Some of the better showcases at SXSW are the daytime shows in the Austin Convention Center, open only to those with official badges. Here are three from Thursday worth noting.
The Mary Onettes: They're from Sweden, but they sound like they're from the U.K., or they've boned up on their Brit rock and pop, mostly from the 1980s. Lots of similarities to New Order, Echo and the Bunnymen. It was a big shoe-gazy, but melodic and infused with enough cheery keyboard to keep its head above water. Good stuff.
Chocolate Tiger: They sound like the Sundays with some U2 on the top. A four-piece rock band from Taiwan with a female lead singer who gives their soundscapes an extra layer of dreamy, they could use a little more stage energy, but their music is is bright and invigorating enough that it's worth a listen .
The Rebel Cats: A taproot rockabilly band from Mexico. They fearlessly covered Elvis, Johnny Cash and other hall of fame legends, with energy and panache, dressed in matching red suit coats. Although, before the set was done, some suit coats and at least one shirt had been removed.