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The SXSW 2012 Music Sampler from SXSW Baby

Deciding what music to go and listen to at SXSW is always a tricky one. Thanks to the internet you can get a good feel ahead of time, from the quick lists by music reporters pointing out their ones to watch right up to the six month listening marathon that is Operation Every Band from friend of SXSW Baby! Kevin McStravick.

But that takes real dedication. Kevin’s been highlighting some of his favourites every week, but after the reaction to our MP3 Sampler from the 2011 we all knew that we’d be putting together another eighty acts you really must listen to at this year’s South by Southwest music.

DOWNLOAD the SXSW Baby! “Best of SXSW 2012″ sampler
Rapidshare link (279MB)

A little bit about the process. Through Kevin’s listening we got a rather nice “long list” of acts to listen to, and into that mix the SXSW Baby! team threw in their own favourite bands. We also asked a number of our friends in the music industry to suggest a few names as well.

From then it was a matter of listening to them all again, debating favourites, comparing a few songs that were incredibly similar in head-to-head decisions, and once we had a provisional list, any new song that demanded to be included had to bump an existing song out of the playlist.

After all that, we’re left with 80 tracks (all of which are freely available to listen to online folks, we’ve just got them in one place), and a big jigsaw to get a great running order. As last year, I wanted to create some great moments when listening to the songs, to have the music flow into each other, to have sequences that would allow you to both dip in and out of the sampler, or stick it on a five hour playlist (which should just about reach from the TSA screening at your local airport to the reception desk of your hotel – or twice through if you’re flying from Europe).

If the eighty tracks feels too much for you, then you can break it down to eight ten-track playlists.

  • That’s SXSW in a nutshell (Tracks 1-10)
  • Playing the notes against the beat (Tracks 11-20)
  • We have both kinds of music, Rock and Roll (Tracks 21-30)
  • A little heart in your lyrics (Tracks 31-40)
  • How the west was put in the South By (Tracks 41-50)
  • Bouncing along 6th Street (Tracks 51-60)
  • Slow down and watch the world (Tracks 61-70)
  • Pop goes the weekend (Tracks 71-80)

If you’re not sure, here’s the deal. Listen to the first ten tracks. I’m confident that not only will this give you a great hit of SXSW Music, but you’ll want to listen to the rest of the sampler.

And if you want more after that and SXSW Music hasn’t started, ask Simon at Outroversion nicely for his mix!

Oh and those bands in full?

Against Me, The American Secrets, Anamanaguchi, The Apache Relay, Backburner, Balkan Beat Box, Band of Skulls, Beach Fossils, The Big Pink, Biters, Bliss n Eso, Blondfire, Boy, Bug Girl, Caveman, Chasing Kings, Chris Smither, Cosmo Jarvis, Crystal Antlers, The Dandies, David Ramirez, The Drowning Men, Dry the River, El Hombre Del Saco, Electric Eel Shock, Emma Louise, The Ettes, Fallulah, The Farewell Drifters, Fort Lean, Free Blood, Gary Clark jr, Gemma Ray, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Grieves and Budo, Hans Chew, The Heavy, Horse Feathers, Hospitality, Howler, Ivan and Alyosha, Joe Pug, Jonquil, Jukebox the Ghost, Just a Band, Kat Edmonson, Kevin Devine, Laki Mera, Library Voices, Loquat, The Love Language, Lydia Loveless, Madi Diaz, Marianne Dissard, Matthew Perryman, Meiko, Metric, Mujeres, Nite Jewel, Oberhofer, Of Monsters and Men, OK Sweetheart, Parlove, Plants and Animals, Punch Brothers, River City Extension, Saint Motel, Scars on 45, Scattered Trees, Scoundrels, The Shins, Speak, Stars, Talib Kweli, Talking to Turtles, Three Blind Wolves, Tumi and the Volume, Valient Thor, Yearbook Committee, and Yukon Blonde.

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