Tuesday, January 22, 2019

SXSW 2014 by the numbers

Posted by teibs On March - 18 - 2014
@ZackTeibloom Whew. Another incredible SXSW in the books. Every year it reminds me why I moved here in early March, five years ago. SXSW is everything. The day before the fest started, I was resigned to being without a badge or wristband and hoped I could see a few shows and find a way to make the most of it. When a magical badge showed up thanks to Caitlin’s connection and my name got pulled for the Jay-Z and Kanye lottery, every little thing fell into place. I got to interact with my favorite sports journalist (Bill Simmons), see my two all-time favorite rappers in a tiny venue, sat in the first couple rows as my two favorite podcasts (Comedy Bang Bang & You Made It Weird) were taped live, talked to Max Fisher and George Bluth, had a long conversation with Gareth Campesinos, saw my new favorite band (White Sea) four times, saw my favorite up and coming indie rock band (Oberhofer) three times in one day and, aside from missing the Hendrix tribute show and a couple more comedy shows, I saw everything I dreamed and then some.
It was just perfect. For all the backlash about the vomit-y Gaga performance and explosion of corporate hoo rah blah blah, I had the best SXSW yet. I spent 10 days on my bike with Caitlin, navigating through throngs of festival goers, hopping all over this great city for the best Spring Break on Earth. Even after taking Sunday off, I’m still recovering Tuesday morning, but here’s a quick rundown of my SXSW in numbers Read the rest of this entry »

Prince at SXSW Review: Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough

Posted by teibs On March - 18 - 2013

@ZackTeibloom “Ain’t no party like a purple party, ’cause a purple party don’t stop.” Prince first said this early Sunday morning during his 50-minute-long second encore. When he said it again somewhere around his fourth or fifth encore, the artist currently known as Prince had the crowd wondering if the purple party would ever stop, and hoping it wouldn’t. Those of us in the front row may have been standing in line since 7:15 p.m., and continuously stayed on our feet for the next seven and a half hours, but when Prince said “We’ve only got 20 minutes left. Let’s make them the best twenty minutes of our lives,” at 2:40 a.m., we summoned what little energy we had left on the last day of SXSW to see what the man in purple would do next. Well, those of us who were left did. But we’ll get to that. Read the rest of this entry »

@ZackTeibloom When you love an artist from their early days, you have expectations for them. You watch their career and feel emotionally invested in the direction it takes. This can be an incredibly disappointing pursuit. Ultimately you have no control over what they do, and nine times out of 10, they’ll disappoint you. They could have a sophomore slump, change the direction of their sound, sell out, go soft, break up or die young. It’s incredibly rare that they don’t let you down in a major way, but you can’t help rooting for their career to go the way you envision, ideally growing with each album and constantly re-inventing themselves in a way that still suits your interests. In my life, I’ve loved a lot of bands, but Weezer, Beck and Jack White stand out as ones I loved from the very beginning, and following them has been three different rides.

Weezer has had far more misses than hits in the last decade, (Hurley, anyone?) They had to resort to playing their first two albums, Blue Album and Pinkerton, live 15 years after they came out to connect with their original fans. I don’t even bother listening to their new stuff anymore. I don’t know anyone who does. I loved seeing them live last summer, but only because they were almost exclusively playing old stuff. They’re way too young for that to be OK, but that’s their reality. It’s been a joy to watch Beck’s “Mutations” from Odelay to Sea Change to Midnite Vultures to Guero and The Information, but it’s been a hollow few years. He hasn’t put out an album in going on four years, and his “Record Club” was a far better idea than it was executed. I still have hope for a lot more greatness in Beck’s future. With Jack White, the ups and downs have been unlike any artist I’ve ever followed. I’ll detail it in painstaking detail in the next couple paragraphs, but it was absolutely killing me to see him spending so much time producing or playing drums or buying an elephant’s head on American Pickers, when I just wanted to scream “pick up a guitar and sing to me!” but on Friday night, he showed us the next phase of his career and became everything I always dreamed he would be. And then some.  Read the rest of this entry »

Why the world still needs South by Southwest

Posted by teibs On March - 29 - 2011

sxswwork@supercooleric While the world was literally falling apart for some, I awoke on the first Saturday of South by Southwest 2011 with nothing to do but nurse a mild hangover and contemplate a staggering list of free beer, barbecue and music options for the days ahead. Bathed in warm Texas sunlight, I stretched out in bed and skimmed over Twitter looking for the latest party RSVPs. What I found was a poignant reminder of my insanely great fortune from Carl Newman of the New Pornographers: “These are the days that put everything in perspective. Most of us are, by far, the luckiest people on earth.”

Funny how quickly that perspective can be discarded. A few hours later, I’d be complaining about standing in line for free alcohol at a free show.

Defining SXSW: Austin’s 25-year-long love-hate relationship

SXSW is a jack-of-all-trades festival with portions dedicated to film, technology, music and smaller subsets dedicated to fashion, concert posters and comedy. There’s also an overarching focus on getting as day-drunk as humanly possible.

SXSW is both a free-for-all party and networking/marketing industry event that somehow caters equally to both big-shot businessmen and unwashed college kids. It is possibly the only event where in a 10-day period you can both hear the founder of TOMS Shoes talk about his long-term vision to expand the buy-one-give-one model and watch the lead singer of a punk band punch a woman in the face. It is a city-swallowing event that dumps hundreds of thousands of people into Austin’s small downtown area and divides Austinites. Read the rest of this entry »

All the #SXSWIN fit to print

Posted by teibs On March - 22 - 2010

win@ZackTeibloom I tried my hand at creating a hash tag for SXSW in Austin this week. Any time I came across a tweet that looked like a win, I’d slap a #SXSWIN tag on it and RT it. A lot of win happened this week. Collectively we stole pop tarts from passed out dudes with moustaches, harassed Micha Barton, had a lot of free alcohol, loaded up on wristbands, found out some musicians were as cool as we’d always hoped, got things out of our orifices, had some more free drinks, crashed a few parties, discovered shows in parking lots and found things and ourselves along the way. It was SXSW 2010. A week full of WIN.

  • @fluxistrad I don’t think there is a single photo of me from last week. Whew!
  • @jennifersinski: Woke up to a living room of dudes with mustaches. Stole a Pop Tart from them.
  • @ddmauch: Headed to Emo’s for my 1st day of#sxsw – gza, fucked up,japandroids, & free beer? Why ever leave Austin?
  • @FestivalCrasherstubbs lineup is walkmen, broken bells, Sharon jones and dap kings, spoon. @McGonigleATX
  • @FestivalCrasherWhen Sharon jones kicks her shoes off, it’s so on. She found a deep pocket and got funky all over it.

How Festival Line-up Announcements Should Be

Posted by teibs On February - 10 - 2010

announcement@ZackTeibloom Yesterday’s Bonnaroo announcement was a nightmare. Even if you don’t run a music blog. First they put it in the hands of the artist, so you had to have a dozen tabs open to see when Dave Matthews was going to put up a video or if @wearephoenix would tweet about it. It was exhausting. It was unnecessary. It made us spend the day on MySpace. Gross. We can do better than that.

Here’s what I’m proposing: A one-hour prime time announcement for each of the major destination festivals with live bands and video montages. You’re intrigued, aren’t you? Read the rest of this entry »

Kanye and the best hip-hop show of my life

Posted by teibs On March - 22 - 2009

kanyez@ZackTeibloom I “worried about the wrong things. The wrong things.” I was so wrapped up in wondering how late Kanye would be and how awful he’d sound singing without his vocoder that I forgot how incredible he can be. I expected the worst.

I forgot Kanye could “make it good. Make it hood. Make ya cum. Make ya go.” It was everything a hip-hop show should be:

Amazing guest stars making the most of their time on stage, Kanye deferring attention from himself and a constant trade-off as superstars put it all out there in a true showcase of talent.

So, who did Kanye pull out of his arsenal Saturday night at Levi’s/Fader Fort? Simply everyone. Read the rest of this entry »

Metallica: The Worst Kept Secret in Rock

Posted by teibs On March - 22 - 2009

metallicakirk@ZackTeibloom It was the worst kept secret of the festival. The Guitar Hero Metallica showcase at Stubbs was just a front for a performance from the Metallica themselves, the worst kept secret in rock.

Metallica is the only band in history to have five consecutive albums debut at number one on the Billboard top 200. With over 50 million albums sold, they topped the charts once again with Death Magnetic, which stayed on top for three straight weeks.

Lead singer James Hetfield enjoyed being too big for Stubbs, which only holds 2,200 people, just a fraction of the stadiums Metallica has filled for over 20 years. “We’re a young band from Norway and we want to get signed” Hetfield said in an admittedly weak Norwegian accent.

As comedian Todd Barry said on stage the next night, “You think the guys in Metallica saw the word BBQ on their tour schedules and got a little confused?” Read the rest of this entry »

Friday night was just right @SXSW

Posted by teibs On March - 21 - 2009

metallicas@ZackTeibloom Another night of perfect timing. I didn’t get to the festival until 5:30, but I made up for lost time. I stumbled into a face-melting extravaganza at a tiny stage where J Mascis was sitting in with a band I’ve never heard of.

They sounded like The Hue likes to dream they’ll one day sound. 45 minutes of uninterrupted vocal free madness that rocked too much for one hand. The crowd was simply stunned.

I moved over to the Fader Fort Levi party where I accidentally saw Tinted Windows, a band I’d been insanely curious about. This “super group” features James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins and Taylor Hanson of, yes, Hanson. Shockingly good. Chalk it up to repetition theory. Read the rest of this entry »

december@ZackTeibloom I’m a sucker for bands playing albums in their entirety, but I can’t stand The Decemberists’ lead singer Colin Meloy’s voice.

I’d heard The Hazards of Love was a sprawling concept album and figured I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see it performed in its entirety the day after it was released.

Could the addition of My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden bolster the whiny Meloy enough to make it a classic show like NPR hoped when they streamed it live? Almost. Read the rest of this entry »

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