SXSW 2010: Billboard's Showcase Bands
Give us four nights to program whatever we want, and we'll give you diverse top-tier acts from all the genres we cover, from Latin to hip-hop to rock.
All performances are at the Billboard.com Bungalow at 708 E. Sixth St. in downtown Austin.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17
Billboard en Español Showcase
8 p.m. -- Patafunk
Caracas-based Patafunk's goal is to "make people of different cultures dance to one amazing sound." To get the job done, this party squad anchored by DJ CEM mixes Brazilian music, disco, dub, jazz, mambo, reggae and rock into the funk.
9 p.m. -- Bambarabanda
Onstage with electric guitars, violin, and charango (a South American ukulele) Bambarabanda's provocative mash-up fuses the music of Colombia's Andean region with universal rock and electronica.
10 p.m. -- No Te Va Gustar
Owner of a trio of triple-platinum albums in its native Uruguay, No Te Va Gustar stops at SXSW on its first U.S. tour. NTVG's original sound mixes rock with traditional Uruguayan candombe rhythms, reggae, salsa and ska.
11 p.m. -- Banda de Turistas
Psychedelic rockers Banda de Turistas arrive at SXSW after opening for Coldplay in Buenos Aires for a crowd of more than 60,000. Its first U.S. release, "Magical Radiophonic Heart," is out on Nacional Records.
12 a.m. -- Gustavo Galindo
The Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, who grew up between Mexico and California, describes "La Ciudad y el Mar"-to be released on Surco/Universal, home of Juanes-as "sonic rock mixed with Latin rhythms and romantic choruses."
1 a.m. -- División Minúscula
División Minúscula's 2001 debut, "Extrañanado Casa," is a cornerstone of Mexican millennial pop punk, and it's expanded the scope of its sound throughout the Latin alternative scene. With its latest, the classic rock-reminiscent "Sirenas"-recorded in Los Angeles at Jack Johnson's Brushfire Studios-the band is fronted by magnetic vocalist Javier Blake.
THURSDAY, MARCH 18
8 p.m. -- Grynch
With a polished delivery and head-knocking beats, Grynch has emerged from the Seattle hip-hop scene and shared stages with Nas, Clipse and Blue Scholars. The 23-year-old MC specializes in the charismatic storytelling found on reflective banger "Time" and breakout track "My Volvo," an ode to his decades-old car.
9 p.m. -- U-N-I
Although it hails from the gangster-rap Mecca of Inglewood, Calif., rap duo U-N-I dabbles in progressive hip-hop and prefers rhyming about sneakers. MCs Thurzday and Y-O took their vibrant wordplay to a new level with 2009 sophomore disc "A Love Supreme." This month U-N-I released a deluxe edition of "Supreme" with a remix of boisterous cut "Land of the Kings" featuring Bun B.
10 p.m. -- Athlete
English quartet Athlete's knack for stadium-sized melodies has been making waves overseas for nearly a decade. 2003 debut "Vehicles & Animals" was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize, while 2005 follow-up "Tourist" hit No. 1 in the United Kingdom off the strength of slow-building anthem "Wires." The band's fourth effort, "Black Swan," was released in the United States March 2.
11 p.m. -- Those Darlins
"If you can't handle crazy, then get up and leave,"Those Darlins sing on standout track "Wild One," and the line seems like a fitting mantra. The country-punk trio delivered a spunky self-titled debut last year filled with brisk hooks and ukulele jams. After playing Bonnaroo and opening for the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach last year, the Darlins are set for another year of touring, including a run with Deer Tick.
12 a.m. -- Dinosaur Bones
In less than two years, Dinosaur Bones has been creating significant buzz out of the Toronto music scene without releasing a proper full-length. Led by singer/songwriter Ben Fox, the five-piece's sprawling indie rock arrangements recall fellow Canadians Broken Social Scene on their 2008 self-titled EP and recent "Royalty/Ice Hotels" 7-inch. The band is working with producer Jon Drew (F-ed Up, Tokyo Police Club) on its much-anticipated debut album.
