Oklahoma Gazette previews three can’t-miss acts each week leading into Austin’s South by Southwest festival. 

The South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival (SXSW) has exploded since its inception in Austin, Texas, in 1987. Attracting 700 registrants that first year, SXSW now attracts more than 50,000, bringing in nearly a thousand bands. It might be hard to sift through them all on your own, so each week leading up to the festival, Oklahoma Gazette will preview a handful of bands that, as an Oklahoman and music-lover, you should not miss. Learn more about the festival at sxsw.com.

click to enlarge The members of Broncho: L-R: Nathan Price, Ryan Lindsey, Mandii Larsen, Penny Pitchlynn, Benjamin King
  • The members of Broncho: L-R: Nathan Price, Ryan Lindsey, Mandii Larsen, Penny Pitchlynn, Benjamin King

Broncho

Most know these guys like the back of any highly familiar extremity. For anyone outside the state, this is local talent you’ve probably heard without knowing it, especially after the HBO series Girls featured its music.

Having just finished a tour with Billy Idol, this indie garage band from Norman is building quite the critical following since forming in 2010. After popping out its acclaimed debut album in 2011, last year, the band released its sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman. Songs like “It’s On” and “Class Historian” are standouts, recalling retro rock of years past. Clocking in at 32 minutes, the album paces itself well. It’s still a frantic dose of rock ’n’ roll adrenaline and another notch in Broncho’s belt.

Catch Broncho 1 a.m. March 18 at the Bungalow in Austin.

click to enlarge Nuns-2.jpg

Nuns

Nuns are solid. More specifically, its music is spacially surreal rock with a distinct solitary vibe, a thought-up- while-sitting-alone-in-a-cabin feel that hits you hard but then becomes such a familiar part of your past experience it hardly registers at all.

Nuns is the solo project of frontman Hank Hanewinkel III (yes, that’s his name, and it’s alliteratively awesome), and its debut album Opportunities is a quiet but by no means transient first showing.

Written by the Broken Arrow native, the album features his sister Christy Hanewinkel on drums, Chris Davis on bass, Grant Thomas on keyboards and John Burton on guitar. During SXSW, Nuns performs 8 p.m. March 19 at 720 Club Patio in Austin.

French Cuban twins, Lisa-Kainde and Naomi Diaz, form the band Ibeyi "ee-bey-ee" which means "twins" in Yoruban.
  • French Cuban twins, Lisa-Kainde and Naomi Diaz, form the band Ibeyi "ee-bey-ee" which means "twins" in Yoruban.

Ibeyi

The French Cuban twin duo Lisa- Kainde and Naomi Diaz, known as Ibeyi, is quickly becoming one of the showstoppers of the year. Its self-titled debut album combines the deep soul beats of conga and the cajón with an electronic pulse and multi-lingual, harmonic melody. It’s a beautiful combination that stuns.

It’s also, as so many artistic expressions are, a beauty born of tragedy.

At the age of 11, the twins experienced the passing of their father, Miguel “Anga” Diaz, an acclaimed conga player. The day after his death, Naomi picked up his favorite percussion instrument, the cajón. After taking time to feel out their musical intuitions, the twins partnered up to create an album reflective of their pains, their Yorùbán culture and the gravitational bonds of family.

The resulting music is an impact bigger than the sum of its parts.

See the sisters 9:30 p.m. March 20 at Central Presbyterian Church in Austin.


Print headline: Heading south, Oklahoma Gazette previews three can’t-miss acts each week leading into Austin’s South by Southwest festival.

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