Drew and Jen’s South by Southwest 2012 Wishlist

Dr. Dog at 2010's SXSW, playing at Ceder Street Courtyard

Two years ago in 2010 I flew down to Austin, Texas to embark on an debacherous, adventurous week at South by Southwest Festival. I was covering the music portion of the festival as a college journalist. The week was positively arduous and long, with hardly any sleep and excessive amounts of alcohol. I carried my camera and my field recorder with me everywhere, catching bites of sound and images of glory from Daedelus’ DJ set to the deafening crowd roars at Andrew WK shows.

Andrew WK at 2010's festival

The morning after the festival was over, I was half-awake and melted into a chair at an airport gate, drinking a beer and going over my notes for an article. Next to me was a guy doing the same thing, with a worn-out backpack adorned with pins from his favorite bands. I leaned over and introduced myself, and he told me he was also a music journalist, and that the week had also been his first experience at SXSW.

Drew Fortune and I both cannot attend SX this year. It is a true disappointment. To celebrate our two-year friendship, we’ve decided to post a “SXSW Wishlist” for all of you lucky people who are enjoying the Texas heat and barbecue sauce. Have a beer for us, and check out our list of the top-20 shows you should attend. Note that the *asterisked* links bring you to our own coverage of some of the musicians.


Drew: 12th Planet, Skrillex’s buddies. If nothing else, this will be the show to see and be seen at (if you’re into that kinda thing).  3/17 @ Beauty Bar Backyard

Jen: Fiona Apple. One of our favorite 90s babes is back, and she’s starting her comeback at SXSW. 3/14 @ Stubb’s


Drew: **Titus Andronicus. Lineup changes shouldn’t affect the amateur historian New Jersey punks. 3/15 @ Belmont

Jen: SBTRKT. British sex on the dance floor. 3/17 @ The Madison


Drew: The Drums is my favorite discovery of 2012. Like Joy Division, only a tad sunnier. 3/16 @ Stubb’s

Jen: Trust. One of the latest bands to sign with Canada’s Arts & Crafts Records. Trust is Robert Alfons and Maya Postepski (from Austra). 3/13 @ Mohawk


Drew: Dinosaur Jr. Bring your earplugs (seriously). 3/16 @ Bar 96

Jen: Madi Diaz. The musician went to Berklee College of Music, and she’s now signed and living in Nashville, but she still hasn’t really been heard yet. 3/17 @ St. David’s Bethell Hall


Drew: Wayne Kramer. All I know about the Motor City 5 frontman is that he’s been supervising music for Eastbound and Down (and doing a damn good job of it). A must for any motherfuckers who wanna see the jams kicked out! 3/16 @ Swan Dive

Jen: **Cloud Nothings. Watch the young, Waldo-looking lead singer awe the crowd. 3/15 @ 512 Rooftop


Drew: Jimmy Cliff. Another legend, and a good chance to fire up that spliff and eat some BBQ. 3/17 @ The Stage on Sixth Patio

Jen: Suckers. Always a solid live band. The group’s new album Candy Salad is due out in April. 3/14 @ The Stage on Sixth Patio


Drew: **Daniel Johnston and Friends. Who knows how long any of us will have the chance to see Johnston perform…with friends no less! 3/13 @ Belmont

Jen: **Das Racist. The abundantly entertaining rap threesome is something you just have to see at some point in your life, especially when you’re partying. 3/15 @ Empire Auto & Club 606


Drew: Skrillex. C’mon…who isn’t intrigued? 3/15 @ The Main

Jen: Watch Cymbals Eat Guitars‘ Joe D’Agostino as he belts into the mic and shreds nostalgic riffs. 3/16 @ The Studio by HGTV


Drew: Tenacious D. I interviewed **Kyle Gass when he was working on his musical project Trainwreck. Should be fun to see Tenacious D back in action again. 3/15 @ Haven

Jen: Bear in Heaven. These dudes have their new album out now, so they’ll be playing loads of new material. Lead singer Jon Philpot is so excellent live. The event is free and open to the public. 3/15 @ Flamingo Cantina


Drew: Jesus and Mary Chain, my “White Whale” of concerts. The year I don’t go to Coachella, they play. The year I don’t do SXSW, they play. By all means, my #1 with a bullet. 3/15 @ Belmont

Jen: **Emperor X. I don’t think there’s a musician out there quite as underrated as Emperor X. It seems as if every show is his best show. There’s no doubt in my mind that his SXSW performances will be any different. 3/14 @ The Hideout


–Jen Brown
Guest contributor Drew Fortune has written for The Onion’s AV Club, LA Weekly and Chicago Sun-Times.

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