1. Get Ready to Rock'n'Roll!

1/52

Some 2,000 bands will make the trip to Austin, Texas, March 17-21 for the 23rd annual South by Southwest music conference, each boasting a great story, a killer song, or something else unique that earned them an invitation to perform. It's rock'n'roll overload.

Don't freak out: SPIN's editors have cut the deck, pouring over this year's roster of talent and whittling it down to 50 essential, must-hear acts. Browse our picks, find out why each act matters this year, and hear their music!

We've also compiled a free album featuring music from many of the bands on this list -- click here to download it now!

And to stay on top of everything SXSW-related, be sure to follow @SPINsxsw on Twitter, as well as our mothership Twitter handle, @SPINmagazine.

CLICK TO BEGIN SLIDESHOW >>

See the complete 50 must-hear bands list here.

COMPLETE SXSW GUIDE
Download our free Must-Hear Bands album. Plus, get the latest news, photos, and more.
GO NOW!

Preview written by Peter Gaston, William Goodman & David Marchese

2. Get Ready to Rock'n'Roll!

2/52

Some 2,000 bands will make the trip to Austin, Texas, March 17-21 for the 23rd annual South by Southwest music conference, each boasting a great story, a killer song, or something else unique that earned them an invitation to perform. It's rock'n'roll overload.

Don't freak out: SPIN's editors have cut the deck, pouring over this year's roster of talent and whittling it down to 50 essential, must-hear acts. Browse our picks, find out why each act matters this year, and hear their music!

We've also compiled a free album featuring music from many of the bands on this list -- click here to download it now!

And to stay on top of everything SXSW-related, be sure to follow @SPINsxsw on Twitter, as well as our mothership Twitter handle, @SPINmagazine.

CLICK TO BEGIN SLIDESHOW >>

See the complete 50 must-hear bands list here.

COMPLETE SXSW GUIDE
Download our free Must-Hear Bands album. Plus, get the latest news, photos, and more.
GO NOW!

Preview written by Peter Gaston, William Goodman & David Marchese

3. CHATMONCHY

3/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Tokushima, Japan
WHY THEY MATTER: With catchy, raw, emotional rock anthems, this all-girl power trio is like the 21st-century Japanese version of the Runaways. Their sound has already swept their native land, and the band -- making their U.S. debut at SXSW -- is looking to repeat the success stateside.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Almost all of Chatmonchy's lyrics are sung in Japanese. "We want to challenge ourselves in other countries and see if we can convey our music with just the groove, without the lyrics," drummer Takahashi told The Japan Times.
LISTEN: Chatmonchy,"Hira Hira Hiraku Himitsu no Tobira"


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4. SHARON JONES & THE DAP KINGS

4/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Brooklyn, NY
WHY THEY MATTER: Starting with their 2002 debut, Dap Dippin' with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, this collective has been delivering a sexy revival of soul music lapped up by hipsters -- and their parents. Their fourth album, I Learned the Hard Way, arrives April 6.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Sharon Jones' immeasurable vocal talents -- and commanding stage presence -- weren't discovered until she was in her 40s. Since then, she's gone from prison guard to international acclaim -- and the stage at SPIN's SXSW party March 19.
LISTEN: Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, "I Learned The Hard Way"


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5. NICOLE ATKINS

5/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Brooklyn, NY (via Neptune, NJ)
WHY SHE MATTERS: Citing Roy Orbison and David Lynch as influences, this 31-year-old chanteuse crafts what she fittingly calls "pop-noir" -- orchestral ballads indebted to Brill Building pop, with dark and nostalgic lyrics about ex-boyfriends and her coastal New Jersey hometown.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Atkins sings lead vocals on a track on David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's new concept album, Here Lies Love.
LISTEN: Nicole Atkins, "The Tower"


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6. THE BRUNETTES

6/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Auckland, New Zealand
WHY THEY MATTER: Following in the tradition of fellow countrymen like the Bats and the Chills, the appealingly twee Kiwi duo of Jonathan Bree and Heather Mansfield offer up a winsome take on classic pop.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Bree and Mansfield were dating each other when they started the band.
LISTEN: The Brunettes, "Red Rollerskates"


