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1. Waxahatchee

Though punk quartet P.S. Eliot's break-up was a bummer, singer and songwriter Katie Crutchfield's latest band Waxahatchee has made everything way, way better again. Awarded a "Best New Music" nod from Pitchfork (we agree with ya, 'Fork), Waxahatchee's album Cerulean Salt will rock your soul to the core. Crutchfield's songs about the trials and tribulations of youth are tinged with a punk rock sensibility, one that grabs you immediately and doesn't let go. You can catch Waxahatchee at:
  • Holy Mountain on Wednesday at 8pm 
  • Pitchfork's Day Party (1100 E. 5th Street) on Thursday at 12pm.


2. Majical Cloudz

Fronted by Montreal-based musician (and frequent Grimes collaborator) Devin Welsh, Magical Cloudz' ethereal electronic jams will help you chill out amid the sensory overload clusterf*ck that is SXSW. Welsh's crooning vocals combined with his experimental synths and drum kits make for really dreamy music. So majical! You can catch them at:
  • Easy Tiger on Thursday at 12pm
  • Urban Outfitters on Friday at 12pm
  • Swan Dive on Friday at 9:10pm
  • Mohawk on Saturday at 8pm for the True Panther Sound & Terrible Records showcase


3. Parquet Courts

Punk rockers Parquet Courts' music is angsty, danceable, and above all pretty damn funny --  any band that name-drops Swedish fish in a song is bound to win our allegiance. They're playing at:
  • Pitchfork Day Party (1100 E. 5th Street) on Thursday at 12pm
  • Red 7 on Friday at 12pm or Saturday at 8pm
  • Stubb's on Friday at 12pm for the SPIN Party
  • Mohawk on Friday at 8pm
  • Viceland on Saturday at 8pm

 

4. Icona Pop

This Swedish synth-pop duo has been making major waves in pop music after their song "I Love It" was featured on that relatively unknown, completely overlooked TV show Girls. Yeah, you know the one. Band members Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo have described their bubbly melodies as music that you can both "laugh and cry with at the same time." Count us in! Dance to Icona Pop until your legs fall off at:
  • The Belmont on Tuesday at 7pm
  • Pitchfork Interactive Party on Tuesday at 8pm
  • Urban Outfitters on Wednesday at 6pm
  • Viceland on Wednesday at 8pm
  • Lustre Pearl on Thursday at 3pm
  • Emo's East on Thursday at 10:50pm
  • Mohawk on Friday at 3:15pm

 

5. Joey Bada$$

With a BET Hip Hop Award nomination for his debut mixtape already under his belt, 18-year-old rapper and Brooklyn native Joey Bada$$ is definitely one to watch this year at SXSW. Bada$$'s old-school brand of rap is tinged with chill trip-hop sensibilities, with his lyrics showcasing a darker poeticism.  Oh, and did we mention he's one of Paper's Beautiful People this year? You can catch Joey Bada$$ at:
  • The North Door on Thursday at 1:20am
  • Brazos Hall on Thursday at 9:45pm
  • Lucille on Friday at 12:30am


6. White Lung

If you're looking for super fast, no holds barred punk music, White Lung is for you. Fronted by writer Mish Way, whose defiant snarl harkens back to riot grrrl traditions, this Vancouver-based hardcore quartet is undeniably bold and even a little terrifying. Get prepared for lots of bruises and catch White Lung playing at:
  • The Parish on Wednesday at 11:30pm
  • Urban Outfitters on Wednesday at 1pm
  • Holy Mountain on Wednesday at 8pm    
  • Pitchfork Day Party (1100 Warehouse) on Thursday at 12pm
  • Thrasher Death Match (Scoot Inn) on Thursday at 12pm
  • Gypsy Lounge on Friday at 12pm
  • Bar 96 on Friday at 3pm
  • Long Center for The Performing Arts on Friday at 9pm

7. Blue Hawaii

Montreal-based duo Blue Hawaii makes laid-back, electro-pop songs. Lead singer Raph Standall-Preston's (also the lead singer of Braids) haunting voice paired with bandmate Agor's warped synth and vocal experimentation makes for beautiful harmonies. You can catch Blue Hawaii at: 
  • Pitchfork Interactive Party (Mohawk) on Tuesday at 8pm
  • Elysium on Wednesday at 8pm
  • Swan Dive on Thursday at 7:30pm
  • Hype Hotel on Friday at 12pm
 

8. Savages

English band Savages is reviving that sort of gothic 80's post-punk that acts like Siouxsie Sioux and Killing Joke made their own and they are really damn good at it. Heavy on the bass and even heavier on the brooding, Savage's creepy music will be worthwhile to catch live. You can see them at:
  • Brooklyn Vegan's Showcase (The Main) on Wednesday at 4:10pm
  • Pitchfork Showcase (1100 Warehouse) on Thursday at 8pm
  • Club de Ville on Thursday at 11pm
  • SPIN House (Easy Tiger) on Friday at 12pm


9. Mac deMarco

Mac DeMarco
's lo-fi, hazy rock jams (which include odes to both cigarettes and women) are lazy in the best way possible. Whether his music is meant for the beach-bound or couch-bound, we're not so sure, but one thing is certain: it will leave you feeling real, real chillaxed. You can catch DeMarco at:
  • Tillery Park on Tuesday at 11:30pm
  • Stage on Sixth on Wednesday at 12pm
  • The Parish on Wednesday at 4:30pm
  • Club de Ville on Thursday at 12:50pm
  • Pitchfork Day Party on Thursday at 12pm
  • Swan Dive on Friday at 7:30pm
  • Fader Fort on Saturday at 3:45pm
  • Urban Outfitters on Saturday at 5pm


10. Bleached

After their previous band Mika Miko disbanded in 2010, Jessica and Jennifer Clavin formed Bleached, whose catchy songs feature a modern punk spin on classic surf rock. These Cali girls also put on a memorable live show, dissing security guards and breaking all the rules are all part of Bleached's rebellious fun. See them and you won't be sorry. You can catch Bleached at: 
  • Red 7 on Thursday at 8:15pm
  • Scoot Inn on Thursday at 2pm
  • Hotel Vegas on Friday at 9:35pm
  • Bar 96 on Friday at 6pm
  • SPIN House (Easy Tiger) on Saturday at 12pm 

11. Autre Ne Veut

Autre Ne Veut (aka Arthur Ashin) is re-vamping traditional R&B with a synth-pop flare. With a voice like a gospel choir-leader, Ashin's music verges on the grandiose. Autre Ne Veut's dark music is soulful and is, somehow, vaguely spiritual. It's music to light a candle to, for sure. You can catch Autre Ne Veut at:
  • Empire Control Room on Wednesday at 8pm
  • Pitchfork Day Party on Thursday at 12pm
  • The Main on Friday at 12pm
  • Urban Outfitters on Friday at 5pm

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