Pre-party for SXSW (that stands for South By Southwest in case you forgot
) at The Basement March 13 and 14 by catching some Austin-bound acts. Next, skip the Actual Event
because that's what you did in college before the overrated frat parties. Didn't go to college? You cannot skip because you're actually playing
the festival! (Kidding.) Partake in this easily justifiable opportunity to see high-caliber bands of relative anonymity (like at the SXSW of yore) by catching 'em on their way to Austin and beyond. ... There is an alternative to traveling 750 miles to join a pungent, muy caliente
sardine-can crowd whose smell is part Queens of the Stone Age fan, part Duran Duran fan
. (Kidding again; you'll have a great time.) To hear proof that these bands are up to snuff and a pinch above it, check out some choice tracks below and go to The Basement
for the full schedule. Sunday, March 13
Elephant Stone: who tactfully take more than just their name from the Stone Roses. Check out the Jackie Wilson bass line introducing the paisley gem "I Am Blind."
Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion: who, like Man ... or Astroman? before them (and the Spotnicks before them), play full-throttle surf rock with a science fiction and horror shtick. You can listen to their latest album for free.
Monday, March 14
Reptar: whose excellently named — not to mention significantly catchy — dance-rock track "Houseboat Babies" was produced by Ben H. Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley, Bad Boys).
High Dials: whose imminently polished mod-meets-psychedelic rock opened up a Brian Jonestown Massacre tour (bet they have some good stories) and is driven by The Dears' ex-drummer. (Grimey loves the Dears, for what it's worth.) Here's a song: "I'm Over You (I Hope It's True)"