Archive for SXSW

Video Du Jour: Rick Springfield

Posted in Rock Moment, SXSW with tags , on April 3, 2013 by 30daysout

We’re taking a little time off from the blog so we can get caught up in our day jobs. We will drop by occasionally in the next week or so with some good stuff.

Today let’s go back to SXSW, with an acoustic performance by rocker Rick Springfield. He played at the 2013 Southwest Invasion at SXSW on the roof of Whole Foods Market, presented by Quantum Collective, Amazon MP3, and IROCKE.

Rick Springfield official web site

More videos at IROCKE


Video Du Jour: The Mavericks

Posted in Rock Moment, SXSW with tags , , , on March 27, 2013 by 30daysout
Mavericks Waterloo

The Mavericks, partyin’ in the parking lot at Waterloo Records.

More stuff from SXSW: The Mavericks, a country rock band fronted by Raul Malo, have a new album out – In Time is their first studio work in about a decade. It’s heavy on the melodic, danceable stuff for which they are best known.

We caught their free set during SXSW at Waterloo Records. They played acoustic, and they quickly turned the record store parking lot into a party zone. Here’s “Back In My Arms Again,” from the new album.  Thanks to headonfire1105 for loan of the video.

The Mavericks official web site

Video Du Jour: Iggy & the Stooges

Posted in Rock Moment, SXSW with tags , , , on March 22, 2013 by 30daysout

We learned a lot of things at this recent SXSW music event: you spend more time walking from venue to venue and standing in line, than you do actually hearing music. If there is a huge, famous act playing during SXSW, you probably won’t get in to see them – unless you have connections. But actually, we knew both of those years ago. It doesn’t deter one’s fun at SXSW, at the very least.

And the other thing we learned: as soon as Iggy Pop leaves the stage after a show, he gets into a car to go away. And he doesn’t even bother to put on a shirt! We caught his exit from the Mohawk club after Iggy and the Stooges’ SXSW show. Here’s a new song from that show, “Burn.”

Thanks to freddycannonII for loan of the video.

Video Du Jour: Vampire Weekend

Posted in new, SXSW with tags , on March 21, 2013 by 30daysout

It’s going to take a few days (weeks?) to flush this year’s SXSW out of our systems, so please bear with us. On the plus side, much of that involves us sharing new music we heard at the event.

One of the official events was a Day Stage where invited acts could perform short sets for conference attendees. One of the acts playing was Vampire Weekend, which hasn’t appeared in public for about a year. They performed a five-song set that included a new tune, ‘Unbelievers,” from the new album Modern Vampires of the City, due May 7.

Bonus: “A-Punk”

Vampire Weekend official web site

SXSW Day Three: I’ve Done Everything For You

Posted in SXSW, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 16, 2013 by 30daysout
Rick Springfield web

Rick Springfield, lookin’ good at age 63.

Friday is usually the craziest day of the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas. By this time, any rational plan or schedule has gone out the window as one gets caught up in the hurricane of music, madness and sweaty humanity.

We had the noblest of intentions to serve you, dear reader, on Day Three by volunteering for sea duty aboard the U.S.S. Lone Star Riverboat, a party that was to be regaled by the metal band Goatwhore. But alas, as we approached the dock along Austin’s tranquil Lady Bird Lake (actually an easygoing reservoir of the usually fast-rushing Colorado River), we saw that about 500 other intrepid souls had the same idea.

The crowd’s color of choice for t-shirts, body ink and Death Metal was black – for the next few hours these would be our people. But a deck hand for the Boatwhore cruise, apparently looking for curvy cruise mates, strolled to our part of the line and told us: “There is no way you’re getting on the boat. About 18,000 people signed up for this, and it holds only 90 people.”

Blue Sky Riders

The photogenic Blue Sky Riders, from left: Loggins, Middleman and Burr.

And so our ship sailed, with us still standing on dry land. Passengers and crew sailed off into the Texas night, dancing under the stars to the roar of Goatwhore. We hope and pray they made it safely back to shore.

The day was not without its pleasures, and surprises. Atop the sunny and breezy patio of the big Whole Foods Market flagship, people nibbled on vegan tacos and sipped coconut water while listening to a decidedly mellow lineup of musicians. Then, a last-minute addition: Rick Springfield.

