South by CL DAY 5: Climax and Conclusion
You ever feel like you’re functioning, but completely devoid of any real, useful thought? Like, you just hope no human comes up to you in fear that you’ll just garble up a bunch of random syllables like a broken Speak-n-Spell? Usually after like, less than three hours of sleep?
Friday was, for lack of more eloquent words, pretty fuckin’ nuts. South By is reaching its imminent climax, so everything is just in overdrive mode now. You’re inundated with so many shows at this point, it seems like you could stub your toe on one if you’re not paying attention.
Former Starting Line frontman, Kenny Vasoli’s current project, Vacationer opened up our day with a laid-back afternoon set outside Clive Bar. Their debut Gone is a surprisingly solid spread of happily laid back numbers speckled with influences ranging from J-Dilla to Sting. Live, they breathe it to life, albeit a little less nuanced when it’s blasted raw out of the soundsystem. Either way, Vasoli’s charisma can’t be knocked as they breezed through a handful of grooves, each seemingly more head-bobby than the next.
[More after the jump ...]
Goodbye, Austin. I’ve come to appreciate this strange relationship we have. We see each other once a year - the best and worst sides. No questions asked. And then we do it all over again. There’s a name for this. What is it?
I’ve shipped my souvenirs (and records) home, packed my suitcase full of crap from the conference and tradeshow. Thanks to Katie and Karl for letting me crash with them. Thanks to Chris for hanging out with me, even though I always have my own agenda and am checking my phone every other second. That’s what friends are for, I guess. Thanks to Kelley for taking some amazing photos (even some challenging group shots). Thanks to all the SXSW staff and the new friends I met this year, you’ll all be getting an e-mail from me soon.
I need antibiotics. I need a detox. I need to sleep for two days straight. There’s a name for this. What is it?
I’m saying goodbye now. Until next time.
Check out my coverage of days one through nine after the jump.
I'll be updating this page with my tasty adventures in and around Austin, TX, during the 2012 South by Southwest Interactive, Film and Music Conference. My goals for my first SXSW experience: Lots of food trucks, free parties (especially those with free drinks) and spotting famous people. Because why else do you come to South By?
Is there anything free left anymore? And why does hardly anyone celebrate St. Patrick's Day here? These questions and more will be answered later. Stay tuned!
Wow. I got out into the streets to be one with the masses (and wait in line for over an hour for a show) last night — and I wasn't even on Sixth Street. This is how I imagine New Orleans feels during Mardi Gras, but instead of beads, people are covered in wristbands.
I have to say that I miss all the free stuff that the Interactive portion of the fest had. These bands and venues aren't as keen on giving out free grub, open bars and crazy schwag (like the lab tech goggles I got from the Nokia party).
We here at the ninebullets.net camp won't be getting out there this year. Instead, we'll be back here in Florida doing the CxCW thing and following all y'all's exploits on Facebook and Twitter ... and, admittedly, being a little jealous.
Anyhow, I thought I'd take a minute and offer a few tips to anyone heading out for their first-ever SxSW. Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the weekend, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proven by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own drunken, cloudy, meandering experience ... I will dispense this advice now [after the jump]:
When you think of SXSW, what first pops into your head? The amazing and eclectic music? Not for me. And I played the damn thing four years ago with my own band. No, for me, Austin's yearly open-house to the world is about one thing above all: tech.
Austin's South by Southwest dates back to 1987; back then it was mostly a regional music showcase. In 1994, they added film and interactive conferences to the bill. It took about another 10 years for SXSW Interactive to catch the media's attention. It was at the 2007 conference when Evan Williams debuted his new social networking service, called Twitter, and nothing was ever the same. A year later, the service exploded at the conference and it was then only a matter of time before Oprah started using it.
Tech media is growing by leaps and bounds and SXSW has become its mecca, a place to get aquanted with the things the rest of the world may not use or see for another couple of years -- a nerd cystal ball, if you will. For Creative Loafing, it's become a must-attend event. So what did we get out of it? Location, location, location.
On Wednesday, March 17, the Interactive portion of the 2010 South By Southwest Conference gave way to the Music portion of the festival. And we were there. Suddenly, the nerds in ironic Firefox t-shirts had been replaced by hipsters in tight jeans. The Macbooks had been replaced by guitar cases. And the party carried on. Here is our coverage of the shows and after-parties, witnessed on the ground by Joran Oppelt, Bryan Childs (Autopsy IV) and photographer Shanna Gillette.
(Scroll to bottom of post to see more pics and video).
Flatstock, the traveling concert poster exhibit put on by the American Poster Institute, always makes an annual stop at SXSW and never fails to amaze. 2010 was no exception, including artists like Mexican Chocolate, Chuck Sperry and Anville. However, this year the Austin Record Convention, which is usually cordoned off in an entirely separate room, took up half of the exhibit hall, making for a pretty dizzying experience. Browsers could take a break from the art and browse through tons of vinyl, CDs and music memorabilia. Talk about getting chocolate in your peanut butter.
