by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
The final entry of my SXSW coverage went online at thereader.com yesterday. You can read it right here. It features Cate Le Bon, Protomartyr, EMA, Angel Olson, Eros & the Eschaton, Urge Overkill and Mark Kozelek.
For those who missed the earlier posts, here they are, in order:
As for the photos from SXSW, simply scroll down and see all four days worth of images, posted on Lazy-i.com.
It’s good to be back in Omaha.
Throughout the festival, there was a lot of talk about the “commercialization” of SXSW, specifically centered around the exclusive showcases for mainstream acts like Lady Ga Ga and various hip-hop icons. There may be truth to the claims, but I couldn’t tell you because I don’t go to SXSW to see mainstream pop stars. SXSW didn’t feel much different than the first time I went in 2009. Same crowds, same chaos (except this year when a drunk murdered innocent bystanders).
For the first time ever I didn’t step foot in Mohawk or Stubb’s during the entire festival. Mohawk was beset with marathon-long lines every time I walked past it. As was Stubb’s, though to be honest, Stubb’s is a lousy place to see a band at SXSW — it’s hard to get anywhere near the stage unless you show up hours in advance, and who wants to waste an afternoon waiting in line outside of Stubb’s?
Another criticism thrown at SXSW is that it no longer has the ability to break an unknown independent band. But did it ever? Most bands that perform in Austin already have label deals and have done moderate touring or else they wouldn’t have been selected by the SXSW star chamber selection committee. It is what it is. As Mark Kozelek said during his set last Friday night, there are two types of bands who come to SXSW: The ones that are thrilled to be there, and the one’s that can’t figure out how they got talked into coming back. I saw plenty of both…
Will I be coming back next year? I’m not as certain as I was when I returned from Austin in 2012. The whole routine is beginning to grow old. And the festival itself seems to be flattening out. As we drove to the Austin airport, our cab driver told me he thought there were a lot fewer people in Austin this year than last year, for both the Music and the Interactive conferences. Maybe it’s time SXSW got back to its roots, though I doubt that’ll happen.
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I’ll be enjoying a pint of Guinness at The Dubliner this afternoon. You should join me.
As for music, the Sweatshop Gallery will be hosting London’s Fat Whites tonight. Joining them is Skeleton Man, Telepathy Problems. and Sam Martin. $5, 10 p.m.
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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
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