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List: Top 5 Acts From South By Southwest 2013

It always takes at least a week for South By Southwest to sink in. During the week, your ears, eyes and nose are subjected to a flurry of intense flavors. From the next great indie rock groups to the most delicious food trucks, your senses are thrown for a serious loop. Now, one week later, it seems like a good time to look back on the week that was SXSW 2013.

Heading into SXSW, it seemed as if the social media universe was testing the validity of the festival. While there may be doubts about the relevancy and importance of the technology portion of the conference, the music week continues to standout as an industry mainstay and launching pad for the year to come.

There were five acts that truly distinguished themselves throughout the week for a variety of reasons. Here”s our breakdown of the top 5 acts from SXSW 2013:

  1. Justin Timberlake: This list has to start with Justin Timberlake. While covering mainstay artists at SXSW seems very counter intuitive, Timberlake is not only relevant, but is looking to redefine music in 2013. In an era of voice encoders, massively overproduced beats and random, unnecessary collaborations, Timberlake arrived in Austin on a mission. To alter the direction of pop music in 2013. Only time will tell if his album, “The 20/20 Experience” will accomplish this task but his “secret show” during SXSW”s final night was filled to capacity and widely consdiered the weeks most important show. If this new direction for JT does cause a shift in the pop world, this show in Austin will be seen as the launching point.
  2. American Authors: Just because we filmed a really cool performance of this bands current single “Believer,” doesn”t mean it got them on this list. Coming into SXSW, American Authors were seeing some amazing support for their single on Sirius/XM”s Alt Nation, while their second single “Best Day Of My Life” continues to back the current Lowes commercial. The band played a number of packed shows in front of enthusiastic crowds in Austin and are poised for a monster 2013 with a full album due out this spring.
  3. Skinny Lister: Skinny Lister are the smallest band on our list. SXSW has always been about finding the next great band from all genres. This band takes the instrumentation of Mumford & Sons, stomp box and all, and combines it with the smooth tones that accompany Irish-Rock artists like Flogging Molly. This combination forms the basis for Skinny Lister who played a number of shows during SXSW and had crowds singing along to songs the crowds had never even heard. It”s the type of band that makes you want to drink, dance

    and party. We all know that the music world can always use more drinking, dancing and partying.

  4. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis: Every year, there are a few acts that happen to peak during the week of SXSW. In years past, artists like Neon Trees, Phoenix and Vampire Weekend have performed in Austin while their records were red hot. This year will be remembered as the year of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at SXSW. The raper/producer tandem seemed to perform every few hours in a number of official and unofficial showcases. Each time they hit the stage, the capacity crowds went crazy, right up until their performance headlining Perez Hilton”s annual One Night In Austin on the festivals final night. They might not be considered “emerging artists” anymore but it”s safe to say that we”ll be seeing a lot more of them this year.
  5. Twenty One Pilots: Here”s a band that we had never heard about before SXSW and absolutely loved. In fact, we were surprised to see this band performing at the MTVu Woodie Awards to a massive crowd just before Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. What really gets you about this drummer/rapper combo is their energy. Despite not knowing a single song in the set, the show was full of energy and was beyond entertaining. Giving them a listen after the event, the energy does not translate well onto the album but given the support of the MTV machine, we”d guess this band sees some traction in 2013.
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