“Wait, did this all just happen?” That’s what we asked ourselves this morning, as we got up and prepared to go to our day jobs after five days at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music event.
In past years we’ve complained about how SXSW has “jumped the shark” by pandering to big names who want to promote their latest project, and for being such poor sports about all of the unofficial stuff that springs up during the week. We don’t feel compelled to do any bitching this year, because Austin is big enough (as readers have pointed out) for everyone – serious music fans, people wanting to hear some fresh new acts, frat-boy party types who can’t find their way to the beach for spring break.
We certainly enjoyed the opportunity to discover the music of Alabama Shakes, Pujol, Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, Kids These Days, Girls, Bass Drum of Death, Blitzen Trapper and a handful more. We welcomed the chance to grovel at the feet of the Boss, and to encounter the great Eric Burdon and Jimmy Cliff, among so many others. And most of all, we appreciate the work of Mumford and Sons and the Austin High School marching band, who helped remind us why music is such an important part of our lives.
There truly is nothing else in the world like SXSW: there were upwards of 3,000 acts playing officially and unofficially, and with only a few exceptions you could see virtually any of them for free. Of course, with that massive lineup one can honestly expect to catch anywhere from 12 to 25 acts in the whole weekend, depending on how industrious you are.
Thanks to our friends here at Popdose for letting us get weird on your behalf. And there is not much else to say, except: if you can manage it we’d love to see you in Austin next year. We will be happy to buy you a free beer.
We want to leave you with a video we put together with some of our favorite musical moments from SXSW 2012. See ya!