50 Acts You Won’t Want To Miss At SXSW

It’s that time of year again and South By Southwest (SXSW) is just around the corner! We’ve decided to bring back our “50 Acts You Won’t Want To Miss” feature and spent hours trying to narrow down our favorite acts. Not making it to Texas for the event? We’ve got you covered!! Check out our Spotify SXSW playlist which features one song from each artist on it here or at the very end of the list below!

Andy Frasco & The
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Genre: Americana/Rock
Recent Release: Happy
Song To Check Out: “Tie You Up”

Where to catch Andy Frasco & The U.N.: 3.16 – 12am – New
Fronteir Showcase @ Swan Dive; 3.17 – 3pm @ Shangri La; 3.17 – 6pm @ Doc’s Bar
& Grill; 3.18 – 6:45pm – The Most Definitely & Wind Up Records
Presents: THE YARD

Hometown: Denver, CO
Genre: Heavy Rock
Recent Release: Kill Tonight
Song To Check Out:

“Kill Tonight”

Where to catch BANDITS: 3.16 – 5pm – RedGorilla Showcase @ Thirsty Nickel; 3.17 – 1am – Boomtown Music Showcase @ 512 Bar; 3.17 – 5:20pm – Big Picture Media Showcase @ Thirsty Nickel; 3.17 – 9pm – RedGorilla Showcase @ Blind Pig Rooftop; 3.19 – 5pm – RedGorilla Showcase @ San Jac Saloon

Hometown: Liverpool, UK
Genre: Alternative/Pop
Recent Release: Banners
Song To Check Out

: “Shine A Light”

Where to catch Banners: 3.16 – YouTube Showcase @ Coppertank; 3.16 – British Music Showcase; 3.18 – McDonald’s Loft

Barns Courtney
Hometown: Ipswich, UK
Genre: Americana
Recent Release: “Glitter & Gold”
Song To Check Out

: “Fire”

Where to catch Barns Courtney: 3.16 – 10pm – Americana Music Association @ Lamberts; 3.17 – Floodfest Day Party @ Cedar Street Courtyard; 3.17 – WFUV Day Party @ Hotel Saint Cecilia; 3.18 – 10:40pm – Paradigm Showcase @ Stubbs BBQ; 3.19 – KGSR Live @ W Hotel; 3.19 – 11pm – NME Presents: Official SXSW Showcase @ Latitude 30

Beach Slang
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Genre: Punk
Recent Release: The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us
Song To Check Out:

“Bad Art &
Weirdo Ideas”

Where to catch Beach Slang: 3.14 – The Onion & AV Club Present Just Another Manic Monday @ Barracuda; 3.16 – 3:30pm – Secret Sounds Presents Falls Festival and Splendour In The Grass At SXSW @ Sidewinder; 3.16 – 10:30pm – Jansport & Noisey Present Bands And A Bonfire Under The Big Sky @ Cheer Up Charlie’s; 3.17 – 12pm – Waterloo Records In-Store @ Waterloo Records; 3.17 – 2:35pm – Pitchfork Party @ Barracuda; 3.17 – 5pm – Biggest Little Day Party @ Frank; 3.18 – 12:30pm – Spin At Stubb’s @ Stubb’s BBQ; 3.18 – 6pm – SXSW Outdoor Stage @ Lady Bird Lake; 3.18 –1am –  Flowerbooking, Topshelf & Polyvinyl Show @ Sidewinder

Hometown: Bergenfield, NJ
Genre: Indie Alternative
Recent Release: Terrible Thrills, Vol. 2
Song To Check Out:


Where to catch Bleachers: 3.18 – 12:05am – Bud Light Music Showcase @ Bud Light Factory

Blue Healer
Hometown: Austin, TX
Genre: Indie Rock
Recent Release: “Luminescent Eyes”
Song To Check Out:

“Luminescent Eyes”

Where to catch Blue Healer: 3.13 – 5:30pm – Side One Track One Showcase @ Volstead Lounge; 3.13 – 9pm – Do512 @ Antone’s; 3.16 – 8pm – New Frontier Touring Showcase @ Swan Dive; 3.17 – 3pm – Mercy Lounge Presents New Americana Party @ Craftsman; 3.18 – 12pm – QSC Showcase @ Austin Convention Center; 3.19 – 5pm – Eye in the Sky Future of Music Showcase @ Shiner Saloon

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Genre: Pop
Recent Release: Moth
Song To Check Out:


Where to catch Chairlift: 3.16 – 12:10am – Stereogum Showcase @ Bud Light Factory; 3.17 – 9pm – YouTube Showcase @ Coppertank Events Center; 3.18 –4:05pm – The Pitchfork Parties @ Barracuda

Daniel Eyes  & The Vibes
Hometown: Austin, TX
Genre: Indie Rock
Recent Release: Sweet Dreaming
Song To Check Out:

“Sleeping With the

Where to catch Daniel Eyes & The Vibes: 3.14 – 7:30pm – Solstice Live Showcase @ Empire Control Room; 3.17 – 1pm – Sound Dessert Showcase @ Stay Gold; 3.17 – 2:55 – Big Picture Media Showcase @ The Handlebar (Rooftop); 3.18 – 2pm – Party In My Pants @ Little Woodrow’s; 3.18 – 1am @ Gigtown Presents 6th Annual Future of Music Showcase @ Shiner Saloon; 3.19 – 9pm – Austin Music Foundation Showcase @ Tiniest Bar In Texas

