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SXSW Music: Thursday critics’ picks

Staff Writer
Austin 360

Editor’s note: This article was originally published March 12, 2014

In between your bold moves and free beer, you want to hear some music. Here are some picks from our team; as always, our suggestions cannot be contained. More at .


7 p.m. Vintage Trouble: Hard-hitting rock and soul that splits the difference between the gospel-drenched conscience of Marvin Gaye and the hot-blooded debauchery of the Rolling Stones. (Butler Park Stage at Lady Bird Lake)

8 p.m. Doughbeezy: The Houston rapper’s rapid fire flow explodes out of beats that are characteristically slow loud and bangin’. (The Main II)

9 p.m. Ume: Austin rockers go hard on their new album with a tight set of head-banging, guitar-screaming tracks that pack an emotional wallop. (Brazos Hall)

10 p.m. Alguacil: A club-bumping mash-up of dancehall, dub and electro-cumbia, it’s wild and trippy, brash and extremely danceable. (Speakeasy)

11 p.m. Lizzo: With ferocious mic skills, a wild theatrical style and attitude for days, Minneapolis rapper Lizzo has the potential to become everything we once hoped that Nicki Minaj might be. (North Door)

Midnight. Kelis: Her new album “Food” is a rich banquet of smoky vocals swirling through ringing keys, singing strings and well-placed brassy blasts. (Clive Bar)

1 a.m. Woman’s Hour. Entrancing dream pop from a British four-piece. (Latitude 30)


8 p.m. Skunks: No Jon Dee Graham at this gig — perhaps he didn’t want to go up against his son’s Painted Redstarts who are in the same time slot at Shotguns — but original guitarist Eddie Munoz joins Jesse Sublett and Bill Blackmon for an Austin proto-punk reunion. (Lit Lounge)

9 p.m. The Baseball Project: As if Steve Wynn, Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey weren’t enough of a supergroup, word is that Buck’s R.E.M.-mate Mike Mills is in the mix this year, too. (Continental Club)

10 p.m. Mastersons or Basia Bulat: Most-anticipated local act vs. most-anticipated international act in the same time slot. Something like this seems to happen every single SXSW. (Mastersons at Velveeta Room, Bulat at St. David’s Bethell Hall)

11 p.m. Laura Cantrell: Perfect getaway venue for an indie country-folk singer whose beautiful songs rise high above the buzz. (18th Floor Hilton Garden Inn)

Midnight. Speedy Ortiz: Glorious discordant noise from Massachusetts sets the stage for a 12:45 a.m. set upstairs at the Parish proper by legit legend Bob Mould, who may make you forget everything else you saw all night. (Parish Underground)

1 a.m. The Black Watch: The longtime SoCal jangle-psych-popsters got a boost when Steven Schayer of New Zealand’s Chills joined the band a few years ago. (Creekside at Hilton Garden Inn)


9 p.m. Touche Amore: Cali band that put out the best hardcore album of 2013. Wear sneakers tonight, for there shall be much moshing. (Red 7 patio)

10 p.m. White Sea: Expansive synth magic big enough to fill a cathedral, courtesy of M83’s classically trained Morgan Kibby. (Brazos Hall)

10 p.m. Brothertiger: Absolutely charming neon-tinted chillwave. If you see one ’80s-romanticizing keyboard act, make it this one. (Speakeasy Kabaret)

11 p.m. Annie Mac: Want to know what’s coming next for electronic dance music? Find out from BBC’s resident wizard of wax. (Empire Garage)

Midnight. Kelis: I’m not even going to make a milkshake joke, because the trained chef’s new album is called “Food,” and I think she’s in on the joke. (Clive Bar)

1 a.m. We Were Promised Jetpacks: Hearty, life-giving Scottish post-punk. Everything sounds better with a brogue. (Holy Mountain Backyard)


8 p.m. Irene Diaz: Each song drips with emotion, making the Los Angeles-based torch singer a rising star. (Palm Door on Sixth)

9 p.m. Natalia Clavier: Argentine singer/songwriter brings bilingual grooves to life with her electronic, world and jazz music. You might recognize her as one of the soulful vocalists for the Thievery Corporation. (Palm Door on Sixth)

10 p.m. Sergio Mendoza y La Orkesta: When this Latin big band from Tucson played everything from mambo to cumbia at last year’s Pachanga Latino Music Festival, they quickly won over fans and became a festival highlight. (Speakeasy)

11 p.m. Ana Tijoux: One of Latin America’s best MCs, Tijoux blends a laid-back flow with powerful rhymes. Austinites were introduced to the French-Chilean artist when she made her U.S. debut at SXSW 2010. (Palm Door on Sixth)

