Music Festivals

Only One Colorado Band Made SXSW's Initial Lineup

Slow Caves will play the 2019 edition of the SXSW Music Festival.
Slow Caves will play the 2019 edition of the SXSW Music Festival. Courtesy of Slow Caves
If you believe Denver boosters, the city's live-usic scene is thriving. That's in part because Colorado, thanks largely to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, has become a bucket-list destination for artists worldwide. But local bands — and we have many great ones — struggle to be recognized outside the confines of this square state. Just look to the Austin-based South by Southwest Music Festival's initial lineup for proof.

The annual music event, which takes place March 11 to 17, has announced its first round of invited artists, and only one Colorado band made the cut: Slow Caves.

Andy Thomas wrote of the band in February.

Listening to Slow Caves’ lush, intelligent music, it’s easy to forget that the band’s members are all in their early twenties.

Inexperience might hamper some groups, but Slow Caves is an exception. Although its songwriting reflects suburban ideals and millennial angst, the Fort Collins band — made up of singer/guitarist Jakob Mueller, drummer Jackson Lamperes, singer/guitarist Oliver Mueller and bassist David Dugan — shuns many of the musical clichés used by younger artists in favor of intelligent compositions and complicated time signatures generally seen in post-punk acts that rose to prominence in the mid-’90s, when these guys were just kids.
Slow Caves is a great pick. And plenty of Denver bands have played the festival in the past, including Wheelchair Sports Camp, Dressy Bessy and Khemmis.

But just one in 2019? What about Wildermiss? Or the Milk Blossoms? Or Molina Speaks? Or Cheap Perfume? Or Itchy-O? Or Los Mocochetes? Or SunSquabi? Or Gasoline Lollipops? Those are just a handful of the legions of deserving artists we would love to see exported far beyond this state (presuming they'd return, of course).

We know this is just the first round of announcements, and surely more Colorado bands will be in the SXSW spotlight. But as of now, Slow Caves is shouldering the responsibility of representing Denver and Colorado alone.

The full list of acts, as provided by SXSW, is below.

