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SXSW 2008 showcased artists
February 22, 2008 2:23 PM   Subscribe

Each year since 2005, SXSW released a torrent of songs for people to sample their showcased artists. It's a terrific source of new, eclectic music. This year, a fan found out they weren't planning to do this, so he took matters into his own hands: here's the torrent, with "764 different artists... almost 3.5 GB of new music, for free." (previously in 2007)
posted by Pronoiac (30 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
This could be very helpful in working out an itinerary for SXSW, which is March 12-16 this year.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:40 PM on February 22, 2008


If anybody goes to see droids attack, tell Tony (the drummer -- best friends since grade school :D) that symbioid sent ya via metafilter... I'm not much of a rock person, but I think they're fucking solid. They can get the crowd moving, that's for sure.
posted by symbioid at 3:08 PM on February 22, 2008


Man, yet another year where I wanted to go but couldn't. My pals the Great Lakes Myth Society are going to be there, and there's showcase being set up by one of my coworkers that should be amazing (even if it's not technically part of SXSW proper).

I do have a hunch that the locals hate this shit, though.
posted by klangklangston at 3:13 PM on February 22, 2008


klangklangston: It's a little annoying. OK, it's very annoying. Downtown becomes uninhabitable. Bizarre LA-style gladhanders marching in hipster lockstep around the 4th and 6th street areas in drab little iPhone Users Groups is a hateful, hateful thing if you're trying to get to work.

Especially with non-sanctioned parties being clamped down on, with the local cops closing down venues that aren't SXSW controlled if they dare host a party during SXSW.

It reeks of old-school music industry. But, if you can go? It can be pretty darn cool. There's some great shows available...just ignore the Label Guys and make like a local.

Glad someone decided to make a showcase. That was my favorite part about the last couple of years: being able to single out shows and artists to see. The SXSW files were my first exposure to some amazing artists, and an impetus to see some great acts.
posted by blixco at 3:26 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is exactly why BitTorrent is cool.
posted by chillmost at 3:29 PM on February 22, 2008


SXSW is a great place to be if you're a band looking to break out, but not such a great place to hear music ... unless you like very short sets and can allow for the fact that most of the bands are just getting warmed up by the time they have to leave the stage. The band I worked for back in the '90s had a chance to go (in the late '90s), and we turned it down. I don't regret it. But it can be fun if you're there to get noticed.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:37 PM on February 22, 2008


My pals the Great Lakes Myth Society are going to be there, and there's showcase being set up by

Last time I saw the Mongers and Macintoshes was sitting around Misty Lyn's campfire. I am on my way to play a gig with what I think might be one or two of them next week. Live radio shot on 107one on Wednesday morn.

small world...but I'd hate to have to paint it.
posted by timsteil at 3:41 PM on February 22, 2008


I recall when I lived in Austin a couple of years ago I went to price out SXSW tickets and about had an aneurysm. Never did end up going.
posted by crapmatic at 3:59 PM on February 22, 2008


Double?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:20 PM on February 22, 2008


"It's a little annoying. OK, it's very annoying. Downtown becomes uninhabitable. Bizarre LA-style gladhanders marching in hipster lockstep around the 4th and 6th street areas in drab little iPhone Users Groups is a hateful, hateful thing if you're trying to get to work."

My home town of 125k had art fairs every summer that attracted over 500k in visitors. Usually during that time, when I worked downtown, I'd just call in sick or work from home in order to avoid having to stab folks. I'd imagine that SXSW is the same way.
posted by klangklangston at 4:21 PM on February 22, 2008


Ah, my first March in town. Thank god I live and work south of the river.
posted by Roman Graves at 4:43 PM on February 22, 2008


Is there a tracklist anywhere?
posted by afx114 at 5:09 PM on February 22, 2008


SXSW is a great place to be if you're a band looking to break out

It might have been once, but it hasn't been for a while. It's so completely bloated now that unless you already have a good deal of buzz, you have a scant chance of getting anyone out to see your set, because a dozen or three already-buzzed-about bands are playing within a five mile radius. My first performance there was in (oh my god) 1998 and it was already a cliché then that all the industry business took place in hotel bars while the showcases were going on elsewhere.

