SXSW PSA: Others Do the Hard Work & Tell You Who to Listen to (And We Tell You Who They Are)

We haven’t been shy about our SXSW envy this week, but thankfully there’s a group of bloggers that are abating our jealousy by slaving through the abundance of music at the festival for our curated pleasure.

We still wish we could be there, but we also love good band recommendations that you don’t have to sit through fifteen sets (and thousands of songs) to find. After the jump, we highlight the hard-working music bloggers who have been listening to all the SXSW band mp3s and recommending shows–so you (and we!) don’t have to.

Six Word Reviews, Paul Ford of The Morning News: Ford took the mp3s available for most of the 2,000+  acts playing the festival this year and whittled them down to shorter than a twitter post review each. His listing system is beautifully complex–each review includes a link to the song as well as a 1-5 star rating and a tool that lets you tweet the review itself (not sure why one would do that, but sure). The collection of six-word reviews are an achievement unto themselves, but the fact that they serve a very practical and accessible purpose heightens them to a whole new music blogger level.

The Romp, The SXSW Alphabet: Our friend, a Federal Reserve Bank researcher by day and diligent music blogger by night, has also spent the past few weeks listening to every available SXSW mp3 and picking out the best bands under every letter. His list is a lot more manageable than Paul Ford’s because it just links to the good stuff, is currently streaming his favorite selections, and isn’t confined to the micro-blog size. It’s interesting to contrast their quality finds against each other’s, and thanks to both, we’ve already started downloading amazing music by bands we had definitely never heard of before.

Pitchfork Guide to SXSW: If you’re feeling particularly lazy, you can always just go with what Pitchfork says. Here’s a list of the shows they will be checking out–which probably means the artists will show up on Pitchfork in the future, which means you might as well check them out now and feel cool later.

SXSW Mp3 Torrent: If you’re feeling up for it yourself, the entire list of available songs from artists performing at the festival this year is not only streamable, but downloadable here, ready for you to make your own blind judgements (and fill your iTunes with some songs you might not recognize months later).

Six-Word Reviews Review, Prefix Mag
: Just for fun, Prefix mag shrinks down Paul Ford’s list to the snarkiest selections. We’d feel bad for the bands if the compacted meanness wasn’t so well-done.