full music line-up released
Five things to know about the full SXSW line-up, including Lana Del Rey, A$APRocky, M. Ward and (lots) more
You may have missed it, but SXSW quietly unveiled basically the entire roster for the music festival this week. The lineup — now hovering somewhere near the thousand-artists-long range (though we didn’t count) — is now available at the SXSW website, under schedule. And – yeah – it is pretty damn impressive.
Among the acts listed: The scourge of the SNL musical guest stage, Lana Del Rey, who will be making one of her first few U.S. appearances; the 2012 “future of hip hop” blog-buzz appointee A$AP Rocky; controversial Oakland white lady rapper Kreayshawn; 90’s Alternative Nation stalwarts Counting Crows; your personal party guru Andrew WK (who may be playing his breakthrough album I Get Wet in its entirety); Monster of Folk M. Ward; and many hundreds of others. We’ll take some time to break down five things worth knowing about the list.
1. The “rising acts looking to build some buzz” list is better than ever
Every SXSW festival features blogger favorites on their first album/EP/mixtape/leak/whatever looking to firm up their Internet hype. Last year saw spots by Odd Future and James Blake, but both of those performances were closer to the start of their respective waves than the crest.
The appearance by Lana Del Rey, who’s been a huge topic of discussion among critics and bloggers for months now, will come six weeks after her debut album, Born To Die, hits, and after her SNL appearance helped make her someone who even your mom has heard of. Expect the line at Stubb’s, Austin Music Hall, ACL Live or wherever they decide to put her, to be around the damn block.
A$AP Rocky, meanwhile, is playing exclusive secret shows in New York; Alabama Shakes are set to blow up huge (catch their show at Continental Club on Saturday to say you saw ‘em first); Stephen Colbert and Jack White’s favorite goth/garage band The Black Belles will be taking the stage — and there are tons of others, too.
2. Hip hop makes a strong showing so far
This’ll develop as the list finalizes, but so far SXSW is doing a good job being for hip hop what it’s long been for rock: a gathering of everybody young and worth seeing at the moment. Hip hop has always been a part of the festival, but it’s rare that so many of the most exciting names on the list are rappers.
With A$AP Rocky, Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, Action Bronson, Danny Brown, Mac Miller — and, sure, even Kreayshawn — representing the type of mixtape hype acts who everybody from Pitchfork to Cocaine Blunts can’t get enough of, and more established, repeat-SXSW artists like P.O.S. and K’Naan making appearances to promote anticipated new releases, this’ll be a good year for hip hop at SXSW — maybe even better than one with an attention-grabbing secret Kanye show.
3. Dinosaur acts are back
Random bands who’ve long since slipped from the charts and are looking for the possibility of career rebirth at SXSW are a tale nearly as old as the festival itself (go ahead and check how well that’s worked out for most of them, we’ll wait).
This year, the acts that have faced extinction and came back to the SXSW stages to try and rekindle some of the magic range from the mid-00’s alt-rockers The Fray — who’d have been more likely to headline Stubb’s six years ago than to make a mid-card SXSW appearance — to the science-blinded Thomas Dolby, with everybody from Third Eye Blind to Jurassic 5’s Chali 2Na also in the mix. Good luck, everybody!
4. Austin, as always, is well-represented
Part of the excitement at SXSW is giving our best local talent the chance to show off in front of an international audience. A festival with performances by Mother Falcon, The Black And White Years, SPEAK, Quiet Company, Ringo Deathstarr, Strange Boys, Not In The Face!!, Golden Bear and The Black Angels — among many dozens of others — is a festival worth being excited about no matter when it is or where you’re from.
5. Bruce Springsteen isn’t on it — and neither is everyone else who is going to play
But don’t let that harsh your mellow for The Boss, because Rolling Stone today reported that this year’s keynote speaker — as well as the full E Street Band — were playing an Austin date to coincide with his gig addressing the conference. It’s possible that this’ll be a separate event outside of SXSW, but that seems awfully unlikely, given how they tend to frown on unauthorized events in mid-March.
Nothing’s official yet on that front, but there are still likely to be hundreds (or more) acts announced, including some big names – and maybe even one of the biggest in the world. So don’t get disappointed if you haven’t seen who you were hoping for yet – this is still just a partial list.