Lookin’ good at age 63, Springfield busted out of an L.A. jail last week and performed with Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players at a big show on Thursday evening. He apparently wanted to play a little more, so this short set would be solo acoustic.

The crowd’s color of choice for t-shirts, girlfriends and recyclable totes was pastel – and for the next 20 minutes this would be 1981 all over again. Springfield flailed energetically on his guitar and invited the crowd to sing along on “I’ve Done Everything For You” and “Love Somebody.”

He even played one from his new album Songs For The End of the World, a bit of anxiety called “I Hate Myself,” which of course he also turned into another singalong.

And then, “Jessie’s Girl.” How can you resist? SING ALONG! “Lovin’ him with that body/I just know it!

At this point you may be wondering: Why would someone like Rick Springfield appear at SXSW, which is designed to showcase and break out new artists (and suck up to superstars)? Well, SXSW is also a good vehicle for established artists to play and get their new projects in front of audiences and hopefully, get their careers back on the rails again. With that short acoustic blast on Thursday, Springfield may not have propelled himself back to the top of the charts but he got his name on the minds of a few hundred people (and in front of you, dear reader).

Right up next was another act, Blue Sky Riders. A Nashville trio playing smooth country pop, the band consists of husband-wife Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman, both country hitmakers. The third voice belongs to Kenny Loggins, who divorced from Jim Messina in the 1970s to become King of the 1980s Soundtracks.

The Mavericks 4

Raul Malo, center, rouses The Mavericks on the outdoor Waterloo Records stage.

BSR sailed into “I’m A Rider (Finally Home),” the parenthetical title track from their debut album. Uptempo tunes like “Just Say Yes” and “You’re Not The Boss Of Me” went down well with Middleman’s ballad “Little Victories.” The voices blended seamlessly, making a musical meld slick enough to slide painlessly into country and adult contemporary playlists. The breeze wafted BSR’s delicacies like dandelion florets, away from the Whole Foods patio and across busy Lamar Street where yet another resurrection was about to take place.

The Mavericks, also a slick country rock outfit, played Waterloo Records’ outdoor stage behind the new In Time, their first studio album in a decade. The band played acoustically, accompanied by mariachi horns, two accordions and the soaring tenor of front man Raul Malo. The Tex-Mex menu included “Back In Your Arms Again,” “Dance In The Moonlight” and “Come Unto Me,” all from the new work.

There were a lot of people standing in the afternoon sun, so Malo kept the party going with an extended run-through of the band’s biggest hit, “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down.” Malo thanked everyone for coming out, and said it was cool to be playing at a real, live record store. “Help ’em out, because they’re really hurting,” he said of record stores in general. “Frankly, I’m tired of buying all my music at Walmart.”

St Paul and the Broken Bones 2

Paul Janeway, right, fronts St. Paul and the Broken Bones’ soul revue.

We did see some worthy new talent: St. Paul and the Broken Bones, a white-boy soul/R&B unit from Birmingham, Alabama, fronted by Paul Janeway. Screaming and shouting the soul like James Brown was his babysitter, Janeway ripped through a set of Southern R&B that went down well with the morning’s first tacos. His closing punch of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, then a selection from the songbook of Tom Waits, was mighty fine.

Today (Saturday) is the final official day of SXSW, and the day when all of the week’s rumors come to roost. This we know – Justin Timberlake is playing someplace tonight, as are the Smashing Pumpkins and John Fogerty. Vampire Weekend shows off its new material this afternoon at the Austin Convention Center, a whole bunch of hip-hoppers are here and the 1,200-person-capacity La Zona Rosa club hosts an artist currently known as Prince. Hoo boy.

Check out SXSW 2013 photos on our Flickr page

SXSW Day Two: America(na)’s Favorite Indie Record Label

Posted in SXSW with tags , , , , , , on March 15, 2013 by 30daysout
Richard Thompson 3

Richard Thompson played songs from his new album.

Gotta tell you – the weather’s great here in Austin, Texas. Thursday was a bright, sunny spring day that topped out at about 80 degrees. And it was too nice outside to stay cooped up at all the official events of South by Southwest (SXSW) so we played a little hooky.

We did our official bit by attending Dave Grohl’s keynote address but the sunshine streaming through the glass at the Austin Convention Center was just too alluring. So we split, and stumbled upon something really great.

