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 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 22, 2011 |
AUSTIN, Texas - In its 25th year, the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference took over the streets of Austin last week with more than 2,000 aspiring acts and a handful of headline-grabbers such as Kanye West and the Strokes, in a frenzy of activity in bars and parking lots, hotel lobbies and street corners. For the second year running, the geek gathering SXSW Interactive festival outdrew the musicfest it preceded, pulling in 19,000 official registrants compared with the 14,000 music-biz folks who came in hopes of making sense (and dollars)
April 9, 2010 |
One sunny afternoon at the South by Southwest music conference recently, Patrick Stickles led the Glen Rock, N.J., punk rockers Titus Andronicus - who headline an all-ages show at the Barbary in Northern Liberties on Thursday night - through a blistering set in a dark bar called Empire Live. With Titus' third SXSW show (of eight) over and done, the bearded 24-year-old took a coffee break and talked about The Monitor, the band's sophomore album, which has had praise heaped upon it since its release last month.
March 28, 2010 |
The breathy back-and-forth vocals and simmering erotic tension that suffuse the debut album xx by the British indie band The xx might lead you to think that singers Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim are more than just friends. That's not the case. But Croft and Sim, who will play a sold-out show tomorrow at the sanctuary of the First Unitarian Church, have been extraordinarily good friends for as long as they can remember. Actually, longer. "We've been friends since we were 2 or 3," says Croft, who grew up with Sim in London's posh Chelsea section.
March 25, 2010 |
Even at the self-promotional bonanza that is the South by Southwest Music Festival, it's not common for an interviewee to answer questions in songs composed on the spot, delivered with the help of a cappella singers. But then, there's only one Kim Fowley. For those unfamiliar with his resum?, the songwriter, manager, and impresario has worked with Alice Cooper, Kiss, Helen Reddy, the Germs, and Frank Zappa. Fowley claims to have invented the tradition of holding up matches at concerts while emceeing John Lennon's 1969 Live Peace in Toronto show, and had his first No. 1 hit as a producer in 1960 with the Hollywood Argyles' "Alley Oop. " Most famously, though, Fowley was the Svengali behind the Runaways, the 1970s teenage girl band whose gritty and glammy adventures have hit the big screen in director Floria Sigismondi's The Runaways, starring Kristen Stewart as guitarist Joan Jett, Dakota Fanning as singer Cherie Currie, and Michael Shannon as a possibly insane wild-eyed visionary named Kim Fowley who's given to pronouncements like, "This isn't about women's lib, it's about women's libido!"
March 23, 2010 |
The very idea might sound overwhelming to even the most gluttonous music fiend: More than 1,900 acts from 55 countries playing official showcases at 89 venues over four days at the South by Southwest music festival that wound down early Sunday morning. But that's hardly the half of it. Despite, or more likely because of, the music industry's ongoing woes, this year's SXSW was the biggest ever. There were more than 13,000 badge-wearing registrants roaming Austin's Sixth Street, up 11 percent from 2009.
March 18, 2010 |
"It's the first night of South by Southwest, I think," said J. Blynn, the Philadelphia-bred, New York-based coleader of the promising pop-rock band Harper Blynn, on stage at the PureVolume House on Tuesday. "It may not be officially, but we're starting it early tonight. " So it is with SXSW: Just when you thought it was monstrous enough, it gets a little bigger. It used to be that you could arrive in Austin on a Tuesday and ease into the action of the sprawling music festival and conference, which will present a couple of thousand bands over four days and nights at 76 official venues and a lot of unofficial ones.
March 23, 2009 |
The music business has been shrinking for a decade, and now the economy has followed it into the tank. So why were the streets here filled last week with thousands of music fans and industry types hustling from one club to the next in pursuit of more than 1,900 acts - including a couple of dozen from the Philadelphia area? They had come to hear and be heard at South by Southwest's 23d annual music festival and conference, the industry's largest, because tough times make it more essential than ever for aspiring acts and industry survivors to strategize about the future (while, of course, noshing on barbecue)
March 19, 2009 |
Is there anything going on in this Lone Star State capital city on a South-by-Southwest Thursday night? Well, let's see. There's Philadelphia rapper Amanda Blank, rhyming over at the Scoot Inn, and Philadelphia rapper Freeway, doing his thing at the Habana Bar Backyard. At 8 there's a tribute to the late, great Doug Sahm at Antone's, featuring Dave Alvin and others, and at midnight a tribute to the late, great Chris Gaffney at the Continental Club, featuring Dave Alvin and others.