1. Amyl and the Sniffers

If you missed our article on Amyl and the Sniffers earlier this week, check it out here. I think we said more than enough as to why they are by far the band we are most hyped to see this year. Amyl and the Sniffers are the future!
Thursday – 3/14 – Creem Magazine Day Party!
Thursday – 3/14 -11pm – Barracuda Backyard
Friday – 3/15 – 11:30 pm Hotel Vegas

2. Banditos

If you have ever wondered what it was like to be there for Willie Nelson calming a crowd on the verge of bigoted violence between outlaws, hippies, and squares catch Banditos this week and see for yourself. I don’t care if you hate country music, see staring as a crowd at a bro standing behind a laptop doing absolutely nothing as one you would want to be part of (#thoughtsandprayers if you do though), refuse to go anywhere without a guarantee it will be sixty percent leather and forty percent assholes, whatever your social fetish is none of it matters when it comes to Banditos. I have personally shoved twenty plus close-minded people in front of them over the years, people throwing out every excuse not to go or not to be interested and every single one of them will not shut up about them since. No one has been able to make believers anywhere close to the way Banditos do this side of Big Brother and the Holding Company.

Thursday 3/14 – 5pm – YETI Flagship
Friday 3/15 – 2:15pm Yard Dog Art
Friday 3/15 – New Nashville Riverboat
Saturday 3/16 – Burgermania

3. Dirty Fences

If making the catchiest, baddest, torched spoon over a powdered rail noise in the game isn’t good enough then maybe the fact three times I have seen Dirty Fences work a crowd into a riot might be. Their set a few years back at Fine Southern Gentleman almost tore the building down; no bullshit.
Friday 3/15 – Greenway Records Unofficial SXSW Showcase
Saturday 3/16 – Burgermania

4. Surfbort

I’ll recommend a filthy, vile, fun band that has no problem screaming about Trump, gentrification, and themselves any day–better yet one that plays through talent raw with pure stature the way Surfbort does.

Wednesday 3/13 – Barracuda
Friday 3/15 – Burgermania

5. The Mystery Lights

Whether it is a boring Iowa Monday or their seventh set at SXSW, The Mystery Lights show up every single night like their entire career depends on it (think The Spits with less attitude and more reverb). The Mystery Lights are one of the few bands John Dwyer is not in this week who prove through every song how passionate they are about what they create yet unlike Dwyer they seem to REALLY want the crowd to enjoy themselves. Of all the bands on this list they are the one notable who seem to value your experience standing in front of them as priority number one; other bands may seem desperate by doing so, The Mystery Lights make it feel organically appropriate.
Wednesday 3/13 – Hotel Vegas
Thursday – 3/14 – Creem Magazine Day Party!
Thursday 3/14 – Luck Reunion (Night)
Friday 3/15 – Little Woodrows
Saturday 3/16 – Cheer Up Charlies (Day)
Saturday 3/16 – Beerland (Night)
Sunday 3/17 – Hotel Vegas

6. Thelma and the Sleeze

If you think rock n roll is dead then you haven’t seen Thelma and the Sleeze yet. It’s all gutter grimy street trash with these dudes. Going into the week I have seen them six or so times, it has been a four alarm fire at each one. Of all their shows the indoor at Volstead is the one you should zero in on, that room holds maybe thirty people comfortably and the stage is located in the worst possible place in the world, it’ll be a piled to the ceiling unbathed scum mound!
Wed 3/13 – ABGB
Saturday 3/16 – Dozen Street
Saturday/Sunday 3/16-17 – SXSW Yamaha Showcase

7. Frankie and The Witch Fingers

If our review for Frankie and the Witch Fingers new album Zam wasn’t enough then pick any twenty seconds out of this live vid and you’ll see how they continue clawing their way to the top of the food chain one show at a time.

