SXSW interactive summed up. From my perspective the interwebz have businesses scared. The music industry is scared and trying to figure out a way to make money. The publishing industry is scared and trying to figure out a way to make money. MP3s will be the death of the cd but vinyl records will make a come back because people like to collect actual objects. Ebooks will be the death of books and people will go back to collecting stamps. Blogs have given people the ability to self publish. Music sites like band camp, soundcloud etc have given bands a way to self publish. Algorithms can guess what the next song you want to hear is…usually with hilarious results. Algorithms will be the death of DJs and the album. So has the need for curators diminished? Were publishers and music labels good curators anyway? Depends on your taste I guess. As everyone gets comfortable sharing all of their personal information marketers and advertisers will continue to guess what consumers want. Consumers are a finicky bunch though so it will still be hard to do. Naked pictures of celebrities and people in the public spotlight will continue to be an easy sell though…and the iPhone will continue to help make that happen until the world finally ends later this year.
The music portion summed up. I played three shows and saw a bunch more. Played on Tuesday which I posted pics of already. One on Wednesday at Iron Bear (Our sets were great but I am not here to talk about my own band…soon enough when we are opening for Jimmy Buffet you will know all about us) with Edie Sedgwick who are great and Shit and Shine also great. Shit and Shine are always pretty far out they used a drum throne to make noise through a microphone then ran that through effects pedals to make terrible good sounds. The ladies hated it, my band mates and I loved it. Some of the crowd booed, the sound guy turned the PA off but they had enough speakers of their own to noisily carry on. Sometimes you have to wonder if the sound guys at SXSW are just angry failed musicians on a power trip. I have seen them turn off sound for numerous bands over the years. I think they hate fun.
Thursday was Scoot Inn I saw Deerhoof who I had never seen before they were ok…I have been a fan for a long time but I was not that impressed. Thee Oh Sees who I have seen at least 6 times were great as usual. I came to the realization while watching all of the young kids dance and sort of have a pit, that Thee Oh Sees are those youngsters equivalent of Fugazi or The Jesus Lizard. It felt good knowing that they are out there continuing to put on stellar performances. Andrew WK who I now call Andrew WWF was terrible but he could rally the crowd and people were excited about him. My brothers fiancé told us we didn’t like it because we hate fun. I do hate fun it is true, catch me running sound at SXSW next year.
Friday at Trailer Space Records. I saw Dope Body they just got on Drag City so they have a bit of buzz they were ok but I saw better bands. Spray Paint tricked me with their first song it was sort of quiet so I took my earplugs out but by the end of the set I realized that I should have left the earplugs in. They destroyed my eardrums in a good way. Same Sack had two Iron Sausages each (an Iron Sausage is what we call an 8×10 bass cabinet) and one head for each cabinet. Two bass players one drummer, King Coffey, of the Butthole Surfers. I knew better than to not wear earplugs for their set. The auto tuned vocals are great and very smart commentary on the music industry. A sludge band with auto tuned vocals who would have thought. I love seeing guys in their 40’s still making music that is risky and doing it well. After Same Sack were Puffy Aerolas I had never seen them before and they were really great but I didn’t get to see their entire set because the ladies needed nourishment. So to Kome we went and ate octopus dumplings…super good fun day.
Saturday I did the most rock star thing ever…yard work. Then we played a show at The Grackle. ZZZs from Japan played before us they were awesome. They took pictures of our set we hope this means they want us to tour Japan with them. There was a really weird house next door to the Grackle. We couldn’t figure out if anyone lived in or if it was rented just for SXSW there was a pool, hot tub and a keg of beer. We hung out over there after the show. I drank too many beers.
Sunday. Brunch at Yellow Jacket I watched my friend play old time music, which is what some people call shitty bluegrass. It was a nice antithesis to all of the noise I saw earlier in the week. Then I did more rock star stuff like laundry and grocery shopping. I was tempted to go to Beerland and see more bands last night but I am old now and need more beauty sleep.