South by Southwest (SXSW) has come to be known as one of the premier arts festivals an America. Originating in the early 1990s, the Austin, Texas festival includes showcases and performances in the music, media, and film genres. Tomorrow marks the start of SXSW's music performances, with artists from all over the world culminating in a five-day long extravaganza. Rumors are circulating that Jay Z and Eminem will collaborate on the stage for a star-studded performance, but those aren't the only acts to be excited about. From headliners to newcomers, here are some artists worth paying attention to.
THE BIG NAMES
Metric- This female fronted rock act is one of the biggest names to grace the renowned festival. Metric, known for the sweet-yet-edgy vocals of lead singer Emily Haines, have seen success with their albums Fantasies and Old World Underground. Their song Black Sheep was featured on the soundtrack for comic-turned film Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
Talib Kweli- A Brooklyn-born rapper, Talib Kweli got his start in 1995. The native New York artist is known for tracks such as Get By, Never Been In Love, and I'm On One, from his latest album Gutter Rainbows.
Stars- This five-piece indie-pop/alternative act hails from Toronto, Canada. One of their most recent singles to gain popularity is Dead Hearts from their 2010 album The Five Ghosts. The electro-pop turned indie-rock band got their start in 2000, and received two Juno Award nominations in 2004 and 2005.
Asking Alexandria- British metal/rockers Asking Alexandria have made a name for themselves on the hardcore rock scene. Their latest album Stepped Up and Scratched features remixes and collaborations of their previous tracks. Asking Alexandria is no stranger to the festival environment, having played the Vans Warped Tour in 2011 and performing at this year's Mayhem Festival, with metal heavyweights Slayer and Slipknot among others.
Shiny Toy Guns- Shiny Toy Guns is an electronica/alternative band formed in 2002, featuring female front woman Carah Faye Charnow trading off vocals with with singer/guitarist Chad Petree. The five piece band from Los Angeles, California is known for singles such as Le Disko, and You Are The One.
FOUR OTHER BANDS WORTH SEEING
PUJOL- This punkish rock act from Tennessee released a seven-track EP in October called Nasty, Brutish, and Short, showcasing the edgy-yet-raw sound. Singer/songwriter Daniel Pujol is the creative force behind the act, and is currently working on recording another EP to be released in December 2012.
Screaming Females- The epitome of edgy female punk, Screaming Females combine raw vocals with power-chord guitars, energetic drumming and catchy bass lines. Their 2010 release Castle Talk includes singles such as I Don't Mind It and Wild. The three-piece band is fronted by vocalist/guitarist Marissa Paternoster with Jarrett Dougherty on drums and King Mike on bass.
Built to Spill- An indie-rock band based in Boise, Idaho, the four-piece act features front man Doug Martsch on guitars and vocals, Brett Nelson switching between guitar and bass, Jim Roth on guitar, and Scott Plouf on drums. Their first studio album was released in 1993, and their latest There Is No Enemy came out in 2009.
Grimes- Described as a project that is both musical and visual, embodying the arts of 2D, Grimes is a Canada-based act from artist Claire Boucher. Bullett Magazine described the sound as the marriage between the voice of a human and the heartbeat of a machine.
These are only a small portion of the list of full performers, which has been split up into three different showcases spread over a five day span. Be sure to check out the full lineup.