SXSW 2013: 82 Bands to Watch, Sorted By Line Insanity

SXSW Music 2013There are thousands of bands playing SXSW. Thousands. Every year, I skim a few hundred of them beforehand in hopes of finding some hidden gems—then spend hours rigorously hunting down the potentially least populated parties to see the year’s better buzz bands. Below, you’ll find the most honest list of interesting SXSW bands I can give you, sorted by how easy I think it’ll be to see them. One of the fun parts of SXSW is seeing how many people actually care about these bands in real life, so I don’t have a crystal ball for show attendance, just my gut instincts and many, many hours of research. If Body Parts blow up and leave you waiting in line all night, I apologize.

This is an excerpt from my ebook guide to SXSW 2013. You can pay what you want for it on Bandcamp; it also includes a daily party guide, tips and tricks for surviving the festival, food and drink, and basically everything else you need to know this week. And without further ado:

Good Bands Nobody’s Really Heard Of Yet
Lucy Rose
The Staves
Body Parts
Night Beds
So Many Wizards
Agent Ribbons
Dana Falconberry
Kim Janssen
Archie Pelago
Doe Paoro
Emma Louise
The Eastern Sea
His Clancyness
Brothers in Law
Allison Weiss
Boy + Kite
Hannah Georgas
Hiatus Kaiyote
Dead Leaf Echo

Good Bands Who Might Have Some Blog Hype But You Can Probably Catch Relatively Easily
Empress Of
Shugo Tokumaru
Jacco Gardner
High Highs
Devon Williams
Jesca Hoop
Mount Moriah

Good Bands Who Have More Blog Hype Who Might Be Hard To See
Charli XCX
Fear of Men
Icona Pop
Sky Ferreira
Hundred Waters
Action Bronson
Kitty Pryde
Chelsea Light Moving (Thurston Moore)
Autre Ne Veut
Angel Haze
Lord Huron
Mac DeMarco

Good, Once-Popular Bands Who Have Been Around Long Enough That This Is A Cool Opportunity To Catch Them
Ghostface Killah
RZA (RZA and Ghostface could be packed but they’re playing tiny spots—could go either way. They could also be playing a secret Wu-Tang set at the Scoot Inn on Thursday, so plan accordingly. Rumors!)
Leigh Nash (Sixpence None the Richer)
Third Eye Blind

Good Bands Playing the Radio Day Stage Which is Really Easy to Get Into With a Badge
Iron & Wine
Devendra Banhart
Vampire Weekend

Good, Currently Popular Bands You’ve Probably Seen Already Or Should Catch Elsewhere
Divine Fits
Jim James
Flaming Lips
Youth Lagoon
The Polyphonic Spree
Camera Obscura
Toro Y Moi
Danny Brown
Beach Fossils

Ridiculously Popular Bands I Will Personally Try To See Anyway Because #YOLO
Tegan and Sara
The Zombies (!)

Pretty Good Bands I Will Catch If Nobody More Interesting Is Playing
Blue Hawaii
Leif Vollebekk
Idiot Glee

Get the full guide on Bandcamp.