If it seems as though it was only a week ago that Stateside Presents held the first day of their South by Stateside showcase, that's because it was. Here we are a week later, and eight new bands take The Sail Inn's stage for yet another top-notch showcase. Two separate nights, featuring eight bands each night, for about $20 total? The promoter must be crazy.
Here is a cheat sheet for the eight bands taking the stage Monday night.
Toro Y Moi: Having just released his second album, Underneath the Pine, in as many years, Toro Y Moi mastermind Chaz Bundick is not one to let moss grow under his feet. Eschewing the electronic feel of his first album, Causers of This, Bundick set out to craft a more instrumental album, and his sound is all the more funky and lively this time around.
Foster the People: With a single ("Pumped Up Kicks") and infectious three-song EP slowing gaining notoriety with the hip kids, Los Angeles' Foster the People is most certainly on the rise. As if a slot at SxSW wasn't enough, the band has a set at Coachella in April, making 2011 a banner year. FTP is the one band being showcased on Monday with some serious show-stealing potential.
Damien Jurado: Damien Jurado has been performing for nigh on 15 years. The Seattle native's breakout came in 1999 with his second album, Rehearsals for Departure, a critical darling that established Jurado's bona fides as a singer and songwriter. 2010's Saint Bartlett was Jurado's ninth studio album, a sterling testament to his ingenuity and musical genius.
Viva Voce: Legend has it that Kevin and Anita Robinson — the founding members of Portland indie rock band Viva Voce — met at a punk show in an abandoned Alabama warehouse. Such an auspicious beginning has led to a fruitful career for the Robinsons, who are set to release The Future Will Destroy You, their sixth studio album (and first on Vanguard Records), in June.
Braids: The Montreal (by way of Calgary), foursome Braids released their debut album in January to much critical acclaim. Perhaps it's the lush, layered sound bolstered by singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston's immediate, warping vocals. Or perhaps it's simply the band's taking a page from the Animal Collective Guide to Indie Rock and making it their own.
Cloud Nothings: It's about time this showcase got some Cleveland, and who better to represent the birthplace of rock 'n' roll than power-pop foursome Cloud Nothings? The brainchild of 19-year-old Dylan Baldi, Cloud Nothings plays clashing, sub-three-minute songs, showing an immense talent and proving that age is truly nothing but a number.
Franz Nicolay: When he's not producing albums and touring with Against Me!, mustache enthusiast and former Hold Steady keyboardist Franz Nicolay somehow finds the time to record his own music. His latest album, Luck and Courage, was released this past October on Team Science Records, cementing his jack-of-all-trades status.
Geographer: Founded by guitarist/keyboardist Michael Deni, San Francisco-based trio Geographer likes to mix cello with electronic/experimental sounds. What results is an interesting amalgamation that has gained the band notoriety for its refreshing originality.
David Dondero: Former Sunbrain singer David Dondero just released his ninth solo album, A Pre-existing Condition. Hailed as one of the greatest living songwriters, the Duluth native has been kicking around in bands since 1993 while claiming to have started drumming at the ripe old age of 10.