Apr 21, 2011

SXSW Tour Part 3… Austin

How do I describe SXSW this year? RethinkPopMusic hosted 3 showcases, booked 11 local Austin bands and all the shows were FREE for ALL! Can any other label, booking agency or media outlet say that? NOPE! We also saw our largest and most enthusiastic crowds to date… without free booze!

I actually had some time on Tuesday and Wednesday to check out a few bands before our SXSW actually started. So we set out on a loosely organized meander through Austin stopping at a few predetermined destinations and then did some impromptu street walking. To my amazement, $15 – $20 covers were almost the status quo for folks sans badge, though the venues were EMPTY!!!

Now these were not marquee acts, but up-and-comers with a bit of buzz. But why alienate potential fans? I understand that the venue probably prison raped you with the rental price, but this is where the whole system is flawed. Venues would much rather have hundreds of people there buying drinks enjoying the music and becoming potential return clientele. But you assholes host showcases with nothing but electro-pop bands from out of town in hopes that some asshat (including me) with a blog writes a glowing review. This is why you fail and have turned SXSW into something ugly. What about the locals?!

Alright, being critical of others is not our thing at RethinkPopMusic and honestly why would we want to share our common sense? I also realize that if you’re reading this you’re probably just saying: “Who the hell are you?”

RethinkPopMusic’s first showcase at SXSW was Friday afternoon at Fado’s for our third consecutive year. We were pleasantly surprised with the enthusiasm of the crowd and all the bands really rolled up their sleeves to make it a success (we had to rotate 4 different drum kits throughout the showcase). Since this blog is all about Austin the following locals played: Elaine Greer, The Eastern Sea, Zorch and The Sour Notes.

The Eastern Sea:

Immediately following Fado’s we relocated to The Belmont less than a block away in a mad scramble (Fado’s ended at 8pm and The Belmont started at 8pm) . The attendance exceeded all expectations thanks to Whalers, Sunset, Little Lo, Follow That Bird and The Sour Notes.

Littel Lo:

Saturday night we hosted our last showcase at Chupacabra Cantina for the second year. We featured Superlite Bike, The Handshake and Marmalakes

As you can see, you don’t necessarily need big write ups and overly hyped bands to enjoy SXSW, just don’t shit on the locals. Thanks to Keith and staff at Fado’s, Katie and staff at The Belmont and Jason (expert power napper) and staff at Chupacabra Cantina your continued support is invaluable. Last and CERTAINLY not least, this year was only a success because of all the incredibly hard work of Jared from The Sour Notes… thank you!

The Sour Notes:

“Psychological Thriller” Music Video from The Sour Notes on Vimeo.

Please check out all the Austin bands featured in this post, they are incredible! Until next year?

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