SXSW Preview

This year Tyler (Program Director) and Ben (Music Director) are heading to South by Southwest! SXSW is the premier festival for all forms of up-and-coming artists, with sessions in music, film, comedy, and tech. The festival takes over all of downtown Austin, TX, from 3/7 to 3/17 and Tyler and Ben will be covering a ton of music shows from Tuesday through Friday this week across all forms of social media. Here’s a preview of some of the artists they’re most looking forward to seeing!


Shigeto – the solo electronic solo project of Zach Saginaw out of Detroit, Michigan. As Shigeto, Saginaw takes a lo-fi approach to electronic dance music. While the music is danceable, it tends towards minimalism and rhythmic experimentation to develop strong textures that form each groove. In his live performances, Saginaw often couples beatmaking with live drum set playing that interlocks perfectly.

Palberta – an experimental rock trio from New York. Their studio performances are jagged and dry cuts of song which wander into both pop melodies and noise-rock dissonance. However, Palberta live is a whole different beast. The whole thing is injected with sarcasm and humor, and the musicians: Lily Konigsberg, Anina Ivry-Block, and Nina Ryser, rotate about their instruments seamlessly, cracking jokes and false-starting songs with regularity.

Lingua Ignota – It’s easiest to understand Lingua Ignota AKA Kristen Hayter with a bit of background info. She began with classical music at the age of ten with the intent to sing opera. In her undergrad she studied multidisciplinary arts at the same time that she began experimenting with vocal manipulation and circuit-bending. And a long history of anorexia and abuse has brought Hayter to now bring together her many musical talents with the dark messages that have plagued her past to create the project known as Lingua Ignota. It is harsh and beautiful, transitioning from operatic singing to death growls in a moment’s notice.

Proud Parents – our Madison hometown heroes are gonna go down south and make it big. Like all true garage rockers, they started in a living room from members of many different bands just throwing around some song ideas. With their self titled release from last year however, they’ve shown that their current full fledged four piece has the maturity and songwriting chops to make a damn good record. Their live shows are full of energy, bring out all the punk rock, twang, and chatchiness that makes up their sound. They’ll be playing at the showcase put on by Madison-based Dirtnap Records.

工工工 (Gong Gong Gong) – a noise duo from Beijing, China. The duo draws equally from varied genres such as psychedelic, drone, southeast asian folk, and early blues. The music is percussion-less, but the duo makes an effort to make ”phantom rhythms”, creating the

impression of a snare over the top of their interplay. The duo just released their first US single Siren late last year and will be sure to make waves in Austin.


OG Ron C – If you find yourself listening to a chopped-and-screwed edit of a recently released track, there’s a good chance the Chopstars were involved. A Texas legend and Maestro of the Chopstars crew, Houston DJ OG Ron C has been chopping and screwing everything from Thundercat to Mike Jones since he signed with Swishahouse in 1997. Seeing this Texas legend spin his codeine-soaked mix in his home state is an opportunity we don’t want to miss.

DJ Taye – A member of the legendary Teklife crew, DJ Taye is one of the best footwork DJs out. Since Teklife’s DJ Rashad released his 2013 LP Double Cup, footwork and the Chicago house scene in general have been regaining their notoriety in the national house scene. That being said, if traditional dancing is what you’re looking for, be warned: footwork is beast unto itself. On his most recent release, Taye has crossed over from DJ to Emcee, and done so with flying colors. This should be a unique show, and one you definitely don’t want to miss.

Yung Lean – Jonatan Leandoer has been blurring lines and traversing boundaries since 2013. The 22-year-old swede has put out 6 albums as “Yung Lean” and 3 more under his second name, Jonatan Leandoer127. This pioneer of Soundcloud rap has recorded everything from emo rock, to a chicago-style banger titled “Wanna Smoke”, featuring Chief Keef affiliate Ballout. Defined by his his refusal to be defined, Leandoer’s approach to music is frenetic, intriguing, and most importantly committed. Lean will be accompanied by his SBE crew, and their long-standing friendship and comfort with one another makes Leandoer, Bladee, and Thaiboy Digital a must see trio.

Disq – Less than a year ago, you could’ve found Disq hanging out in a Madison basement, playing casual shows, and, well carrying the college band routine. Since then, their outstanding songwriting and electric performances have brought them to SXSW, and onto Saddle Creek Records’ roster. We’ve got an interview lined up with these Wisconsin natives, so make sure to stay tuned for more Disq-related coverage.

Rico Nasty – If you’ve been paying any attention to rap over the past 12 months, the name Rico Nasty will pique your interest. Since the 2018 release of Nasty, her first LP, the 21 year old New Yorker has sprung into the spotlight. Nasty has carved out her own niche within modern day rap, which she refers to as “sugar trap.” Refusing to compromise her femininity in any way, shape, or form, Nasty’s harsh, and at times aggressive style sets her apart from her contemporaries. Recent collaborations with up and coming producer Kenny Beats have left us

eagerly awaiting more. If Nasty’s on stage presence is anywhere near as compelling as her in studio demeanor, we’re in for a real treat.

Keep an eye out for their coverage this week!