On the heels of their successful Canadian Music Week showcase at Toronto's Bovine Sex Club earlier this month, Liquor and Poker Music have announced their inaugural South By Southwest showcase. Taking place at Emo's on Saturday, March 19, the concert will feature sets by five acts from the rock label’s burgeoning roster.

Headlining the event will be Sweden's BACKYARD BABIES. Currently touring America alongside SOCIAL DISTORTION, the quartet — which features guitarist Dregen, founding member of THE HELLACOPTERS — recently released "Tinnitus", an album whose 12 tracks provide the perfect introduction to Scandinavia's top rock act. While the group has already won a Grammy in its home country, "Tinnitus" — praised by Rolling Stone as "sneering punk (meets) big-stage, exploding-lights arena rock" — proves that the band's appeal is universal.

South By Southwest will also see one of the first performances by Vancouver's THE BLACK HALOS since Liquor and Poker Music officially announced the group's signing. The quintet’s third album, "Alive Without Control", the follow-up to 2001's "The Violent Years" (Sub Pop), will be released this June. After they play Austin, the group will commence a four-week tour with THE QUEERS and RIVER CITY REBELS.

Sweden's THE BONES will also taking part in that tour. Rave reviews for 2004's "Straight Flush Ghetto", the first of their three albums to be released in America, continue to roll in, and Emo's will see the group’s third-ever U.S. performance. After the RIVER CITY REBELS/QUEERS run wraps up on April 10, the quartet will continue to tour with THE BLACK HALOS for another two weeks.

Third on the bill, Toronto's CRASH KELLY have already made a lasting impression with their modern take on classic FM-radio rock. The group recently kicked off their world tour in support of their acclaimed debut album, "Penny Pills", with a two-week California blitzkrieg, and South By Southwest marks the band's first-ever Texas concert. The band will tour America throughout 2005.

Finally, DIRTY AMERICANS — ironically, the only U.S. band on the bill — will celebrate the domestic release of their debut album, "Strange Generation", which arrives in stores March 22. The record has received international acclaim since its overseas release last summer, when the Michigan quartet toured both Europe and Japan and played festivals alongside acts such as METALLICA, GREEN DAY and MOTÖRHEAD. They've recently performed around the Midwest with TED NUGENT and ALICE COOPER.

A special guest will kick off Liquor and Poker's showcase at 8 p.m. sharp, and bands will take the stage every hour on the hour until last call.

Since its 2003 inception, Liquor and Poker Music — whose roster also includes such acclaimed acts as NEBULA, THE HELLACOPTERS and HANOI ROCKS — has aimed to lay the foundation for 21st century classic rock. The March 19 concert at Emo’s (603 Red River Dr.; 512-477-3667) marks the label’s first showcase at South By Southwest, a major music industry event held annually in Austin, Texas.


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