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Genre: Pop
Recent Release: SWAAY
Song To Check Out

: “Toothbrush”

Where to catch DNCE: 3.16 – 12:55am @ Monster Energy Outbreak House; 3.17 – Music Is Universal Day @ JW Marriott; 3.17 – 3pm – Waterloo Records Day Party @ Waterloo Records; 3.18 – 12:15am @ Scoot Inn; 3.18 – 3pm – West of the Fest @ Key Bar

Fickle Friends
Hometown: Brighton, UK
Genre: Indie Pop
Recent Release: “Say No More”
Song To Check Out:


Where to catch Fickle Friends: 3.16 – 6pm –The Most Definitely and Concord Music Group Present The Yard Day; 3.17 – 1pm – Music For Listeners @ El Sapo; 3.17 – 12am – Pukkelpop x Disco Naivete Showcase @ The Sidewinder (Outside); 3.18 – 4:40pm – The British Music Embassy Day @Latitude 30

Hometown: Hood River, OR
Genre: Pop
Recent Release: Sounds EP
Song To Check Out:


Where to catch flor: 3.16 – 3:45pm @ The Yard; 3.16 – 8pm @ McDonald’s Loft; 3.17 @ Des Moines Embassy; 3.17 – 6pm @ Westin Hotel; 3.19 – 10:15pm @ Sidewinders

Grace Mitchell
Hometown: Portland, OR
Genre: Pop
Recent Release: “White Iverson”
Song To Check Out:

“Breaking Hearts”

Where to catch Grace Mitchell: 3.16 – 5pm – New Shapes Showcase @ Barracuda (Outside); 3.17 – Music Is Universal @ JW Marriott; 3.17 – 11pm – Floodfest @ Cedar Street Courtyard; 3.18 – 9:55pm @ Scoot Inn; 3.19 – Perez Hilton’s One Night In Austin @ Act Live at the Moody Theater; 3.19 – 10:50pm – Austin City Limits Live @ the Moody Theater

Great American Canyon Band
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Genre: Americana
Recent Release: Crash
Song To Check Out:


Where to catch Great American Canyon Band: 3.17 – 4:30pm – The Midwest Music Foundation and Boulevard Brewing Company Present The 7th Annual Midcoast Takeover @ Shangri La; 3.18 – 10pm – Greenbelt Touring Official Showcase @ Tellers

Great Caesar
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Genre: Rock
Recent Release: Great Caesar on Audiotree Live
Song To Check Out:

“Hey Mama”

Where to catch Great Caesar: 3.13 – 4pm – McDonald’s Showcase @ Textile; 3.17 – 1am – ASCAP Showcase @ Speakeasy; 3.19 – 2pm – Southwest Invasion @ Whole Foods

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Genre: Rock
Recent Release: Waking Up The Giants
Song To Check Out:

“Bob Marley”

Where to catch Grizfolk: 3.16 – 6pm – The Showtime Roadies House @ Clive Bar; 3.16 – 9pm – Culture Collide/Stubhub @ Bangers; 3.17 – 12:45pm – Music Is Universal Party @ JW Marriott; 3.18 – 12:30pm – Windish Party @ Mohawk; 3.18 – 10pm – “Homegrown” Grammy Museum Showcase @ Tap Room; 3.19 – 4pm – Waterloo Records @ Waterloo Records; 3.19 – Pandora @ The Gatsby

Harvest Thieves
Hometown: Austin, TX
Genre: Americana
Recent Release: Rival
Song To Check Out:

“Your Damn Vanity”

Where to catch Harvest Thieves: 3.12 – 9pm – Hotel Van Zandt @ Geraldine’s; 3.13 – 5pm – Austin Town Hall and Side One Track One Showdown @ Volstead Lounge; 3.14 – 3pm – Mother Falcon’s “All The Friends Ball” @ Spiderhouse; 3.14 – 9pm – Antone’s x Capital One; 3.16 – 6th Annual Lucy’s Fried Chicken Revival @ Lucy’s Fried Chicken; 3.16 – 5:20pm – Austin Indie Radio Showcase @ The ABGB; 3.18 – 1:40pm – Lone Star Music/Koke-FM Party @ Threadgill’s; 3.18 – 5.15pm – Future of Music Showcase Presented by Gigtown @ Shiner Saloon; 3.19 – 5:30pm – Friends of East Cameron Showcase @ The White Horse; 3.19 – 11pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Victorian Room at the Driskill

Hey Marseilles
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Genre: Alternative Rock
Recent Release: Hey Marseilles
Song To Check Out:

“West Coast”

Where to catch Hey Marseilles: 3.16 – 4:30pm – ListenToAir.com Day Party @ AGBG; 3.16 – 10pm – Showtime Roadies Showcase @ Clive Bar; 3.17 – 1pm – Sirius XM Radio @ Omni Hotel; 3.18 – 1:30pm – Baeble Music Day Party @ Empire Control; 3.19 – 4pm – Gingerman Day Party @ Dogfish Head

Icarus The Owl
Hometown: Portland, OR
Genre: Rock / Pop Punk
Recent Release: Pilot Waves
Song To Check Out:

“I Am the

Where to catch Icarus The Owl: 3.16 – 8:15pm – Max Volume @ Spiderhouse Ballroom; 3.17 – 3.45pm – Rocker Stalker/Switch Bitch Records/Behind The Curtain Media Presents Day Party @ Hole In The Wall (Middle Stage)

