Complaining about how SXSW has changed is kind of like complaining about the young money bankers who now live in the Kent St. high rises on Williamsburg’s waterfront. Yes it sucks, but we brought this on ourselves:
“Sorry I missed your SXSW showcase, I was at Kanye and Jay Z.” And people wonder why the music industry is totally fucked.
— Russ Bengtson (@russbengtson) March 13, 2014
What began as an event for independent musicians to attract industry attention is now a glut of brand sponsors, celebrities, and tech/film/art/food/music bonanzas vying for attention from people who may or may not be losing a food coma battle with a rack of BBQ ribs. At any given point in the next three days, at least 90 acts will be playing – which can make attending the festival a dubious pay off for small, unsigned acts. This is especially true for artists traveling from abroad (I’m looking atchu, Latin Americans), who have to deal with the expensive fees associated with visas – a requirement to perform at the festival. And, assuming great up-and-coming acts DO scrape the money together to make it to the festival (which they do, in droves), the sensory overload of a vagillion events competing for your attention makes it all too easy to wind up like Drew Millard over at Noisy, who yesterday published this handy guide for “How to Get Lost and Accomplish Nothing at SXSW“.
We don’t want you to suffer Drew’s fate. And since, aguafiestas griping aside, I like to think of myself as a glass half full kind of girl, I will now cease complaining about SXSW and instead provide you with a serious game plan for the next three days in Austin. Starting with today – a roadmap of Remezcla-approved events, a la orden:
Buscabulla @ Fader Fort
We’ve been Buscabulla fans since the jump, and after her recent win at the Garage Center/Converse “Get out of the Garage” competition, we’re betting a lot more people are going to know her name (it’s Raquel Berríos, for the record). A performance slot at Fader Fort was part of the prize she took home – this is a chance for all you non-Brooklyn dwellers to see the tropicalia-tinged songstress in action.
When: 1:00PM – 1:20PM
Where: The Fader Fort, 1101 E. 5th Street
What You Need to Get In: Free w/ RSVP
SXSW Interview: Ana Tijoux
Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux is making the rounds to promote her new album Vengo (dropping March 18th), including an upcoming show in SF. Presented by our friends at NPR Music’s Alt.Latino, this SXSW event will be a chance to see an intimate conversation with Tijoux about her varied influences (how often do you hear Andean music mixed with hip-hop?), and her musical evolution.When: 2:00PM – 3:00PM
Where: Austin Convention Center, Room 10B (500 E Cesar Chavez St)
What You Need to Get In: Music Badge, Platinum Badge, Artist Wristband
SXAmericas Showcases (8:00pm – 2:00am)
This year marks the debut of South by Américas (SXAmericas), a series of events to showcase Latino talent in music, tech & film. Special emphasis seems to have been placed on the tech events, since everyone is trying to figure out what to do with the data that keeps confirming how much we <3 internet (like the recent Pew Research Center study that found 80% of Latinos use social networking compared to 70% of non-Hispanic whites and 75% of blacks). But the tech portion of SXSW is over now, so whoops. Luckily, there are a bunch of intriguing music showcases, which include a mix of familiar names and, refreshingly, some people we’ve never heard of (the Colombia showcase!!).Sounds from Colombia – ALUVION / LosPetitFellas / Rancho Aparte
Speakeasy Sounds from Argentina – Federico Aubele / Alika & Nueva Alianza / Sobrenadar
Vulcan Gas Company
Sounds of Ibero-America – Nano Stern / Juan Perro / Daniel Drexler
Russian House Nacional Records – Nortec Collective / Fofe y Los Fetiches / Irene Díaz
Palm Door on Sixth Caradura/Tortilla Magazine – Rey Pila / Rebel Cats / Russian Red. (Note: you can also catch Russian Red in Chicago next week as part of the Tus Soni2 festival!)
Palm Door on Sixth Patio Indie Latin Showcase – Hablan por la Espalda / Atomix / Balancer / The Great Wilderness / Como Asesinar a Felipes / Vega
Hometown heroes Peligrosa are showing all the out of towners how Austin does it with a 5 day, 50+DJ extravaganza. Watch the video recap of Day 1 below if you need any convincing that this is the spot where everyone should be ending their night- although tbh hosting your party at a venue called “Chupacabra” was all the convincing I needed.
When: 10:00PM – 2:00AM
Where: Chupacabra Cantina (400 E. 6th St.)
What You Need to Get In: Nothing but your ID and a smile.
More recommendations for stuff tomorrow & Saturday coming soon – so line that stomach with Tums and gird your loins.