2016: A Year In Pictures

The more accurate title of this post would be 2016: The Year I Waited Nine Months to Post My SXSW Pictures, since that is where 99% of these shots are from. The remaining 1% are from New Year’s Eve 2015, taken too late to be included in last year’s round-up. So, yeah, anyway, here they are, better super late than not at all, I guess? Here’s the one from NYE: The Molly Ringwalds, Biloxi, MS, NYE 2015 SXSW was, by turns, glorious and exhausting. There is so much music, and so little time, and so many people. I was pleased to be there – to have been invited to be there, given the honor of a place on a panel, because honestly, otherwise, I would not have gone – but I did not really feel like I was among my people until the third day, when I walked into a grimy punk bar far from the main (festival) drag. At that point I was also so tired and people’d out I was about ready to just lie down on the (disgusting) floor and let the sea of noise wash over me. Here are the pictures I took: Day 1 HarMar … Continue reading

A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink: BANDITS

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. One of the bands I saw at SXSW this year was BANDITS, a three-piece crew from Colorado. Members are Lulu Demitro, her brother John, and Andrew Oakley, and they play blues-inflected rock and roll, with the occasional burst of guitar-heavy jamming for spice. Here, as an example, is Kill Tonight, a musical foray into the … Continue reading

Administrative Update

Hi kids. Here’s some news on what’s been shaking at the office(s) – by which we mean kitchen tables – of NTSIB. 1) April has made a TRIUMPHANT RETURN. Yes, darlings, the hiatus is over. If you’re just tuning in now and have missed this development, you can hit up her tag to see recent posts. 2) Jennifer is on the verge – nay, in the act, as we speak – of packing her bags and traps and moving to Mississippi. Yes, this is why service has been somewhat reduced this summer. But! Once she has settled, regular service, such as it is, will resume. 3) Jennifer has also been offered a shot at being on a panel at SXSW. You can vote for it here, until tomorrow, Sept. 4. The subject: How to successfully develop relationships with blogs as an emerging artist. The short answer to this question is 1) READ THE DIRECTIONS and 2) BANDCAMP, SOUNDCLOUD, FTLOG, USE THEM, I NEED EMBEDDABLE, STREAMABLE MEDIA. For the long version, with flappy hands and funny faces, will be at the conference, should the panel get picked up. (Or your local dirty rock club, should you meet Jennifer in the crowd.) … Continue reading

Guest Post: Joy Goes to SXSW, Pt. V: Friday, March 14

In which our intrepid reporter finds out SXSW really is as exhausting as everyone says it is, but rallies to attend more shows. By day three, I had personally confirmed what we’ve all been told: SXSW kicks your ass. I managed to drag myself downtown before noon only by promising myself a cup of coffee at Mellow Johnny’s, where Wye Oak was playing a 12pm set. The band was already playing as I bought my coffee, but I couldn’t tell if they were playing an old song or a new one. Like mr. Gnome, Wye Oak hasn’t changed their sound very much between albums #3 and #4. Jenn Wasner has switched from electric guitar to electric bass, and Andy Stack has added an electronic drum-pad to his kit, but at SXSW they were quite recognizably the same band. Wasner even managed to make her bass sound light and silvery at times, which was the most unexpected thing to jump out at me from their performance. Ultimately this is unsurprising, considering the lyric-based character of Wye Oak’s previous records. Now as before, listeners should expect to make the music into a contemplative experience in order to really absorb it. Wasner — … Continue reading

Guest Post: Joy Goes to SXSW, pt. IV: Thursday, March 13

Our intrepid reporter goes to see some (more) live music. Also a mechanical bull. On Thursday, I woke up to more than a dozen text messages asking if I was okay. Until I saw a news story about the night’s fatal accident, I had no idea why so many people would be concerned and wondered if I’d been sleeping for more than one day. Once I read about what had happened, I debated skipping the day’s festivities out of respect, but eventually came to a conclusion: those who could party should get on with the partying in honor of all those who cannot party. I waited for the downtown bus with a spirit of gratitude. That spirit started to fade after three city buses, from two different routes, passed our stop with partygoers packed inside to legal capacity. Everyone who could party definitely seemed to be partying, and I found myself wishing they had timed things a little more conveniently for us old people. The bus ride, when I finally got one, was appropriately interesting. I made it downtown just in time to miss several shows. While trying not to miss the final Doe Paoro show of SXSW 2014, I … Continue reading

Guest Post: Joy Goes to SXSW, Pt. II: SXSW on a Budget

Joy’s first dispatch from Austin is about having fun without spending all of your money. You have probably just read the title of this piece and laughed out loud. You’re right: there are many ways to empty your checking account at South By Southwest. But with a little creativity, the experience doesn’t have to end with tears and debt. Here is my list of tips on how to attend this festival as inexpensively as possible. 1. Book in advance. Don’t be that person who gets stuck sleeping on someone’s floor for $50 a night while cursing those who booked better accommodations ahead. Be the person who gets cursed at. One can find really reasonable prices on decent places to stay through AirBnB — I saw a renovated Airstream in a good location, basically a hotel room, offered for $35 a night. But you must do your searching and make your arrangements at least a month in advance, if not in January. Otherwise you will be S.O.L. Better still, know someone who knows someone in town who will put you up for free. If you don’t know anyone in Austin, go there some time that is not SXSW and start making … Continue reading

Guest Post: Joy Goes To SXSW, pt. 1

While I cannot be in Austin this year, NTSIB friend Joy is, and she has graciously agreed to be a roving reporter. Below is her first dispatch. If you want to follow her adventures live, you may do so on Twitter and Instagram. This year, I am pleased to be NTSIB’s correspondent-at-large in Austin. It’s my first South By Southwest, and I have thrown myself directly into the deep end. Swim along with me here on the blog, with live updates on Twitter! Since SXSW can be an impenetrably overwhelming mess of day parties, showcases, special sessions, and free shows, I’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff according to my own personal preferences. In reverse order, here are my most-anticipated acts of 2014. 7. Deap Vally They’re loud. They’re crass. They’re women. And they crochet. This Los Angeles duo has found success in the UK and is on the verge of making it big in America. NTSIB friend Geordie McElroy describes them as “two-thirds of a girl gang” who should be “basically every teen girl’s role models”, and I am inclined to agree. Enjoy a sample of their balls-to-the-wall sound with “Hobo Playa”, off their single End of the World. … Continue reading