Jeremy and the Harlequins
Hometown: New York, NY
Genre: Rock
Recent Release: “No One Cares”
Song To Check Out:

“No One Cares”

Where to catch Jeremy and the Harlequins: 3.17 – 9pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Continental Club; 3.19 – 1pm – 18th Annual Industry of Music Showcase @ Ginger Man; 3.20 – 2pm @ Carousel Lounge

Jocelyn & Chris Arndt
Hometown: Cambridge, MA
Genre: Rock
Recent Release: Edges
Song To Check Out:


Where to catch Jocelyn & Chris Arndt: 3.16 – 9pm – RedGorilla Showcase @ San Jac Saloon; 3.17 – 1:30pm – Big Picture Media Showcase @ The Handlebar; 3.18 – 8pm – RedGorilla Showcase @ The Blind Pig

Judah & The Lion
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Genre: Americana
Recent Release: Folk Hop N’ Roll
Song To Check Out:

“Take It All Back”

Where to catch Judah & The Lion: 3.19 – 10pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Lamberts

Hometown: Rock Island, IL
Genre: Indie Pop/Rock
Recent Release: My Wild West
Song To Check Out:

“Don’t You Give Up
On Me”

Where to catch Lissie: 3.17 – 8:30am – KGSR Radio @ The W Austin; 3.17 – 4:30pm – NoiseTrade Presents: FRYE SXSW Days @ Swan Dive; 3.17 – 8:30pm – “Homegrown” Grammy Museum Showcase @ Maggie Mae’s Rooftop; 3.17 – 11pm – Thirty Tigers Official Showcase @ The Majestic; 3.18 – 5:40pm @ Willie Nelson’s “Luck Ranch;” 3.19 – 12pm @ Waterloo Records parking lot; 3.19 – 2pm – SPIN @ Bud Light’s Brazos Hall

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Genre: Alternative Rock
Recent Release: Comeback Queen EP
Song To Check Out:

“I Don’t Wanna
Have To Lie”

Where to catch LOLO: 3.19 – 12am – Official SXSW Showcase @ Buffalo Billiards; 3.19 – 2pm – Pandora Discovery Den Showcase @ The Gatsby

Magic Giant
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Genre: Folk
Recent Release: Set On Fire
Song To Check Out:

“Set On Fire”

Where to catch Magic Giant: 3.16 – 3pm – Stubhub! Party @ Bangers; 3.16 – 10pm @ Monster Energy Outbreak House

MC Lars
Hometown: Oakland, CA
Genre: Lit-Hop
Recent Release: The Zombie Dinosaur LP
Song To Check Out:


Where to catch MC Lars: 3.19 – 9:25pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Karma Lounge

Milk Teeth
Hometown: Stroud, UK
Genre: Punk
Recent Release: Vile Child
Song To Check Out:

“Swear Jar

Where to catch Milk Teeth: 3.17 – 10:30pm  – Artist Group International SXSW Showcase @ Javelina

Hometown: New York, NY
Genre: Pop/Rock
Recent Release: Our Own House
Song To Check Out:

“Not Your Way”

Where to catch Misterwives: 3.18 – Bud Light Music Showcase @ Bud Light Factory

Night Argent
Hometown: Pasco, WA
Genre: Pop/Alternative
Recent Release: “Kamikaze”
Song To Check Out:

“Nothing More

Where to catch Night Argent: 3.16 – 2:50pm – The Best Lil Big Fest @ The Tiniest Bar in Texas; 3.16 – 6:50pm – Catalyst Publicity Group and Third String Productions Showcase @ The Aquarium

Odd Folks
Hometown: College Station, TX
Genre: Rock
Recent Release: Monica
Song To Check Out:


Where to catch Odd Folks: 3.14 – Three Links; 3.15 – Modern Noise Showcase @ Badlands; 3.16 – Catalyst Publicity Group and Third String Productions Showcase @ The Aquarium; 3.17 – 3pm – Party on the Patio Showcase @ Cheers Rooftop Patio Bar

Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Genre: Electronic Pop
Recent Release: “Golden Chains”
Song To Check Out:

“Love You To The

Where to catch OHLAYINDIGO: 3.15 – 4pm – RedGorilla Music Festival @ The Roof Top on 6th; 3.17 – 12:40pm – Big Picture Media Showcase @ The Handlebar (Rooftop)

Hometown: NJ
Genre: Alternative Rock
Recent Release: Every Good Boy
Song To Check Out:

“Flying Man”

Where to catch Owel: 3.17 – 7pm – Party On The Patio @ Cheers; 3.18 – 6pm – 3rd Annual Hand Drawn Records Showcase @ Brass House Austin

Hometown: Manchester, UK
Genre: Rock
Recent Release: Wild Nights
Song To Check Out:

“Dazed by You”

Where to catch PINS: 3.15 – 5:30pm – Babe Fest/Tom Tom Magazine @ Salvage Vanguard; 3.16 – 4pm – She Shreds Showcase @ Hotel Vegas; 3.17 – 3pm – Smear Magazine Party Seneca Falls Co-Op; 3.17 – 8pm – Pias Showcase @ Latitude 30; 3.18 – 2:45pm – Jackalope Party @ Jackalope; 3.19 – 12pm – Music For Listeners Party @ El Sapo; 3.19 – 6:25pm – Street Legal Guitars Party @ Street Legal Guitar Shop; 3.19 – 9pm – Warp Magazine Showcase @ The Blackheart

Hometown: Beaumont, TX
Genre: Punk/Rock
Recent Release: “Bliss”
Song To Check Out:


