Don’t worry – everything fun is “on-brand”
Every March for ten days an international mob descends on Austin, Texas, to discuss the latest developments in technology, movies and music – and get fucked-up. Not necessarily at the same time of course, in fact each group finds its own nerding/freaking-out rhythm. Back when SXSW started ethos in 1987 it what all about music and the indie. These days every stage drips with big corporate branding. Well, the times, they are a’changin’.
Anton Teichmann and Sarah Shoucri report for Kaput file a critical report (with some euphoria thrown in for old time’s sake) from Austin, Texas.
Anton: So, this is the stage which everybody has been talking about for the last week or so. Why? Well, a ‘very big fast food company’ demanded did the band they’d booked – Ex Cops – play a showcase for free. The band then published an open letter pointing out that this was, well, a bit evil. Duly shamed, the big company decided to pay the bands after all. Rock’n’roll, eh?
Anton: Austin is not just booming because of South-By-Southwest. Here you see a huge luxury apartment project being thrown up on Rainy Street, which used to be home to the alternative to the festival’s more hectic main street on 6th …
Anton: Back in the day, the music did not start until Tuesday, but now it all kicks off from day one. Sometimes it’s hard to know who’s promoting whom. For example, at the PC Music Showcase, presented by Dailymotion and Boiler Room I found myself asking, who’s helping who here? Boiler Room … Dailymotion? Vice versa? Or the PC Music people, who serve-up their audience with another super-ironic EDM set in an over branded space – in essence distilling the spirit of SXSW in 2015.
Anton: One of the Sxsw highlights is always the “Fader Fort”. Something like a festival within the festival – this year with acts like Ghostface Killah, Migos, Shlohmo and more top secret headliners. The price to pay for that? You have to wait for hours to get your wristband to walk in.
Anton: This monday the first german acts arrived: here you see Vimes from Cologne and Magic Island from Berlin, whom both played the overcrowded Berlin Interactive Party.
Anton: SxSw and St. Patricks Day are somehow always happening at the same time. Not really a nice mixture of interests.
Anton: As always: the most fun you find at the DIY shows in the east end of Austin (=”East of the Highway”). This really bad photo has been shot at The Annex and shows the wonderful band J Fernandez from Chicago.
Sarah: Milky Chance from Germany! That shit got bro-y. Also, people love staring at them through their cell phones.
Sarah: Shura! That shit had a lot of hair tossing and salty corona beers.
Anton: The Wednesday did start with the Comeme crew taking over the c/o pop event at German Haus. From left to right: Lena Willikens, Matias Aguayo and Christian S.
Anton: The first highlight was the experimental Trap-set of Suicideyear (Software/Mexican Summer) at the Resident Advisor showcase.
Anton: The PC Music Crew with acts like A.G. Cook and SOPHIE are definitely one of the most solid hypes this year!