March 22, 2018

Last week I spent time at the yearly spring break for the music industry that is SXSW. This year SXSW was clearly scaled back when it came to the crowds and the shit show that it has been in recent years. The reduced size and lack of crazy corporate branded parties made the week a much better experience if your goal was to see great new music.

I spent my week to both see bands I love and work, and check out new acts I had not seen yet. Below is a list of some of the best things I saw at this year’s SXSW.

Some honorable mentions: Jared And The Mill (twice), Now, Now, Skinny Lister, Honduras (twice), Chuck Ragan, Soccer Mommy, Shopping, Say Anything, Hovvdy and most randomly Noah Cyrus. You can see photos and videos of what I saw on Instagram.


Frank Turner, SXSW,

Frank Turner
at Austin Convention Center
at Palm Door
at Barracuda

I am a little surprised I only managed to catch 3 of Frank’s many sets at SXSW. Me of years past would have spent more time running around to catch more of them. This year Frank came without his band The Sleeping Souls. If you know me you know I am a huge fan and have been screaming his praise for years. The sets were all different but each featured a number of new songs from Frank’s new record Be More Kind coming out May 4th.

See him at The Van Buren on June 15 (info & tix).

Courtney Marie Andrews
at Cheer Up Charlie’s

I am so proud of where Courtney is at. She is a bonafide force to be reckoned with. I missed most of her sets at SXSW, but was able to make it to her last show of the week and it was incredible. You can read what Rolling Stone had to say about the same show I saw here.

Jade Bird
at Elysium
at Cheer Up Charlie’s

I just recently discovered Jade Bird a few months ago and was glad to finally see them live. This girl can sing. And for an act so new, she has written some really powerful songs.

Quiet Slang
at St Davis Church

I was very excited to see the first show by “Quiet Slang,” the orchestral alter ego of Beach Slang. And the setting captured the mood perfectly. Backed by a piano, a string quartet and 2 backing singers, Beach Slang frontman James Alex gave a radical different interpretation of a dozen or so rock songs.

Bishop Briggs
at Mohawk

This girl is a star. Her show at the Mohawk (on of my favorite venues anywhere) was incredible. She should be massive any day now.

(Check her out this weekend at Innings Festival)

The Frights
at Cheer Up Charlie’s

They crowd was not quite as wild as the crowd at the Flying Burrito Festival the week before, but SXSW crowds rarely are, and the Frights played just as tight here. Great mix of indie rock / surf rock and punk.

Men I Trust
at Seven Grand

I have a really hard time describing this band. Really pretty indie rock. Really vibe-y. They played great. Really want to see them again soon.