Local Current Blog

UPDATED: Minnesota artists heading to SXSW 2018

Now, Now perform at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand in 2017. (Darin Kamnetz for MPR)

SXSW, which runs from March 9-18, features music, comedy, film and more. Here’s a list of Minnesota artists headed down to the Austin festival this year. Get that Gopher State flavor with this playlist assembled by Jay Gabler and Maia Jacobson; if you’re heading to the festival, be sure to stop by our Pledge House party and say hi!

Aero Flynn are originally from Eau Claire, but frontman Josh Scott now lives in Minnesota. Scott was in a college band that rivaled Justin Vernon’s and even shared band members at one point.

Lexii Alijai is a rapper from St. Paul. She made a name for herself rapping over the beats of popular songs, and just released her second album Growing Pains in 2017.

Collapsing Stars are an Americana group from the Twin Cities. Aside from making their own music, including an album released in 2017 called 2012, they have also earned producer credit on some Rhymesayers albums.

Beloved Minnesota artist Dessa will be heading to SXSW. She dropped her fourth studio album, Chime, on Feb. 23. She also announced that she will have a book coming out in the fall called My Own Devices: True Stories from the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love. She’ll be at our Pledge House party on March 16.

Kristoff Krane and BdotCroc are two of the most popular rappers on the Twin Cities’ busy hip-hop scene. Krane, a longtime standby of the scene, released the first section of his two-part album Kairos last year. BdotCroc is another established artist, consistently busy on tour and in her home town of Minneapolis.

Low are one of the best-known indie groups to come out of Minnesota in the past two decades. The Duluth trio have long been hailed for their intense, minimalist sound; their most recent album, Ones and Sixes, was widely acclaimed as one of the best Minnesota albums of 2015.

Nadine are a trio hailing from Minneapolis and New York. Reviewing their new single “Not My Kinda Movie,” Pitchfork wrote that “singer Nadia Hulett glides through the track with a plush delivery that seeps into light drums and jazzy piano interludes befitting a gilded cocktail lounge.”

Ness Nite is a rapper and singer who blurs genres. She coined the genre “bra-less music.”

Now, Now are another band that will be making the journey to Austin. They are an indie pop-rock band that have been active since 2003. They’ve toured with artists including Paramore and fun., and they’re currently on the road with X Ambassadors.

Moodie Black call themselves “pioneers of the new era noise rap scene.” They’ve moved around over the years, and are currently based in Minneapolis.

Night Moves blend genres from indie rock to jazz. Their most recent album Pennied Days came out in 2016. The band hail from Minneapolis.

Caitlyn Smith is famous for her songwriting, with songs recorded by James Bay, Dolly Parton and John Legend. Her first album, called Starfire, just came out on Jan. 19 of this year. See Smith on March 15 at our day party.

Step Rockets play accessible and energetic rock; you’ve heard them on The Current as well as other local stages and stations.

Tall Paul and Mic Jordan are hip-hop artists representing for Native communities in Minnesota and North Dakota, respectively. They’ve released music separately but are storming Austin together.

Abisha Uhl founded and fronted Sick of Sarah. Uhl has now gone solo, releasing her first EP Better on Jan. 10.

A couple of other artists with Minnesota ties are among the acts playing official showcases. Tancred are led by former Minnesotan Jess Abbott; and Tyler Thompson, bassist for Los Angeles band WILD, originally hails from Minneapolis.

Twin Ports band Black River Revue say they’re heading to Austin as well — and so are students from the High School for Recording Arts (see comment below). Additionally, local acts Marah in the Mainsail and Good Morning Bedlam are embarking on a “Take Off Tour” that includes several stops in Austin during SXSW.

Are you a Minnesota artist heading to SXSW? We want to hear from you! Comment and let us know.

Britt Daniel joins Jade at SXSW

Britt Daniel of Spoon chats with Jade at SXSW. Keep an eye out for the wiley Har Mar Superstar, who makes a special guest appearance.

Posted by The Current on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

  • Scotty Herold

    Rock the Cause & High School for Performing Arts are hosting an official SXSW Edu workshop on HIP-HOP pedagogy. An hour long concert featuring HSRA student performances will follow the workshop TBA.