This being my last night in town, I decided not to follow the crowds and just see what new music I could discover. I stopped in over at Cuba Libre to check out The Knew (Denver, CO) at the Red Gorilla Showcase and when I arrived, Alexa Carter was on stage. While only a couple of the heavy, guitar-driven pop songs were anything special, she definitely sang her ass off. Imagine if Avril Lavigne had balls and was from New York, you'd have Alexa. I stepped out into the alley to have a smoke, and as the band packed their gear onto the tour bus - and I do mean tour bus (the sound man told me it was Tracy Byrd's old bus) - Alexa's manager was on his Bluetooth. In the most professional way, he was complaining to "someone" that "someone else" hadn't made it out to the showcase, that they weren't happy with the size and location of the venue, that the band was disappointed, and other things managers have to say. It's moments like this that I sure don't miss the music business.
This year, the Bay area makes its presence known in Austin with a variety of official (and not-so-official) SXSW events featuring and/or thrown by locals. The festivities kick into high gear tomorrow. Here's a breakdown for those of you who have made the trek out west. Special thanks to BAAMO for their helpful guide.
Nervous Turkey's heavy-stompin' blues and funk kicks off an official set at 8 p.m. Wed., March 17, Cedar Door, 201 Brazos St. (ages 18+). 6 p.m. Fri., March 19, 604 E. 6th St., 2nd floor upstairs from Emos. of their to find out more about the CL Best of the Bay winners and blues funk trio, click here to read last week's feature. ; and
ninebullets.net, hosts its first-ever unofficial throwdown on Wed., March 17, at Opa!, 2050 S. Lamar Blvd. (Click here to listen to tracks by all of the artists.) Here's the complete schedule:
6 p.m., American Aquarium (Raleigh)
7 p.m., Austin Lucas (Bloomington)
8 p.m., Kasey Anderson (Portland)
9 p.m., Glossary (Murfreesboro)
10 p.m., Joe Pug (Chicago) [pictured]
The Beauvilles, another CL Best of the Bay winner, brings their rockin' and rollin' to an official showcase at 9 p.m. Wed., March 17, Barbarella, 615 Red River St. (ages 21 & up); they also perform a set at a party hosted by Herman the German at 4 p.m. Thurs., March 18, at the Rockin Tomato, 3003 S. Lamar Blvd. Click here to check out The Beauvilles' CL Sessions video podcast from last March.
Alt prog rock five-piece Tides of Man plays two official showcases: one set at midnight Wed., March 17, at Emo's Annex, 600 Red River St. (all ages); and the other at 11:15 p.m. Thurs., March 18, at Emo's Jr., 603 Red River St. (all ages).
Greetings and welcome from Austin, Texas, home to the annual South By Southwest Music, Film & Interactive conference. I'm hitting up a bunch of Interactive panels, all dealing with social media and journalism in the era of new media --the past, present and future of the Internet. Here's coverage of the six days of geekdom (scroll to bottom of post to see more pics and live video):
Here's out live video feed from Austin. Stay tuned for updates:
It's the day of our panel discussion, Web-First Publishing: How Alt Weeklies Can Survive, and we're prepping some slides. We plan to live broadcast the video feed right here at 6:00 p.m. EST, so stay tuned. If there's a glitch, we'll throw the video up after we talk.
Last night the rains came to Texas which only seemed to force the already teeming mass of techies indoors and into the many tiny bars and clubs that line 6th St. One of them, La Zona Rosa, played host to fellow "alt-weekly" Austin Chronicle and their annual Film Bash, complete with 30-piece funk band.
Local blog, ninebullets.net, is throwing a party out in Austin for SXSW. So, if your musical tastes tend to lean towards the alt country, then this might be a perfect way for you to kick off your weekend.
On Wedneday, March 17 at Opa! (2050 S. Lamar Blvd.), ninebullets.net will host its first-ever SxSW Party featuring American Aquarium (6 p.m.), Austin Lucas (7 p.m.), Kasey Anderson (8 p.m.), Glossary (9 p.m.) and Joe Pug (10 p.m.).
All props go to Kasey for setting this up. I hope to see/meet some of y'all there. I am sure it'll be a good time.
Check out MP3's by all the performers after the jump.
After I heard the exciting news that Bay area label New Granada Records (which just celebrated its 15th anniversary) got an official showcase at this years SXSW festival, I called chief-in-charge Keith Ulrey to get the juicy details. It was basically just handed to us, Ulrey said, sounding thrilled. And he didnt have to go through the rigorous application process or pay any of the app fees. For me to be handed this platform, a free coupon ... Im still a little stunned.
The series of auspicious events that led New Granada to their current official status were engineered in large part by Josie Fluri. Last year, the bassist/vocalist of Austin-based New Roman Times was working as a bartender at the Ginger Man and had persuaded her boss at the pub to host an unoffical SXSW party that featured her own modern rock outfit supported by a handful of bands from her label New Granada. The show also served as the last hoorah at the Ginger Man before it moved to a building around the corner. But by the time the pub settled into its new digs, the city had registered its old digs as historic and decided not to tear it down. So the space was re-vamped, the Ginger Mans sister bar, The Ghost Room, was born, and Fluri was brought on as the venues manager-booker.