March 11, 2014 |
Just talk to me Why do some things catch on, and others fail? That was the question at the heart of Wharton professor Jonah Berger 's packed session "What Drives Word of Mouth?" Saturday in Austin, Texas, at a South by Southwest conference. What percentage of word of mouth is on social media like Facebook or Twitter? Seven percent, he says. Even in this digital era, most interactions that make products succeed happen face to face. "We spend far too much time thinking about technology," said the author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On , "and not enough thinking about psychology.
March 10, 2014 |
The South by Southwest Music Festival, which takes place in Austin, Texas, this week, is a colossal event. Last year, more than 2,200 bands played official SXSW showcases. Hundreds more performed nonsanctioned gigs ranging from taco-shop parking-lot parties to corporate-branded megastar events. In 2014, it's only getting bigger, with stars you'd think wouldn't need the exposure, such as Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar, and Lady Gaga playing at events sponsored by Apple and Doritos. What are the chances of an up-and-coming act like Cheerleader, a Philadelphia power-pop band that played only their second gig in public last week at Kung Fu Necktie, gaining their share of buzz?
March 20, 2013 |
AUSTIN, Texas - On Friday afternoon, with the long march that is the South by Southwest Music festival past its halfway point, Sam Beam stood on stage at the Austin Convention Center before a crowd of weary listeners. "Wow, you people must really love music," said Beam, who records as Iron & Wine, during a show cosponsored by Philadelphia's WXPN-FM. "How are you holding up? Do you still love music?" At SXSW, it helps a great deal if you do. From Tuesday until the wee hours of Sunday morning, when Prince, Justin Timberlake, Vampire Weekend, and rapper Kendrick Lamar were among the last on stage, more than 2,000 acts pushed fans to the brink of exhaustion.
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 15, 2013 |
AUSTIN, Texas - Every year, it seems the South by Southwest music festival can't possibly get any bigger - and each year it does. In 2012, Bruce Springsteen came to SXSW, and to keep attendees from lining up a day in advance, a lottery was held. This year, that distribution system is being employed for at least three shows: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds on Wednesday (also featuring Waxahatchee, the nom de rock of Philadelphia songwriter Katie Crutchfield)
March 10, 2013
Inquirer music critic Dan DeLuca reports as of midweek from the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. See his blog dispatches at www.philly.com/inthemix
March 10, 2013 |
Let the March music madness begin. More than 2,000 bands will descend on Austin, Texas, this week for the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference, the 27th annual music festival and industry confab that is the largest gathering of its kind in the world. SXSW or "South By," as it's increasingly known, also includes a filmfest and a technology conference, both of which began last week in the Lone Star State capital, which is why that pesky #SXSW hashtag already may be trending on your Twitter feed.
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.
March 20, 2012 |
AUSTIN, Texas - What's the future of the music business? During the last week at the South by Southwest Music & Media Conference, that question was pondered over bites of barbecue and swigs of Shiner Bock. The answer, the industry types figured, had something to do with the cloud, and online streaming music services like Spotify, and making the right deals to build your band into a brand. And with that question settled (or not), everybody took to the streets to hear some music.