Berklee Presents its SXSW Party: Boston and Beyond, March 17

Margot Edwards
February 24, 2016
Press release
Lady Pills
Great Grandpa
Plastic Waves
Photo provided by the artist.
Photo provided by the artist.
Photo provided by the artist.
Photo provided by the artist.
Photo provided by the artist.
Photo provided by the artist.
Photo provided by the artist.

Berklee hosts its official SXSW Party: Boston and Beyond, on Thursday, March 17, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at Brush Square Park, West Tent, 409 East 5th Street (Neches and 5th), Austin, Texas. Presented by The Red Room @ Cafe 939, Alumni Affairs, Heavy Rotation Records (HRR), and media sponsor Vanyaland, this is Berklee’s 11th annual event at SXSW.

The party features up-and-coming Berklee alumni and students performing rock, pop, punk, psychedelic, electronic, and R&B. Artists include Great Grandpa, IAN, Lady Pills (HRR), mar|co, M+E (HRR), Plastic Waves, and RANN.

Berklee’s SXSW Party: Boston and Beyond is for all ages and open to SXSW badge holders. Alumni and the public can RSVP at to attend free of charge.

Check out the artists on VanyaRadio's Boston and Beyond sampler.

Vanyaland will stream the event at and at VanyaRadio.

About the Artists:

Seattle-based Great Grandpa—Alex Menne, Pat Goodwin, Carrie Miller, Cam LaFlam, and alumnus Dylan Hanwright '13—formed in 2014. After releasing an EP, the band was picked up by label Broken World Media, run by Derrick Shanholtzer-Dvorak of the emo group the World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die. Said Stereogum of Great Grandpa's EP Can Opener: “It's five songs worth of knotty, twisted, and warm rock music that’s as melodically satisfying as it is, at times, confounding.” The group has shared the stage with Screaming Females, Palehound, and TTNG, and is working on its debut album.

IAN was originally the solo project of alumna Jilian Medford '15, also know as Ian (a nickname given by her high school skate crew). She started playing as IAN when she arrived in Boston from Los Angeles. Drummer Tim Cheney attended one of her shows and approached her about collaborating. They quickly hit the road for a cold New England winter tour in 2014. Afterward, they configured their fuzzy-dream pop songs for recording and enlisted bassist Damien Scalise. IAN’s debut record comes out in May.

Lady Pills (HRR) is a Boston-based garage rock trio composed of students Ella Boisonnault, Alison Dooley, and Claire Duhring. Taking inspiration from bands such as Pixies and the Raincoats, Lady Pills combines elements of loud, fuzz-filled rock and a raw, stripped-down sound with intimate and relatable lyrics. Since forming in October 2015, it has released a three-song demo and played more than 30 shows. The group plans to release its first full-length album this summer, followed by a three-week tour.

Watch Lady Pills perform their original "Old Song":

mar|co is a future pop duo consisting of students, vocalist Marie Lang, and producer Alex Coco, who met while attending Berklee. After collaborating on their first single “Bridges,” they decided to form mar|co.
 The duo's upbringings—Lang grew up in Vienna, Austria, and Coco spent most of his life in Miami—provide a host of influences in a variety of genres, but both share a deep passion for electronic music. Combining dark and dreamy vocals with a unique production style, they have been working on establishing a sound of their own.

M+E (HRR) is the work of Boston-based student singer-songwriter Luke Niccoli. Niccoli has opened for such artists as Martina McBride and Chris Isaak and received the BMI Foundation John Lennon Scholarship. M+E creates a uniquely catchy and sophisticated sound influenced by '90s bands Third Eye Blind and Dashboard Confessional, as well as modern pop artists Justin Bieber and Drake.

Plastic Waves is the recording project of Boston-based student Andre Bellido. The project began in 2014 as an attempt to create music within a hazy, psychedelic setting, incorporating anything from pop melodies to dense, dreamy sounds, and noisy textures. For live shows, Bellido is joined by students Jordan Rich and Will Cariello, and alumni Tyler Hicks '15, and Sean Camargo '15, who help bring the recordings to life.

Born out of years of diverse artistic collaborations and a steady hunt for an original music endeavor of its own, RANN is the result of five Brooklyn-based musicians locking themselves in an isolated cabin during the cold winter of 2014. Driven by a passion for electronic rock, dance music, colored pop, and dreamy choruses, the band has just released its debut album, Yellowgun, and is gearing up for a nationwide tour. RANN is composed of alumni Apoena Frota '13, Andre Vasconcelos '12, Rafael Russi '12, João Nogueira '12, and Joe Ulmer '12.

Take a look at what Berklee students and alumni did at this year's SXSW: