I have finished the first two days at SXSW Music! Here is what I did on both days!
Today was a lot of fun going to panels and seeing a lot of bands. I started the day off with a panel dedicated to preserving the legacy of Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. I grew up listening to the Grateful Dead and seeing how jerrygarcia.com and Jerry’s daughter Trixie are introducing Jerry and his music to a younger generation was really neat! On jerrygarcia.com, you can read Jerry’s history, read about his guitars, look at set lists and even reconnect with people you met at different concerts. Jerry and his songs are truly timeless and everyone should at least take a listen to some of his work.
I also went to see Niel Young speak about his new MP3 device called Pono, which brings the sound of an MP3 up to studio quality. During his speech, Niel argued that the sound quality of the normal MP3 is diminished, so releasing a player like Pono would lead people to have a more emotional and much more fuller experience with music. Niel also showed a video he had shot recording different bands reactions to the new player. All of the musicians, including members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dave Matthews Band, all said that Pono blew them away with how much the regular music fan was missing by listening to a normal MP3. A Kickstarter has been started to promote the project, so I hope for Niel that it is successful.
I ended the day with watching Coldplay at The Moody Theatre. I really enjoyed it, and while I had to watch the show through the live streaming on iTunes since I missed the lottery entry, it was still awesome to see anyway even if it was through a computer screen. Hopefully next time I can see them in person! If you haven’t headed over to the Live Shows page, you can read my review of the show there.
Today was a lot of fun going to panels and seeing a lot of bands. Today I went to a panel about Paul Williams who started a magazine called Crawdaddy! several years before Rolling Stone. It was great hearing about Paul’s career and his love of music and writing. After that I had a few hours to kill, so I headed over to 6th street to see what bands were playing. I first headed over to Maggie Mae’s where I saw a horrible band who shouldn’t quit their day job. The sound was horrible and the band wasn’t much better. They never announced their name or any of their songs. So I left half way through their set and went to the Nook where I discovered Matt Stansberry and the Romance from Oklahoma City. They are a 10 piece band (complete with horns) with an R&B sound, mixed with some jazz. They really got the crowd going and the place was packed. Unfortunately, they are heading back to Oklahoma tomorrow, but hopefully they will come back to Austin soon!
A few hours later I went to a panel about the album review and the internet and what other writers are doing to keep the review a relevant area of music. I certainly got some great ideas for the site! Lastly, while I was talking to some people I met, Christopher Drew from Never Shout Never walked right past me. It was definitely a “wow!” moment for me! On to Day 3!