This week I fly out to Toronto (unfortunately, on United Airlines...wish me luck) for my third Canadian Music Week, the annual music business conference and festival.

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In addition to having the pleasure of being on the panel, "Brands in the Music Space: A Debate on the Pros and Cons" (sorry, couldn't resist the plug), attending sessions, reuniting with our unofficial music festival family (you know who you are), and hearing Live Nation's Michael Rapino speak, catching local Canadian bands and international acts is a top priority.

SXSW is almost upon those of us who are attending, so we’re trying to keep up with emails and RSVP's while prepping our bodies for the marathon and packing major doses of vitamin B12.

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For those who can't make the trek to Austin, there will be a number of opportunities to experience the minute-by-minute happenings, performances, and exclusive video that even the people there on the ground won’t have access to. Plus, audio streams broadcasting live will give everyone in Austin and beyond, stories, news, and music they can take in on the go.

Now in its 16th year, FADER FORT returns with four full days of musical performances from March 15 - 18. Since 2001, FADER FORT grew in popularity, expanding its footprint with massive crowds showing up to check out the artists and the FORT experience, following Twitter rumors of evening shows with suprise appearances, all of which contributed to the magic of SXSW.

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This year they return to their roots in a "nod to The FADER’s inaugural showcase in 2001," moving the festivities to a more intimate venue at 1209 East 6th Street (Volcom Garden) while still presenting a multi-use, indoor and outdoor environment to mashup music, the arts, drinks, lounging and playing.

“It has been ELEVEN days, Stephen,” Jon Stewart said during his January 31st guest appearance on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show, “Eleven. Fucking. Days. ELEVEN!” And then, looking into the audience and the camera, he stated what we were all experiencing, “The presidency is supposed to age the president, NOT the public.”

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That was only eighteen f*#king days ago. What’s happened since then plays out like a TV reality show based on a mashup of “Hunt For Red October 2: Defecting TO Russia,” “Dumb and Dumber,” and “ Liar Liar.”

2017 SXSW Music Round One Artist Announcement - The Drums 

After last month’s sneak peek at 50 artists approved to perform in 2017, SXSW took the next step in their music programming with the Round One Artist Announcement. To date, this tallies up to just over 200 bands. Expect that number to increase 10 fold by the time March comes around. March 10-19, 2017 to be exact.

Here is my first sneak peek of the Kaffeine Buzz pick list that will continue to grow over the next six months, with the full SXSW Music list to follow.

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With less than a month until Riot Fest and Rodeo descends on Denver once again, the after shows' ‘who, where, and when’ details emerge. Tickets go on sale this Friday for a chance to see bands from the big festival stage perform on slightly smaller stages at the Marquis and Summit in downtown Denver, and slightly south at Hi-Dive.

It’s been 15 years since I said farewell to my Bay Area homeland and set out for Colorado. After checking out the line up of bands set to perform at the inaugural showcase of Bay Area bands, sponsored by Balanced Breakfast and the Recording Academy at this year’s Underground Music Showcase, the Bay's music is just as diverse and spirited, as dark and gritty, and as subdued and haunting as ever.

In addition to the Balanced Breakfast showcase that takes place Sunday, July 31st at Skylark from noon to 5pm, each of the acts are playing other UMS slots during the festival.

"Music and political activism have always been really tightly bound together throughout global history," said Ryan Harvey, the co-owner of Firebrand Records with Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, The Nightwatchman) during the Rock Against the TPP Tour press call. This Saturday, July 23 at the Summit Music Hall in Denver, is the first stop on the nationwide free-to-attend tour. The Rock Against the TPP Tour's main goal is to educate the American public on WHAT the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) really is and WHY they need to pressure their local House Representatives NOW to put TPP to pasture for good, preventing it from  being voted upon this fall.

Power to the People - Rock Against the TPP Tour

The cat’s out of the festival bag. This morning before the eggs were ready off the skillet, Riot Fest got out their line up news following yesterday’s cryptic teaser videos ("Been Caught Stealin" was one hint). Jane's Addiction fans should be happy to hear the band will perform the classic album, Ritual de lo Habitual, in its entirety, and the Hold Steady will break out the beloved tracks from Boys and Girls in America, with with Franz Nicolay no less, for the Denver (September 2 - 4) and Chicago (September 16 - 18) girls and boys.

Aside from Microsoft’s past sins with its browser, various operating systems, and the UVO software that has NEVER worked properly in my Kia Soul, the tech company’s creative and effective side is appearing through its Music x Tech program that supports and integrates with music, art and culture. At Moogfest, Microsoft will tap its Kinect motion sensing technology to activate a unique experience for festivalgoers, where they can make their own remixes of Grimes’ single, "REALiti" on the fly.

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