For those who aren’t lucky enough to have a badge or wristband for SXSW, there are still plenty of opportunities to see great bands throughout the festival. Over the last few years, the embracing of free day shows put on by different organizations and media outlets have become just as big of a story as the evening showcases that only badge holders and wristband wearers can get into. This year, there are several day shows with amazing lineups slated to hit Austin throughout the week. Here are some of the best that have been announced so far:

eMusic Day Party: March 16; The Beauty Bar, 12 p.m.

The indie friendly download store eMusic will highlight their day party with a solid lineup featuring one of the biggest names in the genre over the last couple of years. In anticipation of their new album, Belong, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart will headline the party with their catchy brand of noise infused twee-pop. Joining them will be Obits (comprised of former members of Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu, and Edsel), the garage inspire raucous of Ty Segall, and those same sentiments from JEFF The Brotherhood. This day show is shaping up to be one that will give festival goers a loud start to their SXSW experience, so be sure to bring earplugs and an open mind.

Pitchfork #Offline: March 17-18; East Side Drive-In, 12 p.m.

While the ubiquity of their influence is often a point of contention for most, the people at Pitchfork know how to get great bands to play their day parties. While Thursdays lineup includes the fresh faced power-poppers of Chicago’s Smith Westers,  J Mascis (of Dinosaur Jr. fame), and the hippie era vibes of San Fransisco’s The Fresh and Onlys, Friday is the day to be at the East Side Drive-In. Headlined by the chillwaver that could, Toro y Moi, the lineup also includes the always astounding Owen Pallett, UK upstarts Yuck, the exuberant beats of Baths, and the pop-genius of Diamond Rings.  Friday’s show will also be webcast live, so those in attendance can have video evidence years later when they say, “I was there!”

The Windish Agency’s 6th Annual Austin Day Party: Emo’s; March 18; 12 p.m.

Competing with Pitchfork will be the ultra impressive lineup that PR firm The Windish Agency has assembled for their day party. In addition to proven successes Toro y Moi and the UK’s Friendly Fires, the lineup features several bands who have already gotten the attention of major labels, including Foster the People (who have already garnered comparisons to MGMT) and recent Columbia Records signees Cults. However, for me, the two biggest reasons to add this party to your list come from Braids and Twin Shadow. The beautiful soundscapes of Braids are exclaimed by heavenly voice of lead singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston, and is one of the main reasons why their debut, Native Speaker, is one of the boldest statements by a new band in 2011. Meanwhile, George Lewis Jr. of Twin Shadow managed to single-handedly improve on the 80’s template with last year’s Forget, and his live set-up with a full band should have no trouble bringing that experience to life. This is a party that is not be missed.

(As stated, this is a very early guide. All acts are subject to change. I will do my best to keep everyone updated as more day shows are announced.)

 

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