Jay Z will be returning to Austin, Texas' annual music convention South By South West this year with a little more formality after a last minute special appearance slot last year saw him help Kanye West bring down the house during the G.O.O.D Music Showcase. MTV reports that Hova will be playing in his own right at a show that'll be streamed nationally on Youtube. There had been rumors that Jigga would be teaming up with Eminem at this year's event but as yet there's been no further word on that. The festival starts tomorrow, March 9th 2012, with the music running between March 13th until the 18th.
SXSW has, in recent years, blown up to become something far, far greater than its original intentions. Traditionally a hot bed for some of the finest up and coming music from around the world, the conference has grown to such an extent that high profile appearances by artists such as Jay Z are common ground these days. However, in the spirit of what the festival initially set out to be, we at Contactmusic thought we'd suggest five tips among the hundreds of bands and acts out there hoping to grab just a sniff of your attention come next week. (1) Blondes. The Brooklyn-based duo deal in gloriously immersive house-based tunes that sprawl out euphorically to bore themselves into both the brain and the body. The pair collected their previous EPs and put them together to make up their debut self-titled LP which came out earlier this year. (2) Ghosting Season. Manchester, UK based techno duo who release their debut LP on famous Dj Sasha's new label later this year; the pair have worked hard through the UK's live and club circuit over the past four years to get to the point where their throbbing dance floor fillers are starting to cross over in a big, big way. (3) Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hands. From introverted multi-instrumentalist to more synth-leaning work, Patrick Kelleher is an Irish artist whose ever relentless search for different sounds and tapestries to add to his songs have never been done so at the expanse of melody and true emotion. At his best he's stunning. (4) Dark Dark Dark. Minneapolis folk collective, they recently made a name across in the UK with a release on Manchester-based label Melodic but have been picking up acclaim in their native land since first album 'Snow Magic' in 2008. Follow-up 'Wild Go' was a glorious mix of stripped back balladry and more dynamically rich offerings. (5) Andrew Bird. Not so new, he's on his seventh album, but what an offering it was, 'Break It Yourself' a true return to form after the instrumental offering of 'Useless Creatures' in 2010. Guitar, violinist, vocalist and a mean whistler to boot, Bird live often surrounds himself with an equally dextrous band to help him deliver his glorious mix of Americana and experimental folk.