Cougar Microbes returns to SXSW this year for what is guaranteed to be a week fuelled by new music discoveries, veteran renaissances, sunshine and good old Texan hospitality.
Words can not express how happy we are to return to what is our favourite festival in the world and this year promises to be no less exciting with keynotes from the likes of Neil Young, Lady Gaga, and Lil Wayne to name just a few superstars.
With last year’s event still firmly imprinted in our minds our team is boarding planes from all around to get to what is the live music capital of the world. We want to hit the ground running this year so be sure to check out our twitter feed for regular commentary as well as the sites Tumblr for photos.
Going on past experience often the best artists at SXSW are the ones you were not expecting. Having said that here are a bunch of performances we do not want to miss out in this year:
Who: Boston based indie-punk crew Mean Creek where one of the acts to delight us at CMJ last year. Their songs are loud and fuzzy yet convey a sense of optimism that’s contagious.
Where: Valhalla, Mar 14 – 22:00 – 22:40
Who: There is something truly cosmic about Israeli-based electronic pop trio Terry Poison – maybe it’s their intergalactic, apocalyptic beats, their uniquely stunning features or the impenetrable aura of cool that seems to radiate from every one of their infectious yet slightly off-kilter, darkly pulsing electronic pop numbers.
This will be the second time in Austin and this time they will also be discussing their tech angle (The award winning video for the track ‘Gorgeous‘ has some 85k youtube views and was shot on 52 iphones).
Where? Speakeasy, 15 Mar 20:00 – 20:40
Who: I will admit part of the magic of sxsw for me personally is seeing the smaller acts but when one of the best rappers of the past 10 years shows up we’ve also got to show up. Having come all the way from London watching Kendrick Lamar will be the culmination of a dream that begun the first time we heard ‘Good Kid, M.a.a.d City‘. Come out to celebrate the man who should have won a Grammy in everyone’s mind
Where: ACL Live at the Moody Theater, 12 Mar 22:00 – 23:30
Who: Vaadat Charigim blend of 80s rock, post-punk and shoegaze has seen them winning fans and praise globally; all this despite the obvious language barrier of their songs being in Hebrew.
Having already won rave reviews from the likes of Pitchfork, SPIN and Brooklyn Vegan the trio are making their North American debut at SXSW.
Their debut album was helmed by Modest Mouse producer Kyle “Slick” Johnson and carries numerous riveting numbers
Where: Hotel Vegas @ Volstead, Mar 13 00:30 – 01:00
In The Valley Below
Who: In The Valley Below where one of our most pleasing CMJ discoveries. Their vaguely Arcade Fire-esque sound is doused with a hefty dose of melancholia. A chance encounter between Jeffrey and Angela in Los Angeles is responsible for creating beautiful music.
Where: Swan Dive, Mar 12 21:00 – 21:40
Parish Underground, Mar 15 01:00 – 01:50
Who: Kosha Dillz may well be the hardest working man in Hip Hop. You are just as likely to see the NJ native playing major arenas or performing in the street but in either case it’s clear he always gives it 100%. True to form at SXSW he will be playing a few official shows as well as popping up on any stage that will have him. It’s not just hustle and bustle from him though as his last album ‘Awkward In A Good Way‘ is a genuine great release worth checking out.
Where: 512, Mar 15 23:10 – 23:25
Who: Kendrick sometime collaborator Schoolboy Q offers a completely different approach to the craft he is no less exciting. His rough around the edges persona continues a proud tradition of volatile rappers who need to be heard
Where: ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, Mar 12 20:45 – 21:30
Lustre Pearl, Mar 13 01:00 – 01:40
Doritos #Boldstage, Mar 15 23:00 – 23:40
Who: Toronto’s BADBADNOTGOOD are seemingly on a mission to make jazz cool again. Their intricate pieces built on a double bass sound, keyboards, beatboxing and live drums have seen fans spurting up all round the world and earned them collaboration offers from the likes of Frank Ocean and Tyler, The Creator. This is the kind of music that should be witnessed live and SXSW should fulfil this requirement.
Where: Swan Dive Patio, Mar 12 20:30 – 21:10
Austin Music Hall, Mar 15 20:35 – 21:00
Who: Much hyped Londoners Jungle steadily built a strong fanbase without ever releasing their true identities. Now that the initial surprise has come and gone all that is left is a bunch of strong songs and on the basis of their recent performances a great live show to boot.
Where: Latitude 30, Mar 11, 00:00 – 00:40
Hype Hotel, Mar 14 22:00 – 22:35
The Wanton Bishops
Who: Who would have thought that some of the most exciting blues to come out in recent years would originate from Beirut of all places. The Wanton Bishops are travelling over to the USA for the first time to uncover the roots of the music they so expertly make and this encounter is worth witnessing.
Where: Lit Lounge Upstairs, Mar 14 00:00 -00:40
Tyler, The Creator
Who: Sometime Odd Future leader and all round trouble maker Tyler, The Creator is headed to Austin in what promises to be a rowdy show. With his latest effort ‘Wolf‘ still fresh in our mind we can’t wait to catch this one live.
Where: Mohawk Outdoor, Mar 12 01:00 – 01:50
The Gatsby, Mar 13 01:00 – 01:40
Parish, Mar 13 00:30 – 01:00
Who: Singer-songwriter Maya Isacowitz intimate take on folk-rock sees her blend elements of soul, blues and country into her music. Having secured a GOLD RECORD in her native Israel with her self-produced 2011 debut “Safe & Sound” with sales in excess of 15,000 copies she went on to win Israel’s prestigious ACUM award for “Best New Artist“.
Maya played over 100 dates on her solo tour and also supported Chris Cornell in Israel on his “Songbook 2012” tour as well as Suzanne Vega in New York City. She is currently working on her second album due later this year.
Where: Wyndham Garden Hotel, Mar 14 19:00 – 19:45
Victorian Room at The Driskill, Mar 15 21:00 -21:40
Who: Simply labelling Deap Vally as an all female White Stripes would be paying them enormous disservice. Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards are rock goddesses in the making and their music is guaranteed to resonate live. Their debut effort ‘Sistrionix‘ is what rock n roll should be all about.
Where: Trinity Hall @ Old School, Mar 14 23:00 – 23:40
Parish, Mar 15 01:00 – 01:50