The Phoenix heads from Boston to Austin
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  March 17, 2010

BEATS US: Do you need to pay attention to Sleigh Bells, or is this just a universe of blog bitches bullshitting us again?

Don't be so shocked if the coming week brings with it not just a stretch of balmier weather but also a palpable decrease in the douche point. That's because the vast majority of the music industry has up and JetBlued 2000 miles south to Austin for SXSW (a/k/a South by Southwest). If you've ever used the word "hipster" to describe something, then this city-sized convergence of bands, fans, and media dweebs is (next to people who don't get Lady Gaga) your worst nightmare. If, on the other hand, you're like me or any of the six other Phoenix regulars who'll be spending four sun-stroked, Tecate-soaked days documenting the ever-living hell out of SXSW for your time-wasting on-line enjoyment, then you're as pumped as we are for this annual volcanic band-splosion.

Starting this Wednesday, March 17, we'll be posting a steady supply of videos, photos, interviews, tweets, pizza reviews, fashion critiques, texts we didn't intend to send to the main feed, and, most important, new bands. Our list of gonna-sees is too big for the paper (see our full pre-game checklists on the blog), but here are five we'll be following — and they're headed this way right after Austin! (Tip: Friend them now and follow up with a request for real tortillas. You'll thank us luego.)

RUBY SUNS | Middle East upstairs | March 27 | There's no Fung Wah to Auckland — it's a hike up here from New Zealand. One good thing about SXSW is that it lures faraway talents (with faraway sounds like the Ruby Suns') to commit to full-length flings in the States. Okay, the Suns' latest, Fight Softly (Sub Pop), wears its very vogue island-pop style on its sleeve — but then again, they are from an island, so maybe it's just how they roll. Either way: go see this show and rush the warm weather in.

STRANGE BOYS | House of Blues | March 27 | It's no secret that most Austinites squirm at the thought of South-by's influx of intentionally unwashed and tight-pantsed masses — but for local bands, it's a way to play to the entire world without ever leaving home. The stark, tipsy, garage weedscapes of the Strange Boys are as pure a sampling of Austin's uniquely syrupy weirdness as we're likely to get up here. Catch them as the openers for Spoon and Deerhunter — and maybe let someone else drive.

LITTLE DRAGON | Great Scott | March 28 | Little Dragon aren't just coming from Sweden — they're coming from some freaky-ass alternate future where everything went just right with pop music all these years. There's just no way Yukimi Nagano is emerging from Austin not a star: her voice streaks celestial, and each track glimmers like a precision-charted constellation. This rare Boston date is extra special, since it'll be opened by London future-pop diva-in-training V.V. Brown. Do not miss this.

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