So what’s your flavor, South by Southwest? Because these southern California bands are doing battle to get their music on your plates. On Friday we posted a 44-song mixtape featuring SoCal bands performing at SXSW, and frankly that wasn’t enough. Buzz Bands LA, of course, has nine bands who tickle our fancy playing our “Dear Austin, Love, L.A.” event on Wednesday, For the purposes of our annual Bands to Watch preview, though, we’re just going to imagine two acts apiece from each part of the musical menu arm-wrestling for your taste buds.
Here a sampler platter:
LOUD AND HARD
Dead Sara vs. Electric Flower
Dead Sara’s debut of unhinged bluesy rock is out April 10. The single “Weatherman” is already in rotation at L.A.’s 98.7 FM.; they’ve got summer plotted as a featured band on the Warped Tour; we liked the first whiff of “Lemon Scent” last June. SXSW dates.
||| Download: “Lemon Scent”
Electric Flower brings together guitar god Imaad Wasif and Secret Machines drummer Josh Garza to create sheaths of riffs and rhythms that seem more psychic that psychedelic. It’s a spectacle. SXSW dates.
||| Download: “Four16”
Robert DeLong vs. Capital Cities
||| Stream: Robert DeLong, “Happy”
Capital Cities, the collaboration between Sebu Simonian and Ryan Merchant, deal in big party anthems that have won them crowds all over Los Angeles (and beyond). Dance, jump, wear funny glasses, it’s OK. SXSW dates.
||| Stream: Capital Cities, “Safe and Sound”
Superhumanoids vs.White Arrows
||| Stream: “Mikelah”:
White Arrows‘ spacey, agitated concoctions are equal parts tropical and garage, and they found their groove with this 7-inch for White Iris. Their new EP is due April 3, with a full-length planned for the summer. Getting a bright, print shirt to celebrate. SXSW dates.
||| Stream: “Get Gone”
THE GANG’S ALL HARMONIZING
Milo Greene vs. Races
||| Download: “1957”
||| Download: “Big Broom”
RETRO AND MORE RETRO
Black Flamingo vs. Nick Waterhouse
Black Flamingo is what goth would have sounded like in a beachfront hut in the 1960s. From their first EP, there was something affecting about their combination of fuzz and melody, and we’re ready for an album. SXSW dates.
||| Download: “Proud Head”
||| Download: “Some Place”
PUNKY AND SPUNKY
Bleached vs. FIDLAR
||| Download: “Searching Through the Past”
FIDLAR stands for F*ck It Dog, Life’s a Risk (if you didn’t know that already) and they play catchy, unhinged surf- and skate-punk like they’re trying to beat curfew. Not that they’d car about curfew anyhow. SXSW dates.
||| Download: “I Wanna Be Your Cocaine”
IN A CATEGORY ALL HER OWN
LP is a small package with huge pipes. The New York-bred, L.A.-based songstress has electrified local clubs with a batch of under-the-radar gigs and support sets, incubating her act for Warner. How to describe her music? Well, it’s rock played largely with folk instruments. It’s so big, though, I’m gonna go with “arena folk rock.” Oh, she whistles too. SXSW dates.
||| Stream: LP, “Into the Wild” (live):
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