March 19, 2005 |
What can a band of five guys from West Philadelphia do to set itself apart at the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference, when 1,349 other bands are trying to do the same thing? If you're Dr. Dog, the harmonious rock quintet that just released its infectious debut album, Easy Beat, the answer is obvious: just play your music. As many times, and in as many places, as you possibly can. SXSW is the industry's largest annual gathering, and this year it's bigger than ever, with more than 15,000 music bizzers and fans expected for the festival, which began on Wednesday and ends Sunday.
March 18, 1996 |
In panels and small discussion groups at the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference, members of the music industry debated radio formats, new wrinkles in artist contracts and the ever-stormy relationship between major labels and independents. But when the business talk wound down, the more than 5,500 folks who attended this year's SXSW prowled Austin's theme-park of a club district to experience what drew them to music in the first place: the magnetic pull of a powerful song.
March 13, 2008 |
There's a whispering band of five skinny guys from Brooklyn, N.Y., in various stages of beardage playing to a courtyard full of creative types (and the people who blog about them), all with laminated badges dangling from their lanyards as they ready themselves to grab the last empanada from a tray of the passing tattooed waitress. It must be SXSW. And, indeed, it is. This was on a sun-baked Tuesday afternoon, just as the Interactive and Film portions of the 2008 South by Southwest Festival were winding to a close, and the Music part was getting set to shift into high gear.
March 17, 2013 |
AUSTIN, Texas - The everything-is-happening-at-once-all-over-the-place nature of SXSW is a perfect fit for attention-deficit-culture consumers. In its 27th year, the festival's endless options and enticing distractions work kind of the way the Internet does, pulling you in one direction even after you made the tough decision to go in another. On Thursday morning, I started at Dave Grohl's keynote speech at the Convention Center, which was at the same time as a party across town hosted by Philadelphia recording studio/music venue MilkBoy, and featured a number of 215 acts, including Lushlife and Lantern.
March 17, 2012 |
AUSTIN, Texas - The Bruce Springsteen portion of SXSW came to a rousing conclusion Thursday night. The 21/2-hour show served as a preview of the coming Wrecking Ball tour, which will play Philadelphia with the E Street Band on March 28 and 29. "Thanks for being part of our test run," the Boss told the crowd of 1,800 gathered at the Moody Theater, where the PBS series Austin City Limits is taped. The hardest-to-get ticket in town brought together guests including reggae great Jimmy Cliff and singer Eric Burdon of the Animals, who were in town for the sprawling music confab, which Springsteen called "a teenage music fan's wet dream.
March 22, 2005 |
With 1,350 bands playing over four days, there's a staggering amount of music spilling onto the streets, everywhere you turn. But as the music played at the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference last weekend, there was much fretting about the future: Where's the money going to come from in the Internet downloading era? Are ringtones the answer? Hybrid music-video DualDiscs? Will everything be OK once every song is for sale online? How much should a song cost? Ninety-nine cents?
March 24, 1993 |
There was no escaping the increased presence of "business" at Austin's South by Southwest (SXSW) music and media conference, the teeming open-air bazaar for music talent that ended its four-day run on Sunday. By the weekend, as the mammoth, seventh-annual conference was winding down, the Four Seasons Hotel lobby bar, where the record industry's elite executives spent much of their time schmoozing, had come to symbolize all that was wrong with the music business. "If you go to the Four Seasons lobby right now, you'll see people who say they work for record companies," said producer Kim Fowley at Saturday's entertaining panel on groupies.
March 21, 2006 |
In its 20th year, the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference, which ended Sunday, is a numbers game, with more than 1,300 acts playing at 62 official venues, and hundreds more at non-SXSW events. The music industry comes, increasingly, from all over the world to Texas' capital every March for a margarita-and-barbecue-fueled working vacation. From the ridiculously hyped Brits Arctic Monkeys to the outrageous Japanese heavy rockers DMBQ, bands come to showcase their music - and insiders to figure out, in an age of illegal downloading and diminished CD sales, how to still make money off it. With veterans like Neil Young, the Beastie Boys, the Pretenders, Morrissey and Ray Davies on hand to revive their own careers and provide inspiration, up-and-comers are told that if they follow their muses and refuse to compromise, maybe things will work out. And maybe they will.
March 14, 1992 |
Mike Brenner introduced the Low Road's "An Ounce of Sleep" with a story the crowd at the Hole in the Wall could relate to. Speaking on behalf of the Philadelphia acoustic pop group, the guitarist explained that the band's current low-budget tour was its first outside the Northeast. And in clubs in Memphis and Nashville, he said, he'd finished the song by asking " 'Speaking of sleep, can we sleep on your floor?' And you know what? It worked. " Bands from all over the country - the world - are in Austin this week, and more than a few have probably had to worry about sleeping arrangements.
April 22, 2011 |
The British indie rock band Yuck were one of the breakout acts at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, last month. But lead singer Daniel Blumberg, the 21-year-old Londoner who stood to the far left of the capacious outdoor venue Stubb's during SXSW and sheepishly noted that the NPR Music showcase was the biggest gig of his group's young life, would prefer that the group not be known as a "buzz band. " "It is nice, when people talk about the band," says the guitarist, songwriter, and visual artist, who will be releasing a set of solo piano songs under the rubric Oupa in June.