• It's that time of year again when thousands descend upon an unsuspecting Austin for good tunes, great BBQ and bats. It's South By Southwest, the biggest and most gleeful cluster of live music in all of winter. The festival can make or break bands, and it can also break your wallet if you don't come prepared (or come as media. "Citizen" wristbands will run you $795, and that doesn't even include the expanded film festival and interactive conference!). So we're making it easy on you Austin bound with our top 10 must-see acts at SXSW.

    Against Me!

    You've seen the Florida punk band at umpteen Warped Tours, but you've never seen 'em like this. Brandishing the confessional Transgender Dysphoria Blues, singer Laura Jane Grace leaves it all on the stage (and sometimes in the pit). You'll get your stockings in a twist in the best way possible.

    Capital Cities

    Don't let the omnipresence of "Safe and Sound" deter you-- Capital Cities are super keen in concert. There are exuberant trumpets, slick choreography, beards aplenty and sometimes Bee Gees covers.

    Foxboro Hot Tubs

    Pssst, this is actually Green Day in disguise! (See also: The Network.) They won't be playing "Basket Case" or any of your childhood favorites, but in the spirit of Austin, they're going a little more organic. If you dig garage rock with a sneer, you'll enjoy getting into the Tubs.


    R&B and rap heavyweights join forces here for a ridiculously star-studded jam. The legendary backing band of Al Green and others will be accompanied by Snoop Dogg, members of Three 6 Mafia and Booker T.


    She was twerking before it became a thing. Her live sets are all about glitter, good times and frenetic energy. You'll quickly find there's much more to the pop provocateur than her "Milkshake."


    Hip-hop won't die, as long as this mainstay sticks around. His guttural, natural flow has graced South By numerous times, but they keep asking him back for a reason: showmanship. Come for the lyrical spectacle, stay for the stage-play accoutrements.

    Painted Palms

    A little bit o' dream-pop for your pleasure. We're huge fans of the Palms' 2014 album, Forever, and we encourage you to jump on the bandwagon before they outgrow Austin's intimate venues.

    Peach Kelli Pop

    Gaga for the Go-Go's? You'll be sure to find Peach Kelli Pop to your liking. Sweet pop-rock with a touch of fuzz, PKP will be a welcome reverie in the Texas sun.

    The Pizza Underground

    It's Macaulay Culkin performing re-imagined Velvet Underground songs, now with cheesier lyrics. Don't ask; just go.

    Johnny Winter

    Winter is coming, so you'd better abide. The guitar god might be 70, but he still shreds like a maniac. Witness the wizardry.

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