SXSW 2014 (not so) Short List: Numbers, A-F SXSW 2014 (not so) Short List: Numbers, A-F


Read all of Charles’s SXSW 1 line previews
SXSW 2014 (not so) Short List: A-F
SXSW 2014 (not so) Short List: G-P
SXSW 2014 (not so) Short List: Q-Z (coming soon)

Sweet Jesus, man. I’m not ready. I’m not ready. I’m not ready for Texas but in two weeks I’ll be there with a Lone Star and a stack of bacon half a mile high and some sorta scam to make the rent when I’ve blown my last time on smokes and can’t ever bleach myself clean enough to get the boomstank of CHRISTEENE out my yin but that’s just how this shit’s supposed to go, you know? SXSW. The living end of the sonic spectrum. Thousands of bands vying for nickels and dimes and tens of thousands more drunks, snake-eyed and fighting for cabs at 2am. This here’s a brief introduction to the first few letter of the former. The latter lot is on their own. We’ll get to the rest over the next week or so…swear, huh…if it breaks my body before the bone. Rockit.

The 1975 – So, what? Are you guys like Information Society or something? No, wait. I know. Howard fucking Jones.

2 Chainz – My friend Barb is bad as fuck and told me if I want to know hip hop, I ought to know this dude. I don’t, though.

5ive – What the shit is this shit?

The 69 Cats – Gothabilly? Gothabilly.

8th Grader – Far be it from me and my GG Allin loving ass to criticize anyone for naming their “songs to make love to” solo soul revue after an anonymous prepubescent but, come on…dude…no.

A-Trak – I miss fat Al Sharpton.

Aan – The extra “a” is for extra articulation.

Aaron Behrens and the Midnight Stroll – The dude from Ghostland Observatory trades the kitsch and lights for a cowboy hat and regional home fries.

Ab-Soul – You know better than me, meng.

The Abigails – Last night I had a big piece of chocolate cake and some Sleepytime Tea. The latter has chamomile which I am wicked (though uninterestingly) allergic too. This morning’s farts were horrifying.

Action Bronson – All hail the dope gourmand.

Addison Groove – Does Molly have speed? She should.

ÆGES – A super (or members of) group not unlike Quicksand or Queens of the Stone Age that sounds kinda like Quicksand or Queens of the Stone Age but has a name whose pronunciation will make the faithful sound like total goth tools.

After the Burial – While watching the After the Burial’s chug a lug rar uhn thug lyric video for “A Wolf Amongst Ravens” (whose title is pretty much meaningless from an ornithological perspective) I came upon my new d-beat dragcore band’s name: Pussy Asking Fagetandria. Thank you, YouTube commenter Boomboxlegends. Your wit has earned you a teabag.

Against Me! – This band is so much better with Laura Jane Grace.

Agnes Obel – Are you listening Spike Jonze?

Air Review – Electo folk pop fun. I love fun.

Air Traffic Controller – Can we cut the shit with the Lumineers already?

Alex Vargas – Let’s forget the hair envy for a second and recognize that this kid has some true pipes and a panty-melting palate.

Alexander von Mehren – Airy 70s French intellectual cocktail pop from Norway.

Alligator Indian – A band too smart for its headache with a member who goes by the name “Spooky Bubble” so…

Aloe Blacc – Oh, shit. This is the “The Man,” man. What the fuck is he doing in Austin?

Alpha Rev – Five bucks says my mom plays this band for me after too much champagne next Christmas.

Alvvays – The double v, w thing is a turn off like fuck but I’ll love their horn rim beach pop in a blackout.

American Aquarium – It’s from the Wilco song.

American Authors – Which ones, motherfuckers? WHICH ONES?!?!

American Sharks – Like the Bull Shark? That dude’s hella badass. Weed bands are a dime a dozen except for Pantera. Pantera is forever.

Amy Cook – Good for you.

Analog Rebellion – Okay, so their name isn’t just some nonsensical Brooklynian misnomer. Cool.

Anamanaguchi – I talked mad shit on chiptune and now look at these dudes…they’re friggin’ huge.

Angel Olsen – Something about her reminds me of Twin Peaks.

Animals as Leaders – Some animals are more equal than others.

Annie Mac – The world needs more lady DJs that aren’t coke sweat celebrities.

