Tag Archives: SXSW

Salty in Austin

Once upon a time, certainly back in 1987, the SXSW event was about music.

Sure, there is still music in Austin today.

But SXSW has changed, as essentially every corporation that can somehow find a tie in manages to be on display.  (Arguably this is done because the people who work at said car makers or consumer electronics companies want to attend so they have cleverly convinced their bosses that it is essential to “connect” with the people who are at SXSW, so they get a full-blown ticket to ride.  Sure, they might have to do some crappy scut work along the way, but given the alternative—as in working in an office—going to Austin is a whole lot better.)

SXSW is now, perhaps, about salty snack food.

Austin may have been known for barbeque.  But Stubb’s might as well give up.

Doritos is the thing.  And it is such a thing that the brand that is under PepsiCo created a 56-foot vending machine as part of the launch of Doritos JACKED.

“Before we bring this amped up Doritos snacking experience to consumers nationwide, we wanted to take it right to our fans here at South by Southwest to try it first,” said Ram Krishnan, vp of marketing, Frito-Lay North America.

Which leads me to wonder: is eating a bag of chips—even a chip that “delivers a one-two punch of intense flavors upfront followed by a twist of spice or tanginess that packs the ultimate crunch”—an experience?  Are you experienced?  Sure, just had some Doritos.

Then who in the world is a “fan” of a snack chip?  Are there people who get together and argue about what’s better, Doritos or Cheetos, sort of like the Beatles vs. Stones?

To be fair, it should be noted that the 56-foot vending machine also serves as the “JACKED Stage by Doritos,” so it will be a concert platform as well as an object that will accept “larger-than-life Doritos-branded quarters.”

Of course it is.

Sondre Lerche and Jon Auer – Ballad of El Goodo

Video: Jon Auer & Sondre Lerche – “The Ballad of El Goodo” (rehearsal)

Prior to the Big Star tribute to Alex Chilton at SXSW on March 20, 2010, Jon and Sondre rehearsed in a hotel room in Austin, TX. Video by Michelle Auer.

Big Star: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Sondre Lerche: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

SXSW Offers Torrent of 2009 Acts

SXSW 2009Major labels may be…ahem…slow to recognize the benefits of filesharing but not everyone in the music industry is so dense. Case in point: South by Southwest.

The premier music festival of the year has once again posted on their site the mp3s of this year’s acts. That’s great, but who wants to scroll through the entire site downloading one file at a time? Nobody, and the SXSW organizers seem to recognize that and in years past even created a torrent of the files users could download all at once.

Well, SXSW isn’t doing that this year, but they have allowed a user to do it and it’s available to all without fear of retribution from heavy-handed labels. TorrentFreak reports:

For the fifth year in a row, SXSW has released a DRM-free, RIAA-safe collection of songs totaling 6 GB, which can all be downloaded for free, thanks to BitTorrent.

This is nice for just about everyone. A) Users get to download everything in one neat, relatively fast package; B) SXSW saves on bandwidth; C) Artists get yet another channel to distribute their music and spread the word; D) The Man is going to sue your grandma when he finds that you’ve downloaded his band’s gear.

Continue reading SXSW Offers Torrent of 2009 Acts

21 Best SXSW 2009 MP3s

SXSW 2009 South by Southwest does a great job of letting attendees (and everybody else) do some homework before the shows and preview tracks by showcased bands. Here are a bunch of our faves.

The Asteroid #4 – “These Flowers of Ours” (web, sxsw)

Black Lips – “O Katrina!” (web, sxsw)

The Dollyrots – “My Best Friend’s Hot” (web, sxsw)

Earlimart – “Face Down In The Right Town” (web, sxsw)

The Evaporators – “You Got Me Into This, Now You Get Me Out!” (web, sxsw)

Listen to the rest after the jump…

Continue reading 21 Best SXSW 2009 MP3s

SXSW Wrap-up by Ed Ward

SXSW, At Last by SXSW co-founder and Fresh Air contributor, Ed Ward: “The thing that made SXSW the world’s top music conference was its educational content, I’ve always thought…. This year seemed to be quite different. One thing I noticed immediately was that the panels program had been cut way back, with a number of celebrity interviews replacing panel discussions.”