More artists have been announced as performers in SXSW’s official music showcases, and a handful of them come from North Texas. Plenty of bands and other musical acts are sure to be announced in the next couple of weeks leading up to this year’s film, interactive media and music festival, taking place March 9-18 in Austin. Here are eight more bands making the trek to our beloved state capital:
If Jean Michel Basquiat beat the shit out of Norman Rockwell, Dallas art punk quartet Sealion would be the blood on Basquait’s knuckles. At least, that is what the garage punker’s Facebook bio confirms. Playing two official free showcases March 17, Sealion is keeping busy during this year’s 31st annual music portion of the festival.
The band performs at 11 a.m. at the Spider House Café & Ballroom for the Electric Garden Party, featuring Guantanamo Baywatch, Part Time, No Parents, Adult Books and more. The fuzzy surf rockers will continue their musical escape at 1 p.m. at the Barf Wave Records Party, featuring Edison Chair, Loafers, Camp Life, Teenage Sexx and others.
The Texas Gentlemen
The Texas Gentleman is a collective of North Texas bands and musicians, including Jonathan Tyler, Leon Bridges, Larry g(EE), Dovetail, Wesley Geiger and many others. So many, in fact, that we once called the alt-country gents “Dallas’ Rotating Band of Ringers.” These dudes don’t practice, and they don’t need to. They’re practically a love child of The Grateful Dead and The Allman Brothers, with Willie Nelson thrown in there somewhere.
Keeping up with that jam-band mentality, The Texas Gentlemen will perform four times throughout SXSW, beginning March 14 at Where Is The Hideout at Sam’s Town Point with White Denim, Tony Joe White and others. Tickets are $20.
The Gents will also jam out at the March 15 Luck Reunion, featuring Willie Nelson & Family, Kurt Vile, Nathaniel Rateliff, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and more at Willie Nelson’s Luck, Texas. They’ll follow up March 16 for the Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion: Relix Celebrates Jerry Garcia With Rose Gold at Historic Scoot Inn.
The half-band/half-musical force will conclude the shenanigans March 17 at with an official showcase for New West Records.
Medicine Man Revival
Medicine Man Revival, named one of the Observer’s 10 Dallas Music Acts to Watch in 2018, features the vocal prowess of Keite Young and the grimy R&B-laden production of Jason Burt, backed by some of the best Dallas musicians. The duo has created a niche that is bound to make a splash at SXSW. Its official showcase is March 15 at Parish, and it will perform at a free show (with RSVP) March 16 at Cinderbock’s Block Party, featuring Rayland Baxter, David Ramirez and Suzanna Choffel, among others.
Crypt Trip is a high-voltage fuzz band that was founded in North Texas but eventually relocated to San Marcos after the quartet’s guitarist graduated from Texas State University and another member was completing his degree.
“Moving to central Texas was a natural chain of events,” says bassist Sam Bryant. “Not to mention the obvious history that the Austin music scene has its roots tied to, which we are in a lot of ways trying to keep alive.”
The acid rockers will perform March 14 at Stoner Jam ’18, alongside Earthride, Amplified Heat, The Ghost Wolves, Shadow Witch and others.
Francine Thirteen is an avant-garde singer-songwriter from Dallas who seemingly came to this planet from Venus. If you asked her, Francine would say she has been creating and singing as long as she can remember. Her official showcase, which will have a set design and arrangement based upon Octavia Butler's 1980 science fiction novel, Wild Seed, is March 17 at The Hideout Theatre.
“I'm very excited to bring ritual pop to the festival this year.”
Little Mazarn — the solo folk project based on life adjacent to an unromantic river in Central Arkansas — is no stranger to SXSW. Little Mazarn, whose real name is Lindsey Verrill, has played the festival pretty much every year since she moved to Austin from North Texas 12 years ago.
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“I graduated from North Texas and heard that Austin was the live-music capital, and I wanted to check it out,” she says.
Now, more than a decade later, she's released a self-titled EP via Self Sabotage Records and is performing at her official showcase March 17 at Maggie Mae’s. She’ll also be picking the strings at a couple shows before Saturday’s festivities, including KTUX 98.9 and Austin Creative Alliance’s showcase featuring Marmalakes and Xetas on March 11, and a free official Self Sabotage Records showcase March 12 with Daniel Francis Doyle, The Dialtones and others.
While Headkrack is most famously known as a nationally syndicated radio personality heard and seen on The Rickey Smiley Morning Show and Dish Nation, he grew up and got his start in Dallas as a rapper and freestyler. He is performing a free (with RSVP) showcase called Spit Fire Frenzy alongside Bodega Brovas, K’Valentine and others March 16 at the Austin Toy Museum.
Like most alt-country bands, Dallas-based Vandoliers have a punk influence that puts a rough-edged spin on their version of Texas music. According to the band’s Facebook biography, those influences also include twang and tattoos, grit and guitars, honky-tonk and horns, Tejano and Telecasters. The alt-country sextet will perform at the 23rd annual Bloodshot Records Yard Dog Party, featuring Waco Brothers, Ruby Boots and Sarah Shook, among others, March 16 at the Yard Dog Art Gallery, and its official showcase March 18 at a venue yet to be determined.