February 22, 2011
There’s not much that I don’t love about SXSW. I revel in the pre-festival stressing, the insanity, the planning, the $2.50 Lonestars, the Frost Bank Building, street dogs at 1am, falling down dead of exhaustion after a long day, and so on and so forth. It’s the best week of my year and 2011 is going to be better than the previous three. Is It March Yet? is our preview of some of the bands we’ll be catching at this year’s festival for sure. We recommend you do so as well.
01 King Charles :: King Charles has been a face on the nu-folk scene due to his friendship with Mumford & Sons, but you shouldn’t hold it against him. When I saw him live, I was stunned. The dude shreds hard. His songs are textured and sprawling but completely catchy and cause great amounts of “this is rad head nodding”. He’s been signed by a major label and I forsee some kind of Vaccines like situation happening, but I would definitely not miss seeing him live. There’s some kind of charm to being flicked in the face with the sweat from his MASSIVE amounts of hair. He’ll tear the roof down, that’s for sure.
mp3 | King Charles – Love Lust
02 The Vaccines :: Okay, a lot has been said about the Vaccines, mainly by big huge magazines and shit, but I think I got the real low down on these dudes. They make sub-3-minute vaguely surf/garage inspired pop songs. They’re catchy as fuck, they capture a moment, they’re fun. Are they the saviors of British Guitar Music? Absolutely not. Having seen them twice, once with band at full-strength and once with Justin being sick, and I got to say — when they’re full force, they’re pretty good. That said, who knows where they’ll be in 6 weeks come SXSW after months of touring… I know what parties they’re going to play, and they’re going to be the goddamned talk of the town if they own it the way they did in Brighton in November.
mp3 | The Vaccines – Norgaard (Marc Riley Session)
03 Demon’s Claws :: I have been into Demon’s Claws for a while but at the turn of the year, I started really listening to them. I fell in love with their twangin’ brand of garage rock that is well, pretty concerned with the debauched pleasures in life. They remind me a lot of the energy and sound of Black Lips but has sort of a more-’authentic’-country vibe, but it’s really slight. I’m describing them terribly, but they rule. I’ve been jamming to “Fucked on K” for a while, but “You’ll Always Be My Friend” has pretty much taken over my life. Something tells me that live, they rip asses. I couldn’t really say, but as soon as I do know, I will let you know.
mp3 | Demon’s Claws – You’ll Always Be My Friend
04 Black Lips :: I wasn’t sure whether I should include Black Lips in this list because it’s meant to more highlight smaller acts that I really think people should see, but I can’t deny that Black Lips put on one of the best live shows known to man and always have. Whether or not I have time to fit them into my schedule remains unknown for now, but I think that anybody who likes to jump around and have a good time and sing along to some of the best little garage gems and possibly get thrown on stage and into the drum kit (not that it happened to me or ANYTHING of the kind) will enjoy themselves thoroughly.
mp3 | Black Lips – B52 Bomberboy
05 School Knights :: If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know we’re obsessed with School Knights. I think they’re incredibly phenomenal songwriters, and I think that they fucking slay asses live. Literally, your butt is going to get cut in half by these dudes. This duo, who’ve been together for less than 6 months (I spend longer on planes than they’ve been together basically), make what I would call pop-power-punk I guess if I had to but it sounds totally not rad and really annoying. So scratch that. They go balls out, to the wall — super loud songs with mesmerizing guitar work and plenty of reverb. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible not to like them, plus they’re some of the world’s funniest humans. Listen to them, you won’t regret it. Or better yet, come see them. I will tell you when and where to be.
mp3 | School Kights – Fuck the Beach