If we were at SXSW, here’s who we would have seen

In times of excitement or exhaustion; happiness or sadness, one of the most powerful saviors of a mood, a day, or even a life, is music. Before things shut down and the world took a collective pause, we were all geared up to head over to SXSW to see some of our favorite bands from the Bay Area and beyond. Obviously that didn’t happen, but we’d like to still see them in our dreams. And in the spirit of supporting struggling musicians whose work we need so much, we’d like to offer some insights into some of the artists who [...]

SXSW 2019: A massive gallery of (almost) everything we saw

On this segment of news you already know: SXSW is massive. It’s a beast of a festival-conference-party-networking-a-thon where over 2,000 artists vie for the attention of press, publicists, labels, industry professionals and sometimes even an actual fan or two. Everyone is selling something, be it an idea, a product, an experience, the next big thing, a lofty promise, or themselves. There are as many “actual humans” there as there are unbranded, un-curated, un-user-tested experiences. That is to say, not a whole lot. Despite my best efforts to see/hear/photograph everything, and despite my aching feet, I was “only” able to see [...]

By |March 21, 2019|Tags: |

SXSW Day Six: Bye Bye, South By

Amyl and the Sniffers (photo: Norm deVeyra) Photos and additional reporting by Ian Young and Norm deVeyra Ian's Highlights My last day here was supposed to be relaxing, chill, laid-back. Started the day with some breakfast tacos and was planning on just meandering around Austin grabbing drinks with friends and, just as importantly, sitting down and resting my barking dogs. But then Amyl and the Sniffers happened. The way a hurricane "happens" or an atom bomb "happens." They played in what was basically a dusty backyard, and the show felt more like I was a clown in a bull ring [...]

SXSW Day Five: Tired feet, BBQ comas, and Priests! PRIESTS!

Priests (photo: Ian Young) Photos and additional reporting by Ian Young and Norm deVeyra Norm's Highlights The highs of the previous night's Lizzo performance gave way to some lows on Day 5, as the weeks’s late nights finally caught up with me and the exhaustion hit hard. Not even a BBQ pit stop and the prospects of a killer late night Priests set could fuel a second wind of energy, and I packed it in for an early evening. A few performances did standout from the handful of sets I did see: Meernaa’s outdoor performance at The Side Bar set [...]

By |March 16, 2019|Tags: , , |

SXSW Day Three: Heating up with Japanese Breakfast, Charly Bliss, De La Soul

Charly Bliss (photo: Ian Young) Photos and additional reporting by Ian Young and Norm deVeyra Ian's Highlights Japanese Breakfast at Fader Fort: Michelle Zauner, aka Japanese Breakfast, has a busy SX this year with five showcases over three days. Her first at Fader Fort was a short but mighty set that included a cover of The Cranberries' "Dreams." In fact, her show was so nice I'll see it twice, since her second showcase is this afternoon. Fader Fort: Speaking of Fader Fort, this festival-in-a-festival boasted free entry, free booze, free CBD vape pens, and free good vibes. Plus this adorable [...]

SXSW Day Two: Lines, lines and more lines (and tacos)

Ghostland Observatory (photo: Ian Young) Photos and additional reporting by Ian Young and Norm deVeyra Jody's Highlights: I'm about to say something really stupid: This festival is so corporate. I'm sorry, I know, that's not helpful information to anyone, nor is it a surprise to anyone who's been to literally any music festival in the last few decades. A certain level of sponsorship is to be expected at any festival in the modern age, but I really wasn't prepared for the amount of *branding* going on here. The Patreon house. The Twitter house. The Viceland outdoor roller rink. Day parties [...]

By |March 13, 2019|Tags: |

SXSW Day One: What we heard, what we saw, what we ate

Dan the Automator (photo: Ian Young) Photos and additional reporting by Ian Young and Norm deVeyra Jody's Highlights: Remember how I said I hate music festivals, then changed my mind? It turns out South By Southwest is some of my worst fears about festivals, manifested. It was cheaper to fly in a few days early, so I did some road-tripping around Texas for a few days prior. I was way ahead of schedule to drop off the rental car at the airport, so I thought I'd try to drive downtown to pick up my press badge on the way. Whoa. [...]

By |March 12, 2019|Tags: , |


CHAI - Hotel Vegas, Sunday, Burgermania Sunday is always a tough day at SXSW. Everyone is super hung over and dragging, but Japan sent CHAI to put more smiles on more faces than ever before. Music of the future with bits of Devo and Beastie Boys. Whaja Dew - Volstead, Sunday, Burgermania LA's Whaja Dew played their hearts out but ended up on the floor. A Giant Dog - Auditorium Shores, Saturday The night before, Auditorium Shores held the best lineup in 10 or more years with Austin's unstoppable A Giant Dog and Austin's alien godfather Roky Erikson. A Giant [...]

By |March 26, 2018|Tags: |

SXSW 2017: Gurr, Die Heiterkeit, Oh my

Laure Briard 3/15 5pm 2737 Webberville Rd. 1st stop was the backyard of a home last visited for a ketchup & mustard covered, Les Marinellis show a few years ago. After Laure Briard I nearly caught the next plane home unwilling to believe I would see anything better in the subsequent 5 days ahead. From Paris with vocals mostly in French and a tight band that lands you somewhere between Stereolab and France Gall. Barbara Lynn 3/15 7pm Hotel San Jose This was a Planned Parenthood fundraiser featuring all female fronted bands. Headliner, Barbara Lynn is a living legend. Despite [...]

By |March 23, 2017|Tags: |

SXSW 2016: Lone Star, Protomartyr & the severed head of Donald Trump

Charles Bradley is pure magic. I raced directly to Stubb's from the airport, cracked my first Lone Star and melted in his charms. How amazing to see someone, recently homeless, find such success. The very talented 7 piece band were oddly but completely white. I was skeptical but Mercury Rev delivered one of the highlights of the weekend. The 1am set included "Holes" from 1998's Deserter's Songs and "The Dark is Rising" from 2001's All is Dream. Many Shiner Bocks later, transported back in time 18 years, I danced what must have been a hideous display. The band will be [...]

By |April 14, 2016|Tags: , |
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