• Monarques

Another week, another Mercury music section to ignore while you try and pry off the tracking device that comes on every Coachella wristband. I hope the device doesn't notice when I fall asleep to Mumford & Sons.

Over the years I've written many a rambling SXSW journal about bands (and tacos), so this year I wanted to do something a little different. I hopped in the van with Monarques and followed the band to SXSW, to see what the massive music festival is like for a small, unsigned act.

Monarques - "Angel Eyes"

Akron/Family travel to a volcano in Japan and write an entire album under its influence. It's the oldest cliché in the book. Girls and Japanese volcanos, it's all musicians care about these days.

Akron/Family - "Silly Bears"

Spend some time with the road weary folk songs of Little Scream (AKA Laurel Sprengelmeyer).

Little Scream - "Cannons"

The best duo from Baltimore since Snoop and Chris (unless you prefer McNulty and Bunk, you narc), Wye Oak are responsible for the wondrous new Civilian LP.

Wye Oak - "Two Small Deaths"

Despite sounding like a Middle America's most generic Chinese buffet, Gold Panda is actually the working title of sound artist Derwin (no last name, please). Listen to "Quitters Raga" below, it's glorious.

Gold Panda - "Quitters Raga"

End Hits: My recipe for "Quitter's Ragu": Dump an entire jar of sauce into your pasta. Eat out of the pot. Cry.