The South by Southwest Music Festival has 2,200 acts playing 110 stages across six days, and the numbers do not include the slew of unofficial showcases and corporate parties.
Two events this year may give the festival more national exposure than ever: ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” will broadcast a week of shows from Austin, and Apple’s iTunes Festival will bring in acts like Coldplay, Keith Urban and Pitbull, who will be streamed live worldwide from the A.C.L. Live at the Moody Theater.
Despite its size, South by Southwest, which starts Tuesday and ends Sunday, remains one of the best places to find your new favorite band, which could hail from Chile, Israel, Japan, Russia or — more likely — Texas. This year’s lineup features nearly 450 Texas acts. Here are a dozen of them to watch, from the obvious to the relatively obscure.
DOUGHBEEZY In less than four years, this self-proclaimed Southeast Beast has gone from battling at talent shows and cyphers to being nominated for local musician of the year and best solo rapper at the Houston Press Music Awards. Rapid-fire flows and witty punch lines anchor a new mix tape, “Footprints on the Moon,” which features “I’m From Texas” — a memorable, and significantly more profane, hip-hop alternative to Lyle Lovett’s “That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas).”
THE SUFFERS The Houston rap stars Willie D and Bun B have championed this 10-piece collective, even though their sound is built on Gulf Coast soul, reggae and R.&B. not hip-hop. “Gwan,” a preview of a full-length set for release later this year, features a bold conga breakdown and devastating Chaka Khan-like vocals from Kam Franklin.
OIL BOOM After back-to-back EPs that recalled a retro intersection of the Black Keys and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Oil Boom’s “45 Revolutions per Minute,” the A side of the trio’s just-released single, reveals them settling into their own distinctively bluesy bluster.
YUNG NATION On a pair of mix tapes released in November, Fooly Faime and B. Reed, both 21, frantically exchange lines that unapologetically celebrate all things sex, drugs and hip-hop. In May, they will represent Dallas at the inaugural Suburbia Music Festival in Plano.
THE UNLIKELY CANDIDATES Atlantic Records discovered this alternative-rock-leaning quintet at an unsanctioned SXSW 2013 showcase and released their debut EP, “Follow My Feet,” in September. The title track cracked the Top 40 on two charts, and a full-length follow-up is set for later this year.
THE WIND AND THE WAVE After the Soldier Thread split in 2012, its frontwoman, Patricia Lynn, teamed with the Austin Music Award-winning producer-guitarist Dwight Baker, whose résumé includes studio work with Bob Schneider and Kelly Clarkson. RCA Records signed them last year and their debut — an eclectic, radio-friendly cycle that ranges from dreamy pop to foot-stomping Americana — is tentatively set for a May release.
ZEALE A national-tour opening for Imagine Dragons and Awolnation in 2012 brought national attention to this 31 year-old (his real name is Valin Zamarron), who has issued a seemingly nonstop volley of mix tapes and videos that find him bouncing between experiments with EDM, live bands and traditional hip-hop. His single, “Black Mr. Rogers,” is in the trailer for Seth Rogen’s movie “Neighbors.”
THE PAINTED REDSTARTS In January, when Alejandro Escovedo surveyed the Austin music scene with his star-studded show “The United Sounds of Austin,” this scrappy, guitar-heavy high school-age band was brought in and quickly became a fixture at the Continental Club and the under-18 showcase at Maria’s Taco Xpress. And consider the bloodlines: the frontmen, William Graham and Marlon Sexton, are sons of Jon Dee Graham, the Austin singer-songwriter, and Charlie Sexton, Bob Dylan’s guitarist.
JAMESTOWN REVIVAL Two childhood friends from Magnolia, Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance, honed their country-folk fusion in Austin and ultimately headed West for songwriting inspiration. “The California EP” (2013) and their full-length “Utah” (last month) document their adventures. The duo made its national television debut on TBS’s “Conan” in January and has spent most of thewinter touring with a similarly rootsy act, the Wild Feathers.
SPANISH GOLD The former Grupo Fantasma mastermind Adrian Quesada and the ex-Hacienda guitarist Dante Schwebel never met growing up in Laredo but are making up for lost time, working with My Morning Jacket’s drummer, Patrick Hallahan. Their debut, “South of Nowhere,” due May 27, fuses muscular rock and psychedelica with ’60s soul and early hip-hop influences.
PURPLE This raucous trio, who will tour their way into SXSW on a cross-country run with Ringo Deathstarr from Austin, spew out party anthems that are unapologetically loud, yet exceptionally melodic. “(409)” was produced by Frenchie Smith, who has worked with the Toadies and Jet.
MARIACHI LAS ALTEñAS In the male-dominated world of mariachi, this 10-piece all-female collective has differentiated itself not only by gender but also by flawlessly fusing the traditional with an occasional blast of modern pop. It’s not unusual for them to integrate sections of Kelis’s “Milkshake” or Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine.”