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)
I said that the 2015 Barn Dance may have been the best post SXSW Barn Dance ever, but after yesterday’s event I may have to moderate this. Yesterday didn’t have the warmest weather, but it was around 70 F, and it was probably the biggest crowd I have ever seen there. On top of that everyone seemed super happy. Photo above: Darling West and Leeann Atherton)
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.
Kvelertak has been Norway’s leading hardcore band for many years. The band has won prices, they have played support for bands like Metallica and Ghost, and headlined several festivals. Through the years they have been hailed for their unstoppable energy and their singer Erlend Hjelvik’s stage presence. Today he announced that he quits the band. (Photo above: Singer Erlend Hjelvik with Kvelertak at Slottsfjell 2013)
Norway does not have a specially impressive track record when it comes to music artists with international recognition. Except for male metal bands like Dimmu Borgir, Satyricon, Enslaved, pop acts like a-ha and Røyksopp and the newer DJs Kygo and Alan Walker, there are few male artists or bands that have made waves internationally. But in the last years a handful of female artists have started to get recognition also outside of Norway. Here are short presentations and photos of 13 of these. (Photo above: Ida Jenshus)
Flamenco is central in the Spanish culture, and there are many flamenco dancers and musicians who give performances in towns and cities around Spain. Wine tasting is also a common thing in Spain, and last night I was present at an event in Nerja, Cata Flamenco, that combined flamenco, wine tasting and great food. (Photo above: Joaquin Ruiz)
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
The year was 1984 and I was a music teacher at Hartvig Nissens Skole, one of the two high schools in Oslo to offer a full music line. Besides teaching music history, harmony, music theory, and conducting the school choir, we had a class choir in my class, plus some of the girls formed a harmony octet. Norwegian TV made a feature for the program Musikknytt, and here is the result.