SXSW Preview: KCRW’s Betsy Moyer Picks her “Bands to Watch”

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From KCRW’s Social Media host, Betsy Moyer

Our showcases are brilliant and I can’t wait to finally see Jessica Lea Mayfield, a long time friend to my ears in reclusive nights with repeat play. She ranks #2 behind Avett Bros for most listens logged by artist in my iTunes. That’s real statistics to prove my excitement! I’m also anxious to see live performances by both James Vincent McMorrow and Chapel Club, who have both been getting lots of my time lately.

Here are a  few others that I’m hoping to track down:

I gave a quick shout to Reptar in my Top 10 EPs of 2010. They are an Athens band that caught the ear of Animal Collective producer, Ben H. Allen. I’ve been hearing about the forthcoming album, but haven’t checked in lately. I gotta catch this act live. I feel pretty certain that this material is going to make waves if/when it ever drops into the sea of music.

Stream Reptar’s “Houseboat Babies”

Caveman by Nathaniel Shannon
Caveman by Nathaniel Shannon (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Another act that I’m gonna be on the hunt for…… is Caveman. I love the floaty harmonies — reminiscent of a sound of the 60s that balanced itself right between pyschedelia and pop. It’ll make ya wanna grab your best girl.

Another act, that I’ve just learned about since my arrival to Austin – is an NPR showcase performance by The Antlers of their new album, Burst Apart. I might just do that. I don’t know if you caught their concept album Hospice, but its stuck with me since its release, not only as an inspiration in my own musical meanderings, but also as a story that I return too often – usually when I want to revel in melancholy. Its powerful, and I can only imagine what a first listen to new material live will do to my heart.

Speaking of NPR showcases – I’ll miss it, but I MUST find James Blake somewhere in Austin. His album has been my favorite of 2011 so far. The other day on Twitter, someone referred to him as CP30 making sad RnB. It’s a bad description, but it made me laugh.

Oh and Gayngs, I want to see them. and Geographer….. It’s so blissfully overwhelming!

Lastly, I’m gonna man up and find Odd Future. I’m not usually one to choose hip hop over other genres when presented with lots of choice… but my good friends that I rely on for satisfying music inspiration dialogue have had this to say… “Please see Odd Future at SXSW. These kids are bringing people a taste of God.” Based on this video — its pretty intense and not for the faint of heart — and I’m moved to say the least.

— Betsy Moyer