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The Knux, Kid Sister among initial SXSW performers

Knuxtimes2

I gave up on the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference a few years ago, right around the time that every college student from Seattle to Atlanta decided it would be awesome to treat the Austin, Texas, event like spring break, "get a wristband" and see every show they could for a week. It's turned the industry happening into a festival so packed that one can barely get into shows, let alone walk down Austin's famed 6th Street. And it's hard to find someone who hasn't complained that the festival has become too crowded (We didn't complain, and saw some great music in 2008). 

That said, 2009's SXSW should be less crowded due to an economy locked in a downward death spiral of historic proportions. I’m skipping it again just to be safe (OK, so I’m broke). Regardless, the festival always does an outstanding job of luring top talent. This year looks like it is no exception. 

On Wednesday, SXSW released its initial batch of acts, with bigger names forthcoming as the music industry schmooze-a-thon gets closer (the music portion of the fest takes place March 18-22).

Asher Roth, your next favorite white rapper whose posse likes to take down potential terrorists on planes whenever possible, is on the bill. So is Austin’s Ben Kweller. You’ve got your Scots (Nacional, Come on Gang!), your Brits (White Lies, Dirtblonde) and even your Romanians (Dekadens).

The biggest names on the bill so far that I can sift through include Peter Bjorn and John, Primal Scream and Chicago's buzz-rapper Kid Sister, who's back for the third-year running -- this time with a full-length album to hype.

But SXSW has traditionally been all about “buzzing” acts on their way up. This initial batch of performers is rife with ascendant up-and-comers, such as San Francisco rock band Thee Oh Sees, who turned up on several notable top 10 lists in 2008.

Hip-hop is playing a bigger role every year at the festival, and this year already has some big gets. Chief among them are the Knux, whom our own Chris Lee recently profiled for The Times (they are pictured above). Also, perhaps inexplicably, veterans 8Ball & MJG also made the cut.

Local artists of note who will make the trek to Texas in 2009 include WAZ, Mika Miko, Mandi Perkins, Dave Alvin, LA Riots, Port O'Brien and the Crystal Method. Then there is also Franki Chan, but we’re sort of hesitant to call him an artist (the promoter DJs around town and runs a label). A full list of the first batch of released SXSW performers after the jump, courtesy of SXSW.

8Ball & MJG (Memphis, Tenn.)
Akron/Family (Williamsport, Penn.)
Al Kapone (Memphis)
Alina Simone (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Amanda Blank (Philadelphia)
Amber Smith (Budapest, Hungary)
Angry vs the Bear (Essex, England)
Anthony Snape (Sydney, Australia)
Arabrot (Oslo, Norway)
Arc Angels (Austin)
Asher Roth (Morrisville, Penn.)
Asobi Seksu (Brooklyn)
Astrid Williamson (Shetland Islands, Scotland)
B.o.B. (Atlanta)
Banda de Turistas (Buenos Aires)
Bar-Kays (Memphis)
Bavu Blakes (Austin)
Ben Kweller (Austin)
Benny Gallagher (West Wickham, England)
Black Cherry (London)
Black Skies (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
Blaqstarr (Baltimore)
Blue Scholars (Seattle)
Bomba Estéreo (Bogota, Colombia)
Brick Bandits (Philadelphia)
Buck 65 (Halifax, Canada)
Buraka Som Sistema (Lisbon)
Candy Coated Killahz (Toronto)
Cashier No.9 (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Casiokids (Bergen, Norway)
Charles Hamilton (New York)
Choc Quib Town (Bogota)
CHOO-CHOO (Bern, Switzerland)
Chris T-T (Brighton, England)
Come On Gang! (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Crystal Method (Los Angeles)
Crystal Stilts (New York)
Damero (Berlin)
Dananananaykroyd (Glasgow, Scotland)
Dave Alvin (Los Angeles)
David Garza (Austin)
Dead Prez (New York)
Dekadens (Bucharest, Romania)
Dirtblonde (Liverpool, England)
Division Minuscula (Matamoros, Mexico)
Doctor Krápula (Bogota)
EBONY BONES! (London)
Ella (Bristol, England)
Empire ISIS (Montreal)
Explosions in the Sky (Austin)
Flood of Red (Glasgow)
Franki Chan (Los Angeles)
Free Sol (Memphis)
Futomomo Satisfaction (Tokyo)
Gabi Almeida (São Paolo, Brazil)
Gary Clark Jr. (Austin)
Grimy Styles (Austin)
Hacienda (San Antonio)
Hickoids (Austin)
Ida Maria (Stockholm)
Insite (Mexicali, Mexico)
Invincible (Detroit)
Jokers of the Scene (Ottawa)
Kap Bambino (Bordeaux, France)
Kid Sister (Chicago)
Killer Mike (Atlanta)
LA Riots (Los Angeles)
Los Fancy Free (Mexico City)
Madi Diaz (Nashville)
Mañana (Basel, Switzerland)
Mandi Perkins (Los Angeles)
Mexican Institute of Sound (Mexico City)
Micachu (London)
Midnight Youth (Auckland, New Zealand)
Mika Miko (Los Angeles)
Mike Badger (Liverpool)
Mistah F.A.B. (Oakland)
Monokino (Amsterdam)
Moriarty (Montreuil, France)
Motel (Mexico City)
Mundo Livre S/A (Recife, Brazil)
My Crew Be Unruly (Baltimore)
My Federation (Hove, England)
Nacho Vegas (Gijon, Spain)
Nacional (Glasgow)
Navel (Erschwil, Switzerland)
Outasight (New York)
P.O.S. (Minneapolis)
Pato Machete (Monterrey, Mexico)
Peter Bjorn and John (Stockholm)
Peter Rosenberg (New York)
Port OBrien (Cambria, Calif.)
Primal Scream (Glasgow)
Reflection Eternal (Ohio/New York)
Rob Quest (Houston)
Sage Francis (Providence, R.I.)
San Quinn (San Francisco)
Scribe (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Shad (London, Canada)
Shawn David McMillen (Austin)
Simplifires (Mexico City)
Soulico (Tel Aviv, Israel)
St. Vincent (Dallas)
Suzy & Los Quattro (Barcelona, Spain)
T-Bird & the Breaks (Austin)
Tanya Morgan (Brooklyn)
Temposhark (London)
The Beat Poets (Belfast)
The Carrivick Sisters (Devon, England)
The Courteneers (Manchester, England)
The deBretts (London)
The Deep Dark Woods (Saskatoon, Canada)
The Devil Wears Prada (Dayton, Ohio)
The Everyday Visuals (Boston)
The Knux (New Orleans)
THE MOOG (Budapest, Hungary)
The Pepper Pots (Girona, Spain)
The Sonics (Seattle)
The Temper Trap (Melbourne, Australia)
thecocknbullkid (London)
Thee Oh Sees (San Francisco)
This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb (Pensacola, Fla.)
Tittsworth (Washington)
Tommy Tee (Oslo, Norway)
Toy Horses (Barry, Wales)
Twilight Hotel (Winnipeg, Canada)
Virgin Passages (London)
Volodja Balzalorsky (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
WAZ (Los Angeles)
We Have Band (London)
We Should Be Dead (Limerick, Ireland)
White Lies (London)
Whitechapel (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Willem Maker (Turkey Heaven, Ala.)
Willy Joy (Chicago)
Yarah Bravo (New York)

This list is subject to change.

-- Charlie Amter

Photo of SXSW 2009 performers the Knux by Jamie Rector / For The Times

 
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