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SXSW Day Parties

Music | By The Top 13 on March 15, 2010

The South by Southwest Music Festival starts on Wednesday and we know that deciding which of the hundreds of shows to check out each day can be an overwhelming task. So we figured we would showcase what we think are the strongest of the unofficial day parties that SXSW has become famous for. If you're not familiar with the way SXSW works, the night time official showcases are often incredibly hard to get into without dropping somewhere between $150 and $800 for a wristband or badge that allows access. The day parties are normally free and quite often offer giveaways and free food and drinks. And while we're taking those freebies into account here, this list is really about the quality of each day party's lineup. For a comprehensive list of all day parties, check out Austinist's SXSW Party Guide.

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The Mog Party

1

The Mog Party

Saturday at The Mohawk

Sponsored by T-Mobile but offering very little in way of free goodies, the MOG.com party jumps out ahead of the pack with the quality of its line up alone. Not only is this party the only show The Black Keys are playing all week, but MOG also landed the only advertised free show from the Thurston Moore/J Mascis/Andrew W.K. super-group Demolished Thoughts, as well as major buzz bands such as Broken Bells (Danger Mouse and James Mercer), The Antlers, Real Estate, Dum Dum Girls, and Javelin.

Brooklyn Vegan & M for Montreal Official SXSW Daytime Party

2

Brooklyn Vegan & M for Montreal Official SXSW Daytime Party

Saturday at Galaxy Room

Though they are playing a few shows around town this week (including the annual Ice Cream Social at Threadgill's), Roky Erickson's coupling with Okkervil River will make this show a very popular destination. Featuring one of the strongest lineups from the moment doors open (Jason Collett of Broken Social Scene plays at 12:30 p.m. and Besnard Lakes perform next) to the very last note of Roky/Okkervil, this party offers some of the most exciting bands of any on this list.

Insound SXSW Party

3

Insound SXSW Party

Thursday at Club de Ville

Featuring the only publicized appearance by Liars all week, along with several of the biggest indie bands of the moment in Surfer Blood and Vivian Girls, this small (in number of bands only) show is always one of the most fun parties of the week. Small Black and Delorean round out the bill. In addition to the five bands, you get all the beer you can drink for just $3 and a slew of giveaways from Saucony.

Pitchfork/Windish Austin Party

4

Pitchfork/Windish Austin Party

Friday at Emo's

Despite having a lineup mostly comprised of bands that are playing multiple parties throughout the week, the Pitchfork/Windish party is a required destination for us simply by virtue of collecting so much quality in one place. For many people, Surfer Blood, Neon Indian, Washed Out, Memory Tapes, and Real Estate are must sees this year, and this party provides the opportunity to check them all out (as well as many other Pitchfork favorites) at one party.

Brooklyn Vegan Free Day Party

5

Brooklyn Vegan Free Day Party

Friday at Club de Ville

Like the party that ranked second on this Top 13, this party is presented by New York City based music blog BrooklynVegan (this time along with Daily Motion). And while many of the day parties at SXSW all feature a collection of the same buzz bands, this one includes quite a few acts that aren't making the day party rounds this year. Headlined by Lucero, The Antlers and local favorites Centro-matic, and featuring a DJ set by Passion Pit, this party should be one of this year's highlights.

MWTX Party

6

MWTX Party

Friday at 1001 E. 6th Street

The first of three multi-day parties on this Top 13, Mess With Texas boasts strong lineups both days. But we're focusing on the first day of MWTX, which is a benefit for the Marbridge residential care center, because it features more bands that aren't playing other parties this year. To that end, make sure you catch Man Man, Man or Astroman, and Billy Bragg.

Fat Crooked Unwound

7

Fat Crooked Unwound

Thursday at The Mohawk

Brought to us by Ticketfly and the Billions Corporation, the Fat Crooked Unwound party offers the chance to see Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings on one of the smallest stages you'll probably ever catch her playing at this point. Toss in The Black Angels, The Dutchess and the Duke, Bear in Heaven, and Bowerbirds, and you have what surely will be one of the most talked about parties this year.

Mr & Mrs T and Rachael Ray's Feedback Festival

8

Mr & Mrs T and Rachael Ray's Feedback Festival

Saturday at Stubb's BBQ

Notorious for having the longest lines of any free day party each year, the Rachael Ray party has tried to deal with that this year by once again moving to a bigger venue, from Maggie Mae's to Stubb's BBQ. This year's party certainly has the acts worthy of the bigger venue with headliners such as She & Him, Jakob Dylan and Three Legs (with Neko Case and Kelly Hogan), and Street Sweeper Social Club providing the soundtrack to this party's fantastic free food.

The Showdown 2010 at SXSW

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The Showdown 2010 at SXSW

Friday at La Zona Rosa

La Zona Rosa is far enough off the beaten path that despite the quality of the lineup for the Village Voice party each year, the line to get in is never very long. Featuring the only performance of the weekend from Superchunk and sets from buzz bands The XX, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and Surfer Blood, as well as freebies from 901 Tequila, LikeMe.net and many others, this party should be worth the trek to the west side of downtown.

Consequence of Sound and Sled Island Day Party

10

Consequence of Sound and Sled Island Day Party

Thursday at Republic Live

Presented by our friends Consequence of Sound and Shed Island, this party is one of the few chances you will have all weekend to see Of Montreal's James Husband and Brasstronaut play for free. Top of the bill bands Titus Andronicus (whose new album came out just last week), Surfer Blood, and The Rural Alberta Advantage are among the most anticipated acts of the week, as well. If this party was already on your radar, please note the recent move to a larger venue.

Other Music & DigForFire's SXSW 2010 Lawn Party

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Other Music & DigForFire's SXSW 2010 Lawn Party

Friday at the French Legation Museum

Another multi-day party featuring lineups so strong each day that it's tough to decide which to showcase, the Lawn Party at the French Legation Museum has grown (over the past couple of years) into one of the must visit parties of the week. Friday features a headlining solo set from Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, as well as can't miss performances from Mayer Hawthorne, Woods, and Toro y Moi, among other great options.

2010 Urban Outfitters Back Lot Performances

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2010 Urban Outfitters Back Lot Performances

Saturday at Urban Outfitters

Much like the Pitchfork/Windish party, this multi-day extravaganza is one at which you could camp out all day and see some of the most hyped bands at this year's festival back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Indeed, Local Natives, Japandroids, Cymbals Eat Guitars, and Surfer Blood in a row to close Saturday's party might be the strongest run of the entire festival. Although it doesn't mention it on the poster, this party historically has offered free beer and food.

Gonna Gonna Get Down V

13

Gonna Gonna Get Down V

Wednesday at the Mohawk

With its fifth annual Gonna Gonna Get Down party, the Austinist presents by far its strongest showing yet. Having the distinction of being the only Wednesday show on this list, this party gives you the chance to see quite a few bands that should be on your must see list early in the week. Highlights include Austin band and headliner White Denim, Washed Out, Royal Bangs, Warpaint, and Phantogram.

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Comments Leave a comment

stillathreat ★★

These parties look great; too bad I won't be there.

12:46 PM   Mar 15, 2010

Angelina 

badass

7:10 PM   Mar 15, 2010

Sassbox 

Most helpful with last-minute scheduling.

9:31 PM   Mar 15, 2010

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