Sure, the annual South By Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas, is billed as a place to discover thousands upon thousands of up-and-coming new bands — but it’s also increasingly being used as a venue for old bands to relaunch themselves or connect with fans flocking to the festival, which officially runs March 13 through 18.
This year’s no different, with SXSW welcoming a horde of ’80s college rock veterans, including members of The Replacements, R.E.M., X, Hüsker Dü and The Smiths. The reunited original lineup of The dB’s will play multiple shows, as will synthpop master Thomas Dolby. Austin-bound fans can also catch The Cult, Dinosaur Jr and The Wedding Present.
The real big draws, though, will be The Jesus and Mary Chain — playing a single showcase slot, expanded from the traditional 45 minutes to a full 90 minutes (ironic for a band famous for its 15-minute gigs) — and Bob Mould performing Sugar’s Copper Blue. Plus, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and Mike Mills will perform Big Star’s Third along with Big Star drummer Jody Stephens, Chris Stamey of The dB’s, Mitch Easter of Let’s Active, and Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of The Posies.
Below is our full round-up of official showcases, day parties and other events, sanctioned and unsanctioned, at South By Southwest next week. For a full official schedule, check out sxsw.com.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14
- The dB’s with Mitch Easter, The Dogwood, 1:30 p.m.
- The Wedding Present, The Red Eyed Fly, 5:15 p.m.
- Thomas Dolby, The Dogwood, 6:30 p.m.
- The Wedding Present, Swan Dive, 10 p.m.
- Thomas Dolby, The JR, 12 a.m.
- The Wedding Present, Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop, 1:30 p.m.
- Peter Case, Lucy’s Fried Chicken, 2 p.m.
- The dB’s, The Stage on Sixth, 2:30 p.m.
- John Doe, Jovita’s, 3 p.m.
- The Wedding Present, Hotel Vegas, 5:15 p.m.
- Big Star Third concert, Paramount Theatre, 9 p.m.
- The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Belmont, 12 a.m.
- John Doe, Continental Club, 12 a.m.
- Tommy Stinson, Lamberts, 12 a.m.
FRIDAY, MARCH 16
- The Wedding Present, Flat Top Burger Shop, 1 p.m.
- Peter Case and Paul Collins, Jackalope, 2:55 p.m.
- The dB’s, Dogfish Head & Blurt Magazine/Austin 360 Event, 3 p.m.
- Tommy Stinson, Dirty Dog Bar, 3 p.m.
- The Wedding Present, The Stage on Sxith, 4 p.m.
- Andy Rourke of The Smiths (DJ set), IFC Crossroads House, 5 p.m.
- Tommy Stinson, Jackalope, 5:30 p.m.
- The Cult, Waterloo Records, 6 p.m.
- Peter Case and Paul Collins, Spiderhouse, 8:30 p.m.
- The dB’s, Bo Ridley’s, 9 p.m.
- Thomas Dolby, Cedar Street Courtyard, 9 p.m.
- Grant Hart, Beale Street Tavern, 10 p.m.
- The Wedding Present plays Seamonsters, The Iron Bear, 11 p.m.
- The Cult, Klub Krucial, 11:59 p.m.
- Dinosaur Jr, Bar 96, 12:30 a.m.
- Bob Mould plays Copper Blue, Frank, 12:30 a.m.
SATURDAY, MARCH 17
- The dB’s, Music Fog, Threadgill’s, 11 a.m.
- The dB’s, Maria’s Taco Xpress, 2:30 p.m.
- Bob Mould plays Copper Blue, The Mohawk, 3:30 p.m.
- The Wedding Present, The Ginger Man, 4 p.m.
- Tommy Stinson, The Ginger Man, 5 p.m.
- Chris Stamey, Buca Lounge, 8 p.m.
- The Cult, Auditorium Shores Stage, 8 p.m.
- Tommy Stinson, The Whiskey Room, 12 a.m.
SUNDAY, MARCH 18
- Alejandro Escovedo & Friends, w/ Tommy Stinson, Peter Buck, Continental Club, 6 p.m.