The organizers of the annual South by Southwest music conference have released the names of more artists scheduled to perform at the event in Austin, Texas, next March. Among the standouts in this installment are synth-pop pioneer Gary Numan, the "Cars" songwriter who recently released his first album in seven years, rap mainstay Talib Kweli, Nineties country hitmaker Suzy Bogguss and former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha. The announcement also features a number of younger bands who are currently building buzz, including Nashville garage punks Diarrhea Planet and New York hardcore crew Cerebral Ballzy.
Other notable artists among the 348 names in the announcement include psych-folk singer Nicole Atkins, Atlanta garage rockers Black Lips, New Zealand–based noise-rock experimenters Dead C, Broken Social Scene member Kevin Drew, rap stalwart Sage Francis, indie rocker Shelby Earl, cold beverage enthusiast G. Love (apparently sans Special Sauce), rock experimenters Kayo Dot, Ohio metalcore group Miss May I, California metalcore bashers Of Mice & Men, Brooklyn punks the So So Glos, Trent Reznor associate Saul Williams and Baltimore indie rockers Wye Oak.
As with the announcement of the fest's first round of bands, the press release notes that although SXSW has already announced about 500 bands, it's still a small fraction of the 2,200 or so bands who usually play the conference. Organizers will announce more artists in the months to come. This year saw a number of last-minute additions including Justin Timberlake, Prince, Iggy & the Stooges, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Baauer and Trinidad James.
The conference has also begun announcing several of its music industry-focused panel discussions. Among the 85 announced so far are panels addressing the "New Era of A&R," different approaches to concert marketing and one billing itself as "Heavy Metal Entrepreneurship: A PhD Study."