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In case you have been living underground, the madness known as the South by Southwest Festival is taking place in Austin, Texas right now. This is a two week tech, film, and music mashup party of whats new and exciting in all three of those celebrated worlds. The fun takes place in one of the best cities in the grand old U, S, of A, Austin, Texas which is not only know for their amazing food, especially their tex-mex and barbeque, but is also known as the live music capital of the world.

The music portion of SXSW festival starts today. There are a gazillion bands, literally, playing in Austin this week. So if you are traveling to the home of the Longhorns this week for business, pleasure, or both, and happen to have one of the super exclusive badges that really enhance your SXSW experience, or simply don’t mind waiting on long lines to check out some very cool music in an intimate space, here are 10 cool bands/artists worth checking out. But if you can’t, believe me, there is enough music to go around for everyone. All of the artists showcased at the festival can be found at www.sxsw.com, Just click on the music tab and search for showcases.

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1) Banks

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American R&B singer/songwriter who is about to blow up. Love what I have heard from this chick so far. Think a female Weeknd. Sexy, seductive songstress with R&B/electronic flair is what Banks represents. Better yet, she is a very talented songwriter.

Playing: Tuesday, March 11th @ Haven 12:00-12:40am, Thursday March 13th @ Hype Hotel 12:00-12:35am

2) Damon Albarn

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Mastermind behind the Gorillaz, Blur, The Good, Bad, and the Ugly has gone solo and brings his creative brain to Austin to showcase material off his new solo record Everyday Robots. Maybe he’ll throw in some classic old jams during his set. This guy is the truth.

Playing: Wednesday, March 12th @ Stubbs 12:30-1:30am

3) Warpaint

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All chick band that can rock with the best of em. They hail from the City of Angeles. First album was produced by John Frusciante, formerly of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and their latest album is produced by Nigel Godrich, who works closely with Radiohead. Pretty cool tandem to be overseeing your albums. They are one of the next strong artists to blow.

Playing: Wednesday, March 12th @ Maggie Mae’s Rooftop 1:00-1:50am, Friday, march 14th @ Mohawk Outdoor 11:30pm-12:20am

4) Jungle

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The soon to be latest hit from XL Recordings. XL is home to Adele, Vampire Weekend, and Radiohead. Add Jungle to the mix, a fun electro-pop dance collective that will turn Austin into a frenzy. They are wild, they will make you move, and they could be the best kept secret about SXSW.

Playing: Friday, March 14th @ Hype Hotel 10:00-10:35pm

5) Kelis

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Her milkshake brings all the boys to the yard and she’s finally back in our stratosphere making new music again. Thank the heavens. A world with Kelis in it is much more fun and exciting, don’t ya think?

Playing: Wednesday, March 12th @ Stubbs 9:50-10:30pm, Thursday, March 13th @ 12:00-12:40am, Friday, March 14th@ Hype Hotel 1:00-1:45am

6) A Great Big World

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They are hear to prove that “Say Something” wasn’t just a one hit wonder. This talented duo bring thier soft pop to Longhorn country to show their skills to the masses. Expect to be blown away by this NYU duo.

Playing: Wednesday, March 12th @ Palm Door on Sixth 9:00-9:40pm, Saturday, March 15th @ Austin Music Hall 10:40-11:05pm

7) Phantogram

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I have seen Phantogram live numerous times and they never dissapoint. Their new album Voices is dope as hell and they will be howling all over Austin this week. They are a great live act and one to definitely check out if you can.

Playing: Friday, March 14th @ Austin Convention Center 2:00-2:40pm

8) Chance the Rapper

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Chance the Rapper is one of the most intriguing rappers to appear on the scene in quite some time. This dude’s verbal game is on point. His delivery is sharp and his raps are out there. I expect this to be one of the most packed shows of the week.

Playing: Tuesday, March 11th @ Red 7 Patio 1:00-1:50am

9) RAC

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RAC is a dance lover’s dream. They hit the pop charts with their second orginial song “Let’s Go” featuring MNDR and Bloc Party’s Kale, last year. They just released an EP titled Strangers which features guest vocals from Tegan and Sara, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, and Tokyo Police Club. Expect them to keep the crowds moving for all of their three SXSW showcases.

Playing: Tuesday, March 11 @ Hype Hotel 1:00-1:45am, Wednesday, March 12 @ Lustre Pearl 10:30-11:10pm, Friday, March 14th @ Trinity Hall 1:00-1:50am

10) Real Estate

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I have been blown away by Atlas, Real Estate’s latest album. It screams out summer for me. There is something about their airy guitars and layered rythyms that gets me going. They are the perfect band for the Austin scene. I am sure they will be one of the most talked about acts of the week

Playing: Thursday, March 13th @ Bar 96 12:30-1:10am, Thursday, March 13th @ Austin Convention Center 4:00-4:40pm, Friday, March 14th @ Central Presbyterian Church 1:00-2:00am

 

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