The Playlist: Be a Tastemaker
The strategy: Sure, you’ll spend your evenings crushing into the crowd to see your favorite headliner, why wouldn’t you? But you’re a true music aficionado. You’ve done your research, you’ve investigated the internet hype and you’re ready to catch tomorrow’s headliners today.
Essential gear:Sunscreen and sunglasses – the rising superstars get the early time slots during the brightest part of the day.Caffeinated beverages – see above.Sneakers – a lot of emerging artists share set times. You might have to do a cross-field sprint to pack it all in.
Non-essential gear:A smart phone and an Instagram account, preferably set up to automatically post to your Tumblr #hearditfirst
Young and Sick (11:15 a.m. Miller Lite) Dutch artist Nick Van Hofwegen has designed album covers for the likes of Robin Thicke and Foster the People, now he’s branched out into his own musical project, a sensitive take on nouveau R&B.
Preatures (1 p.m. Austin Ventures) With a lush Jim Eno-produced debut album fresh off the presses expect these feisty Aussie rockers to be all over South by Southwest next year.
Temples (1:15 p.m. Miller Lite) As soon as the Preatures stop slide over to the adjacent Miller Lite stage to catch the distortion heavy rock from this British quartet who made a big splash at Austin Psych Fest.
Hozier (3:15 p.m. RetailMeNot) An Irish blues singer whose gutsy outcry against dogma and homophobia “Take Me to Church” is one of the year’s best protest songs.
Lake Street Dive (3:15 Austin Ventures) You wore those sprinting shoes, right? Then hustle over to catch the lightly twangy jazz and soul of this Boston outfit.
Spanish Gold (12:30 p.m. Samsung Galaxy) Psychedelic but muscular, sentimental but paranoid, one of the most enthralling new rock bands of 2014.
Benjamin Booker (1 p.m. Austin Ventures). Gusty anarchic blues rock from New Orleans.
Mac DeMarco (1:30 p.m. RetailMeNot) The Canadian singer-songwriter and so-called “slacker” rocker has been steadily building a loyal following.
Poliça (3:30 p.m. Austin Ventures) One of the most interesting acts to emerge from the Minneapolis musical collective that also includes Gayngs, Marijuana Death Squads and Bon Iver.
My Brightest Diamond (4:30 p.m. Sculpture) Classically trained vocalist Shara Worden creates an occasionally operatic, often spooky, controlled carnival of sound.
Haerts (11:30 Miller Lite) Yes, they’re based out of Brooklyn but you’re not imagining that Euro-cool sound. Band members hail from Germany and Britain.
Mø (12:15 p.m. Honda) With sensuous, bold and brainy electropop, the young Danish artist was one of the most compelling breakouts at South by Southwest 2014.
Vic Mensa (1 p.m. RetailMeNot) Hailing from the same crew as fellow Chicago emcee Chance the Rapper, the whip-smart 19-yr-old will give you hope for hip-hop’s next generation.
Bernhoft (2 p.m. BMI) Soul-maven Jill Scott blessed a track on the Norwegian R&B singer’s latest, a credible cosign for an artist who deserves a listen.
Jhene Aiko (3 p.m. RetailMeNot) The long-anticipated full-length debut from the Kanye and Drake collaborator dropped last month and it’s a dreamy collection of watercolor soundscapes, plaintive and occasionally profound.