Acharné (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
Alexandra Cardenas (Berlin GERMANY)
Amanda Palmer (Boston MA)
Amaru Tribe (Melbourne AUSTRALIA)
Amyl & The Sniffers (Melbourne AUSTRALIA)
Annabel Allum (Guildford UK-ENGLAND)
Arkansas Dave (Austin TX)
Art School Girlfriend (Wrexham UK-WALES)
audiobooks (London UK-ENGLAND)
Ayelle (Stockholm SWEDEN)
Bad Bad Hats (Minneapolis MN)
Bane's World (Long Beach CA)
Baseball Gregg (Stockton CA)
Baywaves (Madrid SPAIN)
Be Forest (Pesaro ITALY)
Berndsen (Reykjavik ICELAND)
The Beths (Auckland NEW ZEALAND)
Big Phony (Seoul SOUTH KOREA)
Black Rheno (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
Blood Cultures (Jersey NJ)
Bloods (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
Blushing (Austin TX)
Body Type (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
Bohemian Betyars (Miskolc HUNGARY)
Bones Garage (Tel Aviv ISRAEL)
Boy Azooga (Cardiff UK-WALES)
Breathe Panel (Brighton UK-ENGLAND)
Brett Newski & the No Tomorrow (Milwaukee WI)
Bror Gunnar Jansson (Gothenburg SWEDEN)
Bubble Puppy (Austin TX)
Capsula (Buenos Aires ARGENTINA)
Castlecomer (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
Catherine Britt (Newcastle AUSTRALIA)
Cats On Trees (Toulouse FRANCE)
Ceramic Animal (Philadelphia PA)
Charli Adams (Nashville TN)
Charlie Belle (Austin TX)
Charlie Faye & The Fayettes (Austin TX)
The Chills (Dunedin NEW ZEALAND)
Chkbns (Saint Petersburg RUSSIA)
Cilantro Boombox (Austin TX)
Cones (Los Angeles CA)
Creamer (Nashville TN)
Damien McFly (Padova ITALY)
Darkbird (Austin TX)
David Boring (Hong Kong CHINA)
David Keenan (Dundalk IRELAND)
Dawn Avenue (Mexico City MEXICO)
Death Bells (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
Deeper (Chicago IL)
Diego Guerrero (Madrid SPAIN)
Drahla (Leeds UK-ENGLAND)
Drinking Boys and Girls Choir (Daegu SOUTH KOREA)
The Dunts (Glasgow UK-SCOTLAND)
Dwagie (Tainan TAIWAN)
Ecko (Buenos Aires ARGENTINA)
Ellis (Hamilton CANADA)
el Tambor de la Tribu (Guatemala GUATEMALA)
Emily C. Browning (Christchurch NEW ZEALAND)
Emily Fairlight (Wellington NEW ZEALAND)
eX-Girl (Planet Kero Kero JAPAN)
Ezra Collective (London UK-ENGLAND)
Faded Ghost (Shanghai CHINA)
Fanclub (Austin TX)
Feels (Perth AUSTRALIA)
Flohio (London UK-ENGLAND)
Foa (Eugene OR)
Fontaines D.C. (Dublin IRELAND)
Forever (Montreal CANADA)
French for Rabbits (Wellington NEW ZEALAND)
French Vanilla (Los Angeles CA)
The Fur. (Taipei TAIWAN)
fuvk (Austin TX) Gaddafi Gals (Munich GERMANY)
Gaelynn Lea (Duluth MN)
Georgi Kay (Perth AUSTRALIA)
The Gooch Palms (Newcastle AUSTRALIA)
Goo Munday (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
Grim Streaker (Brooklyn NY)
Gudrun Gut (Berlin GERMANY)
Gustavo Casas y Los Que Buscan (Caracas VENEZUELA)
Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra (Montreal CANADA)
Hala (Detroit MI)
Hans. (Auckland NEW ZEALAND)
Hayden Pedigo (Amarillo TX)
Hazey Eyes (Philadelphia PA)
Her's (Liverpool UK-ENGLAND)
Her Skin (Modena ITALY)
Hickeys (Madrid SPAIN)
Hot Flash Heat Wave (San Francisco CA)
Husky Loops (London UK-ENGLAND)
I'm Glad It's You (Redlands CA)
I am waiting for you last summer (Ryazan RUSSIA)
Jackie Bristow (Gore NEW ZEALAND)
Jambinai (Seoul SOUTH KOREA)
Jazzy Amra (The Bronx NY)
Joe Armon-Jones (London UK-ENGLAND)
Jonathan (Rijeka CROATIA)
JonZ (Tel Aviv ISRAEL)
Kabul Dreams (Kabul AFGHANISTAN)
Kandle (Victoria CANADA)
Kidsmoke (Wrexham UK-WALES)
