South By Southbest: 10 Of SXSW's Biggest Success Stories

By: 03.12.13  •  2 Comments

Welcome to day one of music fun at South by Southwest 2013. Now get the hell out of Texas, tech NERDS!

Yesterday, we highlighted 26 up-and-coming bands playing in Austin this week, any of which could be the next Veruca Salt. Or even MORE successful than Veruca Salt. I know, right? How is that even possible? The alt-rock band got their big break at SXSW 1994, the same year American Thighs came out, making them one of the festival’s greatest success stories, right up there with pre-fame Feist, the Darkness, Franz Ferdinand, and Skrillex.

Here are 10 huge names who broke big, thanks to some help from South by Southwest.

1991 — Barenaked Ladies/Dixie Chicks/Uncle Tupelo (I’m combining these three acts into one because they’re playing as Uncle Barenaked Chick at my wedding. You guys are all invited)

1994 — Spoon (Sort of; the band was rejected by SXSW that year, so they played an anti-festival gig at the Blue Flamingo, where they were spotted by Matador Records’ Gerard Cosloy, who signed them to his label. Three years later, Spoon released their first album, Telephono, and finally played SXSW)

1998 — Fred Armisen (The SNL star had been the drummer for post-hardcore band Trenchmouth for years, but in 1998, he made Fred Armisen’s Guide to Music and South by Southwest, “a 20-minute video of Armisen playing different characters and messing with people” at the festival. It was his first big foray into the comedy.)

2000 — John Mayer (Then: after a successful SXSW gig, he was signed to Aware Records and released Room for Squares in 2002. Now: he’s sleeping with Katy Perry, another SXSW success story, and you’re not.)

Around The Web


He Is Virginia Tech: Why Blacksburg Will Always Be Smiling For Frank Beamer

By:  •  2 Comments

‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2‘ Director Francis Lawrence Explains That Final Scene

By:  •  5 Comments

Jackie Earle Haley Discusses ‘Criminal Activities,’ His Directorial Debut


Tara Subkoff And Chloë Sevigny Discuss ‘#Horror,’ A Cyberbully Nightmare


Todd Haynes On The Sophistication And Passion Of ‘Carol,’ And The Dreary Charm Of Cincinnati


Need An Adventure? Now Is The Best Time To Go To Yellowstone National Park!

By:  •  8 Comments

Samantha Ponder Shares The Greatest ‘College GameDay’ Location, And The Importance Of Being Unbalanced


Weathering The Crimson Storm: How One Football Team Ended A 32-Game Losing Streak


This Couple Setting Out On A Two-Year Van Trip To Shine A Light On Mental Illness Is Sure To Inspire You

By:  •  8 Comments

Francis Lawrence On How Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death Affected ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2‘


Loren Bouchard On ‘Bob’s Burgers,’ How His Show Survived, And The Beauty Of Never Growing Up

By:  •  2 Comments

Triumph The Insult Comic Dog Vs. Canada’s Ed The Sock, And The Problem Of Parallel Creation

By:  •  24 Comments