I have to admit, I know little about the current metal scene, black, death, or otherwise. Which is exactly why I was so blown away by the performances of two Norwegian metal bands during South By Southwest: Enslaved and 1349. They played back-to-back showcases at Red 7 last week, and while I didn't catch a full set of either band, it was enough to know I need to hear more. … Read more
Every year at SXSW, you can hardly walk down Sixth Street without catching wind of some artist or another who's "the one" on the verge of a breakout. This year, though, one of the biggest buzz acts was definitely Duffy, a petite blond Welsh singer who's debut album, Rockferry, is currently No. 1 in the U.K. (it's scheduled to be released stateside in May). Because her first single, the hook-filled "Mercy," had just begun making the rounds, few in Austin had actually heard her music--but a lot had heard about her. Her showcase at Stubb's Saturday night was plenty full.
Duffy got an ear-catching 1960s pop-soul style that channels vintage singers such as Dusty Springfield, Jackie DeShannon, and Sammi Smith. Comparisons to Amy Winehouse (who made her U.S. debut at last year's SXSW) ran rampant, though truth is they're only vaguely justified: both artists have obvious love for a vintage '60s R&B sound, but Duffy's is big, wide, and lush--polished, even--while Winehouse keeps things funkier and more raw.… Read more
Designer Mike Rohde attended several panels at SXSW Interactive last week and created 34 pages of sketchnotes for them in real-time, captured in a Moleskine sketchbook:
And here's his post about them with a little more detail:
What I like about this unique format of panel transcripts is that it shows how rich those on-stage conversations actually were. Sometimes you find yourself in the audience, passive and wondering if the discussion on-stage is really all that meaningful to you. Well, it is -- … Read more
He's from upstate New York, but he fits right in here in Austin, Texas with his could-be-from-the-south songwriter style. This is a live shot of AA Bondy at the Creekside Lounge on Wednesday. There was a drunk heckler in the crowd who claimed he was "feelin' it" but his sincerity was questionable. Other fans (like myself) kept our comments to ourselves and quietly enjoyed his heartfelt performance, which was nice mellow break from all the chaos and "butt rock" blaring nearby on 6th street.
We've selected AA Bondy for our Best of SXSW feature, … Read more
AUSTIN, Texas--Why invent the wheel by yourself if you can turn instead to a group of peers and solve it together?
That was the premise of a gathering here of executives from most of the leading companies in what might be called the "people-powered" industry.
These are companies like CafePress, Moo, Etsy, and 8020 Publishing whose business is manufacturing physical products designed by customers. CafePress, for example, makes T-shirts, coffee mugs, hats, and many other products emblazoned with logos and designs uploaded by users. Moo makes business and greeting cards adorned with users' own photos and images, and 8020 publishes photo and travel magazines full of readers' work.
But each of these outfits has until now had to solve a set of problems unique to this nascent industry--legal issues, community management processes, and even questions of nomenclature.
So as many of the people behind these companies prepared to go to Austin for this year's South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) festival, Moo CEO Richard Moross decided that maybe this would be a good time and place to get everyone together and discuss whether a cooperative investigation and search for solutions to common problems would be a good thing for everyone involved.
After all, there's strength in numbers, right?
Here's a live shot of Yeasayer at Emo's IV in Austin, Texas late Thursday night (early Friday morning). This is just one of many showcases they're playing this week and despite having an on-the-fly "SWSW style sound check," they sounded amazing.
We've selected them for our Best of SXSW feature, which will feature all of the best (of the best) bands we see this week. For now enjoy our free playlists and SXSW 2008 Pre-Party. Here's the Download Music review of Yeasayer:
"In the pre-Vampire Weekend era (i.e., last month), indie … Read more
Here's a live shot of Cut Copy at The Mohawk in Austin, Texas today for the Rhapsody day party. They get the dance party started early with their 2:30 P.M. set. They're a lot of buzz about them on the streets (literally) and their set was so good that we've selected them for our Best of SXSW feature, which will feature all of the great bands we see this week. For now check out our free playlists and SXSW 2008 Pre-Party. Here's the Download Music review of Cut Copy:
"Hipster bands have a … Read more
Here's a live shot of The Most Serene Republic at Emo's in Austin, Texas today (March 13th) for the Arts and Crafts Records day party. They rocked the early set at 12:30 P.M. and were so good that we've selected them for our Best of SXSW feature (coming soon), which will feature all of the great bands we see this week. For now check out our free playlists and SXSW 2008 Pre-Party. Here's the Download Music review of The Most Serene Republic:
"Even by Ontario standards, the latest from the Arts & Crafts … Read more
John Gruber (Daring Fireball) and Michael Lopp (Apple), made the case for cultivating discomfort as a designer: "Are you willing to be an asshole?" We took a trip back through the iconic designs (like IBM) of Paul Rand and examined the allure of the Apple logo (whether rainbow-striped or white, what makes it sexy is the bite. It's … Read more
Here's a live shot of These New Puritans at Emo's in Austin, Texas today (March 12th) for the Terrorbird day party. They were so good that we have selected them for our Best of SXSW feature (coming soon), which will feature all of the great bands we see this week. For now check out our free playlists and SXSW 2008 Pre-Party. Here's the Download Music review of These New Puritans:
"In '08, the Arctic Monkeys are practically pensioners. Time for a new round of smart-aleck young Brits! These New Puritans smartly fit the bill of Latest … Read more