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Muffs, Motorhead, Japanther, Miike Snow and other picks for the first day of SXSW Music

March 17, 2010 | 12:20 pm


The tech geeks have moseyed on home, the rain has stopped, the sun is out, so let there be rock.

More than 1,400 bands from across the world have made their way to South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, to play in the four-day music festival. Here are a few choice picks that if you're here you won't want to miss.

The Muffs haven't rocked Austin since 2004 and have been sorely missed.  Kim Shattuck's trio plays Beerland this afternoon for free around 4, and perform a late night show a block away at midnight at Elysium.

Aussie indie faves the Middle East will be playing five gigs here in Austin over three days. Catch them while they're fresh at 10 tonight at Club De Ville at the Brooklyn Vegan showcase.

The unstoppable Motörhead has made 20 albums, warts and all, and is poised to release a documentary this year about its iconic frontman Lemmy Kilmister. They're making their presence known as they rise above the cacophony (or bringing it to a higher level) by playing a couple of shows. Tonight's will be a free show at Austin Music Hall at 10:30. For those interested in hearing the thoughts of Sir Kilmister minus the metal licks, Lemmy is being interviewed at 5 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center (Room 18abc).

More picks after the jump...

Carolynwonderland Although it is so easy to ignore anything that's not rock or indie here, you're really missing out if you don't catch local legend Carolyn Wonderland, who many have deemed the best female blues guitarist (including yours truly). For those travelers lucky enough to be flying into Austin-Bergstrom Airport, she will be shredding the Austin-Bergstrom Airport Stage at 1 p.m. and later at Momo's at 7 p.m.

Andrew W.K. will be sweating all over the kids at Buffalo Billiards at midnight. Even though it's St. Paddy's Day, please resist the urge to take a drink each time Andrew yells "party."

The Brooklyn duo Japanther bring their punk rock sensibilities for the first of several shows. Tonight they begin their onslaught at 11:10 at Buffalo Billiards.

San Diego's Steve Poltz, best known as the frontman of the Rugburns, will bring his catalog to the the 18th Floor of the Hilton Garden Inn, while at 1 a.m., Those Darlins will woo you with their Tennessee twang and tales of eating chicken and keeping their skillets clean.

However if you need to dance after midnight, groove to the dulcet tones of Miike Snow at the Galaxy Room backyard at 1 a.m.

-- Tony Pierce

Top photo of Lemmy fronting Motörhead at Stubb's during SXSW '08; second photo of Carolyn Wonderland at Antione's, also during SXSW '08.  Credits: Tony Pierce / Los Angeles Times