Eight Colorado Bands Playing SXSW

Dressy Bessy
Dressy Bessy
Tom Murphy

South by Southwest is coming up fast, March 11-20, in Austin, Texas, and as ever, there are hundreds of bands on the bill for industry peeps to sink their teeth into. Representing Colorado, we have the wonderful Judy Collins (look out for an interview with her soon) and these eight local gems.

8. Dressy Bessy
It seems amazing that Dressy Bessy is twenty years old this year. Since 1996, the indie rockers have been gamely soldiering on in the face of record-company apathy and a lack of money to be made. Tammy Ealom and her crew clearly love what they do, and thank God, because Denver’s music scene would be less interesting if they weren’t around. This SXSW appearance will perhaps bring them renewed attention.

In the Whale
In the Whale
Kenneth Hamblin III

7. In the Whale
These buzz boys played SXSW last year and documented their experience for us, saying, “There are no clear answers to what a band should do. There’s a sense of respect and awe one can’t help but feel for someone who is blindly committing to their passion regardless of the outcome. Work hard. Do your best. We all might not make it. But at least we can say we gave it everything we had. This is our life.”

Khemmis
Khemmis
Tom Murphy

6. Khemmis
Our own Tom Murphy wrote of this lot back in June of last year that they came together over a shared love of Thin Lizzy, ZZ Top and Jethro Tull. Fair enough. If enough dads keep those records around in the old collection, more great bands will be born. Such is the case here: Khemmis is one of the most interesting bands on the heavier end of the metal spectrum, and one would expect them to burst a few record-exec eardrums this year.

Little Fyodor
Little Fyodor
Jeffrey Crist

5. Little Fyodor
This one is going to ruffle a few feathers at SXSW: Little Fyodor is possibly batshit crazy. Either that or his wild and experimental weirdo-punk is making a monkey of us. As he told Tom Murphy in September, “I’ve had people tell me my music is too silly, and other people have said I’m a terminal bummer. To me it’s a mixture of both. Oscar Wilde once said, ‘Give a man a mask, and he’ll tell you the truth.’ I think it’s easier to go further into the dark side of things if you’re doing it with humor. Otherwise it gets too dreary and painful.” 

Pizza Time
Pizza Time
Kyle Verhovshek

4. Pizza Time
Back in April, Pizza Time founder David Castillo told Bree Davies that the band was done and that he would be concentrating on his Panaderia project which, like PT, would be a Spanish-language pop-punk band. In the ten months since, Pizza Times has in fact remained active (alongside Panaderia), and the act plays SXSW this year. “Pizza Time just seemed to be centered on me,” Castillo said at the time. “People started calling me ‘pizza’ — it was kind of gross. I wanted it to be more human as opposed to this mythical pizza slice.”

Sound of Ceres
Sound of Ceres
Tom Murphy

3. Sound of Ceres
Fort Collins dream-pop band Sound of Ceres spun out of emotive locals Candy Claws, and it appears that Karen McCormick and Ryan Hover have picked up where they left off when it comes to otherworldly beautiful noise. In 2015, Tom Murphy described songs from the debut Ceres & Calypso album as “gorgeously expansive” and as blessed with “soothing breeziness.” That sounds about right, and surely they’ll turn some industry and journo heads in Austin.

The YawpersEXPAND
The Yawpers
George L. Blosser

2. The Yawpers
It feels like Denver rock-and-rollers the Yawpers have been around forever at this point, and that’s not a problem for us, because we love having them. We’ll keep pushing them, too, because more people should know about them. Maybe SXSW will do the trick. "Half of our songs are about getting fucked up, and the other half are about existential crises that make you question the nature of reality," frontman Nate Cook told Jon Solomon way back in 2012. "So those two themes run pretty prevalently through the music, or at least I would hope so." Who wouldn’t love that?

YTCracker
YTCracker

1. YTCracker
Self-proclaimed digital gangster and nerdcore specialist YTCracker, out of Colorado Springs, describes himself as a “pseudo-famous lazy hacker turned lackluster musician and public speaker,” and we can see that. Again, he’s been around for a long time, and maybe some greater national recognition for the hip-hop dude is long overdue. Back in 2010, Ru Johnson wrote, “Beyond his music, YTCracker is known for hacking and defacing several government and commercial websites, including NASA and NATO, on down on to the Colorado Springs Police Department website.”

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