It was an outdoor party by the New West Records label at Threadgills, a restaurant built on the site of the old Armadillo World Headquarters and run by some of the same people. New West showed off some old and new members of its artists’ roster.

Austin Lucas

Austin Lucas is the one with the guitar.

New West has been in business since 1997, when founder Cameron Strang signed Billy Joe Shaver, Delbert McClinton and the great Austin musician Stephen Bruton. In the years since its inception, New West has found a place in the hearts of lovers of roots music, as it has signed legends like Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle, John Hiatt, the Old 97s, Ian Hunter, Dwight Yoakam and many more.

Strang has since left, and partner George Fontaine Sr. is now the label’s president. We didn’t catch up with Fontaine Sr., but we managed to corner George Fontaine Jr., who also works at New West and runs Normaltown Records, an affiliated label.

“We want to bring people quality music and quality artists,” said George Jr. “We had been known for signing more heritage artists, but in recent years we have signed some new artists and hopefully build them up to be the next generation of Steve Earles and John Hiatts.”

Some of those new names performed at the party. Austin Lucas showed off his folk/bluegrass lineage with some fine tales of sin and hellfire, and history and death. We got off to the steel guitar-and-twang of Daniel Romano, a Normaltown artist who has a Gram Parsons vibe and the straightest looking band this side of Merle Haggard’s Strangers.

John Hiatt greeted everyone with a short solo set, kicking off with “Thing Called Love,” which Bonnie Raitt turned into a thing called a hit back in 1989. He got around to a new tune from an album he’s working on, which he promised would be out around the beginning of next year.

New West has had great success with the “roots” artists but Fontaine Jr. said the label’s on the lookout for artists that will expand the range past a strictly Americana category. “We have really broad tastes. We have a number of different people that make up the A&R team and everyone likes different stuff,” he said. “What we’re doing now is seeking artists who write their own songs and have that unexplainable, intangible quality to them.”

John Hiatt

John Hiatt, relaxed and acoustic.

One of those artists is Ronnie Fauss, a Dallas-based singer. He was playing an in-store set at Houston’s Cactus Music that Fontaine Sr. attended. “I was doing a cover of a Slobberbone (a North Texas band who was on New West) song and (Fontaine) came up after the show and told me how much he liked it and how he signed them and worked as their A&R guy,” said Fauss. “We got to talking and hit it off immediately. A year later I signed and a year after that my record (I Am The Man You Know I’m Not) came out.”

Max Gomez is another new artist on New West. “Two years ago I went to SXSW on a whim and played a little dive called the Chuggin’ Monkey. I played my whole set to 20 people who were there and during my last song in walked a guy named Gary Briggs. About six months later we’re talking about making records and it’s a dream come true and I couldn’t be happier about how I got to make it,” said Gomez.

Steve Earle is the pattern, and his new album The Low Highway (out April 16) has Fontaine Jr. excited, as does the recent signing of Austin singer/songwriter Patty Griffin. Will New West also sign Griffin’s new husband and “driver” (guy named Robert Plant)? “Ah, that would be nice,” Fontaine said.

New West has a Plant associate – Buddy Miller, who co-produced and played on the ex-Zep’s last studio album Band of Joy. Miller, a great singer and songwriter and a shockingly good guitarist, is promoting the new album Buddy and Jim, a collaboration with veteran Nashville singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale.

The Buddy and Jim band easily stole the show at the New West party, mixing some rousing originals with well-chosen covers including “Down South In New Orleans” (Johnnie and Jack) and the rockabilly stomper “The Wobble” (by Jimmy McCrackin). The originals rocked, too: “I Lost My Job of Loving You” and especially “Vampire Girl” featured some sizzling guitar from Miller.

Lauderdale Miller 1

Jim Lauderdale, left, and Buddy Miller.

More great guitar work came next, from one of the greatest guitarists ever. Richard Thompson, who many people feel could be second greatest British rock guitar player, played tunes from his new Electric. And electric they were – from the Celtic stomp of “Sally B” to the rocking “Good Things Happen To Bad People,” to the just great tunes “Salford Sunday” and “Stoney Ground.”

Austin is just the place for this all to happen for New West. The label has a very successful series, “Live in Austin TX,” which features performances from the venerable TV series “Austin City Limits.” Although the time for introducing new performances has run out, New West is reissuing some of the old performances on vinyl and as CD/DVD combo packs.

