be so damn crafty in creating hooks that get under the skin and won’t let go? And who doesn’t love a little cow bell to boot?!

McCarthy puts it this way, “Each live show is always pretty special, something different each time, yet you can bet money that we’ll be getting up in your grill.” Holla.

Listen to the Kids of 88 Just A Little Bit E.P., download the single, and enter the “Epic Win” contest to get yourself an iPad:


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