Apache – Bay Area dudes get high and play shitty punk and roll. The red man weeps, once more.

The Apache Relay – Legit rock. I think we’ve seen them before.

Arborea – Something about trees, right? I wish this was Caethua.

Arc Iris – The true name of Harlan Ellison’s supervillain ex wife.

Arizona Baby – Spain does American roots rock better than the young Americans. You know why? No fucking suspenders.

ARP – Electronic composites of negative space.

Atlanter – Krautrock desert blues? This will either be mind-blowing or homely as sin.

The Atlas Moth – Perennial metal openers.

Audacity – Yeah, they fucking kill it.

The Autumn Defense – I expected the rock, I found a sunny glen.

Ava Luna – I thought their singer was freshman drama major cute but, it turns out, that was a different band.

Avi Buffalo – Saddish songs from LA kids.

awaken! – Please, oh PLEASE be a crazy person.

B L A C K I E – Fuck. Yes.

Baby Bee – Bzzzt.

Baby in Vain – This band kinda sucks. They’re also bad as fuck.

The Bad Lovers – Man, come on, man.

Bad Sports – Pro boobs slop rock bereft of douchebaggery.

Bad Veins – Dense pop that I should reject on hubris but, I don’t know…I got a good feeling about the set.

BADBADNOTGOOD – Electro brats with hella talent.

Ballet School – Ex UnAmerican post punk goth pat pop from Berlin. A shutterbug’s dream.

Band of Skulls – If you’re gonna be a skull band, at least be Skull Defekts. Or Eat Skull. OR Skullflower for fuck’s sake.

The Baptist Generals – Sobriety doesn’t always suck, but when it does there’s Baptist Generals.

Barcelona – What is this, Zumba?

The Barr Brothers – Ima just imagine this is Mick Barr and his identical shredding clone Nick Barr and together they will noodle shred so hard Austin will implode into the ether of Jeff Hanneman’s ghost as expressed by John Zorn.

Basic Vacation – Songs for ads over budget.

Battle Lines – A little heavy with the lady singing soul affectation but promising swollen gloom pop.

Battle Tapes – 65daysofstatic v. The Rapture (my most concise review ever).

The Beaches – I feel weird around teenage girls. Not jail weird. Just weird, weird. Scared.

Bear Hands – One of the better of the bear bands. Synth and rock and pop and rock and synth and just go see them. Shit. They play after Future Islands. BOSS!

Bear’s Den – Big heart folk. I bet they have fun.

Bearcubbin’! – Is this a Cruising reference?

Belle Adair – If I had a truck, my dogs would totally wear neckerchiefs and goggles.

The Belle Game – I fear this band will have an overeager bassist.

Bend Sinister – Okay, this HAS to be a Cruising reference.

Bent Denim – This is not a Cruising reference because everyone in Cruising wore leather or nothing or Al Pacino.

Bent Shapes – FUN!

Bestials Mouths – UNFUN!

Betunizer – AmRep via Valencia. VIVA ESPANA! MALDITO CERDO POR VIDA!

Beware of Darkness – DON’T TELL ME HOW TO LIVE!

Big Phony – Have you seen the J.D. Salinger documentary? That dude was a dick.

Big Tits – Ugh.

Big Ups – Post DC punk as anything.

Bipolar Sunshine – Man, shut up.

Bipolaroid – Fuzz pop from grown ups. I fear my age everyday.

Birth of Joy – Smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em. Fuck ‘em if you can.

BL’AST! – Wait. Seriously? Fuck.

The Black Angels – See them at night or don’t see them at all. Also, drugs.

Black Books – Not NEARLY as sex-fueled (or infected) as their name would suggest.

Black Cobain – HA! Suck it, Aberdeen.

Black Lips – Duh.

Black Milk – Legit.

Black Pistol Fire – Fuck you duo dirt punk blues.

Black Taxi – Dave totally did their video, didn’t he? Years back? Was that an EPK? I remember top hats.

Black Tusk – These dudes are fucking maximus.

Black Violin – Neo classical string beat hop? Pretty sure I saw them on NY1.

The Black Watch – I already have ear fatigue.

Bleachers – The dude from fun. being WAY more up and atem people than I would’ve ever expected dancing drunk to alone on a Saturday night.

