10 Artists To Watch At South By Southwest

mary_lambert_billboard_10South by Southwest, Austin’s annual tech- media-entertainment smorgasbord, is kickstarting a week of panels, film screenings and live music shows on Friday, March 7.

SXSW will bring some of the biggest superstars in music like Coldplay, Melissa Etheridge and Snoop Dogg. Even Lady Gaga was planning to come out of a giant Doritos vending machine at the highly-hyped festival… But besides outlandish corporate-sponsored shows, SXSW is known for assembling the best in music, both big and small.

Queerty editors will be in town facilitating an official core conversation on how social media is creating marriage equality. While in Austin, we’re also keeping our ears perked for new music to play in the Queerty office.

Check out 10 confirmed artists on the SXSW lineup that have gotten us excited for Austin. If you’re attending SXSW this year and not planning on sleeping, check out my list of 50 artists to watch. Make sure you bring plenty of 5-Hour Energy!

Blondie: Sure, Debbie Harry may not be the newest, freshest name in pop music, but c’mon, it’s Blondie! She’ll be forever timeless and flawless. Let’s just hope they stick to playing the good old hits, none of this “new material” nonsense.

Betty Who: Speaking of new names in pop, Betty Who’s been on our radar for a while. And apparently we aren’t the only ones who’ve noticed her. Who has been handpicked by Andy Cohen to be the official house band at Watch What Happens Live‘s weeklong residency in SXSW.

Sharon Needles: By far the most fascinating winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, newly single Ms. Needles will keep those Austin cowboys on their boot spurs with her always-memorable live performances.

Mary Lambert: The “Same Love” singer is ready for her big break, and what better place than SXSW? Heaven-sent Lambert will premiere new songs from her forthcoming full-length album.

St. Lucia: You will probably recognize this band’s suave single from playing that first Looking trailer over and over and over again on repeat. Quite the odd pairing, St. Lucia is set to open for Snoop Dogg, but only in SXSW do you wait in line for an hour to see a show and then bail out early before the headliner.

Twin Shadow: Similarly to St. Lucia, you won’t find your local gay club DJ blaring Twin Shadow any time soon. Let’s just keep him our little secret, ok?

Kelis: Her “Milkshake” brought this gay boy to her yard, but it wasn’t until she released her brilliant electropop house album, Flesh Tone, that really proved she could be a pop pioneer. Kelis brings new music to SXSW and hopefully another huge step forward in her sound and style.

Christeene: This Austin native makes Sharon Needles seem like Tammie Brown. Christeene’s transgressive approach to drag takes no prisoners. Which makes for an unforgettable night out. This ain’t Drag Race, it’s pure American Horror Story.

Goldroom: This L.A. act also had a song featured in an episode of Looking (remember when Dom’s walking around shirtless in the gay bathhouse?) With several appearances at SXSW, Goldroom is expected to bathe Austin in luscious beats that entire week.

Nosaj Thing: So let’s say, hypothetically, you were out drinking all night and have a ton of stuff to get done in the morning but even the sound of your own thoughts is giving you a headache? Nosaj Thing, guaranteed to go well with any hangover.

Oscar Raymundo is the creator of Confessions of a Boy Toy.

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