Friday, March 20, 2009

SxSWm - Thursday

Thursday was a busy day early, I'm feeling a little fatigue since this is already day 6, only 2 more to go.

Panels

There's Still Lots of Money in Songwriting and Music Publishing - Jeff and Todd Brabec

This is the fourth time I've seen the Brabec twins speak, third time at SxSW, and once as an Austin Music Foundation Small Group Session. I have always been impressed with depth of the material they present, and how approachable both gentlemen are. I was able to speak for a few minutes with Jeff afterwards, and it appears that another AMF session is in the works. I always learn something new at their talks.

Placing Your Music in Film

This was a repeat of a similar session from last year's SxSW. The panel was mainly Music Supervisors, but also included someone from Subpop records, who manages licensing of their catalog. It was very interesting to hear about this process from the Label's or Publisher's perspective.

Quincy Jones Keynote

This was a marathon and went over at least 40 minutes. I found this write up via Twitter. It does a great job recapping the talk.

Devo Interview

This was one of the highlights of the show for me, all 5 members of the band were present for an in-depth interview. They talked about all of the highlights of their career starting with the Akron, OH days, Kent State, and moving to LA.

Some interesting comments were made about their rivalry with the Talking Heads, along with some choice comments about David Byrne. They also told a story about their label trying to convince them to have John Lydon (aka. Johnny Rotten) join the band, giving some fascinating insight into the Music Biz at that time. Also interesting was their discussion of their cover of Working In A Coal Mine, how it was dropped from their album by their label, yet still went top 40 via the Heavy Metal soundtrack. Devo

Shows

Abalone Dots on the Sesac Day Stage

While grabbing a bite to eat, I caught this incredible act, 4 women from Sweden playing upright bass, guitar/mandolin, violin, cello. They also did incredible 4 part vocal harmonies. Outstanding, I will probably look for their CD and buy it.

Von Bondie on the DirecTV soundstage

I caught the last 3 songs of this act from Detroit. Well done, but fairly mainstream stuff.

Peter Murphy at the Elysium

I accompanied friends Ron and Alissa to see the original Goth rocker, Peter Murphy. Pretty much as expected, Peter seems to be good humored and self-deprecating enough to not come off like an asshole. The band was very good, they were obviously all old pros.

18th Floor

I make it point to go to this venue every year because of the consistent quality of the acts I've seen here.

Andy White

I caught the last song of the set of this very talented Irish act. My only complaint is that I wished I had not dallied along the way, so that I could have heard more

The Kin

Another highlight of the festival. They are a pair of brothers (?) from Australia, who had a mercenary rhythm section composed of a bass player and drummer from the Austin bands, Wideawake and Vast.

To me, these guys sound reminiscent of Tonic and you could tell that they had the little something extra. They had the crowd in the palms of their hands before coming out and doing one number standing on two chairs, in the middle of the crowd. I think these guys will be stars some day. Kudos to them for handing out download cards of their music.

Stars Go Dim

I caught the first 4 songs of this talented band from Tulsa, OK. I felt sorry for these guys because they had to follow the Kin.

Somi at Elephant Room

After an extra long setup, Somi managed to do one song. Things quickly derailed by PA/sound problems. After waiting 20 minutes, I left.

Leni Stern at the Copa

This was the last act I saw of the night. Leni is a NY based guitarist, who is married to Mike Stern, another famed guitarist. She was part of a 4 piece band, with her self, an Upright Bassist, Drums, and Bazuki player (who also had Tablas and other percussive nick-knacks)

The music was sort of new age mishmash of Persian/Middle Eastern sounds with a light Jazz twist. In general though, I find her playing a bit understated.

Needing sleep, I headed home a little early.

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