Between music extravaganzas, film screenings, notable speakers, and an interactive festival focused on technology, SXSW Festival truly brings the world to Austin, Texas. For the 2012 festival, the SXSW Interactive Committee has decided to extend the SXSW Interactive Scholarship to individuals that are dedicated to promoting social change through social media. Winners will receive an Interactive Festival badge for free (valued at $950). Past keynote speakers have included Mark Zuckerberg and hundreds of experts from the global technology industry. The days are filled with daytime speeches along with workshops all focused around societal and philosophical relationships to new technological advances. I’m picturing an atmosphere heavy with intellectual stimulation, similar to that of ‘TED talks’.
In an exclusive with wired.com, the Austin, Texas group released the first, but certainly not the last, official music video for "Last Known Surroundings", an 8 minute, inspiring celestial journey off their latest LP, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care.
The video takes you on an adventure through spacial, geometric plains into the very fabric of a digital universe, down to a world with breathing mountains and valleys, trees and cliffs. It's space, it's earth, it's everything between what has and what possibly will exist. The concept, while dreamt up by the band, was brought to fruition by Ptarmak, a talented design studio based in Austin and "close friends" of the group. And after, "months and months of solid work," the team has finally created a visually stunning masterpiece that falls seamlessly in line with the odysseys that Explosions in the Sky are known for producing.
Well Joonbuggers, it's that time again, Festie time! This time we are preparing for Austin City Limits. This is one of my favorite festivals of the year, not only because Austin is home, but also because it might be one of the most musically diverse. We are seeing some of our electronic, oldies, Texas country and pop favies this year. Here is what we were looking most forward to.
If you missed our ultimate preparation guide for a festival, please click here to get the scoop on how to get you and your group ready for a weekend of music.
Psychedelic rockers the Black Angels have, up until now, seemed perpetually stuck in the 1960s. Their druggy brand of atmospheric tunes sounded like something you would listen to while religiously following the Grateful Dead around town, whilst on a pretty serious acid trip.
But with the Texas five-piece’s third full-length album, Phosphene Dream, released on September 14, the Angels have cleared up their musical haze; the full effect is less hangover and more groovy rock-out. Released on the revamped blues label Blue Horizon and recorded in Los Angeles, Dream relocates the Angels from their time trap and plants them a little closer to the present. In fact, the band even recently collaborated with Brit trip- hoppers UNKLE for a song on the Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack called "With You in My Head." You can't get any more current than vampires.
Standing over six feet tall with her fingers wrapped around glowing neon-pink drumsticks; a faded, black, three-sizes-too-big Slayer shirt with rolled up sleeves tucked into acid-washed high-rise jean shorts; and long, shapely, muscular legs stuffed into black and white speckled high-heel boots, Danish electro-pop singer Oh Land floated on stage with her arms spread out like a set of wings, shaking her head back and forth, singing the chorus to her newest single, "Sun of a Gun" at the Littlefield in Brooklyn on Friday, September 17, her simple, blonde hair grazing her cheeks and falling graciously on the tops of her shoulders. "For me it's about the beat," Oh Land said about her music. "The feeling. The physical feeling and the emotional feeling. It's about something hard and something feminine and organic coming together."
"Doing the best they can" since August 2006, Brooklyn band Bear Hands is returning home from a successful stint at SXSW (where they caught the attention of justintimberlake.com, which states that "we've fallen in love with their choppy but dreamy indie-rock stylings. We particularly like it when, mid-set, bassist Val Loper abandons his guitar to play drums with a maraca. Good work.") to play at Glasslands Gallery tonight with Holy Ghost!. See what the hype is all about and download their single "What A Drag" here and get your tickets for tonight's show (fingers crossed that Loper is feeling the maracas again tonight). Catch them tonight before they head out with Passion Pit for a full US tour. They won't be returning until May 6th for a show at Irving Plaza with As Tall As Lions, so don't miss your chance to see the band that provides, according to RockSounds, "just the right amount of danceable anthems to transform the crowd from an intrigued gathering into an all singing, all shaking disco party."
White Denim and their opening band, The Brazos played on a Tuesday, though from a glance at the sizable audience one might find themselves double-checking their calendar, as the occupancy is more indicative of a typical weekend show at West Hollywood's most favored music venue, The Troubadour.
The Brazos received an enthusiastic welcome and it is immediately understandable why the crowd would gravitate towards them. Though the band hails from Austin, Texas, the members seem to fit the mold, at least on the surface, of the typical Los Angeles hipster. The music pales in comparison to White Denim's energetic and dynamic set, but they are a decent open to the show and manage to get the audience to their feet and moving.
After a long, sleep-deprived week, I was readying myself last night for a well-deserved night’s rest before another day of journalistic prosperity here at the joonbug offices. I predicated my slumber with the positive, reinforcing words of Henry Rollins’ spoken word performances; a new personal obsession which, I feel, brings hope and assurance to my often bleak view of everyday life. As my eyes began to involuntarily close, I decided to close-out my session of “youtube-ery” with a video from the site’s side-bar suggestions, namely, a musical performance. I saw the name of a performer I was unfamiliar with and thought, “Why not?” as I clicked on the less-than encumbered thumbnail. In a clip from the former hardcore-singer’s talk-show on cable’s IFC, I saw an exceptionally overweight, middle-aged man in sweat-pants and what looked like a hand-Sharpied t-shirt timidly fist-strumming mangled chords on an acoustic guitar. When he opened his mouth, his nasal, slightly off-key voice began singing a song of love by way of poetic despair that made the world around me float away until all that was left was the music pouring from my computer speakers and my heart that was breaking with each word the man spoke. I replayed the song over and over again, mesmerized at the aural magnetism of the song despite its apparent simplicity. Hours and hours later, early into the morning, I found myself lying on my bed, unable to get to sleep, weeping uncontrollably at the beauty of Daniel Johnston’s music.
“SXSW's original goal was to create an event that would act as a tool for creative people and the companies they work with to develop their careers, to bring together people from a wide area to meet and share ideas. That continues to be the goal today whether it is music, film or the internet. And Austin continues to be the perfect location.” -SXSW Website
Since 1987, South by South West (SXSW) has been taking Austin, Texas by storm for a week every March. The festival is a celebration of music and anything artistic with some big names showcasing their work. Numerous indie bands and film hopefuls also flock to the area in hopes of making it big or just to experience the greatness of raw talent. Over the years, the festival has even attracted international attention.
When I think of the American South, I think of hot temperatures, suffocating humidity, and sweaty, glistening bodies rhythmically writhing to house music in an ecstasy induced Sodom. You know what that means, boys: We’re going to a gay bar!
There has been a report straight from Austin, TX from someone who saw a sign that a Kiss and Fly was going to open in the Texas capital. The logo is the same, so DBTH assumes that it’s either a licensing agreement or identity theft. But, to add a twist to it all, Kiss and Fly Austin has labeled itself — unlike the NYC version — as “Austin's Only Gay Nightclub.” That probably means it’s not the same establishment.