show me the showcase
SXSW Preview in Houston
Can’t make it to Austin for South by Southwest or simply want a taste of what’s to come? Check out these indie rock bands who will stop in H-town before strutting their stuff at the festival’s official showcase.
The Smith Westerns with Yuck at Fitzgerald’s Sunday, Feb 6
The Smith Westerns have cleaned up the fuzzy lo-fi for their 2011 sophomore album Dye It Blonde. Dreamy track “All Die Young” could be a Beach House cover if it weren’t for the Beatles-esque guitar riffs and “all die young!” pop chorus.
Yuck plays hard and loud but, on occasion, emerges from the thrashing wall of sound for slower psychedelic tunes. Despite their lesser-known status, Yuck has already caught bloggers’ attention. Check out Yuck’s site to download free tracks and get in on the group that will take over like Wavves did in '09.
Both bands have signed with Fat Possum Records, the same label as The Black Keys, The Walkmen and indie rock legend Dinosaur Jr.
Tapes ‘n Tape with Oberhofer at Fitzgerald’s Thursday, Feb 17.
Remember when Tapes ‘n Tapes debut album Loon set the indie-internet ablaze with buzz? No? Well, you’re not alone in forgetting. But the beneficiary (or victim) of short-lived blogger love is back with swagger with recent release Outside.
Oberhofer, the Brooklyn-by-Tacoma opener, mixes noise pop with xylophone and angsty ooohs and ahhs. If his ridiculously catchy sound strikes you as young and naive, you’re half-right: frontman Brad Oberhofer is only 20. However, his age doesn’t stop him from tackling pretty guitar lines along with screaming wails.
PS I Love You at Fitzgerald’s Monday, February 28
Dismissing this band as a gushy emo mess like the rom-com of the same name is a huge mistake. Though frontman Paul Saulnier belts the occasional why-can’t-I-talk-to-girls angst, his defiant yelps evoke Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s Alec Ounsworth rather than a dour Connor Oberst. Check out the band's B-side track, "Facelove," included in Pitchfork's best new music this past year.