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« Bands Named After Hotels, Part 1 Review: Girl Talk @ Congress Theater 3/5/11 »

SXSW Mon Mar 07 2011

Chicago (and the Region) at SXSW 2011 - Bands & Showcases

sxsw2011.jpgLisa White posted a partial list last Sunday, but thanks to some computer wizardry, we're now able to share a much more complete list of the Chicagoland acts on the South by Southwest Music Festival -- as well as those from Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin and the rest of Illinois. We've also put together an expanded list of showcases hosted by local labels, venues, publications and others. Consider this your clearinghouse for Chicago at SXSW 2011.

The links take you to the acts' listings on SXSW; if there's no link, they're not currently on the SXSW site, which means they're playing an unofficial show or showcase. The site is still being updated, though, so they may turn up there soon. Big thank you to Scott Robbin for his help obtaining the data for this post, and to Pop 'Stache for their help tracking unofficial acts.


The Alaya Conscious
A Lull
The Atlas Moth
The Autumn Defense
The Bears of Blue River
Big Science
Blah Blah Blah
California Wives
Candy Golde
Paul Cary
Cast Spells
The Congregation
David Costa
The Cool Kids
Eleventh Dream Day
Ezra Furman & The Harpoons
Famous Like You
The Felix Culpa
The Fireship
The Fold
The Frantic
Gemini Club
Great Divide
Gold Motel (Oak Brook)
Heart Set Self-Destruct
Hollywood Holt
The Hood Internet
How Far to Austin
I Fight Dragons
Joan of Arc
Kellen & Me
The Kickback
Kid Sister
Kids These Days
Bruce Lamont
John Langford & Skull Orchard
Tim Larson and The Owner/Operators
The Lifeline
Light Pollution
Loyal Divide
Makeshift Prodigy
Maps & Atlases
Marco Morales
Mia LeBlon
Midwest Hype
My Gold Mask
Bob Nanna
The Noise FM
Novembers Doom
Outer Minds
Par Avion
Post Honeymoon
Rabble Rabble
Radar Eyes
The Right Now
Ronny Robinson
The Scissors
Scott Lucas & the Married Men
Secret Colours
Sissy-Eared Mollycoddles
Smith Westerns
Smoking Popes
Soft Speaker
State Champion
The Streets On Fire
These Wonderful Evils
Tiger Bones
United Federation of Planets
Veil of Maya
Very Truly Yours
Waco Brothers
Abigail Washburn (Evanston)
White Mystery
The Window Theatre
Young Man
Yourself and The Air


Chris Bathgate (Pecatonica, IL)
Santah (Champagne)

Dylan Ettinger (Bloomington)
Freddie Gibbs (Gary)
Otis Gibbs (Wanamaker)
Native (Northwest Indiana)
We Are Hex (Indianapolis)
Yearbook Committee (Terre Haute)

Diplomats of Solid Sound (Iowa City)
Mondo Drag (Davenport)
Taterbug (Iowa City)

The American Secrets (Detroit)
Big Sean (Detroit)
Binary Star (Detroit)
Black Milk (Detroit)
Celldweller (Detroit)
Cheap Girls (Lansing)
Dennis Coffey (Detroit)
Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr (Detroit)
Easy Action (Detroit)
Elzhi (Detroit)
The Hounds Below (Ferndale)
Human Eye (Detroit)
I See Stars (Warren)
Invincible + Waajeed (Detroit)
Whitey Morgan & the 78s (Flint)
The People's Temple (Lansing)
Pro (Detroit)
Rocky Loves Emily (Detroit)
Terrible Twos (Detroit)
Alex Winston (Detroit)

Capybara (Kansas City)
Greek Fire (St. Louis)
Ha Ha Tonka (Springfield)
JAI (St. Louis)
J.R. (St. Louis)
Living Things (St. Louis)
Ben Miller Band (Joplin)
Puddle of Mudd (Kansas City)
The Republic Tigers (Kansas City)
Rockwell Knuckles (St. Louis)
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (Springfield)
Tech N9ne (Kansas City)
Thi'sl (St Louis)
Umberto (Kansas City)

