CJLO is going to South by Southwest!

CJLO is going to South by Southwest! From March 14-17, four of our music directors will be in Austin, TX, to attend an incredibly wide variety of concerts and events. Here's what they're expecting from the 2018 SXSW experience.

Zach Carriere, a.k.a. Zakary Slax, is CJLO's Head Music Director, and hosts Slax Trax, every Tuesday from 5 to 6 PM.

In covering the endless sea of ‘indie’ music at SXSW 2018, my primary mission is to give attention to what lies outside the trappings of corporate rock; to seek out the acts who are more concerned with ripping up the stage than networking with industry figures. I’ll be after the ones who are not afraid to be wild and woolly, who are willing to create a dish not found on your average music menu and serve it up to unsuspecting audiences, no matter how raw. Much of this can only be judged in a live setting, which at least for most 'rock' or 'indie' bands strips away the artifice of recording and creates openings for spontaneity and an interactivity of energies. In this regard, there are indeed promising performers.

From Spain, there will be freak-pop/post-punkers FAVX and glorious garage gals Hinds. From Italy, there will be screaming distortion aficionados The Jackson Pollock, and from England the highly danceable post-punk stylings of Shopping. The infamous Russian protest artists Pussy Riot will be making an appearance, sure to be timely and devastating. Recent sub pop inductees Moaning will be undoubtedly to impress, as will uncompromising art rockers Palm. Unparalleled fuzz improviser Yonatan Gat, former guitarist of notorious Israeli rockers Monotonix, will be revealing some sort of unholy mess. And why not indulge in the Sabbath meets Syd Barrett riffage of Australian outfit ORB, or the cacophony of profusely experimental Norwegian mud-baskers Sturle Dagsland?

When travelling to a distant city for a music fest, a key highlight for me is not just the convergence of international artists from all over the globe, but the opportunity to get a taste of the place itself and its musical heritage. This means I’ll be sure to check out Bubble Puppy, known for their 1968 hit psychedelic rock hit ‘Hot Smoke & Sassafrass’, who have recently resurfaced as a distinctly Texan hard rock act. Stepping out from the more recent past is The Ugly Beats, an early 2000’s garage rock revival combo from Austin in the true nuggets tradition.

Canadian artists will be substantially represented in the proceedings: Casper Skulls, Faith Healer, Frigs, Greys, Blessed, Japandroids, Lido Pimienta, Mauno, METZ, Michael Rault, Partner, Pkew Pkew Pkew, Terra Lightfoot, U.S. Girls, The Weather Station, The Wet Secrets, Yamantaka/Sonic Titan, and probably some others I missed, are all making the trip.

There are many Montreal artists destined to make an impact as well, including Common Holly, Corridor, Elephant Stone, Gulfer, John Jacob Magistry, Le Couleur, Men I Trust, Milk & Bone, and Ought.

Andrew Wieler is CJLO’s Metal Music Director, and hosts Grade A Explosives, every Sunday from 4 to 6 PM.

SXSW this year (as of time of writing) has kind of a limited amount of metal. To give you the best example, on SXSW's website, last year the main draw in metal was Grammy Award winners Mastodon. This year, it's Wo Fat. Not that they aren't great, but they aren't exactly a big name band. Still, there's good stuff to see, most of which are before I get there or after I leave, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't go.

If you want to check out some metal from the Lone Star state, chek out Metal Monsters of Texas happening at Dirty Dog Bar on March 10, featuring acts like Grey Feather, Death of a Dream, and more. More info here.

Speaking of Texas metal, Dirty Dog will also be the place to go for the best named showcase of the festival, Don't Mosh With Texas, happening on March 17 with American Sin and a special guest to be announced later.

Stoner rock will be on display at Valhalla on March 16, with the afroementioned Wo Fat playing a Ripple Music showcase with many bands including Mothership, Salems Bend, and Blackwulf, featuring members of Petagram and Bedemon.

On a similar vein, Boss Tweed Backline will be doing another stoner rock heavy showcase, Black Smoke Conjuring, at The Lost Well on March 13 with Destroyer of Light, Great Electric Quest, and Curses, among others.

But really, if you're interested in just stoner stuff, you should check out the SX Stoner Jam on March 14 at Spider House Cafe and Ballroom, and then Stoner Rock / Doom Fest, on March 15 and 16 at Texas Mist. Stoner Rock Doom Fest does cost 40 bucks for both days, but between these two shows you can see over 60 stoner and or doom bands, which is just... crazy.

Amrew Weekes, a.k.a. DJ Lady Oracle, is CJLO’s Hip Hop Director, and hosts The Limelight, every Saturday from 6 to 8 PM.

This year will be my second SXSW. It’s great because I’m familiar with the city and the show venues. As I’m looking through the long list of artists coming to Austin this year, there are a lot of artists I don’t recognize, which makes me look forward to discovering new artists. Luckily, this year, I’m receiving a lot of invites to check out shows. One of them is Adrian Daniel, an eclectic R&B artist from Brooklyn, NY. Another one is R.LUM.R, who has been described as a cross between Gallant and Frank Ocean, two of my favourite artists.

I’m also looking forward to the Stones Throw Showcase featuring Peanut Butter Wolf, MNDSGN and Homeboy Sandman. Last year, when I went to the showcase, Karriem Riggins was the headliner and he put on a great DJ set.

Although our former Head MD Omar Sonics will not be in attendance this year, he has his eye out on events that are happening at SXSW and he has been finding fun ones, like The Light Side which will have different artists and DJs including MNDSGN and Maltesers candy! There’s also COLLiDE on Rainey which will give you the full M&M experience, not sure what that is about but I’m curious to find out.

Finally, I’m looking forward to hanging out and bonding with my fellow music directors as well as connecting with the reps I work with all year round. Be on the lookout for my review of the festival!

Kelly Belfo is CJLO’s World Music Director, and hosts Flat Cola Presents: Mother Tongue, every Monday from 6 to 7 PM, and co-hosts Beat The World, every Saturday from noon to 2 PM.

As World Music Director and SXSW Music Festival delegate, my focus will be on exploring and discovering local and international artists performing at SXSW Conference and Festivals.

Musically, I have been drawn to electronic, psychedelic, and futuristic sounds from around the world. From this year’s SXSW artist roster, we will be travelling to Germany, Mexico, and Colombia focusing on individual artists, record labels, and official SXSW showcases.

Let’s walk through a “haze of electronic funk” with Germany’s psych beat outfit, Sea Moya, as we listen to previously unreleased tracks from their upcoming 2018 debut album and congratulate them being named “SXSW Artist of the Day

With a spotlight on artists released on Nacional Records, we continue our trip to Mexico, and discover New-York based singer, songwriter, and producer, Marrón. Dream pop at its best, his solo album etc. will float you up to the clouds.

Finally, we will feature music from the artists performing at globalFEST presents “Global Future” 2018 Official Showcase ,featuring the futuristic sounds of Punjabtronix, Alsarah & The Nubatones, Gato Preto, Combo Chimbita, and Seyi Shay.

Listen to these specially selected discoveries and more on SXSW 2018 on CJLO’s Flat Cola Presents: SXSW 2018, Monday, March 12, 6-7pm EST.