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7. THE CONSTELLATIONS

7/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Atlanta
WHY THEY MATTER: Led by charismatic frontman Elijah Jones, this Dixie fried eight-piece adds funky hip-hop beats to melodic modern rock choruses.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Gnarls Barkley's Cee-Lo and, hmm, Asher Roth guest on the band's debut Southern Gothic
LISTEN: The Constellations, "Setback"


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8. DAS RACIST

8/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Brooklyn, New York
WHY THEY MATTER: Amidst goofy pop culture references to fast food outlets and shout outs to crappy rappers, these well-schooled, culture-crossing MCs drop nuggets of sharp social commentary. Or what passes for intellect among a crowd consuming copious amounts of alcohol.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: The Racist dudes were classmates of MGMT at Wesleyan University.
LISTEN: Das Racist, "Who's That Brown"


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9. RA RA RIOT

9/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Syracuse, New York
WHY THEY MATTER: Because cellos can rock, dammit! The bookish sextet beautifully layers strings over ingeniously catchy and emotional indie pop.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Lead singer Wes Miles also plays in the synthpop band Discovery with Vampire Weekend keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij.
LISTEN: Ra Ra Riot, "Can You Tell"


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10. JAPANDROIDS

10/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Vancouver, Canada
WHY THEY MATTER: Guitarist Brian King and drummer David Prowse whip up a life-affirming and anthemic post-punk maelstrom. 2009's Post-Nothing landed at No. 16 on SPIN's Top 40 Albums of the Year list.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: To help compensate for the fact that his band consists of only two people, King uses a variety of unorthodox guitar tunings.
LISTEN: Japandroids, "Art Czars"


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11. STONE TEMPLE PILOTS

11/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: San Diego, CA
WHY THEY MATTER: Enduring arrests, rehab stints, breakups, and side-projects, the reunited '90s alt-rockers will return May 25 with their first album in nine years -- complete with their classic combo of tuneful melodies and rock guitar crunch.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: While recording their self-titled reunion album, the boys kept their competitive spirit alive with rounds of Wii bowling. Read more here.
LISTEN: Stone Temple Pilots, "Interstate Love Song"


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12. CIRCA SURVIVE

12/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Philadelphia
WHY THEY MATTER: Dueling guitar heroics and Anthony Green's inimitable howl dignify this progressive rock act from their Bamboozlin' peers. After selling more than 300,000 records for indie Equal Vision, they'll drop a major label debut, Blue Sky Noise, April 20 on Atlantic.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Green played SXSW in support of his then-unreleased solo album in '08, and landed on the good side of our Best & Worst recap of that year's showcases.
LISTEN: Circa Survive, "Get Out"


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13. SOLANGE KNOWLES

13/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Houston, TX
WHY SHE MATTERS: She may be Beyonce's lil' sis, but she's no pop diva -- this 23-year-old is riding a decidedly different career arc: collaborating with Of Montreal, championing Grizzly Bear, and conjuring an experimental '60s soul sound.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Knowles -- who got her start as a backup dancer for Destiny's Child -- recently recorded an R&B-flecked cover of Dirty Projectors' "Stillness Is the Move."
LISTEN:Solange Knowles, "Stillness is the Move (Dirty Projectors Remix)"


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14. FUCKED UP

14/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Toronto
WHY THEY MATTER: This six-piece hardcore band became SXSW legends in 2008 with their 4 A.M. concert on a bridge. Expect more zaniness in 2010, as well tunes from their 2008 opus, The Chemistry of Common Life, which won Canada's prestigious Polaris Prize.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Singer Damian "Pink Eyes" Abraham and Co. are quite prolific; they've released 30-plus albums, EPs, mixtapes, demos, and 7" in the past six years.
LISTEN: Fucked Up, "No Epiphany"


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15. PHANTOGRAM

15/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Saratoga Springs, NY
WHY THEY MATTER: High school friends from the small Upstate NY town of Greenwich, Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel record the sort of nuanced, downtempo nouveau trip-hop that's endeared them to fans of Zero 7 and Portishead.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: You Should Know: The duo records in a remote countryside barn, a setting that couldn't be more opposite the distinctly urban sounds of their Barsuk Records debut, Eyelid Movies.
LISTEN: Phantogram, "When I'm Small"


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16. MIDLAKE

16/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Denton, Texas
WHY THEY MATTER: The eerie, harmony-loving quintet have a rare gift for making soft sounds that are anything but mellow.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: The band's new The Courage of Others was inspired by the music of 1960s English folk-rock bands like Pentangle and Fairport Convention.
LISTEN: Midlake, "Acts of Man"


