With over 2,000 artists coming to Austin for the South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival, it’s hard to prioritize who to see. Over the next five days, our three music writers count down their top five can’t-miss artists. There are many, many other bands we’re psyched about, but these are the 15 artists we’ll rearrange our schedules to see.
DEBORAH SENGUPTA STITH
3. Taylor Bennett. Prediction: By the time the temps top 90 (you know, in two weeks) we’ll all be rocking Bennett’s “Happy Place,” a summery house quake with a sexy slow jam interlude snuggled in the middle. The young Chicago emcee shares his big brother Chance the Rapper’s earnest intensity and affinity for lush production, but by the end of the summer he’ll have skyrocketed into his own. (11:35 p.m. Thursday, The Main)
3. PWR BTTM: I am here for this glittery, genderqueer rock band from New York, whose lyrics include the line “I want a boy who thinks it’s sexy when my lipstick bleeds.” Their sound is not as abrasive as you might expect were you to judge by their cover (they’re less Peaches and more indie garage jams). Chalk one up for subverting subversion. Also, a choice line from a Paper magazine interview that bodes well: PWR BTTM describes their performance looks as “Kabuki falling down the stairs into a Wal-Mart craft store.” (12:05 a.m. Wednesday, ScratcHouse)
3. Teddy Thompson & Kelly Jones: Fans of folk legends Richard and Linda Thompson likely have been aware of their son Teddy’s exquisitely tuneful pop music since he he started making records at the turn of the century. His latest project, a collaboration with Los Angeles singer-songwriter Kelly Jones, sets gorgeous male-female harmony vocals to material steeped largely in classic country. (8 p.m. Saturday, Central Presbyterian Church)