Seeing everything at SXSW is an exercise in futility: if you’ve spent any time in Austin during March, one thing you realize fairly quickly is that there’s simply too much happening that’s worth a listen or a look for any one person to take it all in. Absent cloning, you can only be in one place at a time.
It’s with that thought in mind that we have suggestions for both what you should consider, and which cold one would pair best with your listening experience. We can’t promise that the venue in question will carry the exact brew we suggest, but transcendent acts yearn to make memories, and so we’re suggesting pairings that make take these sets to the next level. Bottoms up –
You’re Listening To: Jimmy Tents (Brooklyn)
You’re Having: a Six Point C.R.E.A.M
When He Plays: 9:30 Friday March 18, Karma Lounge
Tents calls Brooklyn home these days, and that’s where his sense of invention begins: his sound represents a departure from the NY rap scene at large, and begs homage to influences as disparate as Kanye and Pink Floyd. And he named his first single ‘Elmer Fudd.’ If that doesn’t make you somewhat curious about his rap chops, I can’t imagine what will.
And the Six Point C.R.E.A.M is likewise full of surprises: this blonde coffee ale clocks in at 7.2% ABV with a curveball approach to typical cream brews. Perfect for when you want to drag on a unique sip while some rhymes bust up the room.
Listen In: Landslide
You’re Listening To: Trapper Schoepp (Milwaukee)
You’re Having: an Austin Beerworks Bloodwork Orange
When He Plays: 12 Midnight Friday, The Show At Lamberts
Trapper Schoepp is all of twenty-four years old, but that hasn’t seemed to dim his vast array of life experiences, or at the very least, breathed to life the many characters he reveals to audiences both as front of his backing band The Shades, and now on his latest solo release, Rangers & Valentines. While his previous work saw love from Rolling Stone, American Songwriter and Paste, his newest effort found attention (and a track mix on ‘Ogallala’) from Brendan Benson, which on a listen seems fitting.
Of course you’ll want to take it all in with a Bloodwork Orange IPA in hand: this piney, citrus-accented pour brings to light aspirations of summer and faraway gazes when the road is still mostly in front of you, with just a hint of bitterness, like your ex-girlfriend.
Listen In: Ogallala
You’re Listening To: Yung (Denmark)
You’re Having: a Jester King RU-55 American Wild Ale
When They Play: 9pm Wednesday, Lucille
Yung hail from Aarhus, which, if you’re like me, you probably didn’t realize is the second largest city in Denmark. Buried somewhere in that curiosity (and their work) is a familiar angst-tinged squall of youth, here buoyed beneath the sail of larger than life guitar riffs and the type of longing best barked aloud amongst friends.
They’ll have come a long way to play Lucille, and you’ll raise your glass of glass of Jester King’s RU-55 Ale, a brew three years in the making, a red sour ale aged in oak barrels with wild yeast and souring bacteria, for a unique flavor that is as much a unique timestamp and location as it is a differing take on how beer typically is made. And hey, Yung may be Danish and the beer American, but this band is definitely a rebellious take on where they’re from and what that means.
Listen In: Blue Uniforms
You’re Listening To: Alex Napping (Austin)
You’re Having: a Hops And Grain Porter Culture
When They Play: Friday, Hotel Vegas at The Volstead, 7pm
Aside from the distinction that one might first catch the Alex Napping set, then ask them for recs on where you should hit next, this Austin based quartet have a reputation for energetic by way of sunny bombast. In their latest two part universe (Trembles Part I & II), singer and songwriter Alex Cohen and company explore a sonic universe of young love, personal relationships, and the inevitable startle of transformation.
And — of course — it’s 90 degrees outside, which might make one think that sipping on a porter might not be exactly the right move. And that’s where you, friend, might be off. In the evenings, the breezes blow and the temps cool here and you’re on the make for something with character. Austin brewery Hops And Grain craft this Baltic porter with Munich malts and chocolate wheat. Chocolate wheat? Chocolate What?
Listen In: Trembles (Part II)
Beach Slang has made their bones for awhile on the fact that their output consistently begs the idea that something comprehensive this way comes, but as yet, they’ve sprinkled the ether with a collection of catchy and present singles and not more. Two years after their 7-inch ‘Cheap Thrills on a Dead End Street’ ear-wormed its way in, there’s a complete album and the requisite buzz to accompany it.
It seems only fitting that you’re quaffing a Victory Hop Devil Ale, the Philadelphia brewery flagship brew that begs the idea (certainly by name) that infers that you can stare your own darkness down, and come out on the other side with something worthy of a story. Hoppy without the extra bitterness, clean, and, dare we say, affable.
Listen In: Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas