We’re just back from the SXSW Music Festival, and wanted to share some of the big themes that we heard throughout the week. Most promising perhaps – brands, technologists and promoters at SXSW concur it’s a great time to be in the music industry. These experts point to an expanding music ecosystem as creating an unsurpassed opportunity to connect, engage and interact with fans – for those who leverage the tools and technology available.

Running, of sorts, as best as one can on the last day of SXSW, to the Empire Control Room, I caught the last minutes of Rumblebucket and their confetti shower, a fray that would continue through to the Palma Violets set soon after.

It’s the second to the last night of SXSW. It’s been a day of rain that canceled out East India Youth, Mew and The Vaccines earlier at Culture Collide’s showcase at Container. But tonight, CC’s set of bands are safely covered and dry under the tents at Bar 96, as are the fans crammed into the small space.

It was great to have Carl Barât back in Austin for SXSW, this time with this three bandmates to make up and The Jackals, shooting a firehose of rock and roll over the Latitude 30 crowd. It had been many years since Barât made another Sx appearance with Dirty Pretty Things. On this night the band came through to deliver on the eagerness of their fans, much in the way they did when I caught The Jackals Coventry gig towards the end of last year.

One of the best things about The Parish in Austin is the long row of seating to the right of the venue. I was wise to take a rest there prior to The Cribs taking the stage, since I would need what little energy I had left to make it through torrentially fabulous set. Bent on shooting this show and with no one to blame but myself, I was right at the front with the crowd, which this evening was the antithesis of the L.A., arm-folding gang of kids.

The London duo in Public Service Broadcasting are all about taking listeners on adventures through time and space. Reflecting back on pinacle moments of the world, triumphs and tragedies, PSB craft historical audio clips with an array of both futuristic and vintage musical textures and layers.

When looking back at a Viet Cong show, whether a few minutes or a few days later, words still seem to escape the cerebellum. You’re left more with emotions of being stunned and amazed after catching the Calgary outfit, including their slot at Fader Fort among the wet and the wild that rainy day.


I had yet to hear more than a few tracks from Happyness prior to catching them at theCulture Collide / Doc Martens SXSW shindig, or read the sterling reviews by other journalists more in the know. I only knew a few of bit of their music off of Spotify, and thus, had made a point to nail them into my mess of a schedule.

[Photos by Kyle Cooper] I first heard of the Welsh band Catfish and the Bottlemen before I’d actually heard their music. It was during the Association of Independent Festivals Congress, a conference where festival organizers from around the UK and Europe gather to discuss all facets of the business.

Kishi Bashi performed at the Ogden Theatre Saturday, January 17, on the first date of Guster’s North American tour. The multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter performed his unique style of intricate and intense stringed-solos, layered and looped harmonies and beats, and nearly operatic indie pop with a slice of comedy and bright smiles at every turn.

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