SXSW Playlist (and Packing List)

Following yesterday’s post on SXSW cuisine, here are a few selected tracks from the innumerable artists who are making appearances at this year’s Mecca of small-venue music in Austin, Texas. Highlights: Divine Fits, the new supergroup fronted by Britt Daniel of Austin-bred band Spoon; emerging rap virtuoso Kendrick Lamar; ’60s soul-inspired Pickwick (from our hometown of Seattle—more on them later); and deadpan soothsayers of the blues/gospel/art-punk faith for the past 30 years, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

On NPR last night (yes, we’ve been known to rock talk radio on the commute from time to time), one of their music correspondents noted that, while SXSW has its fair share of world-famous headliners these days (Prince is rumored to make an appearance)—you might spend your whole trip waiting on line just for a fleeting glimpse of one.

What sets SXSW apart from other festivals is the sheer amount and diversity of music available; the NPR expert said he researched about 1,500 bands while prepping for Austin—and suggested you could spend the whole week ONLY seeing metal bands, or ONLY music from, say, Asia. That inspired us to pull two disparate, but equally festival-ready outfits. Each will serve you well if you’re hopping a plane to Austin this week—or just grooving to public radio back home in Seattle (or wherever you call home).

1. Nouveau-Hippie. Each of these kits is based around a new take on the denim jacket (GQ approves). We rounded out this sleek bomber version with a watch to keep you on-time for the next act, and a bag big enough to hold your camera, notebook, agua, and a spare pair of Birkenstocks (which are back—and look best balanced with a touch of prep like the henley and shorts above). This combo will serve you well soaking up high-minded synth jams and orchestral pop.
A.P.C. jacket | Want Les Essentiels de la Vie bag | Steven Alan henley
Birkenstock sandals | Rogan shorts | Jack Spade watch

2. Texas Metal. The Austin version of a noise-rock aficionado should look as at-home under a car as in a dive bar. Feel free to pull a Cobain (i.e., tie that flannel around your waist) if your Filson is too full of PBR cans. Finish with made-in-America Red Wings and pre-thrashed jeans (if you don’t have time to break in your own). Your go-to uniform for plaintively drawled country and the kind of bands who don’t mind bleeding on-stage.
Deus Ex Machina jacket | Steven Alan plaid shirt | Obey T-shirt
Red Wing boots | Joe’s jeans | Filson backpack

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