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SXSW Mon Mar 02 2015

Chicago at SXSW 2015: Our Complete Band List, Showcases & More

We at Gapers Block try to cover the SXSW Music Festival in Austin as if it were a local festival — because every March, Chicago sends dozens of acts and hundreds of fans down to Texas, making sure our city's music scene stays well represented. This year's festival runs March 11-16, and will feature a broad swath of Chicago acts both young and old.

Chicago at SXSW 2015

Official Showcasing Acts from Chicago

BJ The Chicago Kid
JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound
Crucial Conflict
J.R. Donato
Dos Santos: Anti-Beat Orquesta
DJ Earl
J Fernandez
Gemini Club
Lil Herb
In Tall Buildings
Mick Jenkins
Jon Langford
The Lemons
Mile High Club
Sicko Mobb
Spike and The Sweet Spots
Twin Peaks
Veil of Maya
Waco Brothers
Alex Wiley

In addition, Yorkville's The Giving Tree Band is performing, and former Chicagoans Brenmar, Genevieve (singer for Company of Thieves) and DJ Spinn are on the bill.

Neighboring States

The region made out fairly well this year, too. Here are official showcasing acts from states bordering Illinois (plus Michigan).

Max Jury (Des Moines)

Freddie Gibbs (Gary)
Houndmouth (New Albany)
Austin Lucas (Bloomington)
Amanda Perez (Fort Wayne)
Sedcairn Archives (formerly Jookabox, DMA) (Indianapolis)
Tiara Thomas (Indianapolis)

The Accidentals (Traverse City)
Black Milk (Detroit)
Clareta Haddon (Detroit)
DeJ Loaf (Detroit)
Heaters (Grand Rapids)
Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers (Lansing)
Pity Sex (Ann Arbor)
Tasha Page-Lockhart (Detroit)
The Spits (Kalamazoo)
Fred Thomas (Ypsilanti)
Daniel Wilson (Detroit)

Cho'zyn Boy (St. Louis)
Ryan Corn (Cape Girardeau)
Erica Danea (Kansas City)
J'son (St Louis)
Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear (Kansas City)
Thi'sl (St Louis)
Alexis Spight (Kansas City)

Count This Penny (Madison)
Group of the Altos (Milwaukee)
Hugh Bob and the Hustle (Milwaukee)
Jaill (Milwaukee)
Livin Epistlez (Sheboygan)
Maritime (Milwaukee)
Novela (Milwaukee)
Vic and Gab (Milwaukee)
Wave Chapelle (Milwaukee)

As always, thanks to Eamon Daly for help analyzing SXSW's artist list.

Unofficial Showcases

In addition to the official SXSW showcases, there are plenty of shows and parties where official showcasing artists perform -- often alongside acts who are down there unofficially. Plus, there are always a couple of shows up here in Chicago for groups heading to the festival. Announcements are still rolling in, but here's what we've heard about so far.

In Chicago

The Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St., hosts a 17-and-over SXSW Send-off Show on Saturday, March 7, featuring Molehill, The Future Laureates, Vintage Blue and Steve Stone. Doors open at 7:30pm, show's at 8pm. Tickets are $10.

The Noise FM and Archie Powell & the Exports kick off their SXSW tour with a show Thursday, March 12 at Emporium Arcade Bar, 1366 N. Milwaukee Ave., at 8pm. Joplin, MO's Me Like Bees opens. No cover, 21 and over.

The annual SXSW Send Off Party at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave., is Saturday, March 14, beginning with a group photo at 1:30pm. Jon Langford, Tom Schraeder, Todays Hits, The Lemons, Modern Vices, Running, MAMA, My Gold Mask, Psalm One and Sidewalk Chalk will perform, followed by a dance party DJed by Glass Lux. The DönerMen food truck will be there for awhile beginning at 4:30pm. Tickets are $10 at the door, with proceeds going to help the artists make their way down to Austin. 21 and over.

In Austin

Sunday, March 15
The Inventors are playing Dirty Fest at the Dirty Dog Bar, 505 E. 6th St., on Sunday at 3pm. The fest features more than 40 bands over three days, March 15-18. It's possible more local acts will end up in the lineup, but so far the details are very loose. 21 and over.

Monday, March 16

The Inventors are also playing at 4pm at The Onion A.V. Club Manic Monday party at Red 7, 611 E. 7th St. Entry is free with RSVP. 21 and over.

