The ToB, presented by Field Notes, is here!

It's the 2023 Tournament of Books, presented by Field Notes! And it's finals week! Dig in!



South by Southwest releases its list of music acts performing and conferences being held at their annual culture and media bonanza, but a silly name still won't guarantee a win.

The Academy of Indie Rocks and Cultural Science People has released its official list of candidates for consideration during the Academy's annual Spring bacchanal in Austin, TX. Among these nominees, one winner will be chosen to win the grueling South by Southwest Showcase competition, thus earning the title of Most Hyped New Band in 2009.

Based on nothing more than the band's names (and the deafening cacophony of insider music biz gossip going on behind the scenes here at the Digest), I'm going to tell you which bands have the best shot of making their pie-in-the-sky dreams of never being played on commercial radio but somehow having songs end up on Zach Braff's next project a reality:

  • Asylum Street Spankers
  • Black Acid
  • The Black Angels
  • Black Cherry
  • Black Diamond Heavies
  • Black Drawing Chalks
  • Black Gold
  • The Black Hollies
  • Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
  • Black Lips
  • Blacklisted Individuals
  • Black Math Horseman
  • Black Skies
  • Margaret Cho
  • Dananananaykroyd
  • Les Breastfeeders

I give up. There are so many more ridiculous band names on this list, but obviously one's chances of claiming the title are dramatically improved by adding "black" to the beginning of your name. Something to consider, Dananananaykroyd.

To hold you over until you get to see and hear all the fun in Austin, here's "Happy Up Here" from the new Röyksopp album, due March 23, which has no chance of winning SXSW this year.


TMN Editor Erik Bryan is living the dream. He grew up in Florida, but he’s from all over. He likes playing chess, making cocktails, smarting off, and not freezing to death in Brooklyn, where he currently resides. More by Erik Bryan

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