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Volume 69, Issue 109, Thursday, March 11, 2004

Arts & Entertainment

Go south for spring

Diverse musical talent from around the world converges on Austin for massive spring festival

by Dusti Rhodes
The Daily Cougar

This spring break you might want to trade in your two-piece or swim trunks for ear plugs and head west instead of south for Austin's annual South by Southwest Music and Media Conference. 

The musical portion will last March 17 through March 21 hosting more than 1000 acts playing at over 50 venues in the Austin area. The conference offers forums, a trade show and panels featuring music industry representatives, but admittance is only given to those with a SXSW badge. Seeing as how a badge costs over $500,a student's best bet is the $100 wristband, although it is still pricey it gets participants into every concert at SXSW, pending age restrictions and venue capacity. Prospective attendees under 21 might want to check out to see if the venues hosting the shows they wish to attend will allow all age admittance. Those without wristbands can still pay cover charges to see shows but should arrive very early because priority goes to SXSW badges and wristbands. If you are strapped for cash but still want to see some great music, there are plenty of free concerts during the day at selected venues.

Hip-hop duo Atmosphere brings its emotional rap to the festival as well.
Photo courtesy of Epitaph Records

Attendees should keep in mind that club hopping is the name of the game. A badge or wristband will guarantee free admission allowing participants to "hop" from show to show and see a diverse number of acts. There is at least a 20-minute gap in between every performance to provide time to travel to the next venue. 


The first night of the conference will require a lot more option weighing than walking. Some of the best artists play at the same time, so attendees will need to decide on what they are more eager to see. Buffalo Billiards*, 201 E 6th St., will host the Tiger Style Records showcase featuring Austinites, Those Peabodys, and the relaxed low-fi duo The American Analog Set beginning.

Dallasites The Deathray Davies will bring their melodic '60s sound to Club de Ville*, 900 Red River St.

Atlanta synth-poppers I Am The World Trade Center will play at Elysium*, 705 Red River St. all of these shows are 21 and up so minors may want to find entertainment elsewhere.

Emo's, 603 Red River St, and its sister clubs, Emo's Jr, 603 Red River St. and Emos Annex, 600 Red River St., will host all age shows every night of the conference. Emo's first show will be of the hip-hop persuasion, with any open-minded emo fan's favorite group Atmosphere from Minneapolis. The group will bring its local scene to Austin and feature the Micronots and Brother Ali. Also on the bill is Soul Position.

Next door, Emo's Jr., will make way for metal, rock and hardcore for at the Tarantula/Hydra Head showcase featuring Cave In.

La Zona Rosa will be filled with indie kids and young hipsters anxious to see Modest Mouse, the show is all ages too but fans might want to show up early to ensure admission.


This is the night of great showcases, concert goers can check out a variety of bands from some of the best independent and major labels out there or they might prefer to stay at one showcase and see everything a label has to offer.

Get an early start and head to Exodus* at 302-304 6th St for The Sleepy Jackson from Perth, Australia; the garage rock trio has an amazing album that could only be better when performed live.

The Lookout! Records' showcase at The Blender Bar at the Ritz*, 320 E 6th St., will be the place to stay if you dig the label's indie pop rock/punk line up. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists headline the show along with The Reputation, The Smugglers, The Washdown, Communique, and The Oranges Band. You might miss out on some other great acts if you choose to stay, but the show will your meet your rock needs for the evening if you do. 

Major BMI will take over Austin Music Hall, 208 Nueces St. revisiting the late 90s and 50s with Cake, Little Richard, Charlie Robinson and Blues Traveler. Little Richard will give the keynote speech for SXSW on Thursday at the Austin Convention Center.

Eenie Meenie Records will host a Japan girls night with a lineup of some great female acts from Japan and the United States at The Caucus*, 912 Red River St.

Relapse Records' showcase at Emo's Annex will feature Dysrhythmia, Unsane Zeke, and High On Fire.

Matador Records' showcase will feature Pretty Girls Make Graves, one of the best female-fronted acts to break the scene lately, at La Zona Rosa.

Jade Tree's showcase will feature Pedro the Lion, Denali and Onelinedrawing at The Parish 214-B E 6th St.

Stellastarr* will try to rise above their name and may impress listeners with their new wave sounds at Red Eyed Fly 715 Red River St.


Another great night for showcases and club hopping, Friday will be invasion of Warped Tour bands but offer more than just music including showcases dedicated to ousting the president and a burlesque show for pathetic, web-surfing indie boys.

The Black Keys and the Mekons from London will perform at Antone's, 213 W 5th starting at midnight.

The Sub Pop records showcase, sadly, will not feature The Shins but 70's style rockers The Constantines from Toronto will headline the show at The Blender Bar at the Ritz*.

Caribbean Lights*, 612-614 E 6th St will host Japan night featuring a lineup of bands from Tokyo including Fuzzy Control, ZANZO and Kishidan.

Another Japanese act, Polysics, will play at Lava Lounge Patio* 405 E 7th St. stop in and check out their sporadic synth-fused rock on your way from club to club.

A mini Warped Tour will take place in Emo's land as Fat Wreck Chords hosts the Punk Voter Rock Against Bush showcase at Emo's, rumored to be free. A good lineup from the punk label that loves to party featuring The Lawrence Arms, Against Me!, Alkaline Trio and NOFX. Comedian David Cross will also lend his opinion on our former governor during his stand up routine during the show. 

BYO Records will feature a diverse line up with The Briefs, Manic Hispanic and The Unseen next door at Emo's Jr. 

Irish folk punks Flogging Molly will headline the Side One Dummy Records show also featuring Maxeen and Piebald at Emo's Annex.

After the showcase, the SuicideGirls Burlesque Act will take over much to the delight of young boys and drunken punks.

Dear Johnny: A Tribute to CASH will take place at Opal Divine's Freehouse*, 700 W 6th St featuring Eddie Spaghetti from the Supersuckers.


The Crystal Method and N.E.R.D. will play at the Austin Music Hall but hip-hop fans might want to head to The Parish for the anti-con showcase featuring Odd Nosdam and Themselves. 

Kill Rock Stars will host a small showcase starting at 11 p.m. at Buffalo Billiards* with The Decemberists, John Wilkes Booze, and Jeff Hanson.

The Equal Vision Records showcase at Emo's Annex will feature Bear vs. Shark and Liars Academy two of the best bands on the label. Armor for Sleep and Rush -likened Coheed and Cambria will play as well.

Go see Liz Phair try her best to gain Britney Spears' fans at La Zona Roza and stay for local San Marconians Blue October.

Rockstars*, 418 E 6th St will feature up and coming acts Apollo Sunshine and The Red Light Sting. 

At Texas Union Theatre, Texas Union 24 at Guadalupe the Righteous Babe Records All-stars including members of Drums and Tuba and Andrew Bird, will perform, and Ani DeFranco will be in Austin for the week and might be the special guest so be sure not to miss this one.

Houston Press' Best Local Hip-Hop act Studemont Project will perform with a number of Houston acts at Zero Degrees*, 405 E. 7th St.

Late night walks on the beach will have to be pushed aside for midnight club hopping, so trade in your sandals for a comfortable pair of shoes. If you can't make it to SXSW, check your local listings as many of these bands will be coming to Houston during and after the conference.

* denotes clubs that are 21 and up.

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