South By Southwest (SXSW) largely passed me by this year, especially compared to the 2010 edition, for which we had special guest blogging action from the heart of Austin.
Catching up a little today, however, I thought I'd at least offer up some of the more choice reports and photo segments for any of you that were similarly isolated from the shenanigans. Whether down to lack of time, moolah, or sufficient hipster status, we can at least make the required resolution of the SXSW attendance fail: "Next year..."
- Death From Above 1979 reform briefly, causing an equally brief riot. Hint: the first 30 seconds have pretty much all the 'action'...punk rock, this is not.
- British rock outfit Dinosaur Pile Up, previously covered herein last summer, managed to turn a few heads by all accounts.
- Omar Rodriguez-Lopez had a special -if very familiar - guest join his group's SXSW show, in the newly shorn form of Cedric Bixler-Zavala. Belting out some 'future punk', the duo set some pulses racing for the new Mars Volta jam due later this year.
- Chicago's Smith Westerns seem odds on for the most emergent accessible indie rock act, building on a foundation of buzz that's generated in the last year or so. Listening to their set on NPR, that's no bad thing.
MP3: Smith Westerns - Weekend
- Hardcore punk legends Bad Brains took the SXSW stage at Emo's. Reputedly now on a more serene, progressive tip nowadays, they nevertheless appear to have enraptured fans of their previously raging, dynamic sound.
- That rapper that interrupted that country singer appears to have done what he's best at and receive lots of attention for style over substance. Well, at least he's 1,000-odd miles away this time.
- On a more intriguing hip-hop tip, skewed rap collective Odd Future are reported to have taken the festival by storm.
- Our friend and 2010 reporter Darci had pangs of withdrawal, even one year on, and chronicled her sleepless, distant vicariousness here on sPikeR(!).
- Snag a bunch of other free MP3's from SXSW 2011 bands here on NPR, while stocks last.
Did you hit Austin this year? Or were you, like us, sat at home trying to pretend you had too much to do anyway?
If you went and have some tips on exciting acts to watch out for, don't hesitate to drop them in the comments section. Until next year....