Frankly, I haven’t paid much attention to SXSW in recent years, as the demands of parenting and providing have diverted my attention from the independent music scene. About the best I can do is follow a couple music blogs (Tsururadio, Aquarium Drunkard, Motel de Moka) to get a taste of what’s out there.
This year, however, a project I’m involved in (The Victor Mourning) performed not once, but twice, during the festival, so I did get a bit of a taste of the festivities. Our second performance was a very brief 25-minute set at the Saturday Yard Dog Party; we preceded one of the idols of my college days, Jad Fair, who, along with his brother, David, formed the legendary band Half Japanese, which I guess makes both of them one quarter Japanese? Here’s a pic of Jad from his set:
His cord shorted out very early in his set, so being the consummate showman that he is, he proceeded to play unplugged in the midst of the audience– worked pretty well for him, despite the fact that an unamplified non-hollowbody electric guitar sounds a bit like the rubber-band guitars that we built in our 3rd grade art class, but he is Jad Fair, after all. So, quite an honor in my book (although I’m sure it wasn’t intended as such).
In a bizarre footnote, my ex-wife walked into the performance area about halfway through our first song (she was there to see Jad, not us). I hadn’t seen her in about 6 years, and considering that my actual wife was in the audience, too, it made for an interesting experience 😉