I don't know what the scene is like this year, but in recent years it's been completely possible to bypass the official showcases altogether and see just about every band of "note" for free at various parties and afterparties. Last year I spent 1.5 days front and center here and had a total fucking blast.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 6:07 PM on February 22, 2008


I don't know what the scene is like this year, but in recent years it's been completely possible to bypass the official showcases altogether and see just about every band of "note" for free at various parties and afterparties.

Yep. Exactly. Lot's more fun to be had usually at the free, non-official "find out about it via blog" shows.

You can't beat free music, free BBQ and free beer all day long.... with a short stumble home.
posted by Espoo2 at 6:59 PM on February 22, 2008


I went last year and saw a lot of good rock and roll, and had a great time. I signed up for the lottery this year, hopefully I'll win.
posted by popechunk at 7:28 PM on February 22, 2008


The problem with the free after parties is, SXSW is shutting them down. They don't allow parties and such that aren't affiliated with SXSW to use the bands, the words "south" "by" or "west" and certainly they won't allow a participating venue to throw a non-participating party.

Several non-official SXSW after-parties were shut down by the cops last year in a very aggressive campaign against any non-SXSW dollars.

In short: the only free shows will not be at all related, unless the venue or band is looking for trouble.
posted by blixco at 8:44 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


So what you're saying is that SXSW is trying to become the Olympics?
posted by sdodd at 8:57 PM on February 22, 2008


Especially with non-sanctioned parties being clamped down on, with the local cops closing down venues that aren't SXSW controlled if they dare host a party during SXSW.

and

Several non-official SXSW after-parties were shut down by the cops last year in a very aggressive campaign against any non-SXSW dollars.


Wow. Do you have some articles about this? What legal and/or moral rationale are the cops and SXSW folks using?
posted by mediareport at 5:20 AM on February 23, 2008


blixkco: Really? Last year? I'm not doubting you, but the party scene seemed real healthy to me last year. I'd imagine that if they're shutting stuff down, they're probably going after parties happening during the official showcases, though, and not before-/after-shows.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 6:03 AM on February 23, 2008


afx114: Here's a tracklist I cobbled together from the filenames in the .torrent file.
posted by pmdboi at 10:40 AM on February 23, 2008


I don't have too much in the way of links, but last year SXSW printed a list of un-official parties out for the fire marshall, who then shut down most of them (they didn't have the right permits, apparently, which the SXSW folks knew). There was then a lot of noise (in the local papers and blogs) about SXSW organizers doing this maliciously, and then a lot of press about how it wasn't true, that SXSW didn't care if you had an un-official after party and the parties were shut down by the fire marshall acting on his own. He just happened to have the list of locations and organizers on SXSW letterhead.

This year I saw an interview on News 8 Austin with one of the head muckety-mucks from SXSW, and he basically said that any non-sanctioned parties would be shut down. Later this was clarified to any party mentioning SXSW (those four letters, or the words "south" "by" or "southwest"). I have also heard that bands who are signed up for SXSW have an exclusive contract with SXSW during the festival. They can't play (I've also heard "appear') at non-SXSW venues or events, including parties.

So, basically, if you have a SXSW after party, don't call it that. And rename the band for the duration of the party.
posted by blixco at 1:03 PM on February 23, 2008


Because I managed to leave his name out of this: this is Greg Hewgill. He made the Homeland Security Threat Monitor that was posted here in 2003.

I'm surprised & bummed to hear about the afterparty shutdown.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:22 PM on February 23, 2008


So I was wondering if this festival was cool like Woodstock 69 or lame like Woodstock 99. Looks like lame is it.

