The LA Weekly's SXSW team is in Austin, basking in hot music and even hotter dudes. Ranked from adorable to smokin', this year's SXSW features loads of luscious fellas in every flavor. Here are the Top Ten Cutest Boys in Bands at SXSW:
French trio Revolver are sweetly awkward with their Beatles-ish “Hard Day's Night” skiffle antics — but don't let the act fool you, the trio are seriously schooled, classically trained musicians bringing a light-hearted musical love affair along with their shy, scrappy ennui – quelle adorable! Austin might be a culture shock for them but there's little doubt Ambroise Willaume, Christophe Musset and Jérémie Arcache will impress plenty of ladies in Texas and their “pop de chambre” won't be lost in translation.
9. Hunx & His Punx
If thin and whispily-moustached androgyny is your style, Hunx is your guy. S.F.'s trashy centerfold type and low-fi club punk provocateur may provide everything your libido desires if it's late enough and you've had way too many cocktails. Hunx brings a helluva performance though – sparkles, nudity, costumes, funk, raw, slinging perspiration and lots of rolling on the stage – through the sweaty haze, you can almost see the Castro back in 1976.
Let's see what these surf, punk, thrash Brooklyn-ites can bring this year to the fest. After last year's sloppy-bottomed, yet surprisingly sweat-worthy intensity (with their thundering garage-rap “1, 2, 3,4 Fuck the Cops” roar) – they could seal the deal as rock Gods in Austin. The Japanther boys are all about the bottom – they're bass guitar and drums only – and ass men to be sure. Matt Reilly and Ian Vanek will have their hipster fros flying free and they know how to show SXSW a good time.
7. Hanni El Kathib
It takes a hefty pair of cohones to rock the falsetto Frankie Valli style, and Hanni El Khatib is man enough to step up to the task. Bay area native Khatib reaches far back into the do wop and rockabilly treasure chest to find his inspiration – The Flamingos, Specter, Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly. The guys knows how to handle his axe and play a crowd too – the pompadour and tat sleeves are just the icing on this sweetie pie.
6. Mustard Pimp
These bad boys have musical roots in the French death metal scene in Melun – an industrial town out at the very southern fringes of Paris' suburbs where they huff glue and manufacture airplane engines. Now living in L.A., the duo of DJ eKa and Baron are making a name for themselves with their hard beats, fast segues, jittery samples and acid-disco soul (plus they've remixed everybody from Atari Teenage Riot to Will Smith). Equal parts metal heads and bouncing club kids, these irresistible French boys prove you can still smoke and work the turntables simultaneously.
5. The Dodos
Long bangs in their eyes, old t-shirts, easy harmonies and songs of hot anticipation make these guys the kind of babes that probably aren't even aware of the fact that they are grade A prime Tiger Beat material. The Dodos are a guitar (Meric Long) and drum (Logan Kroeber) duo (occasionally with help from guests on keys or marimba). The Dodos manage to throwdown a tightly wound folk shuffle that ends up wiring every worked-up crowd they play to.
4. Cass McCombs
Mr. McCombs has those sweet, sad green peepers that just melt the gentler sex, (and some of the fay-er male set for sure). With a tear-your-heart-out Elliott Smith-ish delivery, McCombs lands with a gentler follow up. His soft and classic singer-songwriter chops bring a pianoman's empathetic understanding to l'amour with shrewd observations about life, loves and heartache. McCombs' subtle boil onstage has proven irresistible in venues big and small venues – proving that this guy doesn't have any issues with intimacy.
3. Julian Casablancas
Last year's Coachella brought Julian Casablancas out on his own (sans Strokes) to hungry fans jonesing for the frontman's brooding, scruffy charm. Whether or not you dug his casio-dance hit “11th Dimension,” there was no denying at last year's showing that J.C. could still make the kids cream and scream. Though sober and married now, Casablancas still wields his kissable pout, and sleepy/sexy bad-boy skills onstage with the mic and his deep, dark eyes. He's back in this installment with the Strokes, in anticipation of their 4th album, Angles, out next week.
2. John Taylor
'80s heartthrob John Taylor doesn't rock the moussed mane or eyeliner and blush anymore, but he's still a fine piece of man nonetheless. Duran Duran's consistent new wave danceability sprang from the capable fingerwork of Mr. Taylor on bass, and his smoldering, pretty-boy mug is also probably responsible for the billions of posters they sold, the multitudes of which ended up taped to fawning girls' bedroom walls across the globe. John and his original hottie cohorts (Simon, Roger and Nick – no Andy) play and head a panel at this years SXSW, surely to the shrieking accolades of girls from 15 to 50.
1. Freddie Gibbs
Freddie's got it going on with a real-guy style and he doesn't need an extra inch of bling or flash. In his shades and plain white or black Ts, this Gary, Indiana-to-Inglewood transplant has a style that's eerily reminiscent of Tupac's with a similar swaggering charm. Gibb's stripped-down, '90s style delivery mixes in traces of NWA, Biggie, even Stevie Wonder seamlessly. Talent aside, Gibbs is cut like a mofo too and sports a full-back tattoo featuring Black Panther Huey Newton reclining on a wicker throne – seriously. We're praying he ditches the t-shirt for at least part of the set.