Where to catch Purple: 3.13 – 12:30am @ Hotel Vegas; 3.13 – 5pm – Peachy Party @ Swan Dive; 3.14 – 5:30pm – Strange Brew 5 @ Hotel Vegas; 3.15 – 5:45pm – Casual Strangers Day Party @ Guero’s Taco Bar; 3.17 – 3pm @ Red Bull Sound Select; 3.17 – 5pm @ Doc’s Motorworks; 3.17 – 8pm @ Lucky Lounge; 3.18 – 1pm – Siren Sound Temple Party @ Stay Gold; 3.18 – 6pm – The North Gate Main Event @ Carousel Lounge; 3.19 – 5pm @ The Firehouse Hostel

Quiet Company
Hometown: Austin, TX
Genre: Indie Rock
Recent Release: Transgressor
Song To Check Out:

“Holland 1945”

Where to catch Quiet Company: 3.17 – 1am – Official SXSW Showcase @ Palm Door on Sabine; 3.18 – 103.1 iHeart Austin 3rd Birthday Bash @ Maggie Mae’s; 3.19 – 12:45pm – Quantum Collective Southwest Invasion @ Whole Foods; 3.19 – 11pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Scoot Inn

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Genre: Rock/Pop
Recent Release: “My Heart Beats 4 U”
Song To Check Out

: “My Heart Beats 4

Where to catch Rooney: 3.17 – 1am – Official SXSW Showcase @ Soho Lounge

Royal Teeth
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Genre: Indie/Dance/Pop
Recent Release: Wild
Song To Check Out

: “Wild”

Where to catch Royal Teeth: 3.18 – 11pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Esther’s Follies

Strangers You Know
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Genre: Indie Folk Pop
Recent Release: Loosen up the Leash
Song To Check Out:

“Tell Me I’m

Where to catch Strangers You Know: 3.18 – 8pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Tap Room at the Market

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Genre: Rock
Recent Release: Beverly Hells EP
Song To Check Out:


Where to catch SWIMM: 3.16 – 1pm – The Beehive at SXSW @ Swan Dive; 3.17 – Get Buzzed @ The Brew Exchange; 3.18 – “Homegrown” Grammy Museum @ Tap Room at the Market; 3.19 – Double Dutch @ Sidewinder

Hometown: London, UK
Genre: Alternative Pop
Recent Release: “Chances”
Song To Check Out:


Where to catch sykes: 3.19 – 8pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ The Townsend

Teddy Thompson & Kelly Jones
Hometown: New York, NY
Genre: Folk Rock
Recent Release: “Never Knew You Loved Me Too”
Song To Check Out:

“I Thought That We
Said Goodbye”

Where to catch Teddy Thompson & Kelly Jones: 3.17 – 4pm – Rachel Ray Feedback Party; 3.18 – 6:30am – KGSR Live; 3.19 – 12pm – KDRP Live; 3.19 – 8pm @ Central Presbyterian Church

The Ballroom Thieves
Hometown: Boston, MA
Genre: Alternative Rock
Recent Release: “Bury Me Smiling”
Song To Check Out:


Where to catch The Ballroom Thieves: 3.17 – 12am – New Frontier Touring Showcase @ Swan Dive (Inside)

The Christopher Brothers
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Genre: Alternative / Pop Punk
Recent Release: Dog Daze
Song To Check Out:  “The Girl Next Door”

Where to catch The Christopher Brothers: 3.16 – 5pm – RedGorilla Showcase @ The Handlebar; 3.18 – 4:30pm – Texas Rockfest @ Main Stage; 3.19 – 3pm @ San Jac Saloon

The Courtesy Tier
Hometown: New York, NY
Genre: Rock/Pop
Recent Release: When You Were Young
Song To Check Out:

“Little Rock”

Where to catch the Courtesy Tier: 3.14 – 8pm – Priced For Punks Showcase @ Cheer Up Charlies; 3.15 – 10pm – SXSW Showcase Presented by SweetWater Brewing @ Burnside Tavern; 3.17 – 3:15pm – RockerStalker/Bitchswitch Records/Behind The Curtains Media @ Hole In The Wall; 3.18 – 12pm – RockerStalker Presents SXSW Brooklyn BBQ @ Hotel Vegas Annex; 3.18 – 3pm – RockerStalker/Bitchswitch Records/Behind The Curtains Media @ Big Bang Bar

The Gills
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Genre: Alternative Rock
Recent Release: “Gimme Gimme”
Song To Check Out:


Where to catch The Gills: 3.19 – 11pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Trinity Hall at Old School

The Grahams
Hometown: New York, NY
Genre: Americana
Recent Release: “The Wild One (Big Pink Mix)”
Song To Check Out:

“Glory Bound”

Where to catch The Grahams: 3.15 – 6pm – Sun Radio Broadcast @ El Mercado; 3.15 11:30pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Saxon Pub; 3.18 – 9m – Official SXSW Showcase @ Hilton Garden Inn (18th Floor); 3.19 – 12:30pm – Jenni Finlay & Conqueroo Present Rebels & Renegades @ Threadgill’s on Riverside; 3.20 – 3pm @ Continental Club

The Head and the Heart
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Genre: Pop
Recent Release: Spotify Session
Song To Check Out:

“Lost In My Mind”

Where to catch The Head and the Heart: 3.19 – 12am – Culture Collide & Showtime Present The Showtime Roadies House @ Clive Bar

