As you probably already know, SXSW 2012 is well underway. All eyes on our Austin this week, it seems everyone is here already or on the way. Last week began the annual film fest, which is now getting comparisons to Sundance. Everyone from hip-hop sensation Danny Brown to surf punk badboys FIDLAR to CNN are part of this year’s festivities so far. Even the three stars of Comedy Central’s hit comedy television series Workaholics will be making appearances. It truly is a unique experience.
It’s nearly impossible to be anywhere near downtown and not hear live music. It is impossible to find any part of the city not influenced by the fest. The state capitol and college town stand in stark opposition to the staunch, overly conservative nature of it’s civil and political leadership. There are countless parties, drinks, and live shows which are as diverse as the artists playing. The city has been invaded by photographers, publicists, groups, bloggers, journalists, musicians, media, and companies. No websites seem to agree on exactly how many bands will be here this week, but the guesstimates range from 1000-2000.
Jason and myself will be your eyes and ears into this wonderful and amazing experience. Jason lives in Austin, and I arrived yesterday. Jason saw 3 bands, and I was able to see two. You can listen to his experience here.
The first band that I watched during SXSW 2012 was the trio Yellow Ostrich. They played as part of an event called the Warby Parker Citizen’s Circus, which was free outside in a park. Approximately 150 of all ages were in attendance, including children and dogs. They just released their new record Strange Land last week, which is one of my early selections for potential best of the year. They began their set with their popular hit “Whale”, then continued by playing “I Got No Time For You”, “Daughter”, “The Shakedown”, “Mary”, and a few more. Their set lasted 30 minutes.
The second, and only other, live performance we observed was Nneka. The up and coming R&B artist just recently popped on my radar when a new staff member wanted to cover her concert for us. Her band consisted of herself and four others–there was a drummer, keyboard player, and then one guitarist and one bassist. One of the most engaging songs was one called “VIP (Vagabond In Power).
We walked around and waited, but unfortunately weren’t able to make it into any other shows. Plenty of time for plenty of shows the rest of the week!