One of the good things about SXSW is the mix of all kinds of styles. There is a misconception among some of my fellow Norwegians that in Texas, everything is about country music. They can’t be more wrong, and specially during SXSW. I’d rather say there could be a little more country at the festival. On Wednesday I managed to see two metal bands – one sludge metal, the other doom metal – two country/Americana acts, a psychedelic pop act, one old time rock hero, a pop and rock singer songwriter and a modern pop artist. (Picture above: Aurora)
This year’s Full Moon Barn Dance at Leeann Atherton’s house is my 18th since she invited me the first time in 1997. It has been one tradition I have really enjoyed, and this year as much as always. The music, the food, all the good people of South Austin and from around the world, plus the special South Austin atmosphere is a winning combination. (Picture above: Leeann Atherton and Torgeir Waldemar)
Thursday night at SXSW I went for country music and Americana. Loretta Lynn played at Stubb’s, so I started there. Then I went over to The Gatsby and saw Sam Outlaw, Wynonna Judd, Hayes Carll, Asleep At The Wheel and Jack Ingram. That was not the worst way to spend a night in Austin.
Ray Benson’s birthday is March 16, and every year he celebrates it the Tuesday before the Music festival at SXSW starts, if that be the right date, or not. This year the 65 year party, a combination of a concert with prominent guests and a fundraiser for HAAM was celebrated at the GSD&M building in Austin. (Photo above: Ray Benson and Carolyn Wonderland)
Tony Visconti is the boy who grew up in Brooklyn, moved to England and become one of pop music’s most famous record producers. The list of artists he has produced or worked with is long and impressive: David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Paul McCartney, Angelique Kidjo, Elejandro Escovedo, The Moody Blues, Manic Street Preachers, Iggy Pop, Thin Lizzy and many others. This year he was the keynote speaker at SXSW.
Michelle Obama was the first keynote speaker for the Music festival at SXSW this year. Some days earlier, her husband President Barack Obama held the keynote for the Interactive festival. While he chose to speak about how entrepreneurs and the tech community should use technology to help expand democracy and fight climate change, the First Lady chose the occasion to talk about her program Let Girls Learn. On stage with her she had Queen Latifa, Sophia Bush, Missy Elliott and Diane Warren
SXSW is on, and the first part of the Film festival plus Interactive have started. This year, as earlier years, I attend Interactive and Music, so these are busy ten days with seminars during the day and clubs and concerts at night. Saturday consisted of an afternoon concert with my big favorite guitarist Redd Volkaert, a concert with another Austin favorite, Guy Forsyth, then the Peterson Brothers and closing it all with a perfect set from Chuck Prophet. Photo above: Guy Forsyth)
As I have written here every year for some years now, the Full Moon Barn Dance that happens on the Sunday after all the SXSW mayhem is over, is my best tradition in Austin. Leeann Atherton arranges it in her garden in South Austin, and all the good people from South Austin, plus a contingent from all over the USA and the world gather for a cool and friendly day with music, BBQ, drinks and just good companionship. Last year the weather was bitterly cold, this year it was perfect. (Photo above: Hanne Kolstoe and Leeann Atherton)
Saturday was a rainy day in Austin, and the Auditorium Shores concerts were cancelled due to the weather. For that reason, I changed my plans, deciding to stay inside at the Continental Club the whole night. Some of the bands there were already on my schedule, so it was an easy choice, instead of getting wet while walking between the clubs at 6th Street and Red River. (Photo above: Clara dancing with Ian Moore’s guitarist.)
Friday night during SXSW in Austin was a wet night. My original plan was to start with the Auditorium Shores outdoor concerts, then go to different showcases around town. But with the rain and generally unfriendly festival weather, I changed plans. So I started at the Auditorium Shores, than went to a special South Austin event instead of running around on 6th Street or Red River. (Picture above: Ryan Bingham)