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17. THE xx

17/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: London
WHY THEY MATTER: The sonically austere trio, who combine moody beats with bedroom melodies, were featured in our 10 Artists to Watch in 2010 package.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: The band's "Intro" was featured in a widely seen AT&T commercial shown during the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
LISTEN: The xx, "Basic Space"


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18. FOXY SHAZAM

18/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Cincinnati, Ohio
WHY THEY MATTER: Recently featured on SPIN's 10 to Watch in 2010 list, this sextet supercharges its '70s influences, which range from Queen to T. Rex. But acrobatic, mustachioed frontman Eric Nally is the true showstopper, like Mick Jagger on a Red Bull binge.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Nally recently teamed with ex-Darkness man Justin Hawkins to write songs for Mr. Bitch Tits himself: Meat Loaf!
LISTEN: Foxy Shazam, "Oh Lord"


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19. YELAWOLF

19/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Gadsden, Alabama
WHY HE MATTERS: Described as a cross between the Dungeon Family and Lynyrd Skynyrd, Yelawolf's rapid-fire rapping and disturbing subject matter make him one of the most intense young rappers appearing at SXSW.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Kanye West posted Yelawolf's "I Wish" on his blog.
LISTEN: Yelawolf, "Good to Go"


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20. BEST COAST

20/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Los Angeles
WHY THEY MATTER: Thanks to frontwoman Bethany Cosentino's charmingly lo-fi take on sunny surf rock and girl-group pop, this outfit became one of the most blogged about acts of 2009. They're now working on a full-length debut, expected later this year.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: As a child Cosentino worked briefly as an actor, appearing in commercials for toy store Child World and pizza chain Little Caesars.
LISTEN: Best Coast,"When I'm With You"


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21. MINUS THE BEAR

21/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Seattle
WHY THEY MATTER: This quintet is a band's band, leaning on their technical precision to craft mesmerizing, intricate guitar rock that's softened by Jake Snider's understated but velvety voice.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: SXSW will find Minus the Bear unveiling new songs from their upcoming album, Omni, out May 4.
LISTEN: Minus the Bear, "My Time"


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22. NEON INDIAN

22/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Austin, TX
WHY HE MATTERS: For his debut as Neon Indian, Alan Palomo -- one of SPIN's Artists to Watch in 2010 -- combined computerized dance beats, woozy vocal melodies, and synth atmospherics inspired by Vangelis' Blade Runner score.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Palomo also records under the Ghosthustler and VEGA monikers.
LISTEN: Neon Indian, "Terminally Chill"


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23. THE WAVE PICTURES

23/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: London
WHY THEY MATTER: For more than a decade, this Brit trio's scrappy DIY sound and coy confessionals have scored comparisons to Jonathan Richman and Morrissey, but it's their peculiar, tongue-in-cheek charm that landed their latest album, If You Leave It Alone, on SPIN's list of the 10 Best Albums You Might Have Missed in 2009.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: The Wave Pictures served as the backing band for Mountain Goats mastermind John Darnielle on a seven-inch single released by 4AD Records.
LISTEN: The Wave Pictures, "I Love You Like A Madman"


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24. VV BROWN

24/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: London
WHY SHE MATTERS: Amy Winehouse + Janelle Monae = this leggy 27-year-old Brit, who is putting a new twist on pop. Her 2009 debut, Travelling Like the Light, pairs vintage doo-wop and soul with dashes of rockabilly, indie rock, and Top 40 pop -- over her jaunty croon and attractively bizarre appearance (1940s flat-top coif, spaceage dress).
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Brown spent two years in Los Angeles singing backup vocals for Madonna and the Pussycat Dolls, and wrote songs for other artists, like England's Sugababes.
LISTEN: VV Brown, "Crying Blood


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25. THE YELLOW DOGS

25/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Tehran, Iran
WHY THEY MATTER: They may be from Iran, but they're a badass, Gang of Four-influenced punk band with dancefloor-moving songs.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: To write and perform in their homeland, they had to secretly create a practice space on their drummer's roof to avoid the attention of Iranian authorities.
LISTEN: Yellow Dogs, "New Century"


