The iJamming! Weekly Download: SXSW Podcasts
If it’s mid-March, it must be time for South By Southwest, the annual music business bacchanal in Austin, Texas. What started out as a regional variation on the New York-based CMJ Music Marathon and New Music Seminar has turned, over the years, into the biggest week on the indie rock calendar. You name a group, they’re likely to be playing. Several times. A day.
SXSW is absolutely fabulous (darling) if you’re in your 20s, new to the business, enjoy networking, are able to wangle a free pass on someone else’s dime, like drinking around the clock, love spare ribs for breakfast lunch and dinner, and figure that sleep is for losers. Take away just about any of those requirements and it becomes a headfuck of the highest order. But then I’m a jaded ex-New Yorker who traditionally makes the most of SXSW by enjoying the best visiting bands from the comfort of their inevitable New York City tie-in show. Next Monday, for example, the following are all playing either Manhattan or Brooklyn: The Good The Bad and the Queen, Hot Club de Paris, The Pipettes, The Bravery and The Raveonettes. Tuesday brings Amy Winehouse, Mute Math, The Holloways, The Cinematics, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin and Au Revoir Simone.
If some of the above acts are less familiar than the others, well here’s your chance to get hipped up. The British music blog Drowned In Sound and America’s best radio station KEXP have each put out a preview Podcast in advance of their own departures to Austin. The DiS podcast opens, superfluously but splendidly, with the delightfully airy Music Box & Tears remix of Bloc Party’s ‘I Still Remember,’ and goes on to feature the aforementioned Au Revoir Simone and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, along with one of my previous featured weekly download picks, Walter Meego, and the superbly named To Live And Die In LA. The KEXP podcast opens with Swedish sensations Peter Bjorn and John, and goes on to feature Apples In Stereo, Deerhunter, The Ponys, The Black Angels, and The Early Birds, along with another of my previous featured weekly download picks, Busdriver. In addition, it has three other songs I’ve been playing regularly on the iPod for the last few weeks or even months and which I strongly recommend you hear: ‘Nu Tones’ by Nomo, ‘Elephant Gun’ by Beirut and ‘Conductor 71’ by Fujia & Miyaki.
Each Podcast is hosted by a DJ, though in the case of KEXP, Kevin Cole knows what he’d doing; Drowned In Sound’s Sean Adams and Mike Diver might be better keeping to the written word rather than playing nervously with the faders next time. Whatever. Between the two Podcasts, you’ll be up to date on what everyone’s talking about in Austin next week. And if you’re disappointed that you’re not going to be there to see any of these bands in the flesh, rest assured: most people who attend these events don’t get to see any bands in the flesh, either.