Tuesday, March 16, 2010

SXSW: I'll be there

If you'd like, check my SXSW preview that I did for the paper. It has features and schedules for every local band headed to Austin, an explanation of the coverage I'll be doing there and, for those headed to SXSW, some advice from past attendees.

Well, I start my journey to Austin tomorrow at 6 a.m. It will be my first time at SXSW and, I have to admit, it's a bit overwhelming (and not just the fact that I'll be waking up around 4 a.m. tomorrow... or the fact that I haven't packed yet... crap!).

Reviewing my schedule today and yesterday, I feel a little lost. There are hundreds (many estimate around 2,000) of bands there, hundreds of parties and showcases and just one of me. I have no idea how I'm going to pull this off. It's quite daunting. What if I miss someone? How early do I have to get in line to make it into a showcase?

On the other hand, the advice I'm getting from SXSW veterans is not to worry. Most everyone plays more than once, so if you miss someone, you'll be able to see them later. And everyone says that some of the best stuff you'll see all week are bands that you stumble upon, hearing their tones waft out onto Sixth Street or seeing a band at a day party while you wait for another to go onstage.

I wonder how many fans that I'll encounter during the festivities. The whole thing was really created so bands and other music industry folks could get together, so it doesn't really seem like it's for fans, or ever was. But I feel like there should be more access to this kind of stuff from fans. Your options are either a) watch all the coverage on the Web b) get a wristband as a resident of Austin c) buy a badge for $750 d) go down there without anything and hope you stumble on/into some cool stuff.

Here's hoping that I make at least some of the stuff that I want to see. Speaking of, I checked out a SXSW scheduling site to try to plan out my week on the recommendation of Tim McMahan.

You can check out my schedule, if you want. You'll notice that a lot of it is overlapping and it doesn't really cover a ton of groups. But it's more of a list of stuff I want to see, pointing me in several directions, should I need it. I basically don't expect to get into every party that I want to go to.

One of my goals is to go see as many non-Omaha bands as I can. It's not a slight against the area groups, but of the eight going (UUVVWWZ, Mynabirds, Little Brazil, Thunder Power, Brimstone Howl, Eagle Seagull, It's True, Digital Leather), they all play pretty actively around here and Lincoln. It's also my chance to see a lot of groups that don't/won't/haven't come to town.

Of those, here are some that I'm looking forward to seeing:
Free Energy
The xx
Miles B.A. Robinson
Titus Andronicus
Codeine Velvet Club
Miike Snow
Rogue Wave
Le Loup
Violent Soho
Broken Bells
Everybody Was In The French Resistance... Now!

I am tasked by the World-Herald with checking in with the local bands, so I will still be seeing a lot of them and doing some video interviews with groups while they're in Texas. You'll see those videos here and on Omaha.com.

A feature I'm really excited about is some guest blogs from Little Brazil. They'll be hitting me up with stuff while they do a little tour on their way down to Austin and while playing their SXSW showcases.

During this whole thing, I guess that I'll have to keep repeating a mantra: "It's going to be OK. You're in Austin surrounded by people like you. It's going to be OK. You're in Austin surrounded by people like you. It's going to be OK..."

* * *

In a nutshell, here's what you can expect from me while I'm down there:

Those video interviews with local bands I mentioned earlier.

Observations, stories and reviews from me AND guest blogs from Little Brazil throughout the week right here on Rock Candy
Nearly constant updates through my Twitter
A daily update in the World-Herald and Omaha.com, which will be different from what you see on the blog

* * *

Down in Austin this week? Want to meet up?

Not in Austin? Want to send me a band/taco stand recommendation?

Best way to get to me is by sending an e-mail: kevin.coffey@owh.com. I'll be checking it periodically while I'm at SXSW.

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