South By Southwest is just around the corner. From my one experience, and countless accounts of other's experiences, preparing for what you're going to see and do is pointless. You don't control the weekend, Austin does. Given Austin's status in the music scene, that's probably a good thing, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to make a list anyways.
This is obviously a short list given the (literally) thousands of acts set to perform, but that didn't stop me from splitting it into categories. Simply put, we'll label these categories "New" and "Old". The bands on Team New are either up-and-coming bands, or bands that I'm just getting around to love. As for Team Old, these are bands that have been around the block (likely at 8th and Red River, everyone loves Stubb's), but that I have not seen or I would like to see.
Poolside: By no means are these guys new anymore, I just haven't seen them. Their daytime disco took off from day one and has been relaxing their listeners every since.
Mister Lies: Hard to not put a Chicago guy near the top of the list, though he'd be right where he is if he was from Kansas, too. I caught a glimpse of his Lincoln Hall performance a few weeks back and was convinced. He's got it.
Flight Facilities: Not sure why I ignored FF for so long. Bad judgement, I suppose. Fortunately, I started listening just as they began releasing their triple j Mix Exclusives: four mixes taking you chronologically from 1972 to 2012. Before I begin to gush over these, just check them out. Only 72-82 and 82-92 have been released, so you're not that far behind.
Big Harp: The most adorable band that every lived? Yup.
Pacific Air: Formerly KO KO, their track "Float" was the song a few months back. Though this remix doesn't do it justice, you can still get a sense of the track's catchiness.
Braids, The Thermals, Devendra Banhart: To be honest, I don't have a whole lot to say about these three that hasn't already been said. Sure, I'm upset I have yet to see any of these three, but that's what Austin is for.
LITE: I saw these guys only a few months back and would be more than happy to watch again. They blend styles similar to the way of Adebisi Shank, creating music that is not only perfect for rocking out, but also white-man dancing.
Camera Obscura: There is no doubt this group holds a place in my heart. It was not only the first concert I ever enjoyed by myself, I enjoyed it at the legendary 40 Watt Club in Athens, GA. Their 50's style and sound is vibrant and, well, happy.