Listen Up: SXSW Bands to Watch

It’s that time of year where the music industry, college students and super-fans pack their bags for the mass migration to Austin, Texas for the four-day South by Southwest Music Conference. If you are not one of the lucky heading on this annual pilgrimage – fear not – most of the artists playing the festival stop through New York to maximize their time on the road in the United States. Here is a short list of some act you should keep your eye on – enjoy.

Simon Says No – This Oslo based trio delivers melodic shoegaze with a touch of the tough stuff by nodding to their grunge forefathers. See them at Cake Shop (3/14) or Santos Party House (3/15).

Apex Manor – Former frontman of the now defunct Broken West, Ross Flournoy, comes back to life with a new band and a stunning debut The Year of Magical Drinking, (Merge). They bring their earnest American rock to Bowery Ballroom (3/22) and Mercury Lounge (3/26). 

Little Red – You’d never know this band is Australian with all their references including artists like The Band, Tom Petty and even classic American R&B. See what all the fuss is about at Bowery Ballroom (3/13) and Pianos (3/14).

Mac Miller – By far the biggest name on this list, but I needed to make sure this MC is on your radar. The young Pittsburgh native will be a hip hop household name in no time. He hits Highline Ballroom on Thursday, but if you don’t already have a ticket for the sold out show you’ll have to wait for this summer’s Governors Ball

Las Robertas – A crew of three Costa Rican women who make lofi rock and roll much akin to their U.S. counterparts Dum Dum Girls and Best Coast. Check them out at Glasslands (3/20) and Union Hall (3/23).

Brother – As one of the most hyped bands coming out of the U.K., this quartet is poised to break big on both sides of the pond in 2011 with their classic brit-rock sound and youthful attitude. They hit Mercury Lounge (3/23), The Rock Shop (3/24) and Maxwell’s (3/25).

Poluck – This band of Spanish long-hairs take a lot of their sound from their French brethren Phoenix, but a fresh face to the bouncy pop formula. See them at Pianos (3/22) and The Rock Shop (3/23).

Admiral Fallow – This one may not be a surprise to the folks who seek out bands like fellow Scottish band Frightened Rabbit or the U.K.’s Mumford and Sons, but if you haven’t heard them yet, get ready because they are going to have a massive year. They will play only one New York show at Mercury Lounge (3/20).

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