I go to SXSW every year with incredibly high expectations, and surprisingly they are always met. The best thing that SXSW has to offer (besides all the free drinks, food, and goodies) are the bands that you normally would have never heard of, if it weren’t for the festival. It seems that each year, the dance bands have been the ones who won me over, and after doing a little research, I’m left asking myself, “Where are all the new dance bands?”
2006 brought me The Young Knives (pictured left) who are a glasses-and-suit wearing band that make angular, choppy beats–much like The Futureheads and XTC. Although this might be a bit of a stretch, I’d also have to include the extremely excitable (based on name alone) Â¡Forward Russia! for brining the screamo type dance music to Austin. Then there was The Longcut, who were hands down the best discovery of ’06. Not only is their music incredibly dance-y, but it’s also dark–which may just be the best combination there is (not to mention, the lead singer is also the drummer!). And finally, for good measure, I’ll throw in the American band She Wants Revenge whose sythny, Interpol inspired beats got the Austin crowd moving their feet.
Last year’s SXSW somehow managed to top the year before by introducing me to four ridiculously good UK dance bands. First up, Hot Club de Paris, a band I had heard much about and had high expectations for. Their combination of acappella jams and punky riffs made them an incredibly fun live band, who I love, just like I love myself (that was a nod to their lyrics there). Then there was The Sunshine Underground, who completely blew every other band at SXSW out of the water with their anthemic, dance songs. I’ll even give a nod to Shitdisco (pictured above) for bringing the nu-rave dance tunes to Austin. And let’s not forget the American band for ’07, The Blood Arm, who are probably the most fun band in all of the United States.
Sadly none of the above bands will be at this year’s SXSW, but after doing a little research I found a couple of bands that may not be dance-y, but deserve your attention.
A lot of whispers have been going around for The Rascals (pictured left) and this may or may not be because their lead singer, Miles Kane, has teamed up with Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) to form The Last Shadow Puppets. To be fair to The Rascals, their own brand of music is a darker version of The Coral–which is an interesting twist on sea-shanty pop gems. They’ll probably be the it band of this year’s SXSW! Their official showcase is Friday, March 14 at 1:00 a.m. at Wave Rooftop (408 E. 6th St). You’d be wise to check them out!
If you’re looking for some pretty boys making pretty music that you can dance to, you’re best bet would be The Voom Blooms. Their official showcase is Thursday, March 13th at 8:00 p.m. at Latitude 30 (512 San Jacinto St).
Gimme a “H!” Gimme a “Y!” Gimme a “P!” Gimme an “E!” What’s that spell? Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong! Probably one of the most talked about bands this year are JL&TJJJ, but luckily for them (and us), I think they’ll actually live up to it. They’re good on record and I bet they’re even better live, but the only way to find out for sure is to go to their official showcase, which is on Saturday, March 15 at 9:00 p.m. at Emo’s Main Room (603 Red River St).
While this year’s SXSW may not be filled with tons of unknown dance bands, I know it’ll be just as good as years past!