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Star Telegram - March 11, 2005

Posted on Fri, Mar. 11, 2005
These bands could be the next big things
By Cary Darling
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

Last year, it was Franz Ferdinand. In previous years, it was the Darkness and the Polyphonic Spree. These are just some of the acts that earned enough music-biz buzz at South by Southwest to generate national attention.

This 19th edition of the festival promises similar discoveries. Whether it's indie-rock, hip-hop or rock en espa�ol, there are enough fresh faces to fill a few seasons of American Idol -- without a whining Brit and faded pop queen passing judgment. Here's who you might be hearing a lot of this year:

• Just about anything Canadian: Not a band but a state -- er, province -- of mind. The cool north is hot this year, and acts such as Death From Above 1979, The Dears, Pony Up! and Stars will be SXSW must-sees.

• Kasabian, Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs, Long-View and Goldie Lookin Chain: These Brit bands are riding a wave of Anglophilic applause. Kasabian's updated Stone Roses dance-rock could follow Franz Ferdinand up the charts.

• North Texas hip-hop: Maybe, just maybe, this year will bring a breakthrough. Scene-queen Erykah Badu is hosting an SXSW night featuring local fave Strange Fruit Project and her new discovery, Jay Electronica.

• Black Tie Dynasty: Speaking of locals making good, this Fort Worth electro/post-punk-influenced band has been drumming up all sorts of kudos for its new EP, This Stays Between Us.

• Devin the Dude: Houston hip-hop is known for its bling, and that's what makes down-to-earth Devin's dude-next-door style all the more appealing.

• M.I.A.: More Brit hype, this time for a female Sri Lankan immigrant who recalls the retro hip-hop glory days of JJ Fad.

• Jimmy Chamberlin Complex: Former Smashing Pumpkins drummer goes it alone with his fusion-leaning project.

• The Kills: This male-female duo has the "next White Stripes" buzz going.

• Buck 65, Aesop Rock and MF Doom: There's a huge underground following for these three, with whom it's all about progressive and avant-garde hip-hop.

• Daniel Johnston: The troubled Texas singer-songwriter is the subject of a documentary that's also playing the festival.

• Dogs Die in Hot Cars: These Dogs bark out clever, literate, XTC-ish rock.

• Phoenix: Whoever said the French can't rock hasn't heard this sublime mix of Steely Dan sashay and alt-rock energy.

• LCD Soundsystem: Big dance beats and mocking attitude make for an intriguing combo.

• Andrea Echeverri: The frontwoman from Colombia's acclaimed Aterciopelados steps out on her own with an alluring blend of pop, folk and Latin rhythms.

• Missy Higgins: Australian singer-songwriter, who's chart-topping at home, brings her sensitive rock-pop to the States.

• The Oktober People: Albuquerque gave the world the Shins and now offers this intoxicating mash-up of Radiohead, Mogwai and Pinback.

• Hot Rod Circuit and the Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower: Punk lives in the youthful hands of these two bands.

• The Go! Team: On disc, these guys make a weird and joyful noise. Can it be duplicated live?

• The Bravery and Brazilian Girls: The former is infectious rock, and the latter has more of a dance-jazz sensibility, but these are two of the most talked-about bands in New York these days.

• Daara J: Hip-hop is truly international as this Senegalese outfit shows.

What's in a name

One of the favorite South by Southwest pastimes is picking out bands with the coolest names. Here are some of the best monikers you'll find this year:

• A Hawk and a Hacksaw
• Abstraq the Grindologist
• American Vodka
• Awesome Cool Dudes
• Built Like Alaska
• By Any Means Necessary
• Death From Above 1979
• Dogs Die in Hot Cars
• The English Department
• Fatal Flying Guilloteens
• 400 Blows
• Goldie Lookin Chain
• Hot Young Priest
• I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness
• Million Dollar Marxists
• Parts & Labor
• The Plot To Blow Up the Eiffel Tower
• Pretty Girls Make Graves
• Saturday Looks Good to Me
• Scary Kids Scaring Kids
• Secret Lives of the Free Masons
• Seis Pistols
• The Soundtrack of Our Lives
• Swearing at Motorists
• We Are Scientists
• Whitey Houston
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