Easily the most successful release New West has issued is kind of odd: it’s only the second movie soundtrack offered by the label, and it doesn’t feature too many artists on New West. It’s the Crazy Heart soundtrack, issued in 2010 and sent into the stratosphere by the Oscar-winning song “The Weary Kind” by Ryan Bingham.

“When we agreed to put it out it had been shopped to every major label. No one even knew if the movie would see the light of day,” said George Fontaine Jr. “Then Fox Searchlight bought the movie and the offer came across Cameron Strang’s desk to do the soundtrack and he jumped on it.

“Buddy Miller was involved in some of the producing. The late Stephen Bruton, who was a friend of Cameron’s, was sort of the musical inspiration and wrote some songs himself and coached Jeff Bridges throughout the movie. So it sort of made sense that it came to us. An Oscar also helps.”

Check out our SXSW 2013 photos on our Flickr photo page

SXSW Day One: If You Look For It, (Maybe) They Will Come

Posted in SXSW with tags , , , on March 15, 2013 by 30daysout
Des Barres 1

Michael Des Barres was a rock and roll superhero.

Finally hitting the streets of Austin for the sprawling South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival is a relief of sorts, because the machinery of fun is finally set into motion. One may have a plan, or a schedule, and of course that just gets thrown out the window once the music starts flowing from all directions.

We tried an experiment of sorts on our first full day of SXSW: we thought we’d stick in one general place and see what would come to us. We chose a two-or-three block area along the city’s West Sixth Street, a decent distance away from the epicenter of madness closer to downtown. An open-air club called the Dogwood and its next door neighbor, the Molotov, served as our ground zero for Wednesday music, with a side trip to the great Waterloo Records in-store (actually outdoors) stage a block or so away.

The Austin-based soul singer Nakia (yeah, the Team Cee Lo guy from the first season of “The Voice”) was not a bad way to start the day. Wheeling through some horn-drenched covers (correction: NOT covers – see the comments), he drew an enthralled crowd off the street who appreciated his histrionics. Nakia has a wonderful, soulful style and we thought his was going to be the best voice we’d hear all day. We were wrong.



Then came the full-frontal rock and roll onslaught of Michael Des Barres, the actor/singer who fronted Power Station for a while back in the 1980s. Des Barres is an old-school rock guy. As he explained to us, “The best rock is below-the-waist music,” says Des Barres. “Plain and simple, rock and roll is a synonym for f***ing. It’s not a synonym for meditation … it has to get your body moving and your fluids flowing.”

And that he did, with a crack Austin pickup band that Des Barres admitted he had rehearsed with only once before. Rolling in to “Carnaby Street,” his rock manifesto and title track for his latest album, the Marquis blew our hair back with a short but intense (and loud!) set.

It all rolled to a stop with Des Barres’ own “My Baby Saved My Ass,” mixed into a medley with “I Don’t Need No Doctor,” and a tantalizing taste of “Get It On (Bang A Gong)” done up Power Station style. Des Barres made good on his promise: his set hit hard below the belt and for the record, our ears are still ringing.

Upon strolling next door to the Dogwood, we encountered the great Texas singer/songwriter Billy Joe Shaver on the sidewalk. Billy Joe, carrying his University of Texas tote bag with god knows what inside, said he was going to push up his short set to fill in for the scheduled act who was stuck in traffic.

Lucky us. Billy Joe’s set was nothing but classic: kicking off with “Heart of Texas,” he then rolled into “Georgia On A Fast Train” then slowed it down a bit with “Honky Tonk Heroes.” With the audience in the palm of his three-fingered right hand, Shaver unleashed the gorgeous “Live Forever” before ending on a up note with “Old Chunk of Coal” and the singalong “Try and Try Again.”

Billy Joe’s an American songwriting treasure; at age 73, he’s in the twilight of his epic career so catch this great performer live if you get a chance.

We also liked a raucous country rock unit, American Aquarium, out of Raleigh, North Carolina. They had a nice throwback sound reminiscent of early Steve Earle, or the Gin Blossoms. We couldn’t pick out any of their song titles but it all went down as smoothly as the day’s third-through-fifth beers.

Then, back to the Molotov for a surprise: a pop-up set by the great Raul Malo, frontman for the newly revitalized band The Mavericks. Raul told us he’s going to play with the Mavericks today (Thursday) and Friday in Austin, but his little set at the Molotov consisted of some old rock covers designed to showcase his utterly out-of-this world voice.
Raul Malo 1

Raul Malo, right, with the great Danny B. Harvey.