White Mystery begins their marathon SXSW tour with American Icon's Heavy Metal Cage Match at Beerland, 711½ Red River Rd., along with American Sharks, Eagle Claw, White Mystery, Duel, Green Beard and more. Doors open at 4pm. $12 at the door, 21 and over.

The Noise FM and Archie Powell & the Exports play at the Resolution Media Happy Hour at Cheers Shot Bar, 416 E. 6th St., from 5 to 11pm. Open bar and free barbecue; RSVP to attend. 21 and over.

Tuesday, March 17

Following last year's success, the City of Chicago will once again present Chicago Made tradeshow booth and music showcase. The music showcase is Tuesday night at 8pm at the Main, 603 Red River Rd., and will feature Vic Mensa, Twin Peaks, Gemini Club, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Dos Santos: Anti-Beat Orquesta and Leather Corduroys, and will be hosted by Psalm One (aka Hologram Kizzie). It's free and open to the public.

Chicago Made is also running a a performance series in the tradeshow booth. Today Sidewalk Chalk performs at 3pm and Prob Cause does a quick 15-minute show at 5pm.

AyOH play at 3pm in the Big Picture Media Showcase at The Blind Pig Pub, 317 E. 6th St. Admission is free, but 21 and over.

White Mystery is somewhere in the lineup for the Hot Burrito St. Patrick's Day Kickoff Party at Hotel Vegas, 1502 E. 6th St. Doors open at 2pm.

Wednesday, March 18

Bloodshot Records's official SXSW showcase is at 8pm Wednesday at the Continental Club, 1315 S. Congress Ave., and features Scott H. Biram, Bobby Bare Jr., Luke Winslow-King, Banditos, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound and the Waco Brothers. The show is primarily open to badge and wristband holders, with just a few public spots available at the door.

At the Chicago Made tradeshow booth in the convention center, Psalm One performs at noon and Glass Lux plays at 1pm.

White Mystery and the Lemons are playing Weiner Records' Weinermania 2015 Wednesday from 2pm to 2am at Spider House, 2908 Fruth St. The Lemons are on at 5:55pm, and White Mystery plays at 10:45. Free, but RSVP on Ticketfly.

AyOH performs at 12:30pm at The Dizzy Rooster, 306 E. 6th St., as part of the RedGorilla Festival, a four day unofficial showcase, March 18-21, at various locations. Admission is free, but 21 and over.

Jacob Thomas Entertainment and Kristian Eliz present "Special Delivery," an official showcase at Roosevelt Room, 307 W. 5th St., from 8pm to 2am. Freddie Gibbs is the headliner, rest of the lineup TBA.

Thursday, March 19

Saleem Music Group and Urban Grind TV once again present the We Are Chicago Showcase at Peckerheads, 402 E. 6th St., at noon Thursday. Lineup TBD. Admission is free with RSVP.

Day one of the Audiotree Showcase at Licha's Cantina, 1306 E. 6th St., starts at noon and streams live online. Chicago featured artists include Sidewalk Chalk, P.M. Buys, ProbCause and Psalm One.

Friday, March 20

The 20th annual Bloodshot Records Yard Dog Party is Friday at the Yard Dog Gallery, 1510 S. Congress Ave., from noon to 6pm. Luke Winslow-King, Bobby Bare Jr., Banditos, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, Waco Brothers, Rosie Flores and Water Liars perform -- plus a surprise guest. It's free and open to the public, and is sponsored by Lagunitas.

The Metro is once again partnering with Etix and concert venues First Ave in Minneapolis and Majestic Live in Madison to present the Midwest Showcase at Holy Mountain, 617 E. 7th St. The O'My's, Xoe Wise, Lili K. and J.Fernandez perform. Doors open at noon. No cover, 21 and over.

Day two of the Audiotree Showcase at Licha's Cantina, 1306 E. 6th St., starts at noon and streams live online. The only Chicago act in the Friday lineup is MUTTS.

Archie Powell & the Exports are playing Downwrite Does Austin at Rooftop on 6th, 403 E. 6th St., at 1:40pm. Admission is free, and it's all ages -- but there's free Lonestar beer if you're over 21.

Reggies is hosting the "Official Reggies Unofficial Showcase" Friday at The Lodge, 411 E. 6th St., from noon to 7pm. The lineup will feature The Coup, Truckfighters, Heymoonshaker, Monokino, MUTTS, the Magnetic Reels, Empires, Wax TV and the Wild Family. Admission is free and so is the beer. 21 and over.

