Washed Out

Washed Out at Hype Hotel was the perfect way to end a long week. Also, kudos to the Hype Machine for only permitting badge/wristband holders to attend night shows, thus effectively keeping overcrowding at bay.

I haven’t been to SXSW in four years. I can’t say I was too sad about that fact, though. Ever since 2007, the festival has changed dramatically, and not necessarily for the better. To paraphrase, I don’t agree with Lady Gaga’s comment, during her keynote, that corporations are what make this festival remarkable or even possible. SX thrived long before big business descended upon Austin in droves, and will be just fine if some decided to pull out in the future.

That being said, I did enjoy seeing Big Freedia and my new Houston hero, RiFF RaFF, perform in the Doritos-sponsored tent. Yes, it was as crass an atmosphere as you could imagine from a brand targeting youth with their mass-produced, processed food; but the free chips and ample lounge seating were a relief after a long day of walking. Damon Albarn’s set was a bit disappointing at Stubb’s, largely due to the incompetence of the crew setting up between gigs, but he brought the real thunder, in the form of original Gorillaz’ members, Del tha Funky Homosapien, De La Soul, and even Snoop, at the Levi’s-sponsored Fader Fort.

Overall, I had a wonderful time. This is partly due to the fact that I was in good company alongside Michelle Viray and Dakin Hardwick, who wrote quite the remarkable review of all the bands we took in during our four-and-a-half-day sojourn. Though it’s not quite possible to see every act on one’s list, having a wristband does help in certain circumstances (like getting into the Hype Machine’s Hype Hotel for evening shows). I still wish we had discovered this guy, though. Without further ado, here is a collection of some of my favorite photos taken last week.

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SF Music Tech Summit

The next SF MusicTech Summit is coming your way on May 20th. The price of admission is worth every penny but we’ve got a free ticket to give away to one lucky reader.

SF MusicTech Summit is not only the Bay Area’s largest, longest-standing, and most respected music tech conference, it’s in the same league with nationwide and worldwide gatherings such as MIDEM and SXSW Music. Year after year, it brings together the best and brightest from all areas of the music industry. Want in? We’ve got one pass to give away to a lucky reader – read on to find out how it can be yours. [read the whole post]


Morning Parade won't be an opening band for long.

Morning Parade won’t be an opening band for long.

Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing Morning Parade open up for Biffy Clyro at Great American Music Hall. I had heard their debut album and the British hit, “Headlights,” so I thought I knew what to expect. But I was super impressed with the new, unfamiliar material they played from their EP, Alienation, so I knew I had to get in touch with Steve Sparrow, lead vocalist, and ask him about touring America, the current popularity of British rock, and what’s to be expected from their upcoming album.  He mentions my favorite band three times, so I was overjoyed with his responses, and am happy to share them with you.

Spinning Platters: You’ve just played in San Francisco. Any impressions of our city you’d like to share? [read the whole post]


Robert Kaye of MusicBrainz at SF MusicTech Summit 12

People, including Robert Kaye of MusicBrainz, take their SF MusicTech seriously.

The next installment of SF MusicTech Summit is a week away. If you tend to follow the biggest music + tech-related events in the Bay Area, you might be asking yourself something along the lines of “wait, didn’t they just throw one of these events a few months ago?” Yes, it’s not your imagination; the last conference took place in February.

Why did the organizers decide to follow up so soon on their bi-annual event? Besides the basic logistics involved in organizing a massively popular conference, there’s a deeper progression at play. Read on to find out why everyone involved in some aspect of music should especially attend, this time around, and how Spinning Platters can save you 20% on registration.

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Approximately .0003% of the attendees at SXSW 2012

This is my fifth year straight where I descended to the great city of Austin, Texas to enjoy the most insane week of live music you will ever enjoy. I took a little easier than most years, but I still had a very fulfilling week of music. I get to enjoy a wide array of great stuff, and, without further adieu, here are my thoughts on that time:

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A few updates: First, R.I.P. Max Matthews. You will be missed. Second, I will extend this contest to Friday, April 29th as the first Musica Tecnomica 2.0 in a long while is taking place on Thursday the 28th.

Here we go again…another contest! For those of you not yet familiar with the event, SF MusicTech Summit was created by Brian and Shoshanna Zisk several years back to help music business professionals keep apace in an industry that is notorious for rapidly transforming, innovating, and developing tools for the development and distribution of music. What initially started out as a local gathering has gradually evolved into the third most renowned music and tech event in the world (behind MIDEM and, of course, SXSW).

I’ve already covered reasons why I think you should attend SF MusicTech Summit and this recent Fast Company interview gives even more insight into its benefits plus other projects Brian’s been involved with for the greater good of the community. Luckily, two free conference passes (one per online publication) are up for grabs here and through my own personal blog, Read on to learn more about what to expect as an attendee and how you can potentially win…

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Gordon Answers Your 2011 SXSW Questions

March 28, 2011”

Welcome to my annual tradition of answering the SXSW questions you didn’t know you had! And here are this year’s questions. 1. What over-hyped band was the first one I saw, and surprised me by being excellent? 2. Who brought horns and a bunch of new songs, and got me to see them twice? 3. […]

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Spinning Platters Picks Six: Bands To See at SXSW While Wearing Cowboy Boots

March 10, 2011

  With the recent breakout success of Mumford & Sons, I finally feel validated that the sound I’ve enjoyed for years has finally crossed over to the category of  “stuff my friends will actually listen to.”  In past years, I’ve had to venture out amongst the throngs of music go-er’s at SXSW by myself in […]

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Spinning Platters Picks Seven: Canadian Artists You Should See at SXSW

March 9, 2011

I love Canada. There was time when I could sing “Oh, Canada.” In French. I still know it in English. After all, it’s the home of hockey, Rush, William Shatner, and Molson. These are not trivial things. For years, I’ve wanted to be Canadian, going so far as looking into emigrating. Alas, I’m still here, […]

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Spinning Platters Picks Six: International Bands Worth Seeing at SXSW That I’d Never Heard Of Before

March 8, 2011

Suggesting bands to check out at SXSW can be really easy if you want it to be. There’s some definite winners in the “Been there done that” category this year: Friendly Fires, Matt & Kim, and Wallpaper come to mind. Then there’s the “buzz bands worthy of buzz” category, which this year includes Geographer, The […]

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