All Tiny Creatures (Madison)
Codebreaker (Milwaukee)
Differing Opinions of Good (Eau Claire)
French Horn Rebellion (Milwaukee)
Gayngs (Milwaukee)
Jaill (Milwaukee)
Stephen Jerzak (La Crosse)
Locksley (Madison)
Maritime (Milwaukee)
Screaching Weasel (Madison)
Heidi Spencer and the Rare Birds (Milwaukee)


Alligator Records celebrates its 40th anniversary with a showcase on March 16 at Speakeasy featuring Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King, Guitar Shorty and Marcia Ball.

Pitchfork is taking SXSW by storm this year, with an official showcase March 15 at Emo's and an Austin edition of its #Offline series March 17-18 at the East Side Drive-In. The Smith Westerns will be the opening act at #Offline.

The 16th annual Bloodshot Records Party is March 18 at Yard Dog Gallery, with Whitey Morgan & the 78s, Ha Ha Tonka, Waco Brothers, Eddie Spaghetti, Exene Cervenka, Maggie Bjorklund w/Cobirds Unite & special guests, Ben Weaver, Lydia Loveless, FREAKWATER and Carolyn Mark w/the Jack Grace Band performing. The fun kicks off at noon, and it's free for everyone, no wristband or badge required. Bloodshot's official showcase March 19 at Red Eyed Fly, featuring Lydia Loveless, Maggie Bjorklund w/Cobirds Unite & special guests, Exene Cervenka, Eddie Spaghetti, Waco Brothers, Ha Ha Tonka and Whitey Morgan & the 78s. Label acts perform throughout the festival; details here.

The Hideout hosts its annual SXSW Sendoff Party Saturday, March 12, starting at 1:30pm, Outer Minds, Chaperone!, Joan of Arc, Mickey, Radar Eyes, Tiger Bones, Skull Orchard, Paul Cary, Rabble Rabble, Waco Brothers and Kids These Days perform. Tickets are $10 at the door. 21+

shubasroundup.jpgSchubas and Lincoln Hall team up once again with Threadless for the 15th annual SXSW Round-Up March 17 at Yard Dog Gallery. The party starts at noon, with Alejandro Escovedo, Alex Winston, California Wives, John Vanderslice, Kopecky Family Band, My Gold Mask, Reptar, Screaming Females and Walk the Moon, plus DJ sets by Flosstradamus and Midnight Conspiracy. It's free and 18+.

Bottom Lounge, CHIRP and host an SXSW send-off show on March 12 at the Bottom Lounge with Blah Blah Blah, The Idle Hands, Elephant Stone, Big Science, Scott Lucas and the Married Men and California Wives. They'll also be hosting two unofficial day parties in Austin, themed by genre: The hip hop showcase is March 18 at Aces, featuring EPMD, The Cool Kids, Ninjasonik, Doomtree, Shad, Rockie Fresh and Audiodax. On March 19, the rock showcase at Long Branch Inn features The Idle Hands, Blah Blah Blah, Elephant Stone, Empires, Big Science, California Wives and Scott Lucas & the Married Men.

Hozak Records is doing a free two-part showcase on March 18. The first half is at Beerland from 1pm to 6pm, featuring Mickey, Heavy Times, Outer Minds, People's Temple, Fungi Girls, Xray Eyeballs, Squish and Shrapnelles. At 6:30pm, the action moves to Cheer Up Charlies, where Rayon Beach, Women in Prison, Radar Eyes, Teepee, Sleepovers and Reading Rainbow perform.

Lastly, JBTV and Threadless will be hosting three days of free showcases, featuring more than 40 acts, mostly from Chicago. Check out the full schedule here.

What did we miss?

Know of any Chicagoland acts heading down to Austin to perform unofficial shows that we've missed? Did we miss a showcase? Let us know in the comments. And stay tuned for live coverage of the festival!

