Quick, all you uber music fans out there scramble to get your SXSW 2012 personal schedules together. Today marked the release of the official schedule and, with it, some band and artist names that weren’t previously included on the ‘to-play’ list. I won’t lie; I started working on my schedule a month ago. But I will tell you that my interest in unofficial parties, indie-indie label showcases and after-after-hours parties intrigue me slightly more than the run of the mill.
Along the same lines, though, badge-holders are certainly in for their share of ‘exclusive’ content this time around. Several bands that are usually accessible unofficially are christening late-week bills. I’m happy for bands like Tennis (just announced today), Zola Jesus and Memoryhouse to get the recognition of playing beside ‘duh-sx’ artists that they happen to be better than.
Speaking of ‘duh-sx’ artists, I have to assume that some amount of heated anticipation was planned in making early bird badge buyers wait until the last minute to be assured that their favorite indie darlings are on the roster. Best Coast is one. I want to think that something crazy and strategic happened this past year to make them be somewhat in cognito, compared to before (2010, when Crazy for You came out). Like they didn’t release a new record this year because Vivian Girls did. Whatever the case, here they are on the list, and there, in Austin, all their fans will surely be.
Having caught them just before and then during their tour with Crystal Castles a year and a half or so ago, I’m super excited that Bear In Heaven was added to the roster today. Other late additions of personal interest are Sharon Van Etten, The Polyphonic Spree, Little Boots and The War on Drugs, though I do hope the latter of those shows up with shiny new dresses to impress. The latest ending tour got mixed reviews and critiques from my friends and yours, but I think Austin will bring a new redemption and, maybe, definition for those guys.
Lots of bands and artists that sit somewhere outside of new, hipster and arty-pop have already (prior to today) been announced. Built to Spill was a great one for this category, I thought. Grace Potter and Against Me are nice niche additions to the ticket. Lana Del Rey seems like a forced inclusion, but I think SXSW, in a very timely way, will give indie music fans an objective chance at a first-time assessment of what she’s doing.
For more info on official SXSW happenings, and to view the schedule, click here.