5 Things Everyone Will Be Talking About at SXSW Music 2014

I could make a list of acts I’m excited to see at SXSW this year: Mark Kozelek, Sylvan Esso, Eagulls, London Grammar, Diarrhea Planet, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Perfect Pussy, Future, Sam Smith, Against Me!, and a lot more I won’t know about until I stumble upon them, tipsily, in the middle of the afternoon.

But half the fun of going to SXSW is improvising when you can’t get into shows or don’t want to deal with lines, in the process seeing artists you normally never would. So instead of focusing on my personal to-do list at SXSW Music, I want to take a look at the topics I expect will garner online chatter this week, once music industry folks and writers alike map out their own highly personalized schedules. Some will focus on the deeply sponsored events, like Lady Gaga performing in a Doritos vending machine, or the entirety of the iTunes Festival, while others will completely eschew the sort of shows that require a badge or even an RSVP. These should cover most of our bases, though.

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Damon Albarn “+ Special Guests” @ Fader Fort

Albarn has a new solo album, Everyday Robots, out next month, so it’s pretty obvious why he’s making the trek to Austin this year. But it’s also rumored that Albarn’s SXSW gigs (which include headlining the NPR showcase) will span his career, which of course includes Gorillaz and Blur, the latter of which just recorded new material. On the Fader Fort bill, his 7:30 Friday set is noted as including special guests, so here’s hoping it’s another Blur reunion, or else Gen-X music industry Twitter is gonna be pissed.