The New Regime
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Genre: Alternative
Recent Release: Exhibit B
Song To Check Out:

“We Rise, We Fall”

Where to catch Reckless Serenade: 3.18 – 1am – “Homegrown” Grammy Museum @ Tap Room; 3.19 – 10pm 0 Trinity Hall at Old School

The Routine
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Genre: Funk, Rock
Recent Release: Black Tropics
Song To Check Out:  “Too Rich”

Where to catch The Routine: 3.16 – 12am – RedGorilla Showcase @ The Blind Pig Pub; 3.17 – 2:10pm – Big Picture Media Showcase @ The Handlebar (Rooftop); 3.18 – 1:40pm – Texas Rock Fest; 3.19 – 7pm – RedGorilla Showcase @ The Handlebar (Rooftop)

Hometown: San Diego, CA
Genre: Alternative Indie Rock
Recent Release: The Cosmic Drama
Song To Check Out:

“I’m Ready For You
To Come Back”

Where to catch Weatherbox: 3.15 – Funeral Sounds & Broken World Media Showcase @ Eden House Co-Op

Check out our SXSW Spotify playlist below!

Seven Bands To See At Boston Calling: #5, Twin Shadow

Written by Eric Riley.

Boston Calling is here to put summer to rest with a bang. If you’ve kept an eye on us for the last few years, you know the deal. Let’s do this again, shall we? Here is our list of who you need to be keeping an eye out for!

On our list so far: #7. Grey Season/Dirty Bangs, #6. Of Monsters and Men

Today we talk about our #5 pick, Twin Shadow.


The 80’s are alive and well thanks to George Lewis Jr.
aka Twin
Getting back to business as usual after a terrifying bus
accident in April of 2014 that forced the band into hiatus, this year’s Eclipse is packed with plenty of
examples that show Lewis is back at full strength.

“To the Top” is a monster of a single, which was featured on
the Paper Towns soundtrack this
summer (and is an awesome addition to a workout playlist, in case you were
looking for something new to sweat to).

For fans of: Genesis, Bleachers, JamisonParker,
For a taste, check out: “To the Top,” “Old Love / New Love,”
“Five Seconds”
Catch them: Sunday, 4:05pm; Red Stage

Review:: Coin EP | Coin

For Fans of: New Politics, Walk the Moon, Bleachers

It doesn’t always take much to leave a large impact.

Individual lines within entire books can change the course of the story.

A single play at the end of an entire season can solidify a championship.

Or, in this case, three tiny pop songs can kickstart a band’s career.

(Hint: this has nothing to do with sports or storybooks.)

Before their debut full-length is released this June (sharing a label with Foster the People and Peter Bjorn and John), Nashville four-piece COIN tease their listeners with a three-song EP that is bound to draw a crowd.

Led in by their first single, “Run,” the short EP wastes no time. A bright guitar hook and echoing backing vocals lead the song, leaving out anything overcomplicated or gratuitous, finding success by keeping things simple.

“Fingers Crossed” holds the energy high, with racing percussion making it impossible to stand still during before a darker, moodier “Better” closes out the EP making use of swirling background noise and 80’s nostalgia. Well, as much nostalgia one can have for a time they weren’t alive for, but you get the point.

It’s no accident COIN racked up more than 100,000 listens in under three weeks on a single track. Their sharp, energetic sound digs itself into your head, while the briefness of a three-song EP from an infectious new band leaves you craving more. June feels very far away now.

Release Date: February 24th, 2015
Rating: 4/5
Runtime: 10:10

1. Run
2. Fingers Crossed
3. Better

Chase Lawrence: Vocals
Joe Memmel: Guitar, vocals
Zach Dyke: Bass
Ryan Winnen: Drums


LOL Gallery: Childish Gambino, The Hold Steady, Bleachers, twenty one pilots

Who: Childish Gambino, The Hold Steady, Bleachers, twenty one pilots
What: Boston Calling Music Festival, Part 2
When & Where: 9/5/14 – 9/7/14; Boston, MA
ByEric Riley

For full gallery, click here!

LOL Gallery:

Who: The National, The 1975, Bleachers
What: Boston Calling Music Festival, Part 1
When & Where: 9/5/14 – 9/7/14; Boston, MA
By: Eric Riley

For full gallery, click here!

Festival Review:: Boston Calling Music Festival

Written by Eric Riley.

Earlier this month, I spent yet another few days in the wonderful city of Boston.

And for the third time, I was lucky enough to be spending the my time working at the Boston Calling Music Festival.

May’s production, which was the first to include a Friday night performance, would prove to be a tough act to follow. Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Tegan & Sara, Brand fucking New – May was certainly the biggest, boldest to-date.

To be expected, and continuing with the trend of creating magic, Crash Line Productions and company built yet another spectacular weekend this September. And, not allowing themselves to be outdone by their pasts, this round’s festivities not only boasted an all-star lineup, but showed that this young festival could join the ranks of the big names.

Opening on Friday night again, which will seemingly (and, according to crowd reactions, thankfully) continue for the foreseeable future, the show was able to add in a third batch of performers – Future Island, Neutral Milk Hotel, and The National (whose Aaron Dessner has helped curate the festival’s lineup). This addition run into a few bugs in May, in regards to photo-pit entrances, overcrowding, etc., but those were remedied by the time Saturday morning rolled around. This time around, the few kinks that were present in the spring (and more likely than not unnoticed by most in attendance) made no appearance in the fall.

