For music fans looking for the next big thing — as well as bands that are already on everyone's hot list — there's no place like Austin in March. The 10-day film, interactive, and music festival known as South by Southwest has become one of the largest and most respected events in the nation.
Can't take off an entire week to check out all the fun? Luckily the capital isn't the only city getting an influx of great musical acts. Some of the best bands from the festival are stopping in Houston before or after their SXSW showcase.
Forget the expensive wristbands, the crowds and the hyper-intense schedule and check out acts playing longer, more relaxed sets in our own backyard.
The fun starts Saturday with Givers at Fitzgerald's, a Louisiana-based indie pop band that first got noticed at SXSW in 2011.
Nineties indie rock faves Built to Spill and Lucero take the stage at Fitzgerald's on Monday night.
In the grand tradition of Brazilian Girls and Violent Femmes, Girls is an all-male duo with a retro sound. They play Tuesday with Fanfarlo at Fitzgerald's, the same night that longtime Scottish rockers The Jesus and Mary Chain rock House of Blues.
On Wednesday there's a trio of gigs to choose between. For music that will make your dance, check out New York's quirky, upbeat White Rabbits, playing with War on Drugs at Fitzgerald's. SXSW regulars and British rockers Kaiser Chiefs perform at House of Blues, or check out Canadian synth-pop darling Valerie Poxleitner, a.k.a Lights, at Warehouse Live.
Fitzgerald's hosts 2000s British faves Kasabian on Thursday, followed by Southern-inflected rock from the UK's Band of Skulls on Friday and ethereal synth pop from Brooklyn's Miniature Tigers March 17.
Finally some Texans take the stage on March 17 at House of Blues. Denton-based Neon Indian's vibrant electronic sounds made a splash in 2009 with their debut and followed up on the hype with 2011's Era Extraña.
Youth Lagoon is moody, melodic indie pop by Idaho's Trevor Powers, playing with Andrew W.K. on March 18 at Fitzgerald's.
Riding the popularity of Mumford & Son's indie folk, Americana sound, Good Old War just launched their American tour in support of their new album Come Back as Rain, hitting Fitzgerald's on March 19.
Operatic and eclectic indie pop band Fun. have a trendy, un-googleable name and a totally unique sound, on display on March 20 at Warehouse Live.
These are a few of our faves, but there's certainly more music coming this month, so check your favorite local venue lineup or the SXSW artists tour pages to see if they fit into your schedule.