Rick’s Picks for SXSW 2018

Rick McNulty hosts Left of the Dial on Fridays and Uptown Saturday Night on Saturdays, 7-11 pm. Follow him on Twitter @Rick_Daddy

After spending the past two weeks swimming through the morass of SXSW artists, I think I finally have my essential acts to see. [Note to our Austin bands: though I will no doubt catch some of you this week, I didn’t include you in this discussion since we can fortunately see you year-round.]

My first priority is to catch U.S. Girls, which is the moniker used by Meghan Remy. Her lyrics are subversive with a musical foundation that skews somewhere between Childish Gambino, Steely Dan, and a young Madonna. She just released her second album and may be primed for a breakout this year.

I’m also excited about the 20-year-old Sophie Allison, soon to be better known as Soccer Mommy. Clearly Allison comes from the school of Car Seat Headrest because A) she uses a ridiculous nom de plume; B) she’s barely old enough to vote; C) she knows her way around a guitar; and D) she writes songs that are as heartbreaking as they are cutting.

My third favorite pick for SXSW is a young British quartet known as Goat Girl. They have an elevated sense of humor (“Country Sleaze” and “Cracker Drool” are just two of their titles), are incredibly fun onstage, and speak to the malaise of our times. I hope they run into Kim Deal while they’re here — they’d have a lot to discuss.

More generally, if you’re on the prowl for straight up rock ‘n’ roll I recommend Naked GiantsMetzCanshaker Pi, or Ex-Girlfriends. And if you want something a little weirder, you’ll flip your wig with Superorganism, Sloppy Jane, Girlyboi, or De Lux.

Here’s a Spotify playlist with my 30 picks for this week. Good luck out there!

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