GB store

george / March 7, 2011 10:07 AM

The All-Day Hideout SXSW Sendoff Party: Sat, March 12

Outer Minds
Joan of Arc
Radar Eyes
Tiger Bones
Skull Orchard
Paul Cary
Rabble Rabble
Waco Brothers
Kids These Days

1:30 pm
The Hideout
Chicago, IL

Mark / March 7, 2011 10:09 AM

More Chicago related SXSW shows for you...

Candy Golde (Nick Tremulous, John Stirratt, Rick Rizzo, Bun E Carlos, and Mark Greenberg) play on Friday night March 18th at Club de Ville as well as Sunday March 20th at Hotel San Jose with Alejandro Escovedo.

Also, Eleventh Dream Day (with James McNew of Yo La Tengo filling in on bass!) plays Saturday March 19th at the Yard Dog party along with Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3, The Baseball Project, the Minus 5, Jon Langford & Skull Orchard, The Autumn Defense, Mark Eitzel, The Slummers, & Calibro 35 (from Italy).

Andrew Huff / March 7, 2011 10:30 AM

@George: Gah! I knew I forgot to include something!

@Mark: Thanks -- great news about Eleventh Dream Day, I'll add them to the post.

Keep the additions/updates coming!

HuStle / March 7, 2011 12:21 PM

There even MORE acts performing too. Some known some unknown. Chicago will be well repped in Austin.
Nice Read!

Shira / March 7, 2011 1:57 PM

Hey Gapers Block, dont forget The Billions Showcase and Party!

Official Billions SXSW Showcase – Friday, March 18 at Antone’s.

8 p.m. The Head and The Heart
9 p.m. Reading Rainbow
10 p.m. Yellow Ostrich
11 p.m. Thao with The Get Down Stay Down
12 a.m. The Submarines
1 a.m. Okkervil River

Billions and Ticketfly Day Party - Fat, Crooked, Unwound at The Mohawk Thursday 3/17

Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside: 12:00 pm
Oberhofer: 12:30 pm
Liam Finn: 1:05 pm
Owen Pallett: 1:40 pm
Telekinesis: 2:20 pm
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears: 2:50 pm
Callers: 3:25 pm
Diamond Rings: 4:00 pm
Henry Wolfe: 4:35 pm
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin: 5:10 pm

Andrew Huff / March 7, 2011 4:11 PM

@Hustle: Give us some less cryptic details and I'll add it to the list! Email

@Shira Thanks, I'll add it.

spudart / March 8, 2011 11:46 AM

I really like seeing the list of Chicago artists. I have a tangent thought here. For years I've been looking for an online streaming radio station that plays only Chicago-based artists. Is there any such site in existence?

chrys / March 8, 2011 1:05 PM

There's an up & coming Chicago band I know that's playing Saturday March 20 at Trailer Space Records called Merlin Wall! Here's that Saturday line up:

Sat Mar 20 - Friends of Electrical Audio

8:00 - Post Honeymoon
8:30 - Yoctonaut
9:00 - Trendspotter Acrobat
9:30 - Half Mile Fox Fur
10:00 - The Fervor
11:00 - Merlin Wall

chrys / March 8, 2011 1:39 PM

Sorry about that I meant Saturday the 19th!

Tracy / March 8, 2011 11:11 PM

Chicago's Verona Red is also playing at SXSW, at Emo's Ides of March Day Party showcase on Tuesday, 3/15 at noon!

Tracy / March 8, 2011 11:13 PM

Correction, Verona Red is playing at GigMaven's Ides of March Day Party showcase, AT Emo's :)

Rodney / March 11, 2011 7:44 AM

Hey Gaper's Block, please add The Flavor Savers to your list of Chicago bands. They're playing Sat. 16th at the Treasure Island Bar on 6th Street. - 5:00pm


Here's a silly video for the tour:

Davis Bowie / March 11, 2011 2:07 PM

yea Merlin Wall Sat 3/19/11 dawgs

[[[>>>pizza party

Carm / March 14, 2011 10:20 AM

Zola Jesus is playing an exclusive (& free!) Stereogum/Broken Bones showcase on Saturday!

GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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