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26. XV

26/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Wichita, Kansas
WHY HE MATTERS: Born Donavan Johnson, XV might be one of the most clever MCs when it comes to social networking, spreading his craft via Twitter, YouTube, and the web. And you won't want to miss his deft raps about searching for identity in the internet age.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: XV's forthcoming album, The Kid With the Green Backpack, refers to his childhood as a relatively anonymous kid in school, identified by peers solely by his choice in bookbags.
LISTEN: XV, "Mirror's Edge"


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27. FREELANCE WHALES

27/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Queens, New York City
WHY THEY MATTER: This kitchen-sink collective builds from a heartbreaking quiver to a cinematic sprawl with a grace reminiscent of Broken Social Scene.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: The band got its start busking on the streets of New York.
LISTEN: Freelance Whales, "Generator ^ Second Floor"


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28. ROGUE WAVE

28/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Oakland, CA
WHY THEY MATTER: The indie pop band has just returned with their fourth album, Permalight, and it's a sprightly departure from their brooding earlier work. That should translate to good times for partygoers at SPIN's annual SXSW bash March 19, where the band is set to perform.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: "Rogue" isn't the original last name of frontman Zach. His original surname is the Spaceballs-y "Schwartz."
LISTEN:Rogue Wave, "Good Morning"


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29. FRIGHTENED RABBIT

29/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Selkirk, Scotland
WHY THEY MATTER: In 2008, singer Scott Hutchison wrote one of indie pop's best lines: "It takes more than fucking someone to keep yourself warm." That sort of gripping songcraft returns on his band's latest release (with its SXSW-ready title), The Winter of Mixed Drinks.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: The band's moniker comes from a nickname given to Hutchinson by his mother. She called him her "frightened rabbit" because he was incredibly shy.
LISTEN: Frightened Rabbit, "Swim Until You Can't See Land"


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30. SURFER BLOOD

30/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: West Palm Beach, FL
WHY THEY MATTER: :Less than a year after forming, this quintet have wowed CMJ concertgoers and toured with Art Brut and Japandroids on the strength of their SPIN-praised debut, Astro Coast.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Guitarist/singer John Paul "JP" Pitts spent his college scholarship money on music equipment to start the band. "My parents weren't too happy about that," he tells SPIN.
LISTEN: Surfer Blood, "Swim"


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31. THE JIM JONES REVUE

31/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: London
WHY THEY MATTER: No, this isn't Jim Jones the rapper. Instead, it's a wiry British fella who loves Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, but thankfully isn't restricted by 1950s levels of decorum when he unleashes his piano-driven rock'n'roll fury.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Jack White booked the band, sight unseen, to open for the Dead Weather in London.
LISTEN: The Jim Jones Revue, "Rock 'n' Roll Psychosis"


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32. OH NO ONO

32/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Aalborg, Denmark
WHY THEY MATTER: Fond of facepaint and costumes, these Danes add a welcome dash of glammy stardust to their playful indie rock.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: The band's Eggs features found sounds of flocks of birds taking flight.
LISTEN: Oh No Ono, "Helplessly Young"


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33. MIIKE SNOW

33/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Stockholm, Sweden
WHY THEY MATTER: Smart enough to ask existential questions, but not so self-serious that they forget the hooks, this synthpop act's self-titled debut made our Top 40 Albums of the Year list.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Under the name Bloodshy & Avant, bandmembers Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg produced Britney Spears' "Toxic."
LISTEN: Miike Snow, "Animal"


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34. EVERYBODY WAS IN THE FRENCH RESISTANCE…NOW

34/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Los Angeles
WHY THEY MATTER: With his bourgeois punk band Art Brut, Eddie Argos charmingly lamented about sexual frustration -- turning him into a globetrotting rock star. Then he fell in love with Dyan Valdes, the keyboardist-vocalist for L.A. rockers the Blood Arm, and the couple recorded this giddy pop album together.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: On the duo's debut album, Fixin' the Charts, Vol. 1, Argos riffs on pop music from "Billie Jean" to Avril Lavigne.
LISTEN: Everybody Was in the French Resistance... Now, "G.I.R.L.F.R.I.E.N (You Know I’ve Got A) "