He rocked “Shake, Rattle and Roll” then put a velvety texture on the evening with a beautiful take on Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou.” A few songs later, he was off into the night – and we are going to try really hard to catch The Mavericks, who incidentally have a great new album, In Time.

It was fairly jarring to step over to the Waterloo Records stage for an overcrowded performance by the rap act Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, currently riding the hit “Thrift Shop.” Starting 15 minutes late, the rappers entered to the ponderous “Thus Spoke Zarathustra/2001 A Space Odyssey/Elvis” intro.

Macklemore mumbled a few unintelligible words and then the sound system blew. After a few minutes delay, they came back and said “let’s pretend this never happened. Should we start the show over?” Oh, please do.

So they start over and stumble through their first tune which received less than enthusiastic response. With their 45-minute allotment quickly draining, they went to their smash “Thrift Shop.” Halfway through a trip to Goodwill, the sound system blew again and the enormous crowd that had been standing in the hot sun in the parking lot, on the street, across the street, on top of buildings and anyplace else they could find, were restless and fed up.

Soon as the hit was over most of the crowd dispersed. On the way out, one guy said it best: “I can’t get those 25 minutes back.”

Check out our SXSW 2013 photos on our Flickr photo page


Billy Joe Shaver, left, is an American treasure.

SXSW Keynote Speech: Dave Grohl

Posted in SXSW with tags , , , , , , on March 15, 2013 by 30daysout

Grohl 1

It all started with a riff: the monster jam that gives life to a great rock song. Dave Grohl, the Nirvana basher and Foo Fighters front man, traced his development as a rock and roller Thursday as he delivered the keynote address to a huge crowd at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music conference.

In Grohl’s case, it was “Frankenstein,” the thunderous 1973 instrumental hit. “I have to thank Edgar Winter for allowing that song to be on the 1975 compilation Blockbuster, by Ktel,” Grohl said. “My sister and I took that album home and we played it over and over … (the song) was an instrumental, no singing, but what I heard were the voices of each musician through their instruments, the sound of people playing music with other people.”

“Frankenstein” gave life to something dormant in Grohl, which was central to his theme on Thursday. “The musician comes first,” he said up front. “Nothing is as important as the musician.”

Bashing on a cheap Sears guitar in his bedroom, Grohl wrote songs about his life, his school, his dog and his dad. “Music instantly became my obsession,” he said. “It was my religion.”

On the podium at the Austin Convention Center, Grohl also demonstrated how he created songs in his bedroom. He inserted a cassette into a recorder and played a short riff on a guitar. He took the cassette and put it in another player, then taped his percussion over the guitar part onto a second cassette.

“I was multi-tracking,” he laughed. “To my chagrin, it wasn’t Sgt. Pepper’s. But I did it all by myself – it was my voice, all mine.”

Another seminal event for Grohl was attending a Fourth of July punk concert in Washington, D.C., on the steps of the Lincoln memorial, when he was a teenager. Thousands upon thousands of angry young people screamed at the walls of power until the cops finally moved in.

“It was a f***ing riot, and I was in heaven,” Grohl said. “It revealed to me that this music had the power to create an emotion, to start a riot and a revolution, or to save a young boy’s life. I knew I wanted to be somebody’s Edgar Winter, I wanted to be someone’s Naked Raygun.”

He was playing in bands, living in Hollywood with a group of female mud wrestlers (“That’s totally another keynote address,” Grohl said) when Dave heard the five words that changed his life: “Have you heard of Nirvana?” Grohl said, “They had Kurt and some songs, but no drummer.”

Grohl specs

Grohl hooked up with Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic in Seattle, and they started working out songs and practicing in an old barn. “What we were doing was speaking to each other without words. Our three voices resulted in a sound that caught the ears of other people,” Grohl said.

Courted by record companies, the band found themselves in the New York City office of a label bigwig. “What do you guys want?” asked the big shot. Cobain calmly looked back at the man and replied, “We want to be the biggest band in the world.”

Grohl said, “Think about what music was like at that moment in 1990. The Top 10 songs of that year included people like Phil Collins, Sinead O’Connor, Madonna, Mariah Carey … and the No. 1 song for that year was ‘Hold On’ by Wilson Phillips! How in the world did Kurt think we could even make a ripple in that atmosphere? How were we going to compete with Wilson F***ing Phillips?”

