Saturday, March 22, 2008

SXSW Wrap-Up



One week later, the magnitude of the four day music festival is only now beginning to sink in. Yesterday, while listening to Astrid Williamson's CDs that I picked up at her show the week before SXSW, I realized that so much music had come and gone since then, it took me half a CD to figure out who she was, where, and when I'd seen her (all three of her CDs are excellent, btw). Having now (finally) uploaded all the SXSW pictures to Blogger, I'm amazed to have seen and done everything in such a short time and without an advance game plan. That at least five of the shows were among the best live music I've ever seen was an unexpected and thrilling bonus.

New artists I'd never heard before, check. Familiar artists I'd never seen before, check. New types of music I'd not normally seek out, check. Favorite artists doing awesome shows, check. Awesome shows by artists I'd never seen before who have now become favorites, check. Many thanks to Dave from Direct Current for the suggestion to go. Finishing all the blog posts is step one in processing the event. There's still plenty of CDs and DVDs to check out, research to do (who are these utterly amazing guitarists, for one), lots of reading material that there was no time to read in Austin, etc. etc. The above photo is the view of Austin from the 18th floor of the Hilton Garden Inn.

The Statistics

  • This year's SXSW was the 23rd.
  • 1,700 bands from all over the world (including 150 from the UK).
  • 70 venues.
  • Over 3,000 shows including day parties.
  • 12,500 in attendance.
  • For me: 38 bands, 24 venues, over 1,400 photos taken, 167 photos posted.
The Upside
  • Four days of live music.
  • Amount of talent is mind boggling.
  • Set schedule ran like clockwork.
  • Set schedule requires sets last no longer than approximately 45 minutes.
  • Austin is a great music town.
  • Antone's.
  • Waterloo Records.
  • Texas BBQ.
  • Hut's Hamburgers.
  • Mexican food.
  • Amy's ice cream.
  • The weather, a nice break from winter back north.
  • Teetotallers tolerated.
The Downside
  • So much going on, any one person can only scratch the surface.
  • Enormous amount of work required to get the most out of the festival.
  • Set schedule requires sets last no longer than approximately 45 minutes.
  • SXSW published list of daytime events (27 pages worth) lacks RSVP and guest list instructions, exclusion from such gives event an elitist flavor that seems contrary to the spirit of the music (not to mention the price of a badge).
  • SXSW photo policy is severely flawed and was erroneously enforced at some venues (Van Morrison).
  • Photographically, SXSW is like the Olympic Triathlon of bad lighting, both day and night, the only exception being the Bat Bar and Lone Star Lounge which are studios, lit for television.
  • 6th Street kind of creepy after music stops at 2am due to those who don't know when to say when.
Five amazing shows:
  • Mike Farris
  • Jimmy LaFave
  • Amy LaVere
  • Shelby Lynne
  • Sia
Four incredible guitar players:
  • John Inmon (Jimmy LaFave)
  • Audley Freed (Mike Farris)
  • John Jackson (Shelby Lynne)
  • Steve Selvidge (Amy Lavere)
Five great Austin artists:
  • Suzanna Choffel
  • Jimmy LaFave
  • The Mother Truckers
  • Jenny Reynolds
  • Maggie Walters
Alphabetical band list with links to show pages:
Music & More SXSW post navigation:
  • Each daily page includes band list with links to the day's shows in chronological order.
  • Show pages also link forward and back chronologically.
  • Daily pages also link to each other as below.
Ten great band names:
  • Awesome Cool Dudes
  • Clockcleaner
  • Does it Offend You, Yeah?
  • Doghouse Family Jam
  • Girl in a Coma
  • Hello Seahorse!
  • Joe Lean & the Jing Jang Jongs
  • Kreamy 'Lectric Santa
  • The Mother Truckers
  • Say No More
  • Soiled Mattress & the Springs
  • The Unsane
Four more cool band names:
  • Patty Hurst Shifter
  • Ringo Deathstar
  • Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
  • Steve E. Nix & the Cute Lepers
Eight band names not likely to see airplay anytime soon:
  • CunninLynguists
  • The Dicks
  • The Dykeenies
  • Fuck Buttons
  • Fucked Up
  • Holy Fuck
  • Psychedelic Horseshit
  • $hit & $hine


Welcome
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Wrap-Up

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