Saturday, March 19, 2011

SxSW Day 8

Panels

SxSW Interview: Yoko Ono

Couldn't miss this interview. It was unusual in that the session began with a 15 minute video about Yoko's life. It wasn't clear whether it was self-produced or not.

Yoko spent a lot of time talking about her life, latest causes, and the situation in Japan. It seemed to go by very quickly, I will probably take the chance to rewatch the video when it is posted by SxSW. Yoko Ono Interview

Mastering Vinyl, Hear All About It

This was undoubtedly one of the best technical music panels that I have ever attended. The panel consisted of aficionado Michael Fremer, who produced a fantastic documentary about vinyl records are mastered and produced, and two legends, Doug Sax and Bob Ludwig. If you own any vinyl, it is more than likely that several albums have been mastered by one of these two gentlemen.

Lot's of good information from this talk, and I am relatively sure that I will want to obtain a copy of Fremer's DVD, after seeing excerpts. Furthermore, I will be getting a new cartridge and bring my turntable and vinyl out of storage. Back to the future!
Michael Fremer, Doug Sax, and Bob Ludwig

Get Band Business Doing Smart

This panel featured the always entertaining Martin Atkins, and Hillel Frankel (who I believe may be Martin's agent). The premise was a mock debate, in order to discuss Atkin's guerilla marketing strategies for music.

Martin never disappoints, and I really appreciate what he is giving back to the world of Music.

Hillel Frankel, Steve Hutton & Martin Atkins

Bobby Long

I'm having a difficult time remembering the next 3 day stage acts. I do remember that I enjoyed listening.

Bobby Long on the Day Stage

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper

Caitlin Rose

Caitlin Rose

Random Shot of ACC during SxSWm

The Austin Convention Center

Parties

Dutch Impact

Another party, another cash bar (handled by the same caterer). Oh well, the good ole days of free food and booze are over I guess.

I stayed for one set, a band named Black Atlantic. They were good, not great, and not as interesting as the Canadian band from yesterday.
Dutch Impact Party Dutch Impact Party Schedule The Black Atlantic

Hilton Stage - Brooke Fraser

A very nice, mellow singer/songwriter type with a backing band. Incredible voice. Brooke Fraser

Showcases

Boy & Bear

This was a great Pop/Rock band from Australia. Another Handicapping panel suggestion, and another winner. The crowd at Buffalo Billiards agreed. Boy & Bear at Buffalo Billiards

Dirty Beaches

So this was the first stinker. I stayed for exactly half of the first song, and left wondering how this person was able to get a showcase.

Keepaway

I decided to head over to Cedar Street. As I got there, the crowd seemed unusually sparse. After hearing Keepaway, I understood why. Strike two.

Birds & Batteries

I then walked over to the Tap Room, and finally found a band that was tolerable. I wasn't blown away by this act, but found them listenable (and avoided a strike out). Birds & Batteries at the Tap Room

Leslie Stevens and the Badgers

I decided to stay put, just in case. The next act Leslie Stevens, was a female Country/Americana singer from Southern California. She had a pedal steel player, and some members of the band, Paperclip, joined her on stage for a few songs. Leslie Stevens and the Badgers

Oberhofer

I then returned to Kiss & Fly for Oberhofer, another Handicapping panel recommendation. I found them listenable, but not engaging. Oberhofer

Lanterns on the Lake

This was a very interesting Cinematic, post-pop band from NE England. They played a mix of acoustic and electric instruments, and sounded very good in the Central Presbyterian Church. This was only showcase I saw at this venue, BTW. Lanterns on the Lake

Amy Speace

Not being able to get enough of St. David's, I returned there and checked out this country singer, Amy Speace. She was an accomplished singer, but this music seemed very pedestrian to me. Amy Speace

Mother Mother

I had picked out this band from an iTunes or Amazon sampler for SxSW. The band executed just fine, but the venue, Swan Dive, sucked.

If there is one complaint I have about SxSWm, it's the temporary use of these Dance Clubs as live music venues. What was particularly annoying about this place, was their insistance on playing House Music at loud volumes, while the band was trying to do a sound check. The results when the band started playing were as expected. I really wanted to go throttle the DJ.

In all reality, I can't imagine setting foot in this club at any other time. I'm hoping there will be a pendulum swing back towards live music, in the next decade, putting these dance clubs and the choke-and-puke bars out of business. (I can hope, at least!)

Ron Sexsmith

This was another SxSWm highlight for me. I got see an entire set of Ron Sexsmith with his backing band. Outstanding! Ron Sexsmith at St. David's Sanctuary

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