But, like those days in his bedroom, Grohl realized his band was being left to its own devices. They went into the dingy Sound City studios in Van Nuys to start laying down tracks, far away from the watchful gaze of the suits. “Sound City was a shithole with brown shag carpet on the walls, and this couch they’d been renting for 10 years!” Grohl said. “But that old Neve board captured something … a sound … it was something we’d been waiting our whole lives for, for this music to be captured on tape.”

It would become Nevermind. “We made that ripple!” Grohl exclaimed. “We didn’t think – nobody thought – though, that ripple would become a tidal wave.

“I like to think the world heard three human beings, finding their voices and putting them proudly on display. It was honest, it was pure and it was real,” Grohl said. “No one had told me what to play … and now, no one would tell me what to play ever again.”

But it all crashed in 1994, when Cobain committed suicide. “I was lost, and I just quit,” Grohl said. “The music had betrayed me, I felt. I turned off the radio and put away the drums … it just hurt too much.”

Eventually, the old feelings stirred back to life. Grohl remembered a day long ago, July 4 in 1982 when he and thousands of young punks rioted at the feet of Lincoln. “I felt it again, so I booked six days of studio time to record some of my own songs,” he said.

Grohl played every instrument on this new recording project, fueled by coffee and the revitalized passion to create music again. “I was the same one-man band who made songs back in my bedroom 20 years earlier,” he said. “But instead of songs about my dog and my bike and my dad, these songs were about starting over. Well, maybe a few were about my dad … I was still the same kid I was at 13 years old.”

This would become the Foo Fighters. “I had to do this all by myself. I was left alone to my own devices, and I found my voice again. There was no right or wrong, it was pure, it was real and it was all mine.”

Grohl said this is a story he seeks to tell in his film directorial debut, Sound City. The feature documentary was showcased at SXSW and Grohl brought his Sound City Players (including members of the Foo Fighters, Novoselic of Nirvana and John Fogerty, Stevie Nicks and others) played in Austin the night of Grohl’s address.

“In the movie we tell the story of this magical shithole that gave birth to great and classic albums by Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Rick Springfield and so many others,” he said. “It’s where we created Nevermind and started our own little revolution. But it’s also about the human element of creating music … it always comes right back to that.”

SXSW: Time for the Craziness – and the Commercials

Posted in SXSW with tags , , , , , on March 12, 2013 by 30daysout

Yeah, there really is a six-story-high Doritos stage that looks pretty much like this.

Although the big South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival starts today (Tuesday), we won’t have sneakers on the ground in Austin, Texas, until Wednesday. That’s okay – we won’t miss much.

Truth is, even if you don’t make it to Austin at all this week (and that’s probably a good thing, because Austin is kind of at capacity) you probably won’t miss much either, because some very big companies have stepped up to help you keep abreast of all the cool stuff happening at SXSW.

For example, one of the most noticeable landmarks in downtown Austin last year was a 62-foot-tall stage rigged up to look like a really huge Doritos vending machine. It’s back this year, and in addition to helping hawk all sorts of Frito Lay products, the stage will also host some cool music.

On Thursday (March 14), the Doritos #Boldstage will host a special concert by LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Ice Cube and Doug E. Fresh. But the lineup is the only thing that’s old school: fans can interact with the show by using social media. Doritos will allow fans to choose the opening act, as well as special lighting effects and even LL’s set list.

Concertgoers are encouraged to start making suggestions about what they would like to see at the show by using the hashtag #BoldStage on Twitter prior to the main event. The concert will also stream online at Doritos’ Facebook page.

Perhaps you’ve mellowed a bit since high school, and instead you enjoy some soothing Americana music. Well, Austin’s venerable Waterloo Records is the place for you, with four days of “day parties” March 13-16 featuring live music from a great lineup of artists.


If you get lost, helpful signs like this remind you where you are.

If you’re into that Americana we mentioned above, Friday’s the day for you – the lineup includes the great Richard Thompson, Billy Bragg, The Mavericks and Emmylou Harris/Rodney Crowell. If you’re in the mood for a little more modern stuff, try Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Tegan and Sara on Wednesday, The Airborne Toxic Event on Thursday and The Zombies and Dawes on Saturday.

