Now that the South by Southwest Music Festival has officially started—no, seriously, it just started today…it’s getting to be like Christmas; next thing you know, we’ll start seeing “pre-SXSW” shows in January. Anyway, now that it’s officially started, we thought we’d begin sharing our picks for bands that, were we there this year, we’d want to see.

We’ll skip the long-time favorites playing the fest, like Magic Man, Wild Cub, or Oberhofer (AKA Broberhofer), who have perhaps graced these pages often as is and go straight to our new obsessions of late.

First up—NYC’s Big Ups, a band that, if you’re anything like me, will suddenly make want to relive your early high school moshing days. Check out their video for “Goes Black” below to see what I mean. You’ll also find an album stream for their debut full-length, Eighteen Hours of Static, down there.

Big Ups play Hotel Vegas Friday.

Also, what the fuck, South by? Coldplay50 Cent? Seriously?

We’ll keep up the SXSW posting for the rest of the week. Stay tuned!

Band photo: Dylan Johnson