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Although South by Southwest has become renowned as a multi-media event with the expansion of its Interactive and Film portions, the heart of it is still the music. After all, this is Austin, Texas we're talking about here. There are so many great acts playing throughout the city the week of March 12th to the 17th that it's nearly impossible to catch everyone worth seeing. You'll drive yourself mad just trying to decide which one of a handful of shows to attend at any given moment, let alone trying to hit every artist on your list.
If you're going this year, the best advice we can give you is to resign yourself to the fact that you'll miss out on a lot of cool stuff. That said, there are some acts that are invariably going to stand out above others.
We've compiled a list of 25 acts worth going out of your way to see. The list includes sensitive singer-songwriters, shoegazing indie rock upstarts, established hip-hop artists, rock icons, and everything in-between. Check out the list below and have fun in Austin!
If you'd like a sampling of these artists, we've compiled a playlist on Spotify featuring all the artists in this article: Spike.com's SXSW 2013 Playlist
Even before he released an entire album of hip-hop songs based on the X-Men (available for a free download online), his raps were littered with references to Marvel comics and various other related dork stuff. His enthusiasm is genuine and unashamed, but he produces something beyond novelty with his work. Definitely worth checking out.
An alternative rock band coming out of London, Bastille just put out their debut LP and have been tapped by many outlets as the act to watch coming out of SXSW.
A hot new act coming out of the West Coast's dense punk scene.
After departing Ozomatli and the official split of Jurassic 5 six years ago, the bass-voiced emcee still brings the same sensibilities from those former groups to his solo performances.
The power pop ensemble from Perth, Australia is in their twenty-third year and still going strong.