The 2018 South by Southwest festival is officially underway in Austin, with more than 1,000 artists descending on the Texas capital for a week of music showcases jammed into every kind of theater, bar, parking lot, driveway, alleyway, backyard and barbecue you can find. Every year, festivalgoers spread out across the city in search of their new favorite band, with some fading quickly back into obscurity and others climbing into the pantheon of the pop-music world. Paste and our sister site, Daytrotter, have been covering music at SXSW for decades, recording hundreds of artists and adding those performances to the world’s largest vault of live recorded music—all of which is available for free streaming with our new mobile app. To mark this year’s SXSW Music Festival, which runs from March 12 to March 18, we’re digging into our Austin trove to find some of our favorite performances from years past. Here’s a look at some of the great shows and interviews we recorded on this date in history.
March 12, 2013: Lucius
Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, the dual-vocal force behind Lucius, were still seven months away from releasing their debut LP, Wildewoman, when they performed as part of Paste’s Riverview Sessions at a cozy house in Austin. Together with drummer Danny Molad and guitarists Peter Lalish and Andrew Burri, the pair offered intimate renditions of Wildewoman tracks “Don’t Just Sit There,” “Go Home” and “Turn It Around,” with the rustic environs coaxing out the nuances in Wolfe and Laessig’s harmonies. (Read our review of Lucius’s new album, Nudes, here.)
March 12, 2013: Jim James
As Lucius introduced new music over at the Riverview Bungalow across town, My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James spoke with Paste about his solo debut, Regions of Light and Sound of God, which had been released in February. Listen to James describe how he “built designs out of blocks of light” for this cinematic soundscape of an album.
March 12, 2014: Steve Gunn
Guitarist Steve Gunn had lent his considerable talents and versatility to a host of artists by 2014, including Jack Rose, Kurt Vile, and the band GHQ, but he was just coming into his own as a songwriter. Time Off, his 2013 debut under his own name, had been a breakthrough, showcasing Gunn’s ease with a multitude of styles including delta blues, Indian music and psych rock. The follow-up, 2014’s Way Out Weather, expanded that pallet with a droning yet upbeat collection of intricate melodies and instrumentation. His set at Good Danny’s included highlights from the former, including opener “Water Wheel,” as well as an early performance of a song from the latter, “Wildwood.”