The Blind Shake – The best punk in America always came from Minneapolis. I’ve been. The KISS Army has guns.

Blondfire – A pretty girl looks off into the distance, softly and with a modicum of summer dress regret. Doesn’t notice you exist at all and never will.

Blondie – WHAT?!?!?

Blue Sky Black Death – Electro doom beat noir.

Bob Mould – I almost sold him a Basquiat piece once but I was too busy drooling over Carmen.

Boyfrndz – The organist from The Mars Volta wants you to have a headache.

Boys Noize – …


Brothertiger – More like, Auntantelope…AMIRITE?!

Buck Biloxi and the Fucks – Nope.

Buffalo Daughter – Japanese psych pop love heart forever fun rock power.

The Bulemics – Austin bad time shit rock from hell.

Burgess Meredith – What did I expect?

Butter the Children – Mmmmmm. REAL baby back ribs.

Caddywhompus – HOLY FUCK, I LOVE CADDYWHOMPUS! I thought they were all dick skramz shit for a minute but no…they’re totally ruling.

Calabrese – My high school girlfriend tried to sell me on this band in a Champagne and Xanax blackout.

California Wives – Was there a band called Longwave or did I make that up? I liked them, right?

CALLmeKAT – The name is retarded but the tracks are full boom pop wink swinging rhetoric.

Calvin Martyr – Jesus rap.

Carrie Elkin – Hard “R” flower folk.

The Casket Girls – Yes. Please, yes. Missed them last year at 2am and now I drool lonely over their death love LP.

Casual Sex – You and me? We’re gonna fight.

Cate Le Bon – I imagine myself stumbling along the Pigalle while my girlfriend’s tattooed, shirking the oncomings of old French prostitutes aching for solace, leggings and an SG.

Caught a Ghost – Whatever happened to Mommy and Daddy?

Cerebral Ballzy – Chaos brats live the punk. New York, represent.

The Chain Gang of 1974 – I know this isn’t Ian Svenonious, it’s electronic 80s hope but still…

Chance the Rapper – Rumor has it this dude is almost single-handedly changing the game.


Chatham Rise – Midwestern sleep psych.

Cheap Girls – Look, ma! It’s a rock band.

Cheerleader – Fuzzy, buzzy bedroom pop.

Cheetah Chrome – Dead Boy, legend.

Cherry Glazerr – Burger Records approved.

The Chevelles – Long run Australian garage warts.

The Chicharones – Get fat. Yum.

Chlöe Howl – Do the dramatic with the teen queen pop.

CHRISTEENE – Performance art shame fuck drag star terror.

Christian Mistress – Metal is as metal was. Raise high the horns of Rainbow.

Christopher Denny – Do I know you?

Christopher Owens – Ben likes him, plenty enough for both of us.

Chrome Canyon – The good Kap’n had a hardon for this moody synthjam trick way back when we were just kids.

Chromeo – Dope.

Chuck Inglish – Cool kid. Reference?
Cian Nugent – Irish orchestral take on the Takoma primitive. Pretty pretty.

Circa Zero – Did you know Andy Summers wrote the song that earned the Police a grammy? “Behind My Camel.” Sting hates that shit.

Cities Aviv – Hella dynamic hip hop from the big rock to the noisome to the smooth.

Clear Plastic Masks – You know, rape wear.

Cloud Nothings – Dylan and the boys are back with the Wipers loving rock of growing up.

Cocktails – Power pop basement rock. Hummable for days.

Cody ChestnuTT – The double t is a distinction I often miss in figuring him for a smaller, paler figure. This dude’s big Africana soul jam shit.

The Cold and Lovely – Where’s this new love of 90s also ran alt rock coming from? Is it because Steve Malkmus moved to France?

The Colourist – Like when The Rentals partied with The Naked and the Famous and your world was better for it.

Colourmusic – Ooooooh, this is so deliciously savage. Slick glum pop dementia for the post Tobacco ugly wunderkinds.

Coma in Algiers – Six dudes on a punk rock death trip. Don’t mess with Texas.

Communist Daughter – I prefer “Holland, 1945” and you should too.

The Copper Gamins – Los Niños de Cobre – Real South trash rippers.

Cosmonauts – OC psych for a tin can alley.

Creative Adult – Good dark Bay punk for amateur chemists.