FeelTrip Records hosts FeelTrip Fest from 5pm to 2am at 1-35 and Slaughter (4424 Brandt Rd.). Twin Peaks, Meatbodies, White Mystery, YAWN, Strange Faces, Silk Rhodes, Sexy Fights, Dam Gila, Blind Moon, Pleasure Hammer and Paul Cherry perform. It's all ages and free with RSVP.

White Mystery is on the bill for day two the She Shreds + Tom Tom Magazine SXSW Takeover at Zen Fit, 2200 E. 7th St. Doors open at noon. Free, all ages.

The Noise FM performs at 11:15pm on day three of the Midwest Takeover, a four-day showcase of mostly bands from Kansas, at Shangri-La, 1016 E. 6th St. March 18-21. Admission is free.

The Noise FM also performs at 2pm at the RedGorilla Festival at Touche, 417 E. 6th St. Free admission, 21 and over.

Saturday, March 21

Twista presents MWSXSW, a showcase of hip hop from Chicago and the region, Saturday from 9pm to 2am at Old School Bar & Grill, 401 E. 6th St. The lineup so far includes Do Or Die, Crucial Conflict, Lil Durk, Dreezy, Murphy Lee, D Low, Montana of 300, Tru, Wave Chapelle, YK Wildend, Bandman Kevo, Triple S Slang, Cossetti, ANSCR, Dima Kash, Abuv Ave, Phor, Money Mannish, Tim Ned, Candace Price, Newara, Bruze the General, Young Mogul Chi, Da Small Town General, Swisher, SPRKS, Body, Dwolo and Lil Dred -- and of course Twista himself.

Archie Powell & the Exports play the Good Land Records & Friends South By Midwest Party at
at Freedmen's Bar, 2402 San Gabriel St., at 4:30pm. Doors open at 2pm. Free PBR and brats while supplies last. 21 and over.

Burgerfest IV at Hotel Vegas, 1502 E. 6th St., features White Mystery at 4:15pm, Twin Peaks at 5:30pm and The Lemons perform at 11:45pm. Doors open at 2pm. No cover, 21 and over.

White Mystery performs at 9pm at the Panache SXSW Rager II at Spider House, 2908 Fruth St., Doors open at 11:30am. $5 cover, 21 and over.

There are no doubt unofficial shows we've missed and Chicago artists heading down that we haven't heard about. Give us a heads up in the comments below to add to our list.

Conference Content

SXSW isn't just a music festival, of course -- it's also a conference, and there are several Chicago music folks doing panels and other stuff besides performing.

On Tuesday, March 17 at 11am, ex-Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin -- now CEO of LiveOne, a live streaming service -- is on a panel about Live Music Streaming as Means for Brand Engagement.

On Wednesday, March 18 at 12:30pm, industrial music pioneer Martin Atkins does a talk titled Band:Smart: 50 Ideas to Make $100K More This Year . At 2pm, attorney Brian Rosenblatt co-presents Breaking Up Is Hard To Do...Breaking Contracts!, and Neumeta president Nicolas Sincaglia joins a panel on Valuation of Data In Music Transactions. At 3:30pm, Tim Windish of the Windish Agency is on a panel called Touring Tips and Tricks of the Trade. Also at 3:30, Earlove founder Carolynn Travis participates in Be Hear Now: Hearing Protection Is Music's Future.

On Thursday, March 19, Heather West of Western Publicity and Tim Kolleth, director of radio promotion for Alligator Records, are doing mentor sessions at 12:30pm, and Billions Corporation marketing and media manager Ardie Farhadieh is on a panel titled Which Way Do I Go? Marketing Your Tour Correctly. At 2pm, Diane Andreoni, senior creative director at McDonald's, and Eric Sheinkop, CEO of Music Dealers, talk music and brands at Why You Matter to Brands/Why Brands Matter to You.

On Friday, March 20 at 12:30pm, Marc Lipkin, publicist for Alligator Records, does a mentor session, and Leo Burnett Director of Music Chris Clark is on a panel telling The Truth About Music Supervision. At 2pm, Pitchfork Creative Director Michael Renaud co-presents I Shot The Serif: When Musicians Become Designers with Michael Hendrix of IDEO, discussing the good and bad of album cover design.

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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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