sxsw2008

No Bathroom Line For Old Men

Adding to the “I’m missing everything” feeling provided by the fact that during SXSW every bar with 10 square feet of space turns itself into a temporary music venue is the ever-growing number of day parties, which are hosted by PR companies, blogs, hair products, and anyone else who wants to… More »


The Last Day: When The Questions Posed Six Months Ago Still Linger

AP080315038283.jpgJudging by some of my RSS mainstays, SXSW backlash coverage is the new SXSW coverage, and part of me can see why; the sameness of the posts, the “OMG WISH YOU WERE HERE”-ness that permeates the live-blogging of each margarita downed, the fact that most of the really interesting stuff that’s going on is stuff that is either a surprise or much more interesting in the moment than it is hours after the fact. I thought about this a lot during my last 48 hours in Austin, because while I think going to SXSW is a pretty worthwhile endeavor, the obsessive coverage can be, frankly, boring if it isn’t done right; Ben Sisario’s four-word reviews for the NYT were a refreshing counterexample. I’m navigating between the gaping maw that is Idolator’s content hole and the fact that going to Austin every year is useful from a (shock!) reporting standpoint, if only to sorta-gauge the industry’s current mood; it’s something that I hope to figure out better for next year, because while the whole feeling of missing 99.9% of everything going on was rip-the-hair-out stressful at times, the sunshine overall did wonders for the seasonally affected blues.)

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Seeing The {{{Sunset}}} From The East Side

P1000058.JPGAdding to the “I’m missing everything” feeling provided by the fact that during SXSW every bar with 10 square feet of space turns itself into a temporary music venue is the ever-growing number of day parties, which are hosted by PR companies, blogs, hair products, and anyone else who wants to promote themselves along with the music they love. In this installment, we follow former Austin resident Andy Beta to a Daytrotter session and a visit from the Ice Cream Man.

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Day Three: In Which It Is Safe To Enter The Convention Center Once Again

The 2008 installment of the South By Southwest Music conference passed the halfway mark, and yesterday’s torrid temperatures and ever-growing lines–thanks in part to the descending spring-break hordes–were only escapable in one place: the Austin Convention Center, which seems to have solved its rabies problem for now. (At least, I hope it did.) A rundown of the day after the jump.

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No Age’s Balancing Act

P1000062.JPGAdding to the “I’m missing everything” feeling provided by the fact that during SXSW every bar with 10 square feet of space turns itself into a temporary music venue is the ever-growing number of day parties, which are hosted by PR companies, blogs, hair products, and anyone else who wants to promote themselves along with the music they love. We gave a schedule to former Austin resident Andy Beta and let him go to town; here he watches as No Age plays one of its many scheduled sets around Austin.

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Brangelina makes its perhaps-inevitable SXSW appearance, and yet even the combined starpower of its two members can’t get an entourage into Wednesday night’s R.E.M. show at Stubb’s. More »



Mussels Make Us Happy As A Clam

Yesterday’s travels around Austin took me to the back patio of a pizza parlor that was putting on a three-day popfest, and I stuck around long enough to hear a set by the Brooklyn band Mussels, whose chiming, revved-up rock and roll bounced off the baking concrete and made the slowly-heating-up… More »


Day Two: Straying Far From Sixth Street

travels.pngSince I knew I wasn’t getting into the big car-sponsored Motorhead gig after being tipped off by a friend that the line had stretched around the block two hours prior to the show, my experience yesterday at SXSW was all about finding some day parties that were off the way-too-beaten path downtown–travels which took me first to a patio-rich pizza party in South Austin, then to a beer-and-pool bar east of the Sixth Street strip that’s become the Austin home of promoter Todd P, and finally to a carousel-themed bar northeast of downtown where I instantly felt at home, and where I’d probably spend the rest of the week were I not beholden to things like trying to see more bands than I did last year. I spent about 50 bucks on cabs, but given that I crashed out immediately upon my return to my hotel room, I’m going to think of that cash as an investment against eating too many late-night tacos further on in the evening.

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While looking for blog posts for people who actually got into yesterday’s Scion-sponsored Motorhead show–which proved once and for all that those RSVP forms you fill out in a submit-button-pushing frenzy before SXSW don’t mean diddly–I found this post, which shows that the New York Times’ policy… More »



Day One: Bad Flags And Even Worse Pick-Up Lines

photo.jpgWednesday was the first official day of South By Southwest’s music conference, and overall, it seemed pretty low-key, with the day’s biggest names coming from rock’s various old guards (R.E.M., Van Morrison, Naked Raygun) and the day’s biggest sounds coming, as one might expect, from the pedaled-to-the-metal Raveonettes. After the jump, I break down the day, from tacos to temperatures.

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