Now, before I start on the details of the show, here’s how my weekend started: I worked a morning shift in New York on Friday morning, from 6am until 1pm. I then rushed home, grabbed my bags, and sped to the Albany bus station to hop onto a 1:50 bus that would take me into Boston. As I made my way east, my phone rang and my housing for the weekend was apparently no longer an option. So, the potential for an hour or two of the sleep that I didn’t get the night before was also not going to happen. Instead, there was now a frantic search of bus and train schedules throughout the greater Boston area. The bus pulled in at 6:00, and as I sprinted from South Station to Government Center, my brother texted me saying his couch would be open. In Providence. So when The National’s first three songs wrapped up (which I estimated would be around 9:55), I would again sprint


to South Station to catch the last commuter train at 10:10 to Rhode Island. And, since I’m a damn professional, everything worked out.

Anyway, you don’t need to know more about any of that. Boring stuff, not important. But what


important is how impressive practically everything about those three days was.

Friday night opener Future Islands began the weekend with a set that can be summarized as interesting, to say the least. A combination of clean vocals and brutal, borderline-violent throat singing made for a unique sound and left a lasting impression long after their brief set wrapped up. Neutral Milk Hotel followed, taking the stage devoid of pit photographers and video monitors, requesting fans to experience the show with their eyes and ears rather through screens and lenses. As The National closed out the first night, their performance not only pleased those in attendance, but also reminded us that there were still two full days left of music to enjoy.

As the sun rose on Saturday, it was obvious that the day would be a scorcher. By the time noon rolled around, the temperature was in the high 80’s and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Neither the heat nor the humidity slowed anyone, with an energetic, eager crowd progressively filling the plaza during each passing performance. Sky Ferreira proved to be an early highlight, filling the air with her strong, electric pop sound. When Bleachers entered onto the adjacent stage, fans rushed over to watch as Jack Antonoff (guitarist of debut Boston Calling headlining act fun.) brought his moody 80’s synth-pop to life. Closing with “I Wanna Get Better,” which is arguably the best song from this summer, he left the audience happily entertained.

Now, as great as things are, they can’t be perfect. And as much as we all hoped against it,


was about to happen. After The Hold Steady (aka the best bar-band in America) opened their set with a track from

Stay Positive,

the idea of keeping a good attitude became seriously important. As their set closed, dark clouds gathered and General Admission guests were asked to vacate. Within minutes, heavy rain and winds were tearing through the empty plaza as thunder and lightning roared overhead. And while this delay – which [understandably] paused the show for around two hours and [also understandably] cancelled performances by Volcano Choir and Girl Talk, may have bothered a few fans and took a few banners for a ride, the situation was handled brilliantly. The fact that a festival in only its fourth production was able to not only clear out thousands of guests calmly and swiftly, but then managed to restore the stages’ functionality, keep the fans updated to-the-minute on Twitter, readmit them, and


have the two headliners perform, I could not have been more impressed.

Twenty minutes or so after the gates reopened, Lorde walked on stage and looked out over a sea of reenergized (and moderately damp) fans. Her performance was exactly what we had expected it to be – strong, eerie, and absolutely captivating. As ambient distortion swirled in the background, she delayed the beginning of “Ribs” (my favorite of hers, I might add) to address the crowd. Timid, shaky, and both visually and audibly moved, she thanked the audience. Worried that the show would not resume, and then worried that people wouldn’t return once the announcement was made, she delivered a sincere, strong “thank you” in a cracking voice before wiping her eyes and regaining composure.

Where Lorde’s humility struck the crowd’s hearts, Childish Gambino’s confidence closed out Day Two in high fashion. As he took the stage, Donald Glover’s presence and power was instantly felt. There was no time for modesty or reserve, but rather relentless poise, composure, and dominance. His command over not only the stage, but the audience, was unreal, at times holding the microphone away from himself for full verses, knowing his crowd would fill in the blanks. There may have been a pause a few hours before, but a little rain wasn’t going to end the day. And Glover capped it off exactly how it should have been.

The heat and humidity of Day Two was nonexistent on Sunday. In its place, mid-70’s and clear skies. The weather was as ideal as possible, and the bands took full advantage. Boston natives Gentlemen Hall kicked off the final day and were welcomed with open arms. With trumpet, violin, and a whole lot of grit, Brooklyn’s San Fermin left their mark early on. Even as the day drew to a close, I still heard murmurs and rumbles of people talking about them.

Between the last two performances on the Red Stage – one of 2013’s biggest breakouts the 1975 at 6:00, and punk legends The Replacements at around 8:20, the median age within the crowd jumped twenty or thirty years. Where we heard teenagers and college kids cheering for Matty Healy at dinnertime, we heard their parents reminiscing about seeing The Replacements back before the House of Blues hit Lansdowne Street. Before their performance at this year’s Riot Fest, it had been more than two decades since The Replacements had played in-concert. Getting to watch a band that inspired so many of my favorite bands, but also hadn’t performed since I’ve been alive, was surreal and probably one of the coolest things I’ve experienced.

The Replacements’ performance was huge. That’s inarguable. But, it wasn’t the best thing to happen on Sunday – that honor goes to two guys from Ohio.

