It's hard to capture really what SXSW is like without you actually attending yourself. There really is nothing else like it. Just the pure variety of people you meet and things you get to do... there's no equal. I took my camera along to the festival - which ended a couple of weeks ago now - and I thought I'd share a few of those moments with you now, in the hopes that you get a *glimpse* into the madness and the variety...
Dear Australian Friends, Remember me? I'm your long lost Aussie lady who you used to love, who moved away four years ago and now knows nothing of the Great Southern Land. The country where I live now is strange. They don't even know how to make barbies. It's like, chuck some snags on there and they look at me like I'm weird and then suggest putting on shrimp. It's confusing.
Over 11 days in June, the second annual Dark Mofo Festival transforms the cold winter of Hobart into a wonderland of arts and culture that locals and folk from the mainland come in their droves to experience. And if you didn't, well, Lauren Anseline was there and is letting you in on the five reasons you missed one hell of a good time. See you there next year?
"The Woodlands" seems like an apt name for a festival, and even if said “Woodlands” refer to acres of what can only be called a very-dusty-and-extremely-sprawling racetrack backing onto a Mall, the site of Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival is certainly a step back to nature.
Day three dawns and the sun gods have visited us again – time to get alarmed, because now we know New York will be haunted with rain, fog and mugginess for the weeks to come. Only two minutes in, Canadian's Half Moon Run have set the bar for the day, with smooth harmonies and a gracefulness that makes every instrument from drum to kazoo look like an elaborately choreographed move – more dancing than music-making.
On day two, the set choices are a little less challenging, but the weather is rearing its head with some surprising issues. With the sun out in full force, so is the crowd on the Big Apple stage for local electro act Tanlines, who are struggling with sound quality issues due to the heat.
Are we gonna be the oldest people there? Asks my friend Annie. We've just spent the last two hours trying to get our old bums out of the house, organizing a combination of stimulants and alcohol with, you know, sunscreen and earplugs. That's right, #grownupshit. Our cab drivers take forever to sync with one another but the sun is shining, the clouds are so fluffy you want to eat them, and most importantly, my phone is charged within a percentage of its life so we can actually spread the joy to you over the seas.
the AU review is proud to present this special guest post from Andrew Smith, Destination NSW’s Chief Funster. In this piece, Andrew reports exclusively for the AU from the annual Country Music Festival in Tamworth, NSW, which takes place from the 17th until the 26th of January...
The last day is here. I write this in a state of both sadness and joy, because I have seen so many great bands perform in front of pretty enthusiastic crowds. NYC really likes to cheer and woo for their entertainment, and it’ll be something I really miss from this city. Then again, I’m sitting here from home writing this while relaxing with a pillow behind my head instead of some busy Starbucks or windy park. It’s a welcome respite.
With the evening upon us, it was time for Culture Collide to bring out the big guns on what was the final night of the three day event. King Kahn and his seven piece troupe The Shrines - featuring no less than three members making up a brass section - were the first band to enjoy a mass attendance; it was clear everyone who had come to Culture Collide had Khan on their mind.
Though there wasn't a Saturday afternoon block party to close things out this year, they retained an outdoor stage and made that the centrepiece of a day of fantastic music and comedy over eight stages. I kicked off the final day of Culture Collide with Japanese solo artist SiMoN, who accompanied lyrics in his native tongue with the electric guitar. It was quite slow and often reminiscent of Sigur Ros, both in pace and the tendency to combine random English phrases with the native language. An apt, if not surprising, way to start off the day.
It was a day of redemption today. I am not going to stay up any later than 1am. I am not going to fall asleep during gigs. I’m not going to be that insane bottle of a person who lies in the corner writing tour diaries in the press centre corner for two hours fixing grammar rather than enjoying music.
Staying up until 3am last night broke the record of staying up until 1am on the 16th October for me. The range of places that I went to varied insanely - too much probably. Going from living-room sized tiled rooms underneath restaurants to larger rooms that could fill hundreds of people was an experience and a half for a music lover like. But there was a downside, that being that my head was spinning, I'm getting a sore throat and I think I'm dying in one slow churning process because f it.
Considering that your dear writer was up until 1:25am last night, it would be good to assume that grogginess would take over on day two. But never fear! There is a feeling of invincibility in me at the moment. But it should be noted that there should be emphasis on the words 'at the moment'. Grogginess will take over sometime, but let us not dwell on that, there is music goodness to report on!
Having enjoyed the five bands making themselves known on the outdoor World Stage, it was time to head indoors. First up, I caught Perth's The Novocaines at the festival's newest venue addition, the Lot 1 Cafe.