Crooked Bangs – Texas post punk groovers en Francais. Tres bien, my man.

CYMBALS – Hot shit but definitely not mine.

The Cynics – The man behind GET HIP! You know the drill.

Dale Watson & His Lone Stars – Ms. Maggie done shot them. Look like damn fine beer fun.

Dam-Funk – Live the funk, motherchuggers.

Damon Albarn – I wonder if Mr. Albarn’s new solo sojourn will find him finally reconciling the fact that his long-running (more or less) band Blur was almost willfully incapable of writing a cohesive record.

The Darcys – Apparently, now, falsetto qualifies as experimental.

Dave House – What was that fucking band with that fucking guy with all the tattoos and feelings? Fuck. I really used to like them and then I stopped drinking with alcoholic girls. Anyway, yeah. Mike Ness is a dick.

David J – “Honey, David J is playing SXSW.” “YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY!!!”

Dawn Landes – When I was fourteen, my mother took me to see Judy Collins out in Coney Island. At one point during her set, she attempted to tell a joke. It was weird. True story.

Dead Gaze – We’ve talked about Dead Gaze before, haven’t we? Like super poppy fuzz bomp psych wash over the rainbow and into the sink trap.

Dead Ghosts – They rip off The Animals a lot except for the Eric Burdon part. Ain’t nobody can imitate that man’s soul.

Dead Leaf Echo – Does anybody actually listen to Spaceman 3?

Deap Vally – Ben is in love with these fine white blues dirt stomping ladies and it’s pretty easy to understand why.

Death by Unga Bunga – I just can’t. I don’t care if you’re Norwegian.

Deep Cotton – This is gonna be some serious ass-quaking, king-taking rock and soul shit right here.

Deleted Scenes – Well, this is certainly different.

Della Mae – I’m not exactly sure why I think this is the sexiest band at SXSW but, there ya go. Blugrass, baby.

DeLorean – Nevermind. I’m wrong.

Dënver – Chilean synth pop and what the fuck with the umlaut?

Desert Noises –You mean, like, the sound of sand? Fuck you.

Desperate Sound System – Oh hey. Look. It’s Pulp. Only it isn’t. It’s a dude getting paid to play a laptop in a suit.

Destroyer of Light – Raaarrr?

Diarrhea Planet – “Ghost with a Boner” is the best song ever.

Dikes of Holland – I didn’t used to find garage punk so numbing.

Dinos Boys – Skinny punk of the retro (not aggro) variety.

Dinosaur Pile-Up – Terrible name, adequate rocking.

Dirty Fences – I remember when it wasn’t cool to be an El Camino scumbag. Thanks, LA. You ruin everything.

Dirty Vegas – Huh.

The Disco Fries – Yum, but nah.

Ditch Witch – Shred. Skate. Die. Repeat.

DJs – There are many DJs “performing” this year and I won’t be previewing any of them willingly.

Dog Trumpet – Are you Robyn Hitchcock? No? Fuck off.

Dots Will Echo – Agit pop like a Residents without the century of inspiration or Jad Fair if he ever learned how to play his goddamn guitar.

Dott – I’ve never been to Galway, but I did have my first hangover in County Offaly.

Doughbeezy – Sometimes, I want to fill my mouth with marbles and punch myself in the face just to see what I can break. This has nothing to do with anything. I just felt like sharing.

Dre Skull – Like what shields the mind of the Compton doctor or is this a play on He-Man?

Dreamend – Frailty is a cheap commodity.

Drowners – Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Still not as good as the Suede song.

DSGNS – Sometimes I think seeing Botch was the best thing that ever happened to me. Then I remember my first blowjob and I’m almost certain of it.

DTCV – Serious Pretenders vibe. Who shouldn’t worship Chrissie Hynde?

Dum Dum Girls – I give it two more years before Dee Dee unseats Karen O as America’s dark darling siren. Though I prefer the band’s previous librarian endeavors, I can’t deny that fashion suits them.

Dune Rats – Aussie scumbait. DZ Deathrays are better.

DVA – Electronic Czech super weirdo spin wonder.

DZ Deathrays – See? These boys will fucking own you.

Eagulls – I was gonna crack wise about white British anger but these boys are a sight more nuanced than the drunken terror of Leeds, circa 1am.

