South By Southwest (SXSW), the music, film and interactive festival kicks off the music portion of the festival next week in Austin, TX.  There are so many bands and so much to see at SXSW that it can get overwhelming pretty quickly.  That’s why we are here to help you!  Don’t worry, we listened to every single band playing at SXSW over the last few weeks just to provide this guide for you.  Yes, it took us 24 hours a day for 14 days, but that’s our dedication to you!  Check out the guide, you’ll thank us in Austin…

The Top 3 LA Acts

1) Queens of the Stone Age – Did you expect someone else?  Queens of the Stone Age is probably the best band playing SXSW in our opinion, so they obviously make it to the top of the local list as well.  The LA rock group touts the multi-talented Josh Homme on vocals and guitar.  We shouldn’t have to tell you all this actually, as Queens of the Stone Age are pretty much legends around Los Angeles.  They’ll be kicking off their Spring Tour in Austin on Wednesday night at the Rolling Stone Showcase.  Enough said, GO!

2) SONOIO – We’ve talked about the amazing SONOIO blue project from the fall of last year.  SONOIO is the solo project of Alessandro Cortini (former NIN keyboardist and do-it-all) and it impressed us so much it made out Best of 2010 list.  The great part about their SXSW show is that to this point, Cortini hasn’t played anything as SONOIO live yet, but that will change at SXSW this year.  The chance to see the stellar material on SONOIO blue live makes the Wednesday night line-up the best of the week.  See this special performance at 9PM at the SEA NOW! event.

3) Night Horse – Seriously, Night Horse was made to play Austin, TX.  They should play there at least once a week, every week.  Night Horse should be on everyone’s iPod or record player who claims to love rock n’ roll music.  The band is made up of some of the nicest guys in the LA scene, and their music always brings a party element to it.  Like we said in our review of their Echo show in January, if their music doesn’t get you dancing nothing will!  Check out Night Horse, it’s one of the best decision you can make this week.  The guys will be playing on Friday at 10 PM at Headhunters, and on Saturday at Scoot Inn at 4PM.  The Scoot Inn show is FREE!

Best of the Rest

1) Dax Riggs – If you can catch Dax at SXSW, consider yourself lucky.  Dax Riggs has been playing live music for years now, under a bunch of different names and outfits. The once constant in all of his projects has been simply Dax himself.  As a solo performer, Dax can bring it with the best of them.  His style and music is perfect for the SXSW scene.  This is the perfect chance to get on the bandwagon with this guy, because you can’t see him live and walk away unimpressed.  We are hoping Dax will play a few shows during the week, but right now the only confirmation we have is for the Easy Tiger Patio late on Wednesday night/Thursday morning at 1 AM.

2) Valient Thorr – It’s not everyday you get to see metal gods from Venus, is it?  Valient Thorr just finished up an opening gig for the Motorhead tour, and surely they came away with a larger fan base.  Let’s see, how can we describe these guys- super fun metal?! Ya, that does it.  Valient brings the party atmosphere everywhere they go, and you can tell from the second they step on stage these guys love what they do, and they’ll show you the love back as well for supporting them.  There are a bunch of opportunities to check out Valient, make sure you go to at least two! They”ll be on stage on 3/18 at the Jackalope for the Volcom Party, the next day at Barbella for a 1 AM slot, and finally on Sunday at 3 PM at Emo’s.

SXSW might just be the best music festival this year.

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