King Kaka (Nairobi KENYA)
King Kanja (Kensington MD)Kite (Jessheim NORWAY)
The Klitz (Memphis TN)
Kofi Black (Staten Island NY)
KOLARS (Los Angeles CA)
Koran Streets (Berkeley CA)
L3ON (Benito Juárez MEXICO)
La Mojarra Electrica (Bogotá COLOMBIA)
Laura Carbone (Berlin GERMANY)
Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers (Chicago IL)
Laurel (London UK-ENGLAND)
Leyla McCalla (New Orleans LA)
Linying (Singapore SINGAPORE)
Lion Heights (Austin TX)
Litany (Harrogate UK-ENGLAND)
Locate S,1 (Athens GA)
Lost Under Heaven (Manchester UK-ENGLAND)
Louis Prince (Nashville TN)
Lowly (Copenhagen DENMARK)
Lucia Tacchetti (Buenos Aires ARGENTINA)
Lucy Lu (London UK-ENGLAND)
Lunar Vacation (Atlanta GA)
Madge (Los Angeles CA)
Madison Cunningham (Orange County CA)
Magnolian (Ulaanbaatar MONGOLIA)
Mamalarky (Los Angeles CA)
Marina Maximilian (Tel Aviv ISRAEL)
The Mauskovic Dance Band (Amsterdam NETHERLANDS)
Maybe April (Nashville TN)
Mikal kHill (Charlotte NC)
MIKNNA (Los Angeles CA)
Mirella Cesa (Guayaquil ECUADOR)
Moira Mack (Madison WI)
Moritz Simon Geist (Dresden GERMANY)
My Life as Ali Thomas (Bangkok THAILAND)
Naiboi (Nairobi KENYA)
Nerija (London UK-ENGLAND)
New Fame (Da Nang VIETNAM)
The Ninth Wave (Glasgow UK-SCOTLAND) NOIRE (Brisbane AUSTRALIA)
Nsimbi (Los Angeles CA)
The O'My's (Chicago IL)
Oh Sees (Los Angeles CA)
ORI (Jerusalem ISRAEL)
Otis Wilkins (Austin TX)
Otoboke Beaver (Kyoto JAPAN)
Palberta (New York NY)
Palo Duro (Austin TX)
The Parrots (Madrid SPAIN)
Phy (Nairobi KENYA)
PNTHN (San Marcos TX)
Polyplastic (Los Angeles CA)
PowerSolo (Aarhus DENMARK)
Private Island (Los Angeles CA)
Puerto Arena (Montería COLOMBIA)
Puma Blue (London UK-ENGLAND)
Quiet Company (Austin TX)
The Rain Within (Charlottesville VA)
Raquel (Boston MA)
Reptaliens (Portland OR)
Riley (New York NY)
Rob Markman (Brooklyn NY)
Ruby Rushton (London UK-ENGLAND)
Ruth Koleva (Sofia BULGARIA)
Sarah Tandy (London UK-ENGLAND)
Say Sue Me (Busan SOUTH KOREA)
Seán Barna (Brooklyn NY)
Seratones (Shreveport LA)
Shadowparty (Manchester UK-ENGLAND)
The Sha La Das (New York NY)
Skegss (Byron Bay AUSTRALIA)
Slow Caves (Denver CO)
Slow Pulp (Madison WI)
Sneaks (Baltimore MD)
Sofie Winterson (Amsterdam NETHERLANDS)
Soft Streak (Los Angeles CA)
SONTALK (Nashville TN)
Sphynx (Austin TX)
Stealth (Birmingham UK-ENGLAND)
Steve'n'Seagulls (Jyväskylä FINLAND)
Subhi (Chicago IL)
Summer Cannibals (Portland OR)
Swallow the Rat (Auckland NEW ZEALAND)
Sweet Crude (New Orleans LA)
Swervedriver (Oxford UK-ENGLAND)
Tamino (Antwerp BELGIUM)
Theodore (Athens GREECE)
Tia Gostelow (Mackay AUSTRALIA)
Tirman Kid (Buenos Aires ARGENTINA)
Tomar and the FCs (Austin TX)
Trudy and the Romance (Liverpool UK-ENGLAND)
Twin Tribes (Brownsville TX)
Twist (Toronto CANADA)
Unge Ferrari (Oslo NORWAY)
UPSAHL (Phoenix AZ)
Viagra Boys (Stockholm SWEDEN)
Viva Non (Winnipeg CANADA)
Vlad Holiday (Jersey City NJ)
Warm Drag (Los Angeles CA)
Warmduscher (London UK-ENGLAND)
Warm Human (Chicago IL)
Weakened Friends (Portland ME)
Westerman (London UK-ENGLAND)
Western Youth (Austin TX)
Whyte Horses (Manchester UK-ENGLAND)
William Harries Graham (Austin TX)
William Wild (Knoxville TN)
Willie J Healey (Oxford UK-ENGLAND)
Wyclef Jean (New York NY)
XETAS (Lockhart TX)
yahyel (Tokyo JAPAN)
Yorka (Santiago CHILE)
Yussef Dayes (London UK-ENGLAND)
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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris