Another SXSW is in the books, and as we look back with aching feet, muddy clothes wrapped in plastic bags, and a phone full of video clips and pictures, we’re slowly trying to process everything that went on during this intensely crazy week. It was one to be remembered, that’s for sure, providing ample amounts of “Only at SXSW” surprises, newly discovered artists, and, of course, plenty of BBQ.

In lieu of a lengthy, play-by-play recap of everything we experienced, we’re going to change it up and just cover some of the high and low lights. Our hopes are such that you will not only put some acts on your list for this upcoming year’s touring season, but also learn how to SXSW better and more effectively in the years to come.


Our dance card was admittedly jam packed, as you would expect from us. Since we don’t focus on a particular genre, our schedule often looked like a game of Tetris, numerous colored blocks stacking on top of each other quicker than we could anticipate. With that in mind, we tried to divide and conquer, leaving certain ninjas to review their favorite genres.

Mew: We’ve been waiting to see Mew for the better part of a decade. If you could peek into our all-time play count on Spotify, you would notice that “Am I Wry? No” has garnered an absurd amount of plays. Our adoration goes further back than Spotify days though, discovering this act long, long ago.

Their live set was absolutely flawless, with Jonas’ vocals echoing what we’ve heard through our headphones in so many walks around our college campus. It was truly one of those life-affirming shows, reminding us of exactly why we started doing this.

’Satellites (Acoustic)’

ELEL: This band of relative newcomers stole our hearts, and did so in one of the hardest venues to do so. We caught them in a small hall, that was less than forgiving acoustically. Their ability to overcome that, and still get a crowd of people to dance and smile was notable. “40 Watt” particularly shone bright, giving us a glimpse of their unique harmonic abilities. We can’t wait to catch them on tour, as we’re sure they’ll be bringing this seven-piece to every major city really soon.

’40 Watt’

Andy Shauf: We’ve been hip to Andy for some time, considering our close relationship with Red Brick Songs. We were fortunate enough to catch him at a very intimate venue and the end result was simply mesmerizing. This artist isn’t one that will blow you away with stage presence, in fact, he almost looks intimidated at times. However, his calming, steady voice will win your heart over in a matter of minutes, just as it did ours.

’Feed My Demons’

Mike Posner: We had the pleasure of catching a few songs from Mr. Posner at the Island Records brunch. We didn’t really know what to expect, after not hearing from him in quite some time. What ensued was nothing short of jaw-dropping, as this storied musician put on a show that was miles away from what we had known him for. Mike has completely shifted gears, harnessing a much more Americana-rich, folk-centric sound. It reminded us of Neil Young, Bob Seger, and other notable classics in American music. It was raw, real, and caught us completely off guard. We included one of his older songs, simply because his new stuff isn’t out yet, but don’t be fooled. It is nothing like what you’ve come to know from this talented artist.

’Classified ft. Mike Posner — “Inner Ninja”‘

heRobust: We may be a little bit biased on this one, considering that heRobust was the headliner for our showcase, but god damnit, he killed it. Taking on a rowdy, late-night crowd for the Lose Control/Cadence & Cause showcase, this ATL producer/DJ had a bass heavy set that had the crowd going absolutely insane. It was the perfect way to close out an epic evening.

’Party McFly’

OWSLA: The OWSLA showcase was outstanding. Carmada, Milo & Otis, DJ Sliink, Jai Wolf and plenty more were slotted for it, and it went OFF. It may have been from noon to six in the evening, but once it started to get a little more crowded in the afternoon, it was raging. Every single set practically rattle the building. There was one set in particular that just about brought the place down however.

Keith Ape was on for fifteen minutes. That’s it. But in that short time they honestly could have incited a riot with “It G Ma.” This was their first performance in America. At SXSW. During an OWSLA showcase. It was a sight to see. We loved every second of it.

’Keith Ape – 잊지마 (It G Ma) (feat. JayAllDay, Loota, Okasian & Kohh) (VISUAL LINK IN DESCRIPTION)’

Moving Castle: Having been a fan since their first compilation, we were really excited to finally catch the Moving Castle crew in action. Their day party went off without a hitch, just about everyone in the group got their chance to show their stuff. Ba-kuura were wild, Mark Johns sang her heart out, RoboKid and Catt Moop went B2B, and so much more! It was such a solid lineup.

What we enjoyed most about it though was the sense that everyone there was truly there for the right reasons, their love of music, and a want to just have a great time. The whole day was ridiculously positive and supplemented by awesome tunes and artists. My only regret was we didn’t get to catch their showcase on Saturday night with Nest HQ (Porter Robinson was the secret guest, by the way) because we had to head home early. Either way, it was amazing to meet all of these people we’ve been listening to for about a year now and we’re certainly looking forward to their continued success.

’Mark Johns – 5 South (Prod. Alexander Lewis) Ft. Brasstracks’


While we didn’t have any musical lows on this trip, there are a few things that future festival folks should know before embarking on SXSW. While we had a few experts in our crew, we also had a newbie. He learned the hard way that SXSW can be a fickle beast, if not approached properly.


If you think you can schedule back to back shows, you best think twice. Yes, in theory, it looks so easy. The venues are only a short walk away, and the artist isn’t as big as you think they are. But, you’ll be hard pressed to make those shows. Our best recommendation? Make sure you look up every show those artists are playing. See where you have gaps in your schedule and plan accordingly.


Yes, Uber is in Austin, and it’s easy to get. But, if you’re planning on sneaking in without hitting a surge at 2:00AM, you’re only kidding yourself. Our best recommendation is to purchase their shuttle pass. They hit hotels all over the city, including those all the way out at the airport. It’s only $80, which is the same cost as one Uber ride during a pricey surge.


If you lived in a rad city that was overrun by drunken, littering, jaywalking, and disrespectful people for two weeks, you’d be surly too. While SXSW does bring in an absurd amount of revenue for Austin, it also clogs their highways, streets, restaurants and bars. We can easily see where this might get frustrating, so our best piece of advice is to be respectful. Smile. Be polite. Tip well. And for Pete’s sake, find an ashtray for your cigarette butts. Doing all these things will help interactions with Austinites throughout your stay.


If you’re a festival fanatic like us, you know that a lot of the time, you can get away with packing shorts, flip flops, and tank tops. This may work for you at Ultra and Coachella, but think twice before packing only those things for Austin. Most of the time, it rained and was quite chilly down there. We luckily packed a sweatshirt, but we forgot an umbrella and/or rain poncho. Yes, some companies offer ponchos as their swag, but it’s not a garauntee. Pack accordingly before you go.

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