Click here to see Waterloo Records’ full in-store lineup, and while you’re there download a free digital sampler of artists performing there for SXSW.

One of the more exclusive parties each year is at a place called the Fader Fort, which is basically a big tent on Austin’s east side. The number of people lined up trying to get in is testimony to this party’s always-sturdy lineup. This year the Fort’s brought to us by The Fader blog and Converse and features acts like Sky Ferreira, French Montana, Delorean, Ra Ra Riot, The Afghan Whigs and Solange (Knowles), among others.

Click here to check out the full lineup for Fader Fort, then go to this place to watch the whole thing live on the internets.

The shoes/apparel company Vans is also a strong presence at SXSW every year, and this year the company is presenting a huge bill at The Mohawk club along Austin’s busy Red River Street.  The roster for the March 13 show includes Ghostface Killah, The Specials and Iggy and the Stooges, along with rising stars Japandroids join Middle Class Rut and Sky Ferreira. Check out the entire roster here, then tune in at the Vans SXSW site on March 13 for a webcast.

Pandora Radio and the TV show “The Voice” present the 2013 Pandora Discovery Den, with live streams of performances March 12-15. Artists include The Mavericks, The Lone Bellow, Surfer Blood, the Eagles of Death Metal and Third Eye Blind. Click here for a full lineup and to get hooked up with the live streams.


The official female uniform of SXSW.

Some other live streams: IROCKE features a full schedule of concerts including radio simulcasts from Austin’s KGSR-FM each morning, and Southern California’s KCRW-FM.

National Public Radio will offer streams of a number of events, including Dave Grohl’s keynote speech on March 14, and the official showcase on March 13 featuring Nick Cave, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Alt-J among others.

The über cool public radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle will offer live broadcasts from Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop (yes, a real bicycle shop) March 13-16 with acts including Robyn Hitchcock, Chelsea Light Moving (one of our bands to watch this year), Iron & Wine, Telekinesis, The Zombies (yes) and Ozomatli, among others.

And finally, Austin’s own KUTX-FM has an awesome lineup of artists performing each morning March 13-16.

So you don’t have time to watch/listen in real time. You can still score some great downloads from artists playing SXSW:

SXSW 2013 on BitTorrent: 7.39 GB of Free Music

NPR’s The Mix: The Austin 100

Don’t Mess With Texas: The Daily Rind’s SXSW 2013 Music Sampler

SPIN magazine’s 60-Track Mixtape of SXSW 2013’s Hottest Acts

HGTV/Paste SXSW 2013 Sampler

Finally, you’re actually going to be here in Austin for SXSW this week. But you got in a hurry, became a little too careless and forgot your camera.

Don’t worry, you can still use your iPhone for photos. They won’t be super sharp like the pictures you see in your favorite music magazines, but you can still snap a few to show the folks at home which acts you caught.

Our friend Art Meripol has been a professional photographer for more than three decades. The former Southern Living shooter got his start snapping rock concerts for newspapers in Arkansas and Texas back in the day, and he has some tips for instantly improving those iPhone photos:

1. The photo is taken the moment you let off the button, not when you push it. So to better time a shot keep your finger on the button and let off at the best moment.

2. Before shooting, gently touch your subject on the screen to focus and expose for that exact spot. You’ll see a quick pulsing box as you do that lets you know it’s done. Then let off the button.


Photo of Robert Earl Keen at John T. Floore Country Store, taken with my “eyePhone.” Should have gotten closer.

3. You can ‘lock’ the focus and exposure for your subject and then recompose a shot. When you touch the area you want to be correctly exposed and focused, keep your finger on it a bit longer until you see a second larger ‘pulsing’ box. You can then move the camera around for better composition and keep focus and exposure where you want it.

Lots of people use the Instagram app on their phones to shoot photos. However, Art isn’t a fan of Instagram for image filtering. “You end up with photos that look like everyone else’s,” he says.  “Too narrow a field.” Besides, Instagram wants you to edit a photo right then and there, which is inconvenient for location photography.

He uses Google’s Snapseed, which allows multiple ways to adjust an image depending on what look the photographer seeks. “That way my images don’t look like anyone else’s and thus stand out,” Art explains. “It takes some practice but it’s well worth it. And I can adjust with forethought at my leisure and just concentrate on shooting in the moment. I do use Instagram for sharing, not filtering or adjusting.”


iPhone photos taken in broad daylight look a lot better.

