Photo: Courtesy of Secretly Canadian, 4AD, 1-2-3-4-GO!, Rough Trade Us.
For our money, South by Southwest is still the most fun you can have at a music festival period. The shows take place in small clubs; the food is fantastic, and it's the only place you're likely to discover something new — be it a band, DJ, or iPhone app. Even so, the things that make SXSW great can also be its undoing: There are so many acts, so many showcases, and so many barbecue joints it's impossible to
eat listen to it all. That said, we've selected 49 tracks by some of our favorite bands from soon-to-be superstars like Schoolboy Q to up-and-coming Austin locals OBN IIIs. This playlist truly runs the gamut of styles and sounds, from punk, to rap, to electronic music (eclecticism is also one of SXSW's strong points). Though this list represents just a fraction of the musicians headed to SXSW, it should do a good job whetting your whistle for what's to come. See you in Austin!