1 a.m. -- Dead Confederate
With layered guitars and haunted songwriting, Dead Confederate takes a twangy approach to alternative rock that nods to its Georgia roots. After signing with the Artists Organization, Dead Confederate released debut album "Wrecking Ball" in 2008 and played shows last year with Alberta Cross and Heartless Bastards.
FRIDAY, MARCH 19
8 p.m. -- The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
Danish group the Asteroids Galaxy Tour is still best-known for its infectious single "Around the Bend," which was featured in an Apple iPod Touch commercial in 2008. Fortunately, 2009 debut album "Fruit" proved that vocalist Mette Lindberg and producer Lars Iversen have plenty of spacey pop tunes up their sleeves. After opening for Amy Winehouse and Katy Perry, the band is taking its horn-laden live show to the United States and Europe this year.
9 p.m. -- BRAHMS
Electro-pop trio BRAHMS formed in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn only a few months ago but has rapidly developed a unique sound. Using throbbing synth lines, stuttering percussion and vocal harmonies, the still-unsigned band has shown tremendous potential on its early demos. BRAHMS' stylish moves have already been seen by crowds in the thousands and landed it gigs with equally buzzworthy groups like Delorean and Sleigh Bells later this spring.
10 p.m. -- Yacht
Following its unassuming 2007 debut, electronic duo Yacht began coloring outside the lines with last year's cracked pop opus "See Mystery Lights." Mixing visual artistry and oddball rhythms, Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans turn their far-reaching concepts into indelible jams like "Psychic City (Voodoo City)" and "Ring the Bell." Now signed to DFA Records, Yacht has become the cerebral complement to dance-ready labelmates LCD Soundsystem and the Juan Maclean.
11 p.m. -- The Death Set
The Death Set has taken its pulse-pounding sound around the globe after forming in Australia in 2005. It offered an energized fusion of punk rock, pop and electronica on its 2008 debut album, "Worldwide," and the Death Set's high-wire live show, which has included covers of everything from Nirvana to the Jackson 5, returns to SXSW for the third straight year.
12 a.m. -- These Are Powers
The latest experimental project from ex-Liars bassist Pat Noecker, These Are Powers offer hypnotic vocals courtesy of singer/guitarist Anna Barie. After releasing debut disc "Terrific Seasons" in 2007, the band signed with Dead Oceans and played live shows with boundary-pushing acts like Ponytail and Dan Deacon. These Are Powers' 2009 disc "All Aboard Future" features the type of fuzzed-out bass and polyrhythmic beats that would dazzle fans of Crystal Castles and HEALTH.
1 a.m. -- BT
Under the stage name BT, American producer Brian Transeau has been transforming house music with his epic electronic tracks since the mid-'90s. Between releasing his own celebrated albums, composing film scores and playing high-octane gigs, BT contributed to the American pop landscape with production work for Britney Spears and 'N Sync. "These Hopeful Machines," BT's latest batch of dance songs, was released in February.
All times TBA
British singer/songwriter Estelle introduced herself to U.S. audiences with hit 2008 single "American Boy" featuring Kanye West, which netted her a Grammy Award. However, her bubbly R&B has been making waves in the United Kingdom since 2004, and sophomore disc "Shine" featured collaborations with John Legend, will.i.am and Mark Ronson. "Freak," Estelle's latest single featuring Kardinal Offishall, marks a vivacious turn toward pop music in anticipation of upcoming third album "All of Me."
The 27-year-old Diane Birch's sumptuous voice and jazzy arrangements turned heads last year with the release of debut album "Bible Belt." Under the guidance of S-Curve Records founder Steve Greenberg, who helped acts like Joss Stone and the Jonas Brothers breach the mainstream, Birch's soulful piano tunes have been featured on VH1 and "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" She recently wrapped a tour with Nick Jonas & the Administration.
Street Sweeper Social Club
A high-profile collaboration between Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello and the Coup's Boots Riley, Street Sweeper Social Club adds a futuristic shade to rap-rock. The supergroup's 2009 self-titled debut album is packed with in-your-face jams like the single "100 Little Curses" as well as such searing funk-rock as "The Oath." After opening for Jane's Addiction and Nine Inch Nails last year, the band will bring its rousing dynamic to SXSW.