Now remember, when shooting with an iPhone (or “eyePhone” as Art calls it) you are going to need to get as close to the subject as you can. Wait for a peak movement or a pose to snap, to avoid blurring. And for gosh’s sake, put away the darn phone after a few snaps to enjoy the music and avoid irritating your fellow concertgoers. As Tom Morello said at SXSW last year: “Put away the cell phones and live in the moment.”

Good stuff. Check out Art Meripol’s online photography gallery, and his blog.

Check out our coverage on Popdose

Our special Flickr photo account for SXSW

SXSW Interview: Jim Lauderdale

Posted in SXSW with tags , , , on March 11, 2013 by 30daysout
Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller. Photo by Michael Wilson.

Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller. (Photo by Michael Wilson)

Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale have known each other for more than 30 years, and they frequently hang out both on- and offstage. Separately and together, they create country music of the highest pedigree. So whenever they want to tear into a wailer or a weeper – which is fairly often – it’s always good for the listener.

You can find some of these on Buddy and Jim (New West Records), the album collaboration between these two wonderfully talented music pros, and even more when the Miller-Lauderdale show comes to a stage near you.

Miller is a killer guitarist who’s toured with Elvis Costello, Steve Earle and Linda Ronstadt, and a hot producer for artists like Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and Robert Plant. Lauderdale has written hit songs for George Strait, the Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, George Jones and others.  Both together and separately, they have helped to lay the foundation for the Americana music movement and preserve everything that’s good about traditional country music.

Buddy and Jim are gearing up for a handful of shows at SXSW in Austin, both official showcases and unofficial side performances, the kind that tend to take place in parking lots and back yards.

“Those things (shows in parking lots) may be unassuming but often they’re the most memorable,” says Jim Lauderdale, who has played SXSW shows from the festival’s beginning. “I remember a few years ago I was there and kept hearing this great buzz about a new act – Norah Jones. And she was playing outside of a Starbucks!”

Lauderdale is stoked about his new collaboration with Buddy Miller and loves being out on the road with his 1353512832_21b8wghniih5longtime friend. “We’ve known each other for about 33 years and have been part of each others’ albums on and off for much of that time,” he says.

But when the time felt right for the two to do an official album collaboration, they charged full speed ahead. They wrote some songs and picked out some choice covers, then convened at Miller’s home studio to cut the entire endeavor in three days.

“Yeah, it’s kind of unheard-of to do it that way, but once we decided to do it and wrote some of the songs, everything else just kind of came together fairly seamlessly,” Lauderdale explains.

The album is rich in its variety: Johnnie and Jack’s “Down South In New Orleans” has a Cajun spice, the Mississippi Sheiks’ “Lonely One In This Town” is gutbucket country and Jimmy McCrackin’s “The Wobble” retains its rockabilly fireball scorch marks.

Even a reach like Joe Tex’s “I Want To Do Everything For You” works, with banjos replacing the soulful horns. Lauderdale reveals he and Miller didn’t have to bend that one too much, because it’s sort of in their DNA.

“Buddy and I have a certain thread in our tastes that includes soul, R&B, rock and other stuff – we love to sing and listen to all of that. Buddy has a rich background … as a young teenager he went to Woodstock and knew someone who worked at the Fillmore so he was able to record gigs by Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead … he’s totally unique with his background and abilities, which is probably why he turned out to be such a great producer.”

Lauderdale himself is no slouch in the crossover department – he has toured and recorded with Elvis Costello and Hot Tuna, as well as written songs with Robert Hunter, the Grateful Dead’s longtime lyricist. “I’ve been very fortunate to be able to work with Elvis, it was like a dream,” he says. “And Robert … when I was in high school I used to listen to (the Dead) so it’s hard to believe we got together. We have one album we’ve done (Carolina Moonrise, from 2012) and another one in the can, written with Robert and recorded with the North Mississippi All Stars, David Hood and Spooner Oldham.”

A few years ago Lauderdale met a young film student named Jeremy Dylan, who followed the singer around and filmed some shows and interviews. The result is a documentary, The King of Broken Hearts, which should be widely available soon.

“It’s been shown a few times, and I think he did a really good job,” Lauderdale says. “It’s hard for me to be objective because I’m watching myself but I think it came out really well.”