South by Southwest causes its attendees serious cases of FOMO. It's just not possible to see everything you want to see, even with careful planning.
The Second Story Garage staff did its best to get around, though, checking out familiar Colorado bands, like The Epilogues and the Yawpers, well-known acts, like St. Vincent and the Dum Dum Girls, and bands we hadn't heard of before. Much of the exploration was caught on video and shared at secondstorygarage.com.
Follow up on those Colorado bands whenever you can, right in your own backyard, but in the meantime, here are some far-from-local bands you should listen to right now.
Googling this band is sort of hard. One of the first things you'll learn is that a Zarigani is a type of crayfish endemic to Japan. The second is that, yes, this band hails from Japan. The third, which only takes a click, is that Zairgani$ rocks.
Eri and Mizuki -- no last names given -- have been playing together since around 2004 and released five EPs before a 2011 full-length debut, Avocado. They started making waves in North America the next year, and in 2013, released their sophomore LP, Dead Bird.
It's fast, feisty and energetic alt-rock. On stage, Eri hops around with her bass and Mizuki is all wide smiles behind the kit. Maybe the best and simplest description, though, is the broken-English translation in the Facebook bio: "Two piece girls band of the loud sound. The world that they create is very crazy and amazing."
There are plenty of YouTube video on Zarigani$'s website, zariganidollar.com, and you can download the albums on iTunes.
We'd heard murmurings about this band, a band of actual kids. According to the SXSW schedule, the trio is made up of one 12-year-old and two 14-year-old kids. They rock as hard as anyone twice their age.
When we saw them on the last night of SXSW, they had total control of the crowd at the Soho Lounge, right on the festival's main strip on Sixth Street. That kind of talent gets attention from all around, including Dinosaur Jr. frontman J. Mascis, who liked them enough to get into the studio with them.
Until you can hear the results of that, you can check out their thrashing, '90s-ish rock EP, Faces, on Spotify. They're also headed to Denver on April 4 and 5 to open for In The Whale at the hi-dive.
In case any dummies out there still need proof that an all-women band can kick ass, there's TEEN.
They were a hypnotizing presence at the Parish Underground during South By, unwinding knots of guitar, bass, drums and synths, while Teeny Lieberson's spacey voice strung up entrancing melodies.
Lieberson, formerly of Here We Go Magic, got TEEN together in 2010. Two years later, Rolling Stone named the song "Better" one of the "50 Best Songs of 2012." Now, the band's label is declaring that the quartet's second album, The Way and Color, is where they've truly found their voice. Sample the music on SoundCloud, then download the record and decide for yourself.
This Austin band's story begins in 1995, when 15-year-old guitarist and singer Lauren Langner met bassist Eric Larson while playing a skate park show. They've been playing together since. They found a drummer and formed Ume, got married, got a new drummer Fuhrer, and signed to a label.
With an EP and three LPs under their belts -- including the recently released Monuments -- the hard-rock trio has been steadily gaining more and more recognition. You can hear why for yourself on Spotify. It's all there, and it's all killer.
Julian Casablancas and the Voidz
No one needs to explain Julian Casablancas. The thing, though, is that his solo stuff doesn't always get the recognition it deserves.
Casablancas was joined by his band, the Voidz, at SXSW, where he debuted five new songs. In classic Casablancas form, the guitars were shredding jagged melodies and his voice walked the line between not caring and caring far too much.
Listen to all the new songs -- "Ego," "2231," "Biz Dog," "The Phantom of Liberty (Arabic Jam)" and "Dr. Acula" -- over at stereogum.com.
Contact Ashley Dean at 303-473-1109. On Twitter: twitter.com/AshaleyJill.