Sunday, March 21, 2004

WE DON’T GO TO SXSW SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO, EITHER: We’re shipping their devolution back to them: Joss Stone has gone down well at the Austin music event, which we take some satisfaction at - bet that’ll make Americans think twice before they unleash an Avril Lavigne style musicbeast on us again.

Kris Kristofferson’s no fool, mind - knowing that the city is packed with bands demanding attention from the masses, he twigged that the quckest and surest way to ensure a packed crowd was to choose the Ampitheater venue which offers free entry to locals - in a town where everywhere else insists on an expensive pass to let you in, the words “free to all” is an incredible draw. Mind you, while the door fee might have guaranteed attendance, it’s Krisofferson’s presence which keeps the attention, smashing out his back catalogue and whacking out his protest anthems Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down and Not In My Name right in George W’s back yard.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Matthew Mayhew will have our own Becky Bamboo nodding emphatically with his emotional epiphany at the event: He discovered The Wrens, shimmering in the glow of a band who tour because they want to; who nearly got lost seven years ago under a pile of record label blah; who were just so damn good on Thursday night the door staff closed the doors; who were so damn good the wannabe audience reacted to closed doors by entering through windows instead.

Elsewhere at the festival, the Montreal Gazette had trouble telling the local crazies from the visitng industry eccentrics, but winningly came up with a claim that the event “was for the Haves and the Have-nots”, spotting New Zealand band the Haves and Leicester’s the Havenots tucked deep inside the list of bands.

Back to actually listening to the music, the nme reports The Hives set consisted of seven new tracks (and four old ones) and a new uniform (black shirt, white dinner jacket, white tie - sounds a little bit like Modern Romance meets Owald Moseley); it’s all Iggy influences now, except the wearing clothes bit, obviously.

If you’re looking for something with a bit more depth, you could do worse than try Ricardo Baca, who blogged SXSW for the Denver Post or Glenn Gamboa, doing the same thing for Newsday. More bloggy coverage: sxswblog concentrates on the Interactive Convention (not surprisngly, it’s the computer side which attracts most blog attention - Mike Slone provides a list of the blogs-about-talking-about-blogging); donewaiting covers the music and starspotting in Austin as it develops a cough and eats Australian hamburgers.

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