For anyone attending the annual South By Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas the week of March 12, the decisions are painstaking. And Friday's array of choices may be the most daunting of all. Green Day, the Flaming Lips, AND Depeche Mode? All on the same night? Why must you torture us, SXSW???
1) Dawes, 4pm, Radio Day Stage Austin Convention Center - Every generation should have modest folks that write and perform material with a touch of Southern California mellow in their soul. What their third album Stories Don't End coming in April tells us about Dawes's evolution remains to be heard, but the fact that Jacquire King, who's worked with Tom Waits and Norah Jones, produced their album says things could get very interesting or very adult.
2) Green Day, 8pm, Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater - It's Green Day, folks! Maybe you're too old or maybe you're too cool or whatever, but if post-breakdown Billie Joe Armstrong isn't your taste, rest assured it's still going to be one of the most talked-about events of the entire festival. Be there or read about it later--often.
2b) The Flaming Lips, 8pm, Auditorium Shores - Then again, never count out any performance by Wayne Coyne and his Flaming Lips. The Lips are given a special "2b" listing here all because seeing them once at the Belmont less than 24 hours ago doesn't mean you've seen all they can do. Just knowing Green Day are playing at the same time should be enough to get Coyne's competitive juices flowing.
3) Andrew W.K., 11pm, Clive Bar - What will the man who gave us "Party Hard" in 2001 give us in 2013? He's calling it "The Human Party Machine Solo Tour," so expect party favors?
4) Depeche Mode, 10pm, Brazos Hall - Their 13th album Delta Machine is slated for release on March 26, with the first single "Heaven" and its B-side "All That's Mine" already available for purchase. The Mode's Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, and Andy Fletcher are also booked for an interview with KCRW DJ Jason Bentley on Wednesday at 5pm at the Austin Convention Center, but it's this Yahoo!-sponsored show, the band's first-ever SXSW appearance, that will be the real main event.
5) Jim James, 1am, Empire Control Room - His solo album Regions Of Light And Sound Of God is the obvious work of a man who heads My Morning Jacket. Expect reverb and more reverb. He has a lot of semi-famous friends, so who knows who might stop by to jam?