HoustonTX@SW 2011 Announces Showcase Lineup

Been waiting to hear the final verdict on this one, but it looks like the HoustonTX@SW gang (formerly known as “Houston@SXSW” these last two years) have settled on the lineup for their March 14th showcase of badass musical acts from H-town at Republic Live up in Austin.

And I’m psyched as hell to see it, because it’s really a great cross-section of what’s awesome in the Houston scene these days (and yes, because two out of the four bands were ones I voted for myself; the HoustonTX@SW folks were kind enough to ask me to be one of the media types who got to nominate & rank the bands — thanks for the opportunity, y’all!). Here’s who’s listed in the lineup:

Co-Pilot (11PM): Damn, I love these guys. I mean, I’ve been a fan for a while now, and I still really love their “old” stuff, but the new stuff is pretty mindblowingly amazing, in a much heavier, much more symphonic, even cinematic way. They’ve evolved from their spacerock-y, dreampop-y roots into an atmospheric, heavy, serious-yet-gorgeous band, up there in the same realm as Isis or Red Sparowes. If Co-Pilot‘s Course of Empire EP doesn’t get attention outside of the Beltway, there’s no damn justice in the world.

Mason Lankford & The Folk Family Revival (10PM): Not real familiar with these folks, but I’ve heard very good things about Mason Lankford & crew, and the little teeny-tiny bit I’ve heard of their music is nicely old-school country, the kind that makes me nod appreciatively rather than gag (see: most of this year’s Rodeo lineup). “Come Get Me,” in particular, is a great, desperate-sounding little tune.

Roky Moon & BOLT! (9PM): Ah, yeah — talked quite a bit about these guys lately, too, it seems like. It’s pretty hard to get away from Roky Moon & BOLT! lately, and there’s a damn good reason for that: they’re really that good. Everybody I force the band’s self-titled full-length on comes back shaking their head and with a big grin on their face, telling me they didn’t know exactly what to expect, but that that wasn’t it. Oh, and that it’s awesome. If Bowie had dropped more acid, hung out in New York cabarets, and met Meat Loaf, instead of running to Berlin, getting into Krautrock, & being pals with Iggy, he might sound like these guys & gal.

Hilary Sloan (8PM): I have seen Hilary Sloan live, but not solo; I saw her perform a while back as part of crazed gypsy-folk-country gang I am Mesmer. And believe it or not, her part of the performance was what I ended up liking the most — I knew who she was, but what I heard wasn’t quite what I thought I was going to hear, less old-timey country and more weirdball pseudo-klezmer. Watching her play the fiddle was pretty damn neat, though, either way, and now that I’ve heard some of her solo stuff, I’m pretty impressed by that, as well. She reminds me less of the usual country icons, though, than she does folks like Hazel Dickens; no bad thing, there.

Beyond those folks playing live, the showcase’ll also feature a bunch of H-town DJs — including Dave Wrangler, which is very cool — doing “mashups” of a bunch of songs by Houston bands/musicians picked by our city’s own journalist/blogger community (yeah, again including yours truly).

That’s just the music portion of the whole HoustonTX@SW “circus,” mind you — they’ve also got an Interactive session going on before the Music session, and it’ll feature music, too, from folks like Two Star Symphony and Runaway Sun frontman Andrew Karnavas, plus cool technology-related stuff like a computer made of recycled materials.

Then there’s the Film session, which looks to be packed full of Houston-based filmmakers and their work. I’m sadly not familiar with any of these people — the only H-town filmmakers I know make horror movies — but some of ’em, like Stick ‘Em Up, a documentary about wheat-paste art (Rhonda, you listening, er, reading?), and Stitched Up, another documentary, this time about a male quilter up in NY.

There’s more, including some neat giveaways, multimedia presentations, etc.; check the site for more details. And hey, if you’re in town and want to help out, you can help prepare for the thing this Sunday over at the Caroline Collective, from 1:30-3:30PM.

High-five to the hardworking folks behind this thing — it sounds like it’s going to be pretty cool…


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