East Forest – Music for artisanal blankets.

The Eastern Sea – 7 men, 96 tears and not a one hitting the floor.

The Echo Friendly – However candid a song called “Fuck It and Whatever” may be, the name just fills my heart with jet black hate.

Echosmith – The girl’s band pretty and the boys take themselves too goddamn seriously.

Electric Eye – If ONLY you were the Electric Eels Ohio would still be the coolest.

Elizabeth & the Catapult – Complicated surrounding pedigree. Fine tunes.

EMA – There is a fine line between inspired and banal and then there’s Billy Idol as “Cyberpunk.”

Empires – Love songs from the forlorn boy looking out at stars from his attic bedroom.

Eros and the Eschaton – I read books too.

Esprit De Corps – Totally thought this band had something to do with Song of Zarathustra. They most definitely do not.

Ex Hex – Oh shit, dude. Mary Timony RULES!

Ex-Cult – Memphis trouble kids.

Ezra Furman – Why not? Lonesomeness is catching.

The Family Crest – I bet these kids have great dental, crazy clear skin.
Far-Out Fangtooth – I really hope that Philly dirtbags don’t end up dying the Brooklyn route.

Fat White Family – heheheh Get ready to get unpleasant.

The Fauntleroys – Is that Peter Pan creep still around?

Favored Nations – 2 parts DFA, 1 part Justice. Complicated, clever, whatever.

Feathers – A lady and her analog.

Federal Lights – Does EVERYTHING have to be fucking bespoke?

Fenster – Pop strange in the echo chamber.

Fever the Ghost – You know, some of their songs aren’t too terrible. Affected as fuck but still kinda fun. Others are like someone’s burning dogshit in Tiny Tim’s coffin.

Fires Were Shot – Why do I know the name Clay Walton? Who cares. This is some beautiful ear space right here.

FLASH/LIGHTS – Did you know Denver had an “electro-pop darlings”?

Flashlights – I’ve reached the age where “the kids” are middle twenty somethings. Too bad. This band is delightfully righteous.

Flosstradamus – One day I’ll see this band just to shut Tatman the hell up.

Fly Golden Eagle – Man…with these fucking names again.

Forest Swords – Music for art fashion.

Foster the People – When Ms. Mitzi went to SXSW, she saw the Go Gos play at a laundromat. I have Foster the People.

Foxtails Brigade – Fuckin’ Oakland, huh? Talk to me when you have a goddamn stadium.

FOXTROTT – Dense feminine electronics for audiophiles.

French Horn Rebellion – I don’t even know what’s bullshit anymore.

The Fresh & Onlys – Yes to this. Yes to pop and off and oddball chums. Yes to the yet living ghost of Jonathan Richman.

The Friendly Savages – Why does everything stink of Proactiv?

The Front Bottoms – YEAHYEAHYEAH!!! Okay it’s kinda the forced folk (hard “r.” always with the fucking hard “r.”) punk that I can only love for an hour or two a year but right here, right now (and in two weeks), I’m pretty sure I’ll be ready as all shit.

Fuel – Seriously? This is depressing.

Fuel Fandango – Electro flamenco? OLE!

Future Islands – This year I want to sing “Pasties & A G-String” with this band either over morning beers or on Congress Street at 3am. Either way, their new record is probably amazing.

4 Responses about “SXSW 2014 (not so) Short List: Numbers, A-F”

  • Anonymous says:

    big ups for Big Ups and the Chris Owens loving and Damon Albarn bashing

  • Ben says:

    Rebuttal: I was a pretty big fan of Girls but not sure about Chris’s solo stuff.
    …So I’m turned on by babes with thick legs who play 4 chord progressions in short shorts… I’m American God Damn It… no regrets.

  • Griffen says:

    Glad to see Chromeo getting some love; they’ve been a constant on my playlists lately. Still waiting for Chance the Rapper to show me anything worth seeking him out at a festival. His album ‘Acid Rap’ conjures aural phantoms of Biz Markie doing his best Kanye West impression. If he’s changing the game, we should seriously consider changing it back. Do Fuel a favor, and douse them in actual fuel, and set them ablaze. It will be the hottest thing they’ve done on stage in forever.

  • Anonymous says:

    Every year, the best Sx preview