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.
March 17, 2007 |
All this week, our music maven Dan DeLuca has been posting dispatches on Philly.com from South by Southwest, the annual music industry confab in Austin, Texas. In this entry, he finds a touch or two of home in the Lone Star State. It's a long way from Broad Street to Sixth Street in this capital city in south-central Texas, but just as the shrinking music industry migrates to the growing South by Southwest Music Festival here every March, so does the Philadelphia music scene.
March 16, 1993 |
Which comes first, the music scene or the music conference? In Austin, Texas, where the seventh South by Southwest (SXSW) confab begins tomorrow, the music came first: The city is full of roots-rock and country artists who have received increasing national attention over the years. And Seattle's grunge scene was around well before anyone got the idea for the Northwest Music Conference, to debut in Vancouver, British Columbia, this spring. In Philadelphia, the question of whether the local scene can support a music conference is sure to come up April 29 to May 2 at the first-ever Philadelphia Music Conference (PMC)
March 25, 2011 |
What's not to love about Hey Rosetta!, the polished alt-pop rockers from St. John's, Newfoundland? They boast a yearning, ultra-sincere lead singer who sounds like a mash-up of Chris Martin, Paul Simon and Brandon Flowers. And they crank earnest anthems loud and gracefully, with warming violin and cello players you can actually hear in the mix (take a hint, Arcade Fire). Oh, and Hey Rosetta! makes equally vivid videos. (Check out the charming, ballet-themed "Yer Spring" at YouTube.) Hailed as one of the "must see" attractions of the recent Austin, Texas, SXSW music soiree - and now they're here in our own back yard.
March 12, 2006 |
The Brakes, a rock group rehearsing weekdays in a Bala Cynwyd basement, are not American Idol contestants, but they are featured in an H&R Block commercial that has been running during the popular TV show. The five in their 20s who first played together in the Bala Cynwyd Middle School Jazz Band also appeared recentlyon a back-cover advertisement in Rolling Stone. The TV and print ads, the concerts and CDs are steps that the Brakes hope will lead to many road tours, guitarist Matt Kass said.
March 8, 2013
Denver gypsy music foursome Devotchka broke out to a wide audience with their score to the 2006 hit indie movie Little Miss Sunshine . They were last heard from on the grandiose 2011 album 100 Lovers . Friday's show at the Trocadero is one of just two performances on a mini-tour in which the Nick Urata-fronted foursome will be trying out new material for that album's yet-to-be-recorded follow-up, accompanied by a string quartet. Brooklyn folk-pop trio Pearl and the Beard open up, on their way to the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas.
March 23, 2012 |
After nearly 20 years away from the music business, British synth-pop icon Thomas Dolby launched his return last year with a passion - or rather, several passions. First there was a transmedia game, The Floating City, which was "set against a dystopian vision of the 1940s that could have perhaps existed if WWII had turned out a lot differently," he explains. Participants from around the world took part in the three-month long cyber-game, which wound down shortly before the release of Dolby's corresponding album, A Map of the Floating City.