At 5:00, the crowd began chanting and screaming for twenty | one | pilots. And when the duo crept on stage donning their trademark ski masks, the cheers were deafening. To accurately put their performance into words is a difficult task – it’s part ukulele, part hip-hop, part piano rock, part pop. I don’t really know what to say about it, and I’m a diehard fan of theirs. Regardless of


it is, it is undeniably infectious. To detail the group’s stage presence is tricky, because that would limit it to the stage. Drummer Josh Dun found himself performing a drum solo while balanced on a wooden platform above the crowd, while vocalist Tyler Joseph spent as much time on his piano as he did playing it, eventually finding himself in the seating area near the back of the audience. The two finished their set on individual risers atop the crowd, banging water-soaked drums before bowing and announcing “we are twenty | one | pilots, and so are you.”

Like it seems to do each time around, September’s show proved to be even better than its predecessor. Brought to life by a group of dedicated music professionals, packed from start to finish with incredible performances, filled to the brim with passionate fans, and kept running smoothly by a tirelessly-working staff, volunteers, and vendors, Boston Calling doesn’t only impress, but reaches and exceeds every expectation. Sign me up for May. 

Boston Calling Interview With:: Crash Line Productions

Interview conducted by Eric Riley.

Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what Crash Line Productions is/does.
– No problem. I’m Michael Snow, co-founder of Crash Line and one of the producers for Boston Calling. My job is basically to break the festival down into the major parts – performers, sponsors, licensing, etc. etc. And after all of that gets set, we try to see how well we can build our small little city in a day and a half or so. It’s a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that people may not recognize right away, but they appreciate. They don’t tend to focus on the video screens or the Port-A-Potties, but they like that they’re there.

You previously worked at the Phoenix Media Group until it closed last March. After it closed its doors you and a coworker, Brian Appel, decided to form Crash Line Productions. What is it about working in this industry that made you guys want to pursue creating a company on your own?   
– I was more on the radio side of it. We ran a station called WFNX here in the city, along with a newspaper and a magazine that we all worked on. But working here, like it would be in any company, there are a lot of different directions and a lot of different goals and a lot of things that you want to achieve. Things are always changing, so you have to do things to keep your audience connected and make sure you always have a product to give them. I think we always just enjoyed doing new things and seeing what we could get done. So now, we took what we had both learned in the past and applied it here, working to use that knowledge throughout the year and focus it down into two weekends.

This will be the fourth edition of the Boston Calling Festival – and a very exciting one at that. The festival itself, in comparison to others at least, is still very young, but the buzz around it is huge. Did you anticipate this big of a response so soon?
– We’re only two years old. And the truth of it is, no, not entirely. When we started this, we both thought that the city wanted an event like this and could support it. But we also knew that people in Boston as well as throughout New England tend to have high standards for things like this, because we’ve been privileged with all of these awesome sports arenas and theaters and concert venues, so we knew it had to be done right. It had to focus on the attendees and deliver a solid experience, then the city would respond to it and the rest could come naturally. It’s been extremely humbling to see how quickly this has all happened, because we knew that if we could do this right, we could do something special.

Boston Calling has a pretty diverse lineup. The May lineup is typically pretty different than the September one, while the show in the fall shows even more range. What made you guys choose to make each edition so different?
– *laughs* Well what made us do that is what artists are actually available. With the cycle of booking, it’s a little bit of timing, a little bit of money, and a whooole lot of luck. These artists could be anywhere in the world, so to get them to your event takes a lot of different things to come together. But sometimes, once you get two or three artists set, or if you see a the crowd is responding well to something in particular, it makes sense to pull more people in from certain areas or genres. We’ve been really fortunate to be able to get the lineups we’ve made, and it just so happened that people’s schedules worked out well enough to give us the diversity that people loved.

A good portion of the festival’s sponsors are Boston-based, and I can assume that that’s intentional. Why do you feel like it’s important to partner with Boston-based companies?
– Well I’ve lived here my entire life, so I think that it’s really important to fly that flag and show that your community as a whole embraces and supports what you’re doing. When things are really working out, and you’re bringing in people who are passionate about the area and about what they’re doing, it just makes sense and it works. Boston is a city where people remember the time they spent there, no matter how long it was. And along with that, we have the local sponsors who not only do we believe in them, but they believe in what we’re doing as an event. They call up and tell us that they enjoy and believe in what we’re doing, and it’s fantastic.

Who has been your favorite performance throughout the past three shows, and who are you most excited to see this time around?
– I guess if I narrow it down to one from each show, I’d start with saying I’ve been a huge fan of The National for a long time. They were the last band to play at our first festival, so the experience of watching them play is something I’ll always remember. Their performance was sort of the endcap to the entire year and-a-half that it took to pull off the first one, so feeling that sense of accomplishment, teamed up with the appreciation I’ve always had for that band, it was truly special. But I think my favorite from that year was probably Matt & Kim – the weather that year was so awful, but those two have such a high energy and it made everyone forget all about it.

I think the most unexpected performance I’ve seen would have to be Major Lazer, no question. I had seen it in smaller venues before, but watching it on that grander scale was unlike anything I’d ever seen.

For this upcoming one, I think I’m most excited to see Bleachers. There’s a lot of buzz around them, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Then again, if I can see more than three songs from a band’s set, that’s a victory for me. There’s always something to do, so we’re always running around. But even if I can’t stop and watch an artist’s full set, I can still have to chance to watch someone watching their favorite band. And to think that we had something to do with giving them that opportunity, it’s such a great feeling. Getting a second to step back and take the entire scene in as a whole, it never loses its impact. It’s a rare instance when you can see a pure sense of appreciation in someone’s face, and I think music is where we get that chance.

