March 21, 2002 |
Right after bands, writers and other music biz folk converge in Austin, Texas, for the weeklong South by Southwest schmooze-a-thon, much of the activity heads in our direction, along with the usual local gems. Japanese psych-rock blow-out collective Acid Mother's Temple starts the week off just right at the Khyber (9 tonight, 56 S. 2nd St., 215-238-5888, $8), along with the equally mind-bending Major Stars and ear-splitting locals 1929. Across town at Tritone (9 tonight, 1508 South St., 215-545-0475, $5)
March 19, 2002 |
Courtney Love came to SXSW to spread word about her dream of unionizing the recording industry, a noble cause given artists' woes concerning contract lengths and digital piracy. But in a two-hour panel on Saturday, alt-rock's aging enfant terrible mainly succeeded in reminding a huge crowd (which had to submit to a security screening) that, though contracts can be unfair to anyone, life is different when you're in celebrity skin. Love name-dropped like a gossip columnist, shot off some barbs meant to embarrass bands and executives, compared musicians to field hands, and rambled off on long, patience-trying tangents.
March 20, 2000 |
The South by Southwest Music and Media Conference is an elephantine enterprise, a five-day extravaganza in which the music industry gathers to fret about the future, check out a whole bunch of bands, and stuff itself with barbecue in the Texas sunshine. This year's 14th SXSW, which ended yesterday, came with its share of twists, plus a twister - a tornado touched down north of town Thursday, threatening to blow thousands of mobile phones away. The confab was the biggest yet, with more than 7,000 registrants and 900 acts - including, for the first time, a credible hip-hop slate - playing in clubs, coffee shops, and converted Mexican restaurants.
April 6, 1997 |
Mike Simpson, half of the production team known as the Dust Brothers, sat in a plush hotel lobby bar and smoked American Spirit cigarettes, trying to unwind from his three-hour ordeal moderating the producer's panel at the South by Southwest Music and Media (SXSW) conference. Simpson has won his share of praise lately: He and partner John King produced Beck's Odelay, the phantasmogoric collage of hip-hop beats, rural blues and psychedelic melodies that picked up two Grammy awards and topped virtually every year-end critic's poll.
March 17, 1997 |
The ever-larger South by Southwest Music and Media Conference is an endurance test. Over five nights in 40 clubs revolving around the Sixth Street strip in the Lone Star State's capital, more than 700 rock bands, singer-songwriters, DJs, poets and other performers from around the world played for media and music industry types mixed in with avid Austin music fans. By the time the 11th South by Southwest (SXSW) drew to a close last night, the typical conference-goer had braved unseasonably chilly weather to become a zombie, exhausted from a nonstop diet of too many bands, too much barbecue and, most of all, too much schmoozing.
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 29, 1995 |
Lois Maffeo is on the go. She's singing her detached, romantic "love-rock" songs at the cozy Chicago House. She's outside Kinko's after midnight, busking for the crowds on the Sixth Street strip. She's bicycling with her bandmate, drummer Heather Dunn. And she's out on the links in pigtails and a straw hat, consorting with her punk-rock associates at a K Records party at Peter Pan Mini-Golf. Though Maffeo's Chicago House gig was a showcase here at this month's enormous South by Southwest Music + Media Conference (SXSW)
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 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)
April 8, 1992 |
The Austin area is home to many internationally known musicians: recording artists such as Butch Hancock, Joe Ely, Charlie and Will Sexton, Jimmy Vaughan (and members of Double Trouble, the band of his late brother Stevie Ray), Lucinda Williams, Marcia Ball and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. But bubbling just below those big names are Austin institutions that haven't achieved national recognition yet. For some, it's overdue. For others, it's a few years away. Across the board, the quality of demo tapes and live shows by Austin bands is surprisingly high: Outfits that play only once or twice a month hit the stage screaming as if they performed every night.