Last year BBC News took leave of their senses and had me running round Austin, Texas for 13 days covering the SXSW Interactive, Film & Music festival.  Shooting and editing a video a day meant I only actually saw a couple of bands but nevertheless it was an unbelievable experience.

This year having moved departments I have to get my fix another way but getting 5 bands to play in every room of my house, and a couple more on the roof seemed a little extreme.  Instead I’ve been sampling the mind boggling 1000+ tracks posted on SXSW’s website by bands playing over the 5 days of music.
The video below follows Alice Russell and her band over a day, from mud baths to Sixth Street, its gives a little taster of what SXSW is like.

Obviously skimming through a 1000 tracks is pretty superficial so my recommendations are based not on how good they are live, or how fabulous the album is, but simply whether my attention was grabbed by one solitary track.

As someone indoctrinated to love Harpo Marx from an early age, where better to start than with a little Harp from ex Polyphonic Spree member Ricky Rasura. How does he describe what his music sounds like…? “Walking through the forest and everything is covered in dawn’s dew as the sun’s first rays appear on the horizon“.

Ricky Rasura – Myspace / Facebook Ricky Rasura – Night Sin” (MP3) [audio:]

Best known for 2007’s “I’ll Kill Her“, Soko has just moved to LA to write new material and hopefully wont be quitting music as she contemplated doing last year.

Soko – Facebook / Twitter Soko – How Are You?” (MP3) [audio:]

Julie Feeney’s follow up to her Irish Mercury award winning debut was recorded with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, and she’ll no doubt enchant audiences at SXSW.

Julie Feeney – Facebook / Twitter
Julie Feeney – Impossibly Beautiful” (MP3) / Youtube [audio:]

The dozen or so members of the “big band” of Olinda, Brazil Orquestra Contemporanea De Olinda have by all accounts been wowing Brazil with their live performances for some years. SXSW goers should be in for a brass blasting afro latin treat.

Orquestra Contemporanea De Olinda – Myspace / Twitter
Orquestra Contemporanea De Olinda – “Canto da Sereia” (MP3) [audio:]

After playing SXSW last year Outasight was snapped up by Warner Brothers so lets hope his blend of rock and hip-hop survives major label attention.

Outasight – Facebook / Myspace / Twitter
Outasight – Catch Me If You Can” (MP3) [audio:]


How did I manage to get this far with barely a guitar in sight? One of the best moments of my SXSW trip was wandering into some blues bar and hearing a local band play a storming set BB King would be proud of!

Moreland & Arbuckle – Facebook / Twitter / Myspace
Moreland & Arbuckle – “Legend of John Henry” (MP3) [audio:]

Rev KM Williams and The Amazing Trainreck – Twitter / Myspace
Rev KM Williams and The Amazing Trainreck – “Shake’em on Down Again” (MP3) [audio:]

The Jim Jones Revue – MyspaceTwitter
The Jim Jones Revue – “Rock’n’Roll Psychosis” (MP3) [audio:]

Chilly Gonzales playing The Presbyterian Church (featured towards end of video above) would be the show at this years SXSW I’d kill to get to.
A live performer, entertainer and educator like no other, I’m yet to hear a duff note let a lone see a duff show in all the times Ive seen him. Just dont call his tracks useless and boring!

Gonzales – Facebook / Twitter
Gonzales – Pianist Envy (Mixtape)” (MP3) – Piano reworking of Daft Punk, Rocky samples, Beyonce and more..definitely not boring.[audio:]


Oddisee – Myspace / Twitter / Blog
Oddisee – “Hip Hop’s Cool Again” (MP3)

David Dallas – Myspace / Twitter
David Dallas – “Indulge Me” (MP3)

Themselves – “Roman Is As Roman Does” (MP3)

Hopefully I’ll return to this post later as there’s another 110ish tracks I wanted to mention but if I dont post something now SXSW will be over! If you want to sample 127 tracks from artists performing at SXSW click the link below:

SXSW 2010 Showcasing Artists – Click here to download ZIP

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