SXSW 2011: Ten S/T-Approved Acts At Friday’s Showcases

Photo: Kyle Johnson

The Artist/Latest Release: The Head and the Heart, The Head and the Heart (Sub Pop, April 16th)

The Showcase: The Billions Corporation @ Antone’s, 213 W 5th St., 8 p.m.

What To Expect: Another Sub Pop-endorsed folk ensemble? Indeed, and this one actually lives up to its name, hitting us where it hurts–right between the ventricles.

The Artist/Latest Release: Keepaway, Baby Style (Lefse, 2010)

The Showcase: The Orchard @ Cedar Street Courtyard, 208 W 4th St., 8 p.m.

What To Expect: Animal Collective comparisons, offset by psychedelic pop without a tie-dyed aftertaste.

The Artist/Latest Release: WhoMadeWho, Knee Deep (Kompakt, April 26th)

The Showcase: The Windish Agency House, 501 I-35, 9 p.m.

What To Expect: In Europe, this trio–purveyors of bittersweet dance music since 2003–shares bills with Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem. There’s a reason for that.

The Artist/Latest Release: The Chain Gang of 1974, TBD (Modern Art)

The Showcase: The Windish Agency House, 501 I-35, 10 p.m.

What To Expect: Don’t let this Denver artist’s name fool you. His music couldn’t be more ’80s. And while Reagan-era nostalgia is nothing new, we love Chain Gang’s irony-free takes on the decade’s less trendy bands. Like Tears for Fears and all of the other acts that made you well up with tears in the closing credits of John Hughes movies.

The Artist/Latest Release: Sun Araw, Livephreaxxx!!!! (Leaving, 2011)

The Showcase: WFMU & Free Music Archive @ Barbarella, 615 Red River St., 10 p.m.

What To Expect: Sinister dub transmissions from another time and place, chased with shredded ribbons of psych-rock.

The Artist/Latest Release: King Tuff, Was Dead (Vegetable, 2007)

The Showcase: Knitting Factory @ Rusty Spurs, 405 E 7th St., 10 p.m.

What To Expect: Long-haired hesher hooks and welcome wails from one of Vermont’s hidden treasures (see also: Happy Birthday, Witch, Feathers).

The Artist/Latest Release: Hunx and His Punx, Too Young To Be In Love (Hardly Art, March 29th)

The Showcase: Hardly Art @ Red 7, 611 E 7th St., 10:15 p.m.

What To Expect:: Costume changes. Reasons to rock out with your cock out.

The Artist/Latest Release: Dum Dum Girls, He Gets Me High (Sub Pop, 2011)

The Showcase: Sub Pop @ Red 7 Patio, 611 E 7th St., 11:20 p.m.

What To Expect: Chainsaw chords, sucker punch choruses, and the road-seasoned stage show of a solo project that’s quickly becoming one of indie rock’s tightest bands.

The Artist/Latest Release: Wild Flag, Future Crimes 7” (Merge, April 16th)

The Showcase: Merge @ The Parish, 214 E 6th St., 12:45 a.m.

What To Expect: While their name may not ring a bell just yet, we’re pretty sure you’ve heard of Wild Flag’s previous bands (Sleater-Kinney, Helium, Quasi, the Minders). We were sold by the following clip, taken from this entire Philly set though…

Photo: Betsy Blundell

The Artist/Latest Release: Bear Hands, Burning Bush Supper Club (Cantora, 2010)

The Showcase: Knitting Factory @ Rusty Spurs, 405 E 7th St., 12:50 a.m.

What To Expect: Identified in the press as “buddies of MGMT,” this foursome mines similar art-damaged territories, but they’re not afraid to incorporate hip-swinging funk intermittently.