If this post is a little bit delayed, it’s because I’ve been preparing to speak about my (almost) six years of experience as a live music photographer at SXSW this coming week. If you’re headed out to Austin, make sure to stop by WeWork and check it out. Bonus: it features some incredible up-and-coming bands from the Bay Area including Survival Guide, Abbot Kinney, Kendra McKinley, and The Damn Fanatics. Hope to see you there. [read the whole post]
Big Data and Joywave on Late Night with Seth Meyers on NBC, in a video that has sadly been wiped from the internet.
Here’s a tough one. I have no idea if I’m a fan of Big Data or Joywave. Maybe I’m a fan of both. What I do know is that their single, “Dangerous,” has been on heavy rotation for me since the first time I heard it blasting out of my car’s speakers on Live 105. The main riff is just so driving and infectious, the wandering drums that punctuate the beats are addictive, and the vocal melody fits perfectly. So who do I actually like? Big Data or Joywave? Let’s figure that out together. [read the whole post]
Will Butler doing his day job
Today, Will Butler released his debut solo album, Policy. Longtime Arcade Fire fans have vastly differing opinions on the less famous Butler brother. Some think of him as a coattail rider, acting like a spaz on stage with a band with which he has no business being on stage. Others, such as myself, look at him as an important multi-instrumentalist and bringer of manic energy. His behavior in the early days was crazy, even a little scary, and I’ve always enjoyed him. What he’s done with his solo career is a surprise by any estimation. [read the whole post]
Way above Auditorium Shores
In our first countdown to SXSW post, we celebrate the amazing pairing of Spoon and Charles Bradley, who will be playing back-to-back at Auditorium Shores on March 19th. The shows here are free to everyone, although anyone without a SXSW credential needs to pick up a guest pass in advance. Now, on to the music! [read the whole post]
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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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]