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Barb Rocks Kickstarting Bay Area SXSW Showcase

In Music
The Trims are one of five local bands playing SXSW as part of the locally organized Ugly Wale showcase.

The Trims are one of five local bands playing SXSW as part of the locally organized Ugly Wale showcase.

Encouraged by the success she had booking two local bands at last year’s South By South West, San Jose-based promoter Barbara Wahli—better known as Barb Rocks—is upping the ante this year, throwing her very own showcase at the yearly music, technology and film festival.

She’s calling her showcase Ugly Whale. The name is an homage to her recently passed father, Ueli Wahli, whose name was consistently autocorrected to “Ugly Whale” in Microsoft Word and other word processing programs—a phenomenon he good-naturedly embraced. She has already locked down Darwin’s Pub, a 300-seat venue in a prime location in downtown Austin, and she’s launched a Kickstarter to raise the $3,500 booking fee. All donations inch Barbara closer to giving five exceptional Bay Area bands the national exposure they deserve.

Wahli has long been a champion of the Bay Area scene (and the South Bay scene in particular). She’s been bustin’ down doors for local bands for years. In the last five, Wahli’s hand has guided the efforts of several festivals including the Santa Cruz Music Festival and Left Coast Live. And she recently started a local chapter of Balanced Breakfast—a weekly local music industry meeting aimed at bolstering the local scene.

Check out the video for her Kickstarter campaign and get acquainted with the delegation of Bay Area bands she plans to bring out to Texas next month:

The Trims are one of San Jose’s hottest bands at the moment. Sporting spacious guitar riffs, new wave/disco rhythm, and brain-burrowing hooks, their work has been featured on MTV’s The Real World, they’ve caught the ear of Live 105’s Aaron Axelsen, and they’re booked to play Bottlerock 2015.

Eyes on the Shore are an exceptionally stylish quartet that land somewhere between Motown, surf rock and post-modernist ambience. One moment, they power through heavy melodies, the next, they dive into a spectral, airy soundscape.

The Frail are an electro-pop group that found each on craigslist and incorporate elements of soulful lyrics, buzzy synth melodies, and soaring guitar to create a mature, and thoroughly modern identity.

The Go Ahead started out as Jesús and the Rabbis, an improvisational, funky jam band, but after adding lead singer Kyna Wise, a couchsurfing San Francisco roomate, their funk roots have grounded their growth into more of a classic rock band.

Beautiful Machines employ custom drum and keyboard kits infused with a bounty of sounds to create their harmonious, ethereal, and futuristic electro pop jams. They belong to a rare class of electronic groups whose prowess is most on display during live performances

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