March 16, 2013
Representative by the shell shock of tweets and inane updates from Austin, SXSW 2013's music week turned out be just the clusterfuck AS anticipated it to be, and then some. It was more apparent than previous years from this vantage point thousands of miles away that the annual (and not at all entirely inclusive) spring break for the indie press Illuminati and their employer's future online advertising partners making an easy buck off the culture of hype, took on a mean-spirited backlash even by the bands who made it down to Locos Tacos Land. Z. Cole Smith of DIIV, in his second SXSW appearance in a row, who -- despite enjoying the actually playing part of the "festival" -- took to Twitter to lambaste "a glorified corporate networking party" comprised of "drunk corporate goons and other industry vampires and cocaine." Sam France, frontman to paisley-pop revivalists Foxygen, went off on a crowd member after being told to stop whining about tirelessly playing day in and out to because it was his job. White Lung, AwkwardSound's top prediction to breakout in a big way, did just that, finally catching on with some scribes who I'm troubled took so long to notice ("Who exactly is doing their job here?," I asked myself, looking through 2012's archives full of White Lung-related praises and posts) but felt the effects of a packed showcase schedule and the general annoyance by their surroundings per vocalist Mish Way. Perhaps next year, everyone should take up SPIN's Senior Editor and all-around industry ball-buster Chris Weingarten's advice? I guess I have no say in this really, not being there and all, and basing observations mostly off of reading way too much into social media. I will say that written recaps about a band's live set (like say, Merchandise, Parquet Courts and Destruction Unit on a bridge) have no influence on me, since a live experience that unique can't be replicated when those bands swing around my way.
All was not dismissible in Austin, however, as the wonders of postmortem set YouTubing brought SXSW to an outsider's screen. In some cases, artists chose to use the industry showcase backdrops as a means to debut new music -- which we actually do care about -- and below are notable clips from Cloud Nothings, currently at work on a new album, Charli XCX, whose debut True Romance arrives on April 16th, as well as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs performing the title track off the forthcoming Mosquito due out the same day as Ms. XCX's. Feed the beat below...
Charli XCX - "What I Like"
Cloud Nothings - Untitled new song
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Mosquito"