Greetings, fellow earthlings. Later this week, I'll join the teeming masses in Austin, TX for the 27th annual South by Southwest Music Festival. The fest features thousands of film, interactive, and music events, but most notably (or at least we'd like to think so), Epitonic will be having their first-ever day party! The 100% FREE unofficial joint day party with BV Chicago and 1-Up PR will take place this Wednesday, March 13 at Swan Dive and Barbarella Patio (615 Red River Street) from noon - 6PM. Epitonic have a full stage of international acts (at Swan Dive) and BV Chicago have a smattering of the Windy City's finest (outside at Barbarella Patio). Below is a rundown of why, in between breakfast tacos and free beer, you should come to our day party if you're headed to the Live Music Capital of the World.


Austin's own Ume are playing.

If you're not yet familiar with the fiery three-piece, you had best get it right quick. Bombshell, guitar virtuosa, and frontwoman Lauren Larson gives each performance her all and is backed by the tightest rhythm section around-- bassist Eric Larson and drummer Rachel Fuhrer. Their debut LP, Phantoms, hit stores in 2011 via Modern Outsider, and I've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of its follow-up ever since.

Chicago's JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound are headlining the BV Chicago stage.

JC Brooks and co. attack soul with a punk-y approach, and nobody does it better. Brooks has quite a set of pipes, and the band ain't half bad either (read: bombastic, in a good way). They're currently prepping their new, Howard Bilerman-produced (Arcade Fire's Funeral, Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Yanqui U.X.O., Handsome Furs' Sound Kapital, etc.) LP for release this spring via Bloodshot Records.

We've got two international acts on the bill.

We're ever so pleased to have Dublin's Autumn Owls (full disclosure: Epitonic put out their debut full-length, Between Buildings, Toward The Sea, last year) and Glenrothes, Scotland's Tango in the Attic on the bill. Both groups tackle pop music in left field ways-- Autumn Owls from a post-rock platform and Tango in the attack from a garage rock standpoint. Like most smaller European bands, these two don't make it over to the U.S. all that often, and are not to be missed at SXSW.

Chicago popsmiths On An On and Minor Characters will be performing.

Confining bands to genres is inherently silly. That said, we all do it at one time or another; it assists folks in understand what a group might sound like. Pop music ain't what it was 50-years ago, but Chicago groups On An On and Minor Characters are out to change that. On An On was formed from the ashes of Scattered Trees, and are a tad bit more electro than its predecessor (that's a good thing, in my book). Minor Characters craft intricate indie rock and are one of the more genuine young bands out there. It would be hard not to like either of these guys. In fact, I challenge you to do so.

Speaking of pop, Generationals are headlining the Epitonic/1-Up PR stage.

I'll just come out and say it: I love the ever-loving shit out of Generationals' sophomore album Actor-Caster. It's an excellent indie pop record, but these guys are the real thing, so there's no flirting with overdoing it or shameless moments. They've got a new one, called Heza, coming out on April 2 via Polyvinyl and I couldn't be more psyched. Their set should be a great way to close out the day.

Anticon figureheads WHY? will be bringing their... "whatever you call it" to Swan Dive.

Hip hop weirdos WHY? are a ball of fun. They'll be bringing their bizarre mix of indie rock, hip hop, and electronic music to Swan Dive for a 2:15PM set. Just don't ask frontman Jonathan "Yoni" Wolf to wear sunscreen while he's in the Austin; according to "Strawberries," he wants to "heat his hyde, not hide under something."

Up-and-coming Chicago garage rockers Twin Peaks play the BV Chicago stage.

Much like the similarly-aged Orwells, Chicago dudes Twin Peaks put out music that doesn't sound like a bunch of youngsters recorded it. They're one of the more promising Chicago acts to hit the scene, they've just signed to Autumn Tone Records (The Orwells, J. Tillman, Calvin Love, Futurebirds), and are not to be missed at our day party. They play the BV Chicago stage at Barbarella Patio at 3:45PM; be there.

Montreal's greats The Besnard Lakes are playing the Epitonic // 1-Up PR stage.

Listening to The Besnard Lakes is cathartic. Seeing The Besnard Lakes live is... well, pretty awe-inspiring. In a press release for their forthcoming album, Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO, their label Jagjaguar said, "There is no other band on the planet that I'd sprint along 6th street during SXSW, lugging a bulky, 20lb fog machine for." Having been enveloped in Besnard Lakes' smog both during SXSW and at club shows, I feel you, Jagjaguwar. Come see the greatness at Swan Dive at 4:30PM.

There are also many more acts playing the Epitonic // 1-Up PR // BV Chicago day party at Swan Dive & Barbarella Patio on Wednesday, March 13 from noon - 6PM.

Here's the full lineup + set times:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - Epitonic // 1-Up PR Stage at Swan Dive

12:00PM - The End of America
12:45PM - Tango in the Attic
01:30PM - Autumn Owls
02:15PM - WHY?
03:00PM - Eric Pulido (of Midlake)
03:45PM - Ume
04:30PM - The Besnard Lakes
05:15PM - Generationals

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - BV Chicago Stage at Barbarella Patio
12:00PM - Many Places
12:45PM - Mahogany
01:30PM - Mister Lies
02:15PM - Minor Characters
03:00PM - On An On
03:45PM - Twin Peaks
04:30PM - All Eyes West
05:15PM - JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound

Join us in Austin for our SXSW day party!