South By Southwest

SXSW Song Of The Day: Cedric Burnside – Hard To Stay Cool

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Photo Credit: Abraham Rowe

Cedric Burnside‘s latest album is entitled Benton County Relic, and while he’s been at this for awhile, it’s a pretty safe bet that Burnside himself is not the relic being referenced in the title. At 40, he’s far too young for that, but with eight albums under his belt and getting his start playing drums with his grandfather, legendary Mississippi bluesman R.L. Burnside, back when he was only 13, he certainly qualifies as a veteran performer.

The video for “Hard To Stay Cool” opens up with Burnside giving a bit of a lesson on the blues and its importance to African American culture before it segues into the song itself, a languid, slow burning blues about the challenges of trying to keep your cool during hard times. Check it out.

Cedric Burnside plays Cooper’s BBQ on March 13 at 10:00pm and on March 15 at 1:00am.

SXSW Song Of The Day: Austin Lucas – Immortal Americans

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Photo Credit: Chad Cochran

Every now and then a song just jumps out at you and demands your attention.

Such was the case with “Immortal Americans”, the title track off of Bloomington, Indiana alt country singer-songwriter Austin Lucas‘ latest album. Upon hearing that tune as part of a playlist, I had to stop what I was doing, listen, and find out exactly who was behind it. And then I listened to the song all over again.

First it was Lucas’ voice that caught my attention, then the melody, and then finally the lyrics: a portrait of American heartland culture and a celebration of the power of rock and roll that elevates it all to a new sort of gospel – “the sound of immortal Americans.” Check it out.

Austin Lucas plays the Continental Club on March 15 at 11:00pm.

SXSW Song Of The Day: Robert Ellis – Fucking Crazy

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Photo Credit: Alexandra Valenti

When people talk about Texas singer-songwriters, a certain type of sound comes to mind – the sounds made popular by the likes of Guy Clarke, Steve Earle, or Townes Van Zandt. But Austin’s Robert Ellis brings to mind a different kind of sound with “Fucking Crazy” – the easy, breezy sound of ’70s soft rock.

Yes, with his latest, Texas Piano Man, Ellis doesn’t just dip a toe into the sort of sounds made famous by the likes of Elton John, Billy Joel, and other songwriters of a ’70s/’80s vintage (I detect a hint of Bread’s David Gates in his delivery on this one) – he dives in head first. And the results are fantastic.

And though he’s serious about his music, Ellis also injects a certain sense of humour into his tunes (as you might expect from the man who entitled a previous album The Lights From The Chemical Plant), from “Topo Chico“, his drinking song about Texas’ favourite sparkling mineral water, to the aforementioned “Fucking Crazy”, which is probably the best piano-based pop song to feature the f-word since John Grant’s “GMF.” Check out the video below.

Robert Ellis plays the Mohawk on March 15 at 9:00pm.

SXSW Interactive and Music Beginners Guide – Some tips

Posted on by Ricky in South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Albert Hammond Jr, March 17 2018

This will be my eleventh year at SXSW, so it’s time to pay it forward with some tricks of the trade that I have acquired during my time there.

Don’t eat inside the conference center
You have failed if you do this. Austin is an amazing place for food. Don’t eat conference food. Go out and explore. Which leads me to the next thing:

Aside from Casino El Camino, skip 6th Street
Sure you might be tempted to jump to the street that everyone is on and eat there, but the food there is very average. You might be like, oh, there’s a lot of people there so it must be good. Look at those people – they are just kids.

Rainey Street food truck park is your friend
They usually set up a food truck area just south of Cesar Chavez and Red River. It’s pretty good.

Don’t Eat at Stubb’s
Stubb’s is great for shows and parties, don’t let that be your bbq experience. That’s like going to East Side Marios for Italian food. Opt for La Barbecue or rent a car and go to Salt Lick.

If you need to get somewhere fast, don’t walk across 6th street.
This will become obvious.

Line up early for popular talks
SXSW Conference rooms aren’t that big, even the biggest ones fill up quickly. If there is someone super popular talking this year, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, you will most likely have to skip the previous hour’s talk to be comfortable.

You would think it goes without saying, but walk around and just look for the crowd. There are a lot of well marketed parties to go to, but there are also a shitload of good parties with shitty marketing. These are the goldmines you stumble across with free top shelf liquor. Take the time to explore – don’t be afraid to go to East 6th, or Soco (South Congress)

During Interactive, you don’t need to pay for alcohol
UNLESS you want nice microbrews. If you are okay with your typical Lonestar, Austin Beer Works and Shiners, then you shouldn’t need to pay for any drinks.

Lineups are never worth it.
There’s really no point waiting an hour to go to Mashable so you can get your 1 free rum and coke and an Instagram picture of whatever is topical at the moment.

Do go to some of the nicer restaurants
There’s lots of good food in the places away from the core, so you should definitely go to them

Hopefully that helps.