With SXSW at an end, the music world is looking ahead to the rest of the major festivals to take over America this year. Following the announcement of Outside Lands in San Francisco earlier this week (see that lineup HERE), it's now Lollapalooza's turn - the iconic Chicago festival set to take place from July 31st until August 2nd. This year, Beatles legend Paul McCartney will join Metallica and Florence + the Machine as headliners for the festival - which at the time of publishing has already sold out of single and 3-Day passes (some VIP and Travel Packages are still left, however).
The third annual Grulke Prize has been awarded in three categories to some of the showcasing artists taking part in SXSW this year. The special accolade, created in honour of the late Brent Grulke, who was the Creative Director of the SXSW Music Festival, recognises artists from both the US and abroad who have shown considerable promise and have been breaking ground with their creativity and music. This year, Courtney Barnett has taken out the 'Developing non-US Act', noted as a 'boundary pushing breakout performer'.
The spotlight was strictly on Australian music at the 2015 APRA Music Awards, which saw some stunning performances from new and old locals as those who have driven Australian music forward, whether in current or past generations, were honoured. Unsurprisingly world-dominating singer-songwriter Sia - who sadly couldn't attend the ceremony in person - walked away with two of the biggest awards, trying at two wins with ubiquitous family band Sheppard.
Headlined by Swedish pop star Tove Lo, Perez Hilton's 'One Night In Austin' closed out the Saturday, and essentially the last night, of SXSW for 2015. His eighth year of hosting the showcase, with all proceeds going to charity, Hilton personally chooses the lineup himself, based on artists that he's featured on his website - and artists that he thinks are about to break.
For the 8th consecutive year, Rachael Ray's Feedback Party took over Stubb's BBQ for the final afternoon of SXSW, seeing a mix of bands from around the world play across three stages, while four Rachael Ray recipes (which you can see HERE), were enjoyed by the masses (you have to try the tacos!) - some of whom had lined up since the early hours of the morning to get their position in what has become one of the most popular and anticipated events of SXSW each and every year.
For the last four days, the Pandora Discovery Den at SXSW has been taking audiences through the world of music, starting with Electronic, moving through Hip Hop, Americana and closing the week out with a day dedicated to Rock. Performing through the final day were artists like Big Data - who earlier in the day also rocked the Rachael Ray Feedback Party at Stubb's - Joywave, Ex Cops, Zella Day, Priory and Palma Violets.
As the music program of SXSW steams towards an end for 2015, the action only seems to get more intense as bands take to pop-up venues to debut new material, remind everyone of their greatness, or just simply do what they love doing the most, performing for appreciative fans. One such pop-up venue which has seen a tremendous amount of highlights at SXSW this year is Spotify House, and day five of their temporary digs has seen a surprise from none other than genre-bending gems Passion Pit.
Following on from the venue's opening day with an electronic curation, Thursday marked the day Pandora dedicated their SXSW venue to hip hop, with iconic artist Wyclef Jean closing out the stage. As part of his epic 90 minute set, Wyclef took the audience on a musical (and somewhat educational) trip down memory lane, not only playing some of his best known solo tracks, but Fugees favourites and reinterpretations from the last 30 years of hip hop.
Nestled in what we can only assume was the ground level of a car park on the west side of Austin's downtown, UK electronic outfit Hot Chip tonight played the third and final night of the Samsung Milk Music Lounge as part of the 2015 SXSW Music Festival, following on from sets by Australia's Iggy Azalea and A$AP Rocky on Wednesday and Thursday nights respectively.
Wednesday at SXSW marked the first of four days of the Pandora Discovery Den, an annual party held at The Gatsby on 6th Street - featuring a mix of well established and up-and-coming artists from around the world. Australia's own Peking Duk helped kick off the celebration with a day focused on electronic music. Closing out with "High" - the number two song on the triple j Hottest 100 this year - the group also invited Benny from SAFIA on stage for their popular collaboration "Take Me Over". SAFIA were also in town to play the iconic Austin, Texas based festival.
Highlighting influential women may be the focus of Neiman Marcus' "Make Some Noise" activation at SXSW this week, but it was New York duo The Knocks who had the privilege of helping kick the three day event off in style yesterday.
Stories of rap group fights and whether or not Drake was set to bring some god-like level from the 6 through to Austin dominated the line that wrapped around the block for A$AP Rocky at the Samsung Milk Music Lounge. Part of a series hosted by the company for SXSW 2015, the rapper followed on from Iggy Azalea the night previous, while Hot Chip is set to wrap it all up tomorrow evening.
British music label and collective Communion hosted their SXSW showcase up at The Blackheart on Rainey Street earlier tonight, displaying some hot talent on their radar - and now ours, if it wasn't already - from both the UK and inside the States. The crowd rocked up early and crammed themselves into the venue's intimate surrounds for a night where, if you were an Aussie in the crowd, you were feeling very much at home with the amount of Australian and British accents floating about into the air.
This past weekend Canada’s cardinal music award show, the Juno Awards, took place in the industrious Hamilton, Ontario. One of the night’s biggest and arguably most deserving winners were Hamilton’s homegrown golden-boys, Arkells.
His great mop of brown hair flopping about his face, Van McCann bellows at the crowd "I can't believe you know all the words Texas!". Catfish & The Bottlemen is only a bar into their opener, "Rango", but sure enough, the crowd is echoing every line, rendering McCann's job virtually obsolete.