The most hotly hyped new band out of the U.K. at last week's South by Southwest Music Conference, the Vaccines have signed on as the Arctic Monkeys' opener for a tour coming to First Ave on May 28. Per my SXSW blogs, the young quartet belied its pretty-boy looks at the fest with tight Interpol-ish rock hooks and smart, melodic songs, the best of which was the charmingly straight-faced single"Post-Breakup Sex."
You won't have to wait anywhere near that long to see some of this year's SXSW breakout acts. The Dodos, in fact, are nearly coming here straight from SXSW to play the Cedar Cultural Center this Wednesday. The San Francisco duo-turned-trio has been around for a few years and albums, but it made a much bigger splash this year with its dueling guitar noodling (there's no bass) and hyper-rhythmic songwriting style. In town Thursday at 7th Street Entry, (only a $2 cover!), Chapel Club was another U.K. band with a lot of gigs and hype last week. The showcase I saw by them at the Bat Bar on Sixth Street was mildly impressive, full of immediately recognizable '80s influences such as New Order and Echo & the Bunnymen, with a little more punky oomph.
Probably my favorite true newcomers at last week's fest -- and one of many female-fronted acts that made a splash this year -- Welsh trio the Joy Formidable will also land at the Entry on April 6. Meanwhile, my least favorite buzz act of the fest was London electronic wunderwhiner James Blake, who doesn't need my support anyway since he has already sold out the Entry on May 16. Other lesser-known acts to look for in the next few weeks who fared well at SXSW 2011 include Ellie Goulding (March 31 at Fine Line), Kurt Vile & the Violators (April 2 in the Entry with J. Mascis), OFF! with punk vet Keith Morris (April 3 at the Triple Rock), Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears (April 3 at the Cedar), Toro y Moi (April 3, Entry; busy night), Dom (April 8, Entry) and the long-overdue Pains of Being Pure at Heart (April 25 at the Triple Rock).