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35. TITUS ANDRONICUS

35/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Glen Rock, New Jersey
WHY THEY MATTER: These brash punks have refined their sound into a post-millennial response to Bruce Springsteen on this year's The Monitor, with morbid sarcasm replacing the Boss' hopeful worldview.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: The Monitor's release date is March 9, 2010, the 148th anniversary of the famous Civil War battle in Hampton Roads, Virginia, featuring the Union Army's ironclad ship, The Monitor.
LISTEN: Titus Andronicus, "A More Perfect Union"


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36. KIDZ IN THE HALL

36/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Chicago/New Jersey
WHY THEY MATTER: The hype for KITH dates back to the mid-'00s, when beloved hip-hop label Rawkus hitched its rebirth to this duo's debut. But while that didn't exactly pan out, their minimalist, sample-free new album, The Land of Make Believe, finds Naledge and Double-O hitting stride.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: For extra hipster cred, the Kidz mixed Grizzly Bear's ubiquitous single "Two Weeks" into a sunny, subwoofer-bumpin' jam.
LISTEN: Kidz in the Hall, "Jukebox Main"


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37. CYMBALS EAT GUITARS

37/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Staten Island, New York
WHY THEY MATTER: In the space of a single thrilling song, these outer borough whiz kids (singer-guitarist D'Agostino is only 20 years old) can move from wobbly indie romanticizing to jammy guitar freak-outs.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: The Wrens' Charles Bissell helped the band record some key early demos.
LISTEN: Cymbals Eat Guitars, "And the Hazy Sea"


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38. ANTI-POP CONSORTIUM

38/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: New York City
WHY THEY MATTER: After a seven-year hiatus, this MC trio (plus producer Earl Blaize) are back and as experimental as ever. Their latest and sixth album, 2009's Fluorescent Black, is full of dark electronic flourishes, stream-of-conscious lyrics, and a style unique to not just hip-hop, but music as a whole.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Rappers High Priest, M. Sayyid, and Beans met at a poetry slam in New York in 1997.
LISTEN: Anti-Pop Consortium, "Capricon One"


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39. J-RODDY WALSTON & THE BUSINESS

39/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Baltimore, Maryland
WHY THEY MATTER: This quintet pumps out top-notch bluesy bar rock, equally appealing to devotees of the Hold Steady, My Morning Jacket, and the Bay City Rollers.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: When with an earlier band, Drummer Steve Colmus wrote "How Bout Dem O's," an anthem in honor of Baltimore's hometown baseball team, the Orioles. It ended up becoming a fixture at the team's games.
LISTEN: J-Roddy Walston & the Business, "Brave Man's Death"


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40. BLACK TUSK

40/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Savannah, GA
WHY THEY MATTER: Meet Mastodon's backwater brethren. This power trio -- the rising star of Savannah's metal underground -- mix heavy metal and hardcore sounds into a frightening blast of hellfire, or, as the band calls it, "swamp metal."
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Black Tusk are recording their new album, tentatively titled Taste The Sin, in a South Carolina studio for release in May.
LISTEN: Black Tusk, "Beneath"


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41. FREE ENERGY

41/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Philadelphia
WHY THEY MATTER: Spark a joint and rev the Camaro -- this quintet embody the phrase "good times rock'n'roll." Like a relic from the early 1970s, they mash fuzzy Thin Lizzy-esque guitar riffs and fist-pumping vocals fit for a boozy sing-along.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Free Energy's core members -- guitarist Scott Wells and singer Paul Sprangers -- are formerly of similarly retro-minded Minneapolis outfit Hockey Night.
LISTEN: Free Energy, "Hope Child"


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42. A CLASSIC EDUCATION

42/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Bologna, Italy
WHY THEY MATTER: While they hail from across the pond, the sonic peers of this sextet are decidedly North American -- and rather hip. There's a bit Pains of Being Pure at Heart's post-collegiate romanticism, and a touch of Ra Ra Riot's string-section dabbling.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: This band won't be one of those European imports whose English lyrics make nearly no sense: Singer Jonathan Clancy is originally from Canada.
LISTEN: A Classic Education,"What My Life Could Have Been"


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43. RHYMEFEST

43/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Chicago
WHY THEY MATTER: The 32-year-old born Che Smith co-wrote Kanye's Grammy-winning hit "Jesus Walks," but with his upcoming release, El Che, he's ready for his close-up, with raw baritone rhymes, catchy production, and a seal of approval from indie suave Mark Ronson.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: El Che (out May 18) features guest appearances from Little Brother, Saigon, Glen Lewis, and Twone Gabz.
LISTEN: Rhymefest, "Say Wassup"


