#10From24West: The March SXSW Edition

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24West’s SXSW Report

Fresh off the plane from Austin, we’ve decided to focus this month’s #10from24west on the 10 bands that we saw at SXSW this year that most caught our ear. Full disclosure, we’re a little biased towards our clients!

Rubblebucket –Rubblebucket’s headlining set at the Roll Call Records/Indie Shuffle Showcase that 24west was a partner for was the stuff of legends. Not necessarily in a Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez pickling the beast sort of way, but more so in the way that seeing one of the greatest live bands on the planet play an outdoor set in the pouring rain to a capacity crowd is legendary…you know the stuff you tell your kids about.

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San Fermin – Maybe I have a weakness for bands with horn sections that routinely make their way into the crowd…or maybe the weakness is just for bands that sound amazing in any live setting. “Jackrabbit” will undoubtedly top a lot of short lists in terms of best albums of 2015. If you ask me (or follow the whispers up and down N. 6th street last week), their live set lives up to the high benchmark that the “Jackrabbit” album sets.

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SWIMM – If you haven’t heard of Swimm yet, I promise you that will change very soon. Their latest single “Beverly Hells” is one of the biggest sounding rock tracks to come out so far this year and there are a lot more great things in the pipeline for this young LA-by-way-of-Florida duo. Listening to Swimm is like having classic Brit pop playing in your head as you roll through a perfect barrel in the beautiful grey Pacific (with a little hint of Bob Dylan in the vocals). Seeing them live is that experience with the energy cranked up to eleven. Super stoked on these guys!

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Ex Cops – The now infamous McDonald’s incident leading into SXSW brought a lot of attention to Ex Cops prior to the conference. Ex Cops’ ridiculously tight performances and unparalleled charisma soon became the real story about the band though. Every time they took the stage the room would end up filled to the brim by the second or third song and no one left disappointed. Check them out live when they’re in your town!

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Outasight – I got to Austin late on Wednesday night and the first set I actually caught was Outasight at the Market Rooftop. I had sworn to myself that I was going to keep the drinking to a minimum that night (its marathon not a sprint!) but it was impossible not to see OU create that big of a dance party and not hit the bar. His next single is titled “The Wild Life” and is out in a few weeks, get ready for it!

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Bop English – As the frontman for White Denim, the expectations for James Petralli’s solo project Bop English are set pretty damn high. So far, he’s knocked it out of the park. Both “Dani’s Blues (It Was Beyond Our Control)” and “Sentimental Wilderness” are beautiful, thoughtfully arranged tracks with huge hooks. Not surprising from James Petralli, the songs hold up perfectly live. New album “Constant Bop” is out April 14th on Downtown Records.

Frank Turner:This set was one of my personal highlights from SXSW this year. Getting to see Frank Turner in front of that small of a crowd was a dream come true. I don’t think anyone controls a crowd like Frank Turner and every song is a boozy, top of your lungs sing-along. I WONT SIT DOWN. AND I WON’T SHUT UP. I’ll just listen to nothing but Frank Turner for the next month or so!

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Coin – Coin is one of those bands that I heard about at least twice a week for the past month or so but hadn’t had the chance to check them out before seeing them in Austin. Now I really wish I had done so sooner because they’re amazing. Wandering into their set upstairs at Maggie Mae’s was one of the most pleasant surprises of SXSW for me.

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Doomtree – As big of a hip hop fan as I am, it’s rare for me to really connect with a hip hop act in a live setting. That being said, Doomtree were one of the best live performances of the entire week for me. Their show unravels more like watching a great short story being told than just a performance of unrelated singles. I got the same sort of emotional crowd connectivity from this set that I usually associate with a hardcore show. Super impressed.

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Cody Simpson – Yeah, yeah. Make fun all you want but the ‘Australian Jason Mraz’ has some serious chops. He is a genuinely talented and versatile singer and a more than competent guitar player. I will be getting his new album on vinyl and it will be on repeat on many-a-beach-days this summer.

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For more of our photos from SXSW please check 24west (@24_west) out on Instagram or check out the “How We Spent Our SXSW” album on our Facebook page.

– Rich Nardo, Partner @ 24west.
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24west is an all-purpose digital marketing agency based in the music industry. We reside in Brooklyn, where you can usually find us firing Nerf guns around the office or devouring 10-cent wings at Croxley’s Ale House down the block. You can check out more from our clients at 24west.net, and make sure to be our buds on Facebook and Twitter!
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Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.