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SXSW Music critics' picks: Who to see Wednesday

Eric Webb,Peter Blackstock
Cuco headlines at Stubb's on Wedneday. [Erika Rich for American-Statesman]


7:40 p.m. J.S. Ondara: Now based in Minneapolis, the Kenyan singer-songwriter is poised for a breakthrough with his just-released debut album, “Tales of America,” on Verve Forecast. (St. David’s Historic Sanctuary)

8:15 p.m. Waylon Payne: The son of country royalty Sammi Smith and Jody Payne, this former Austinite now based in Nashville is coming off a Grammy nomination for a song he wrote with Lee Ann Womack. (Palm Door on Sixth)

10:45 p.m. Kidsmoke: The Welsh quartet’s first full-length is coming soon, but they’ve already made waves with infectious tunes that strike just the right balance between melodic allure and propulsive energy. (Swan Dive)

11:10 p.m. Edie Brickell & New Bohemians: Last year’s “Rocket” proved the band that rose from Dallas’ 1980s Deep Ellum scene still makes magic with engaging pop songs rooted in jazz-jam improv. (St. David’s Historic Sanctuary)

Midnight. Mr. Jimmy: Because why not wrap up your night checking out Japan’s celebrated Jimmy Page imitator? (Dirty Dog Bar)

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6 p.m. Tierra Whack: Her 2018 release “Whack World” stylistically whiplashes from whimsical nursery-rhyme grooves to dark and moody atmospherics, with detours into confessional soul and tongue-in-cheek twang. The stunning 16-minute visual album establishes her as the most daring and creative new rapper in the game. (Container Bar)

8 p.m. Ouri: Weather permitting, an early evening spent listening to the ambient electronics of the Montreal-based producer while gazing out across Lady Bird Lake sounds like pure magic. (Waller Creek Boat Dock)

10 p.m. Omar Apollo: Born to Mexican immigrant parents and raised in a small town in Indiana, the 21-year-old crooner mixes psychedelic daydreams and hazy, morning-after bedroom grooves with the occasional funky throwback jam. (Antone’s)

11:30 p.m. Heart Bones: Sabrina Ellis, bombastic lead singer of Sweet Spirit, meets freewheeling funkateer Har Mar Superstar on the stage of Austin’s premier sketch comedy venue. Hilarity will surely ensue. (Esther’s Follies)

12:10 a.m. Ikon: The K-pop boy band makes its debut appearance in the U.S. at the festival, riding high off a single (“Love Scenario”) that’s topped 70 million spins on Spotify and 270 million views on YouTube. Expect Beatle-mania levels of hysteria. (ACL Live)

1 a.m. Cuco: After a standout performance during weekend one of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2018, the young psych-pop savant was in an accident that forced him to cancel the rest of his tour. He returned to the road for a short run of shows in February, and we’re happy to see he’s bringing his sunny Spanglish melodies to the fest. (Stubb’s)

» RELATED: Bleachers, Big Boi to headline Rachael Ray’s 12th annual Feedback at Stubb’s


6 p.m. Tierra Whack: My colleague Deborah Sengupta Stith tipped me off to the quirky Philly rapper’s 15-minute visual album, “Whack World,” and I think watching that sensory charm trip is all the rec you need. (Container Bar)

10:30 p.m. Alphabeat: There is no one in this city who is more excited than me that this recently reunited Danish pop group is coming to SXSW. I am prepared to argue this with my fists! Frothy, fun, as cheesy as whatever the equivalent of queso is in Denmark. I don’t want to pigeonhole them, but suffice to say they have a strong LGBT following in Europe, and several of their songs are mainstays of my gay bops playlist. Just, y’know, to give you an idea of the mood. (Empire Garage)

11 p.m. Charly Bliss: Cause for excitement. The Brooklyn alt-rock band’s 2017 album, “Guppy,” was like a shaken-up can of La Croix exploding all over your pleasure centers. Get ready to scrub away your troubles with guitar fuzz and coarse-grain pep. (Lucille)

12:45 p.m. Pedro the Lion: No one works through their issues out loud like David Bazan. Let’s rock 'n' feel like it’s 2004. (Mohawk outdoor)

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