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44. HOLE

44/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Los Angeles / London
WHY THEY MATTER: Some think frontwoman Courtney Love is a hot mess, but her band's comeback album, Nobody's Daughter, is even hotter, issuing a swift reminder of her talent via cutting guitar hooks and gritty, anthemic choruses.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Hole will play her first U.S. show in more than a decade at SPIN's annual SXSW party at Stubb's BBQ.
LISTEN: Hole, "Skinny Little Bitch"


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45. PRIESTESS

45/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Montreal
WHY THEY MATTER: Like Yes performing Metallica's Kill 'Em All, this foursome of young guns merge thrash metal ferocity with prog-rock instrumentation on their SPIN-praised new album Prior to the Fire.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: The immense volume of the Los Angeles recording sessions for Fire shook nearby homes, forcing the police to demand the band to move to another studio.
LISTEN: Priestess, "Ladykiller"


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46. RIVAL SCHOOLS

46/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: New York
WHY THEY MATTER: Their 2001 album, United By Fate, was one of the past decade's best one-and-done records. With ex-Quicksand frontman Walter Schreifels out front, the quartet distilled their hardcore roots into a pummeling yet tuneful mix that influenced many emo bands of the '00s. Their second album is due this summer.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Schreifels is putting out his own solo album in 2010 as well, and it's more of a singer-songwriter affair than the brash sounds of Rival Schools.
LISTEN: Rival Schools, "Used For Glue"


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47. P.K. 14

47/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Beijing, China
WHY THEY MATTER: Formed in 1997, this post-punk band is the foundation of the budding indie scene in Beijing, blasting a dark, frenetic sound a la Sonic Youth and Fugazi.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: The moniker P.K. 14, despite the members' late-20s/early-30s ages, stands for "public kingdom for teens."
LISTEN: P.K. 14, "Tamen"


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48. OLOF ARNALDS

48/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Reykjavík, Iceland
WHY THEY MATTER: Bjork signed the vocalist to her One Little Indian label. Already established in her home country, Arnalds' first U.S. release just arrived in stores this year.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Arnalds also plays in the experimental pop band Múm.
LISTEN: Olof Arnalds, "Klara"


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49. THE HOOD INTERNET

49/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Chicago
WHY THEY MATTER: Modest Mouse vs. Lil Wayne? Jay-Z vs. M83? Montell Jordan vs. Arcade Fire? This DJ duo mash tunes from unlikely pairs into madcap club jams.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Steve Reidell (a.k.a. STV SLV), an art director for Chicago's Metro, and Aaron Brink (a.k.a ABX), a psychology grad student, also played together in indie rock band May or May Not.
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50. THE MORNING BENDERS

50/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: San Francisco
WHY THEY MATTER: On the new Big Echo, these college pals make the leap from babyfaced upstarts to pop aesthetes, crafting complex yet instantly accessible songs, not unlike Grizzly Bear, whose Chris Taylor co-produced the album.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: The band covered "I Wanna Be Like You" from Disney's The Jungle Book for a special iTunes EP in 2008.
LISTEN: The Morning Benders, "Excuses"


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51. HARLEM

51/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Austin, TX (via Tucson, AZ)
WHY THEY MATTER: This trio is proof that a wheelbarrow full of drugs and a record collection steeped in Nuggets compilations can work wonders. With their debut, Free Drugs ;-), these revivalists built buzz with a sunny, charmingly ramshackle amalgam of alt-rock, blues, rockabilly, and garage rock.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: The band recently signed with indie heavyweight Matador Records, and are prepping their second album for release this summer.
LISTEN: Harlem, "Friendly Ghost"


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52. CODEINE VELVET CLUB

52/52

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ShareHOMETOWN: Glasgow, Scotland
WHY THEY MATTER: Fratellis frontman Jon Lawler drops his penchant for punchy Britpop to channel his inner Tom Jones on this side project, where he shares vocal duties with burlesque performer Lou Hickey.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Lawler met Hickey through his wife. The two ladies dance together at Glasgow nightclub Club Noir, with Heather Lawler performing under the name Chelsea Dagger.
LISTEN: Codeine Velvet Club, "Hollywood"

See the complete 50 must-hear bands list here.

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