Spinning Platters Picks Six: European Pop Acts You Should Go See at SXSW 2010

by Gordon Elgart on February 15, 2010

Here's one of six bands you shouldn't miss in Austin this March.

You could go to SXSW and see lots of indie buzz bands from Brooklyn. If that’s your thing, great! As for me, I’ll be running around Austin chasing down the chance to see bands from other countries visit our shores, sometimes for the first time, sometimes for the only time. (I even have a tradition of seeing a band I’ve never heard of, from a country I’ve never been to. Give this one a shot.)

So if you go to Austin, and want to hear the best of pop music from the Old World, make sure to check out these six bands.

1. Alphabeat – Trust me when I say that the world needs more Danish pop bands. If you’re a fan of the Popjustice blog (and you should be), you know all about this band. Frankly, they don’t have much of a chance to make it big in the states, and they’re playing shows in Austin and New York on this trip here. Make sure to bring your dancing shoes.

2. Rose Elinor Dougall – You may know her better as the “cute brunette from the Pipettes,” but she’s a solo artist now, and her singles have been really good. If you leave Austin with only one indie rock crush, she’s the best choice.

3. The Wave Machines – While the Wave Machines are doing a U.S. tour, they’re skipping the west coast this time out, so you Bay Area people should see them when you have a chance. This was the best CD I checked out at the listening stations at Rough Trade East when I was there last summer, and it’ll be a treat to see them live.

4. Everything Everything – Don’t know too much about these guys, but I saw their name on the list and checked them out. They’re British, they’ve got lots of synths and herky jerky beats, and I think they have an original sound. Perhaps closest to a bands like Level 42 and Field Music? Just check out this video, and I’ll see you at their set.

5. Dan Black – I’ve played him on the podcast before, and he does have an album coming out in the U.S. next week, but pop albums like this hardly ever catch on here. And with the cost of touring the U.S., you’re unlikely to have too many chances to see him. Although he’s playing Popscene in San Francisco on Feb 25, I’m sure I’ll be ready for more by the time I get to Texas.

6. Viva City – This one might be the best of the bunch, and I also think they have the most “American” appeal. But don’t you want to say you saw them when?

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Joel Edelman February 15, 2010 at 9:18 am

Alphabeat must list the same inspiration as Londonbeat. The lead singer is a little too smug for me, but I will always take more of this genre.


Tony Butterworth February 15, 2010 at 9:23 am

Cool selection, most were new to me. They all sound frighteningly similar though, not sure if that’s your choices or just the type of music they book for SXSW.


Gordon Elgart February 15, 2010 at 9:36 am

I was meaning to be genre specific, so there are definitely some similarities here. Plus, they’re all bands I like so maybe I just like frightening similar music?


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