I hear Bonnaroo is cool. True, or false?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 2:35 PM on February 23, 2008


it's always good to go through these and see what's going on
posted by pyramid termite at 3:23 PM on February 23, 2008


TheOnlyCoolTim, I had a blast at Bonnaroo in 2006 despite the unbearable heat.
posted by joannemerriam at 6:25 PM on February 23, 2008


I just googled "sxsw shut down parties" and could probably spend hours going through the results. Sounds like a big deal was made of it all over the Austin blogosphere. I did spot this quote from an SxSW official (grain of salt up to you):
When this accusation started spreading this week we looked into it and could only find seven parties that were affected out of the literally hundreds held last week. Four parties shut down early due to lack of load cards and fire inspections. One party shut down because part of a balcony collapsed. Two parties ended at 2am instead of their advertised 4am end times. Maybe there were more, but we don't know because we were a little busy last week with our own event.
It sounds safe to say that if you're planning on hitting parties happening on at actual venues, which many, many of them are (especially the ones with bigger bands) there should be no problem. Again, reported from the scene last year, I spent every day I was there at various parties before the official showcases and saw utterly no sign of shut-downs. This is the first I've heard of them.

As to whether or not it's "lame," TheOnlyCoolTim, I can say in all honestly that it's largely up to the attendee. I will say that if you're the kind of person who finds hipsters unbearable, as opposed to mildly irritating but mostly amusing as I do, you will hate every second of it. Because those fuckers are fucking everywhere all the time.

How good a time you'd have at SxSW depends on how many bands are playing that you're interested in (obviously), how much effort you want to put into being aware of the hundreds of parties and other events going on, and how much planning you're willing to do in order to see the stuff you want to see. For example, in 2006 I played many, many sets with a couple of different bands--by the time I was done performing 2-4 times a day I wanted nothing to do with any other shows. Fortunately, my girlfriend and I were staying at an awesome campground, so we just drank and played board games with friends there. Last year I played far fewer shows and did a really good job of planning my schedule, getting to the day shows I wanted to see early and not getting too drunk despite the free alcohol everywhere. As a result I saw too many goddamn great sets from bands from all over to world to mention. I think it might have been the most fun (very) long weekend of my life.

I'm mostly skipping it this year. Not sure why. Jut not in the right frame of mind, I guess.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 5:52 AM on February 24, 2008


Here's what looks like a balanced article.

SXSW did create a list, a tacky and mean-spirited move that deserves to be attacked. That was the city's job, not SXSW's, and forgetting that should be a black mark against the organization for a long time. SXSW says it did it just to insure that the playing field was level and everyone had to play by the same rules, and says it wasn't meant as a complaint about specific venues. But the fire marshal says he treated it like a complaint and acted accordingly. Still, SXSW's basic point is a fair one - inspect other parties, too - and part of the blame seems to be the city's for not making clear to all organizers what the permitting requirements were. And there weren't that many citations given *or* parties shut down:

Organizers at seven other venues – mainly warehouse spaces on the Eastside – applied for and received the change-of-use permit, said Assistant Fire Marshal Don Smith. In all, says Smith, the AFD issued just nine citations during the week – five to venues that exceeded their occupancy load, one for not having a load card, and three for failing to obtain the public-assembly permit.

Considering that the marshals made more than 300 inspections during the week, nine citations is remarkably few – the shutdown parties seemingly would've merited little more than a footnote to an otherwise successful week.


Also, the organizer of one of the parties that was shut down is quoted being all happy at the end:

In the end, Le Popov says she's also happy with the way things have worked out: "I'm feeling good with what we know now," she says. "The nice thing is A) nobody was hurt, and B) [we realized that] the players that are involved in all this really do have the best interest of everyone at heart."

Not quite the situation as blixco was reporting it.
posted by mediareport at 8:50 AM on February 24, 2008


I've finally finished downloading it, any suggestions? Last year I just went scattershot through it on shuffle, and I barely dented it.

Here's a list of the files in the torrent.
posted by popechunk at 6:33 PM on February 24, 2008


popechunk: I set up a smart playlist in itunes to give every song a chance. The rules are either in a special SXSW playlist you choose or an album containing "sxsw", and play count of 0, and skip count of 0.

Hit fast forward through the songs you don't like. If a song stands out in a good way, give it 2 stars. When you empty out the list above, delete the unrated songs, & you're left with stuff you liked at some point.
posted by Pronoiac at 7:07 PM on February 24, 2008


...and skip count of 0

You freakin' rock.
posted by popechunk at 6:55 PM on February 25, 2008


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