Wild Mercury Sound

South By Southwest Bound

John Mulvey

As I mentioned yesterday, Wild Mercury Sound is taking a holiday in Texas next week. The pile of new albums will have to wait a while; I've got fine things by Rufus Wainwright, Battles, The 1990s and Alberta Cross here that I haven't had time to write about yet. Next week, though, I'll be filing slightly frantic daily reports from the South By Southwest festival in Austin, as I try and see a good dozen or so newish bands a day. I've just been having a quick look through the list of artists playing, and I really want to check all these out, for a start.

Tempting as a band called Psychedelic Horseshit might be, there's a lot of certifiably good psych on at SXSW this year: people who figured on Uncut's "Comets, Ghosts And Sunburned Hands" comp like Entrance and Sunburned Hand Of The Man themselves; some who didn't quite make the cut for that one, like MV + EE With The Bummer Road and Charalambides; legions of Devendra-affiliated acid-folk singers, the most interesting of whom may turn out to be Jana Hunter.
A lot of heavier stuff looks good, too, with an outside show featuring Mastodon and Boris being especially tempting. I've been tipped off about a band called Lesbian (not to be mixed up with Lesbians On Ecstasy, who are also playing), who I think might be some kind of stoner metal thing. They're all blokes, incidentally. There also seems to be a resurgence of hardcore this year, thanks to the fantastic Fucked Up and Britain's own Gallows, who are shaping up already to be one of the buzz bands of the week.
What else? I'm looking forward to some good Americana from Jenny Lewis associates The Watson Twins, from Brooklyn Cosmic American types Oakley Hall (very excited about finally seeing them) and from a solo Jason Isbell, the strongest of Drive-By Truckers' three great frontmen.
I also want to catch Brazilian Baile funk party band Bonde Du Role, LA lo-fi pop maven Ariel Pink, Beirut (who'll be one of dozens of new Arcade Fires, I'll wager). And of course Jandek, the mysterious Texan who has intrigued underground music fans for years.
Let me know about anything good, and I'll try and check it out. See you there, maybe?


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