Midnight. Pommez Internacional: Experimental sounds that flirt with everything from rock to electronica. Don’t bother trying to define it; just let the global grooves from one of Argentina’s most interesting bands move you. (Vulcan Gas Company)

1 a.m. Quantic: Danceable electronic music inspired by the spirit of Colombia’s traditional music. Quantic, a British-born DJ, musician and producer now calls Colombia home. (Flamingo Cantina)


8 p.m. Alpha Consumer: Rock ‘n’ roll out of Minneapolis. What more do you need? (The North Door)

9 p.m. Natalia Clavier: Let the gorgeous voice of Buenos Aires-born Clavier, lead singer of Thievery Corporation, wash over you. She’s in town promoting her solo project and new album with Austin producer Adrian Quesada. Check out the video for “Trouble.” (Palm Door on Sixth)

10 p.m. The Mighty Oaks: Clear, gorgeous folk from Berlin-based trio whose members hail from Italy, the United Kingdom and the U.S. Like looking out at a lake from a mountaintop. (Lucille)

11 p.m. Lizzo: Such a tough call between two female hip-hop powerhouses: Lizzo, out of Minneapolis promoting new solo album “LIZZOBANGERS,” and French-Chilean performer Ana Tijoux (appearing at the same time at Palm Door on Sixth). Let’s hope between official and unofficial shows, fans will have a chance to catch both. (The North Door)

12:20 a.m. Chuck Inglish: Half of Chicago’s world-renowned Cool Kids, Inglish arrives in anticipation of his first solo label album, “Convertibles,” due in April. Hip-hop fans rejoice. (512 Rooftop)

1 a.m. Marijuana Deathsquads: This experimental Minneapolis collective—described as a gang first, a band second—promises an experience. Perfect for at 1 a.m. at the halfway point of SXSW. Come get a recharge with Har Mar Superstar and company. (The North Door)


8 p.m. Thumpers: Fresh off their debut LP, Sub Pop-signed duo Thumpers pound out playful percussion-driven indie pop for fans of Friendly Fires or Two Door Cinema Club. (Latitude 30)

9 p.m. Perfume Genius: With a third full-length release due out soon, Perfume Genius’ intimate set should be the ideal setting to see what’s next from Seattle-based solo artist Mike Hadreas, one of the brightest young songwriters today. (St. David’s Historic Sanctuary)

10:20 p.m. Little Dragon: A dance party powered by Swedish trip hop band should be just the thing to get a second wind Thursday night. (Banger’s)

11:30 p.m. MØ: Danish electro-pop artist MØ returns to SXSW for a second year in a row, this time days after the release of her hotly anticipated LP, “No Mythologies to Follow.” (Empire Control Room)

Midnight. Har Mar Superstar: With Har Mar Superstar’s excellent 2013 LP “Bye Bye 17,” the beer-bellied balding white man with the voice of a young Stevie Wonder moved beyond tongue-in-cheek jokey pop to a jaw-dropping soulful spectacle. (The North Door)

1 a.m. Cheers Elephant: Producing ear-pleasing pop rock with three-part harmonies somewhere in the feel-good spectrum between the Beatles and OK Go, Cheers Elephant will ensure the evening ends on a positive note. (Soho Lounge)


8 p.m. THUMPERS: Cart-wheeling, generic Brit pop that I expect to be delivered with such charisma and panache that it makes the band a bigger thing. (Latitude 30)

9 p.m. Pure Bathing Culture: This Portland duo was weaned on East Coast noise and cramped style — moving West was like switching the “Madden” settings to rookie in terms of the affordability and space the band found. Now they write star-gazing, open-spaced pop for long drives. (Hype Hotel)

10 p.m. Tinashe: This R&B star in waiting runs with the right dudes — her debut single features Schoolboy Q — but showed depth, versatility and emotional vulnerability on last year’s addicting mixtape, “Black Water.” (Hype Hotel)

11 p.m. Cody Chesnutt: Every four years or so, Chesnutt drops in to toy with our emotions. The art soul genius oscillates between “man that’s the most beautiful three-minute song I’ve ever heard” to “I’m pretty sure he just played a 40-minute song and now I need a Lone Star.” (Clive Bar)

11:50 p.m. Kevin Gates: Gates was only responsible for two of the 10 best rap releases of 2013 — guns drawn mixtapes “Luca Brasi Story” and “Stranger Than Fiction.” He can double-time about having a heart “colder than Chicago,” or just stop and half-sing about diamonds. It’s heavy artillery. (Avenue on Congress Rooftop)

12:50 a.m. Young Thung: Young Thug is your favorite rap blogger nerd’s favorite rapper. Now he has a heat-seeking single, “Stoner,” that gets the people going. (Avenue on Congress Rooftop)