Tuesday 3/12 – Beerland
Thursday – 3/14 – Creem Magazine Day Party!
Friday – 3/15 – The Electric Church

8. Flesh Lights

You know that feeling when your homies have been hyping a band for so long and you go to their show and it is this flavorless cardboard Pitchfork approved tasteless bowl of boredom you would have been better by staying home and watching Mork and Mindy reruns instead? Flesh Lights are the exact opposite. All attitude and skill. They play a set like they would rather kick you to death than have you buy their record only to walk off stage and mill around as a couple dudes who seemingly might break into argument with each other over whether Lightning Video or Bleeding Skull are better for getting stoned to.
Saturday 3/16 – Burgermania

9.  Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires

If you hate country music or dislike guys pontificating politically for a few seconds before a couple of songs you may want to skip Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires. That being said they play fast and loose as though it has never been done before. They are a band who can stand before a crowd of ten people and blow their minds; give em a crowd of a few hundred and they stomp around the place like they just found their favorite pair of boots they thought lost years ago. Energetic, pointed, and most definitely one of those bands that once you see them live their records pale miserably in comparison forever after. You can’t bottle this sort of an energy onto an album–okay maybe Iggy could but as for us mere mortals we are left with the contrast Lee and the boys leave us with forever after their sets.

Wednesday 3/13 – 11:30pm – Hole in the Wall
Thursday 3/14 – 2:55pm – Hipster Robots Suck
Thursday 3/14 – 1am –
Don Giovanni Showcase
Friday 3/15 – 6pm – Jumpstart Texas
Friday 3/15 – 10pm Hot in the Rhinos

Saturday 3/16 – 1pm – Athens in Austin
Saturday 3/16 – 4pm – KLBJ Rocks

10. Bad Lovers

For over a year now anytime a friend says they are going to stay in for the night instead of seeing the Bad Lovers I have earnestly with a heavy heart said, “well you’re blowing what might be your last chance to see them.” Inevitably said friend will be at the show. I hope I am wrong but the writing seems to be on the wall for the greatest rock band we have been blessed with in our lifetime. There is a reason I have mentioned the Bad Lovers in enough articles since first seeing them at Sahara Lounge probably seven years ago to the point I feel like a pathetic fanboy just typing this out. Still I stand by every word written. They make no mistakes live. I once saw Jimmy Wildcat go into a guitar solo in the wrong key, off-time, while nearly falling into the drums and the crowd lost their minds shoving over themselves to come as close as they will ever get to touching the face of god. The Bad Lovers climb on stage in denim vests, the bass player shirtless, the drummer throwing mindless banter between songs, and it is the most genuine authentic piece of truth I have ever seen. Hell in this video from SXSW a few years ago you see them close out with a blatant Black Lips knock off that brought a crowd filled with members of every cool band to touch a stage that week to frantic boiling frenzy, people were crying– I think I may have even cried. It is impossible to say just how beautifully important Bad Lovers have been to Austin and the entire reason SXSW came to be what it was before the corporate bourgeoisie bastards swooped in and picked the soul of what we loved apart. Now as we watch the wave begin to recede, as SXSW begins to finally look like a shell of what it was a few short years ago, it kind of makes sense that Bad Lovers would feel as though they are sailing off into the distance as well. Maybe I’m wrong but for a band who hasn’t toured in forever, hasn’t put out an album in even longer; with Shockley doing the dad thing, Wildcat’s band The Reputations posed to be the next great thing to come out of Austin, and Dawson playing behind Roky Erickson as he proudly finds comfort in a softer life of getting married and settling down; all of it adds up to this likely coming to an end. If you manage to never see the Bad Lovers live, you are missing one of the purest monuments ever erected to Rock N Roll. They play one set this week, don’t blow it.
Saturday 3/9 – 2pm – Hotel Vegas

Honorable mention: Youth of Today who will forever complete me and Thee Oh Sees who if you haven’t seen at least once in your life are a must.


Written by Jay Armstrong who is already fucking over these bullshit crowds and lines. Keep your free tacos, I just want to hang with homies I never get to see without having to hear about your app. Austin Sucks…go to Portland next year or something.  

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