The lineup for each show seems to get bigger and better each time around. Have there been artists that fans requested a lot? Or maybe one that you tried to get but couldn’t?
– There haven’t been many that we’ve gotten each year, but when Outkast announced their festival route, we hadn’t announced our lineup yet, so there was this huge pouring-in of people asking if they’d be here. I don’t think we’d ever be big enough to get an artist that huge, but I think we’re a festival stepping stone – kids can come out and find out that they really enjoy seeing the bands that they like while surrounded by 20,000 strangers, and then turn around and go to a bigger one, and another after that. We’re like the gateway drug of festivals. *laughs* But maybe I shouldn’t say it that way.

Each show seems to bring something new, and this time you included a huge Octoberfest celebration. Was this a chance to celebrate Sam Adams’ 30th Anniversary? Have you already started planning for the (hopeful) next one?
– We haven’t really started planning the site for May yet, because we want to have the chance to see if there are things that happen this weekend that need to be changed or tweaked for the next time around. We’ve been working with a few of the performers for the next one, and we’re very excited to announce some of those. We like to always have something happening no matter what, we always like to be thinking of new things or creative ways to add in new features, because it’s always a “why not?” mindset. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, right?

Well whatever you’ve got planned for the next one, which we all hope will be in May again, I’m sure it’s going to be awesome. Thanks again
– Yes, you’ll see us back here in May. We’ll keep doing this until people stop showing up.

Seven Bands To See At Boston Calling: #1, twenty | one | pilots

Hellooooo again! We’re back for our third run with Boston Calling and we’re as excited as ever, so we’ve decided to bring back our “Seven Bands To See” feature! The lineup this time around is as great as it has ever been, and the weekend is shaping up to be the biggest one yet. So, here’s who to keep an eye out for!

On our list so far: #7. Sonicbids Winner/Gentlemen Hall#6. The National#5. The 1975#4. Bleachers#3. Lorde, #2. Childish Gambino

Today we talk about our #1 pick, twenty | one | pilots.

Finding the words to accurately describe twenty|one|pilots is no easy task.

Their music is nearly unclassifiable, bouncing back and forth between a handful of genres with a frequency that keeps you hooked without pulling you in too many directions. Mixing pop/punk choruses and rap verses with EDM drops, ukulele, piano, and drums, the group is a rarity. With 2013’s Vessel, the duo (Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun) released one of the year’s most daring, interesting, and all-around impressive albums. And while their sound is diverse, their presence never changes. Supported by a following that it more of a family than a fanbase, the group has a dedicated gathering behind it. Though I’ve never experienced their live show in-person, each example I’ve seen, no matter how brief or extensive, has shown something special. I’ve been waiting a long while for a chance to watch this performance, and it’s one you couldn’t pay me to miss.

For fans of: Chronic Future, Panic! at the Disco, New Politics
For a taste, check out: “Car Radio,” “House of Gold,” “Guns for Hands”
When you can see them: Sunday, 5:00pm, Jetblue Stage

Seven Bands To See At Boston Calling: #2, Childish Gambino

Hellooooo again! We’re back for our third run with Boston Calling and we’re as excited as ever, so we’ve decided to bring back our “Seven Bands To See” feature! The lineup this time around is as great as it has ever been, and the weekend is shaping up to be the biggest one yet. So, here’s who to keep an eye out for!

On our list so far: #7. Sonicbids Winner/Gentlemen Hall#6. The National#5. The 1975#4. Bleachers, #3. Lorde

Today we talk about our #2 pick, Childish Gambino.

Donald Glover makes it difficult to focus on one aspect of his talent, because it seems like wherever you turn, he’s not only there, but he’s owning it. Actor, comedian, musician, and much more, Glover will be closing out Saturday night’s show in front of what is sure to be a packed crowd. Whether it’s 2011’s Camp or … Because the Internet, which was 2013’s last great release, Glover delivered a noticeably different style and tone on each, while still managing to impress. Sometimes tender and caring, other times merciless and vicious, Childish Gambino is a two-headed monster, capable of delivering a soft, smooth love ballad followed immediately by a rapidfire assault. His performance is bound to be fierce and intense.

For fans of: Lupe Fiasco, Tyler the Creator, Kid Cudi 
For a taste, check out: “Crawl,” “Heartbeat,” “That Power”
When you can see them: Saturday, 9:30pm, Jetblue Stage

Seven Bands To See At Boston Calling: #3, Lorde

Hellooooo again! We’re back for our third run with Boston Calling and we’re as excited as ever, so we’ve decided to bring back our “Seven Bands To See” feature! The lineup this time around is as great as it has ever been, and the weekend is shaping up to be the biggest one yet. So, here’s who to keep an eye out for!

On our list so far: #7. Sonicbids Winner/Gentlemen Hall#6. The National#5. The 1975, #4. Bleachers

Today we talk about our #3 pick, Lorde.

Like I mentioned a bit earlier, there were a handful of artists who dominated 2013. Earning four Grammy nominations (and two wins) at 17, Lorde had a pretty decent year. The success of “Royals” placed her in the spotlight, but it’s the undeniable charm and ambiance throughout the rest of her Pure Heroine that makes her special. Later this year, she will be curating the soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, as well as releasing a new single for the movie and working on her follow-up album. When she takes the stage in Boston for the second time this year (after a sold-out show at The Orpheum in May), there’s no doubt she’ll captivate.

For fans of: Grimes, Tegan & Sara, Lana Del Rey
For a taste, check out: “Ribs,” “A World Alone,” “Team”
When you can see them: Saturday, 8:15pm, Capital One Red Stage