Because of the pandemic, many of the regular guests for SXSW stayed home, so the attendance for the festival was lower than before. This also reflected on the Picnic, with fewer people. But the atmosphere was as it always is at Leeann’s – friendly, open, welcoming and including. And social distancing, for those who wanted, was not a problem. (Photo above: Jon Langford)Continue reading
This year I have attended Music and Film at SXSW. And the film I really liked, was Nothing Stays The Same, the film that tells story of one of the best music venues in Austin, the Saxon Pub, and how it has been threatened by the ever growing demand on land to build condos. This threat is definitely a real one, and unfortunately it concerns a lot of the clubs in town. (Photo above: The Resentments at the Saxon Pub)
The last day of SXSW 2019 I spent seeing the excellent film Nothing Stays The Same in the afternoon, before walking over to South Congress and the Bloodshot Records party behind The Yard Dog. After dinner I went to The Continental Club to see the bands there. To me this was the perfect closing to a hectic and successful SXSW. Photo above: Ben Dickey)
Friday night at SXSW I decided to go and stay the whole night at the Mohawk before going over to The Driskill for Darling West. I have actually never been to the Mohawk before, and with both father and son Earle, Steve and Justin Townes, it was an easy choice. (Photo above: Robert Ellis)
The first full SXSW night of showcases kicked off with almost 500 bands showcasing their music at close to one hundred venues. Since Edie Brickell was playing an eleven o’clock gig, I chose to go there early to be sure to get in. That also meant that I saw two bands before her that I have never heard before, nor knew anything about. (Photo above: The Waco Brothers)
Just like T Bone Burnett, David Byrne also uses his time and position for other causes than music and film. David Byrne’s project is called Reasons To Be Cheerful, and is a multi media project dealing with different social issues, like education, health, climate, energy, etc. At SXSW he held an engaged and exciting speech on the convergence day about his project.
Every year some famous artist or music personality holds a keynote when the music part of SXSW starts. This year the keynote was held by producer, artist, film maker and ten times Grammy, plus Oscar winning T Bone Burnett as part of the Convergence day, with seminars ans talks for both Music, Film and Interactive delegates. Unlike many of the former keynotes I have heard, he didn’t speak about music at all, but it was at the same time on of the best keynotes I have heard during more than twenty years at SXSW.
Keith Urban is one of the most successful country artists ever, and he is also an artist who is constantly expanding the definition of country, mixing it with different styles thereby creating his own unique fusion style of country music. At Friday he talked at the conference and played a full 90 minutes concert at the Stubb’s outdoor venue during SXSW.
This year’s SXSW Barn Dance at Leeann Atherton‘s place is my 20th, and I have enjoyed all of them. I meet the great people of South Austin, I meet the delegates at the festival who have stayed one extra day to join this party, I get to eat delicious bbq, and I her a lot of good music. As an end to a busy SXSW week, the Barn Dance is the perfect way of doing it. (Photo above: Hajk with Leeann Atherton)
Thursday night I started out at the outdoor stage at the Auditorium Shores with Los Lobos. Then I went to thee Saxon Pub to see five bands I have never seen before. But being at the Saxon, I was pretty sure I would like them, and I was right! (Photo above: David Hidalgo and Conrad Lozano from Los Lobos)