SXSW 2018 - 5 standout performances by NYC artists

No surprise, SXSW 2018 was busy. With over 2000 acts from 63 countries performing this year, Austin was jam-packed with industry professionals and music fans all week. Downtown was a human ocean in the wee hours, the crowds were rowdy at venues like Dirty Dog and tamer at the Central Presbyterian Church. I waited in line for many of our favorite NYC artists at venues that were filled to capacity hours before they were meant to go on (I'm looking at you, Anna McClellan). Here's a short recap of my favorite performances from this year's SXSW. 

Beshken's Ben Shirken adeptly took us far away from the noise of 6th street and into an ethereal world of eclectic dance music with a nifty setup and bassist/guitarist Ian White at Burnside's Tavern on Wednesday. 

Jukebox the Ghost is currently based out of NYC recording their fifth album Off To The Races at Studio G in Brooklyn. The band put on a stunning show at the StubHub Stage on Wednesday night, playing old songs such as "Girl" and "Somebody," and also debuting "Fred Astaire" and "Everybody's Lonely," two singles from their upcoming record. Their final song of the night was a cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" that had everyone, sober and not-so-sober, singing along every word.

Soccer Mommy played songs from her acclaimed new album Clean in a great set at Cheer Up Charlie's on Friday, followed later that night at the same venue by Brooklyn's Topaz Jones, whose soulful, crowd-pleasing performance had us laughing and dancing alike. "Has anyone seen Stranger Things?" he asked, introducing his 2016 song "Winona."

Finally, my absolute favorite performance of this year's SXSW was Kitten's at Mohawk Outdoor (pictured above). Originally from LA, the band recently moved to NYC and enrolled local musicians BITS (Blu and Rex Detiger) in the live lineup. Kitten's frontwoman Chloe Chaidez was a delight to watch: an unusual burst of energy and incredibly agile gymnast, all without missing a note or a beat. She finished out the night with a 20-foot jump (more or less) into the audience and then sitting down at the drum kit, completely nailing the rhythm section of the last song and taking us all by surprise. 


SF Takes SXSW 2018: Playlist ft. Tino Drima, Club Night, Bang Data, & More

Each year, artists travel halfway across the country to the South By Southwest Festival (otherwise known as SXSW) in Austin, Texas to participate in one of the nation’s largest festivals of culture, art, and music. This year, the Bay Area was proud to have a number of local acts representing the scene in official showcases, which took place between March 9th and March 18th.

Listen to a playlist of the artists below!


Krust Toons: "I'm With the Band!" by Tedd Hazard

Krust Toons: "I'm With the Band!" by Tedd Hazard - please feel free to drop him a line at if you dig or have any funny ideas. You can also check out more of his illustrations and animation shorts HERE.


Trace Mountains celebrates album release at Alphaville on 03.30

Under the Trace Mountains moniker, Dave Benton makes folky, lo-fi tunes that blend in synthesizers and post-production effects for quirky and occasionally noisy compositions. Benton, who’s also a songwriter in beloved indie rock quartet LVL UP, sings with a tender delivery fit to the gently building arrangements of his tracks while crunched up drum machines and softly strummed guitar propel his voice onward. On A Partner to Lean On, due March 30th on Figure 2 RC, he brings together recordings of new material and updated versions of previously released songs. The album release will coincide with a show at Alphaville where Trace Mountains will be joined by Operator Music Band and Spirit Was, which features Benton’s LVL UP bandmate Nick Corbo. – Cameron Carr


Weekend Warrior, March 16 - 18

This Saturday evening, the garage-rock trio of Tom McHugh, Anthony Fulginitti, and Andy Silverman, a.k.a. The Retinas, will be commemorating the release of their new EP ANDY (Pho Realz Records), with a rip-roaring performance at Ortlieb’s. The band tools within a diverse-range of sonic textures from loose exuberance, to a more personal scaled-back yet powerful reverb-shaking discharge of emotion. Working the sliding scale, gearing up to break free, and gathering those of a similar mind within united-infectious melodies stoked with a psychedelic candle, The Retinas launch into the psych-pop stratosphere that still feels comfortably at home. Joining in the festivities, the quartet of Stoops stitch together tight melodic turns of phrase, gradually heating up as those words stick in one’s head and the body’s tension dissipates. With a new EP Glow Worm set for release on April 1, the electro-folk hybrid of Seth Carpenter, a.k.a. Bucolic, will set things into motion. – Michael Colavita

More places to avoid really drunk people in green this weekend…

Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Lightninging, SAT The Retinas (Release Show), Stoops, SUN Levee Drivers, Cherry

Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI DJ Aura, Tsehaitu, Orion Sun, DJ Hvnlee, SAT Langor, Davey & The Chains, The Homophones

Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) FRI Rover Rover, Pulgas, Zinske, SAT Beard-o-Bees, SUN King Britt

Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Line Leader, Mavis The Dog/ S.T.O.P./DJ Deejay, SAT Sharkbullet, No Gods/Twin Beds, Social Norms/DJ PHSH, DJ Aktive

PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) FRI The Bigness, Alyssa Joseph (EP Release), Sleepy Freak, Colonial Williamsburg, SAT Del Sur, Americanadian (Release Show), Port Lucian

The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) SAT (Balcony) Joey Crakk, LJ Sauve. Roi Lush, SUN (Balcony) Probably Gonna Suck, Calm Down, Vhybrid, Knightlife, Forever Vista

The Foundry (1000 Frankford Ave.) SUN Darlingtyn

World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) SAT (Upstairs) Apache Trails

The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI The Division, MRJR, Socko, Shots Called, SAT Tortuga/Sex with Rollercoasters, Mob Mentality, Uncle Dan, Loafass, The Heels, SUN Earth7, The Soundcheck, Zupang/Teef

MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Swift Technique

Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI Bo Bliz, Low Budget, SAT DJ Deejay

Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SUN Rusty Cadillac

Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) SAT OT, Mad Squablz, Buddy Leezle

Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) SUN Rude Boi

The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Sing, Bird of Prey, Harlowe Jones, Soldier On, SAT Steve (the band), Somata

Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) SAT Parlour Noir, SUN Joshua Chase Miller, Deep City Healers

Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) FRI The Beating, SAT Gerald Veasley, Pablo Batista

Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) FRI Ben Aire

The Pharmacy (1300 S. 18th St.) FRI Backwoods Payback, SAT Goodnight Lights, Spelling Reform, Sun Hat

LAVA Space (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SUN Snake Boy Gang, Deer Scout

JJ’s Diner (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Past Life, Sleepy Freak

Pilam (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Masie Blu