Next month, I get a treat – attending the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas. I’ve always wanted to go and started planning a couple of years ago to go this March. It sounds like a music junkie’s biggest fix. About 1500 bands are selected from thousands that apply. There are about 65 music venues and four nights. That works out to about 6 bands per venue per night. Each band gets an hour on stage to give it their best shot. Lots of small labels/producers/industry types gather, new bands are formed and a good time is had by most. There are music lectures during the day, this year’s speakers are Pete Townsend of the Who, Rickie Lee Jones, Emmy Lou Harris, and David Byrne from the Talking Heads.
Lots of bands trying to break in, along with some established artists like Aqualung, Michelle Shocked, Graham Parker, Cracker, Carrie Rodriguez, Steve Earle, Charlie Sexton, Robyn Hitchcock, Iggy Pop.
But what I’m really looking forward to are the new bands and to be able to hear a blues band followed by a rock band, followed by an alt-country band. More later.