I went to the SXSW Music conference again this year, as I have done in recent years. Thanks to winter storm Stella, I got to spend an extra day in Austin, which ended up being a great one, and in all I logged time at around 70 different shows in the 5 days. I’d say the last few years were better in terms of music, but hardly anything to complain about.
I’m not the most consistent Instagrammer, but I decided this year to play around with a few different photo apps and then became somewhat obsessed with it. I like Prisma for its great range of effects and Layrs for the ability to stack images in layers on top of each other (why doesn’t PS Express, the mobile Photoshop app, do this?). Those, combined with the standard iPhone editing tools and Instagram filters, can do some amazing things. Here are a few of my favorites from Austin, and I’ve got a bunch more at my IG account. By the way – in order, this is Mint Field, Tei Shi, Dude York, Weaves, Holly Macve, and Merchandise.
click here to see the rest of this post
I just returned from the SXSW music festival in Austin once again. It’s still a ridonkulous clusteryouknowwhat of humanity, but the conference has appeared to cool off just a bit in terms of spectacle (even if the actual attendance numbers are still ballooning), and that’s great news for music fans, at least in my opinion. I couldn’t care less about John Legend or Guns N’ Roses opportunistically helicoptering in at the last minute to play a “secret show.” The event originated as a showcase for unsigned and unknown bands to get attention and, although the music business doesn’t work that way anymore, this year seemed to be more about those hard-working under-the-radar acts playing their asses off to make a breakthrough, and not wondering if Lady Gaga was going to appear inside of a giant Doritos machine. And, even if they’re not really that far under the radar, it’s still a great opportunity for discovery.
The band Hinds alone played 17 shows in 5 days. Seventeen. You could have just called it SXSHinds. A lot of bands I saw played 10, 11, 12 shows over the course of those days. You get a sense for what a band is really like when you see them multiple times. Car Seat Headrest‘s shows were completely unpredictable: not just the song choices, but the very tone of the set. The day I saw them they were punchy and aggressive, but my friends reported that at other shows they were the exact opposite. I chose to see TEEN, a Brooklyn band whose new album I love, at the Flood magazine party which Sir the Baptist basically turned into a raucous St. Patrick’s Day karaokefest – in other words, not the ideal setting for a band with thoughtful lyrics and Krautrocky grooves – but then was able to see them later in a more suitable venue. And I was happy to go back and see Beach Slang twice – they already are like The Replacements on Red Bull, but at their last-slot-of-the-night show at Sidewinder they basically tore the venue a new one, in the best way possible.
Small is spectacular. Here’s hoping that the festival will continue to grow that way. Here are some clips from last week.
I went to SXSW once again this year under strange circumstances – long story short, I was supposed to perform but it fell through but I still ended up going to the music portion (which is what I like anyway). I had a fake press conference:
and I told Ronald McDonald what I thought of the fact that they weren’t handing out free Egg McMuffins despite the fact that they advertised their huge-ass music and food tent with a picture of an Egg McMuffin:
and I fed “Southie,” the foam Colombian radio mascot who apparently cannot hold his queso:
And I took some Instagram band pics (also using the Layrs app, which is pretty great):
and I made a little teaser video. And I’m still trying to catch up on my sleep.
I went to the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, TX last week. My expert analysis is that it was a blast (you can probably go elsewhere for longer and better writing about the event). I saw a ton of great music, some of which I captured on my now-long-defunct-but-still-working Flip camera. A lot of the good moments never made it to video: Lucius at the Paste day party, St. Vincent’s suddenly electric stage show, two guys somehow colliding and then hugging while crowd surfing at Grackle, an out-of-town after-hours party DJed by Matthew Dear blanketed in dry ice, all the shows that I missed. Still, here’s a little collection of nuggets – 17 nuggets, to be exact – of some of the shows I enjoyed the most. If you don’t know these artists, you should.
There’s nothing really scientific about it, except I put the stuff I liked most of all towards the beginning. So that’s something. Enjoy!
By the way, if you want to see some of the silly thumbs up/thumbs down video reviews I did at a previous SXSW that the New Yorker actually let us post online, it’s here, and here and a special bonus here.
Filed under events, music, SXSW