Sunday, March 10, 2013

SXSW 2013 -- Being There By Being Online

Not everyone is heading to Austin this week for South by Southwest (SXSW) even if it sometimes feels like it.  So thankfully, there's plenty of online offerings to take advantage of just by being near a computer. After perusing my favorite new music outlets, I had to draw up a schedule similar to what I used to do in college diagramming my classes (see below).  It's going to make for a busy week!

For starters, SPIN has picked forty bands as "Must See Acts" as readers can flip through a listing of buzzed about bands even before the buzz begins.  Each group has some background info as "The Skinny" and then some props under a section called "Why You Should Care." Big names such as Vampire Weekend and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are found here, along with blog faves Foxygen and Major Lazor.  Two new bands that have recently caught my ear are also given a shout out: Parquet Courts and Chvrches.  Even The Hollywood Reporter's website is writing about "5 Buzzworthy Bands" (Alt-J, Atlas Genuis and Haim plus others) along side quirky articles such as "How to Sleep Like Oprah and Eat Like a Local" and coverage highlighting the film component.

Another great preview is NPR Music's The Austin 100: A SXSW Mix, available as a download through April 5.  There is over six hours of songs here, with many proud moments as I spotted blog faves Caveman, Youth Lagoon, and Foxygen on the list.  Nothing new really struck me, but my musical tastes were certainly reinforced towards the indie tilt (no need for Killer Mike or Skeletonwitch, thankyouverymuch). NPR will also live broadcast a showcase on Wednesday, March 13 at approximately 8 pm EST, featuring theYeah Yeah Yeahs, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Youth Lagoon and others.  And on Thursday, March 14 at 12 noon, NPR will broadcast Dave Grohl's Keynote Speech, surely an entertaining listening session. 

LA's KCRW brags how it was one of the first radio stations to broadcast remotely from the festival and this year "Morning Becomes Eclectic" will be there Monday through Friday (12 pm to 3 pm EST).  Musical Director Jason Bentley will be interviewing Depeche Mode and the station will host an official showcase Wednesday night with Ra Ra Riot, Wild Belle, Atlas Genius and Toro Y Moi.

KEXP plans to be broadcasting live Wednesday through Friday (12:30 pm to 9 pm EST) as well as Saturday (3 pm to 9 pm EST).  Among the bands for exclusive live sets are Iron and Wine, Parquet Courts and Billy Bragg.  A full schedule is available on their blog at the link at the beginning of the paragraph.

Five public radio stations are presenting a showcase on Friday called "Public Radio Rocks" (including a local, WFUV's The Alternate Side).  From 1 pm to 7 pm, a full lineup from Divine Fits to Iron & Wine and Vampire Weekend will be broadcast live on those stations.  It'll be a proud day both online and over the airwaves.