When Guest Author "BJ" isn't busy seeking out new music and artists, she spreads her love for music across the web as a blogger and site marketer for Authority Tickets.
Over the past three decades, South by Southwest has grown from a modest regional music festival to a gigantic multimedia extravaganza. Every year SXSW gets bigger and better, which means that every year it becomes more and more difficult to know what to go to and what to skip. Although the festival does attract major names like Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z, the real gems are the indie and up-and-coming bands that play. Here are five bands at this year's SXSW that you shouldn't miss.
1. Ra Ra Riot - This Syracuse-based electropop band is amazing live, which can be a little bit unusual for a band that relies heavily on an electronic sound. They do play instruments as well, and their high-energy catchy pop hooks make for great audience engagement. If you haven't seen Ra Ra Riot before, SXSW 2013 would be a great introduction.
2. Toro Y Moi - If intelligent chillwave is your thing, you absolutely have to go see Chaz Bundick, who performs under the name Toro Y Moi. He just released his third album, entitled Anything in Return, and he'll be bringing a lot of the new songs to the stage in Austin. He's got a little bit of an R&B edge on his voice, very soulful and groovy, and his live shows are always a good mixture of laid-back and energetic.
3. Bonobo - The British DJ/producer otherwise Known as Simon Green has a new album coming out in the spring, his fifth, and word has it he'll be previewing quite a few of the new songs at SXSW. If you dig downtempo and long for the days when trip-hop was king, this is definitely a set not to be missed.
4. Alt-J - On the indie rock side of things, Alt-J is really exploding on the scene at the moment, and will be bringing that energy to the stage in March. Their latest album, An Awesome Wave, was a huge hit in the UK, and a critical success, as well, winning the band the Mercury Prize last year. This is likely to be one of the most popular shows at the festival.
5. Klaxons - London rockers Klaxons are returning to SXSW this year after a triumphant performance in 2011 that was one of the highlights of the lineup. Their high-energy performances are sure to be a crowd favorite, and with a new album coming up later this year, fans may even be able to get a sneak preview of some new material.