My trip to SXSW 2011- with my place of employ, Slacker Radio- is a wrap, and the music portion was not without it's share of incidents, accidents, and legitimate questions about it's size and purpose. That said, I had a blast, and more importantly, we did some great business and got a ton of work done. I am pretty sure that is the ostensible purpose for members of the "music business" to attend...right? This was my 8th year at SXSW, my 3rd with Scott Riggs and the Slacker Radio crew, and I must say- I found it exponentially more fulfilling to actually create content rather than stumble around from place to place for 4 days.
My primary objective at SXSW this year was creating content for the Austin 2011 radio station that we have curated and programmed in conjunction with FILTER mag and many other fine companies/products. We had an awesome broadcast setup at the Cedar Street Courtyard. Over the course of 4 days, we interviewed ~50 bands there, and that content is making it's way on to this radio station as fast as I can produce and load it.
So- if you didn't make it to SXSW music this year, or you just want to relive the experience, check it out here:
- Music from the bands that made the most noise this year at SXSW and some that you may have missed
- Interviews and commentary from artists like Gayngs, tUnE-yArDs, J Mascis, Surfer Blood, Brother, The Naked and Famous, Royal Bangs, the Airborne Toxic Event, Datarock, and 50+ more.
- Best of all- the station is hosted by Andrew WK- and it features his SXSW Party Tips throughout...
New content is being added daily- please enjoy! And while you have this station and it's free music as a soundtrack, I've put together a brief "best-of" SXSW music 2011 list...
Catching the earliest flight possible out on Sunday morning. In doing so, we dodged the usual hangover-brigade amateur hour, and a bunch of weather-related delays. Easiest post-SXSW flight out yet, highly recommended.
I happened to be walking by 4th and Colorado when I stumbled upon Jack White playing White Stripes songs acoustic in a parking lot in front of his Third Man mobile record store. After twitter was alerted and that crowd reached critical mass, I went to meet a friend around the corner, where I found him having coffee with Talib Kweli. Also, it seemed like Tyler from Odd Future was everywhere on his skateboard. Only at SXSW.
This is so subjective, I'd be stupid to make a definitive statement here. I really enjoyed Ted Leo solo at the Brooklyn Vegan party. Maps and Atlases and Little Dragon both did several incredible sets as well.
Best San Diego-related encounters:
Far and away, Lesands. They are already gaining a great deal of national admirers, and because they are sequestered in North County, they are blissfully unaware of SD local music politics and happenings. They will break nationally before most of SD even realizes what these gents are up to.
Also, Dynamite Walls. These guys did it right, playing like 30 shows in 3 days at every possible spot, and looked as sharp as ever throughout. SD music dude (and sometime-Slacker Radio contributor) Andrew Rowley was on the road with these guys documenting the entire experience and putting up daily video recaps. Very, very cool, and very, very smart.
The Burning Of Rome came through with Sammi Skolmoski- my former co-host on the 91-ex Morning Show. They had a high-profile showcase at Maggie Mae's, but they did everything DIY style, going so far as to set up a generator-powered street set before the police shut them down.
Finally, Cults. They played the day show for FILTER mag, and even though they are based in Brooklyn now, they come from Hillcrest and La Costa, respectively. Good catching up there.
Honorable mention goes to O-official San Diego ambassador and all around good-dude, who hooked us up with J Mascis, and Tim Pyles, who looked like a 10 year old on Christmas morning every time I saw him. And of course- Fran and the dudes from Spy Optic.
Forget the tourist trip to Salt Lick or any other obligitory BBQ-related excursion- Ranch 616 has become an official Slacker Radio tradition. Best food, best desserts, and craft cocktails on par with the best of the Austin mixologist scene. Dude, fried pie? Insane. I watched our SVP eat a huge rib-eye with a fried egg on top and two cheese enchiladas underneath LIKE A BOSS.
Best discovery (non-music)
We found the elusive spot where all the empty cabs queue up, even during the peak of 6th street insanity. If you ask nicely, I'll share this magical spot with you. You'll never be stuck waiting for a cab again...it was like finding a mythical beast in the wild.
Best bait and switch
I interviewed the guys from The Knux on Friday. They were awesome, and I am a fan of what they do. After the interview, they said something to the effect of "that was awesome, do you want a T-shirt, dude?" to which I replied "sure!". Shortly after, one of the dudes from their crew came up and handed me a shirt, to which I said "thanks!". He looked at me funny and said "yeah...for you, 10 bucks. Normally 20 at the show". I had no intention of buying any t-shirts at SXSW, but I ended up with one...
Best "dodged a bullet" moment
When I was 16, I had 300$ and an idea for a tattoo. I went to a tattoo shop and fed them a line about how I had just moved to Tahoe and didn't have my ID yet, but assured them that I was 18 and ready to get a tattoo. They believed me at first- going so far as to set up the machine and stencil out the tattoo. Just before we got started, the dude got cold feet and told me to come back when I got my ID- he even offered to knock 50$ off when I came back for the inconvenience.
Of course, I didn't go back, because I was 16, not 18. If I had received the tattoo that day, it would have looked like this, on my forearm:
Given what happened at the Screeching Weasel show this year, I probably wouldn't have been very popular for a few days. Little did I know how fortuitous that day was.
So, see you in Austin next year?
Questions/Comments? Holler at me @matdiablo.