Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

If it’s March, it must mean OTR at SXSW (again)

Greetings from Austin, Texas as our annual trip to the massive SXSW conference, convention, festival and taco-eating marathon gets into full swing. Actually, it has been in full swing since Friday and FOMO is the term of the day. And …

Mon, Mar 12, 2012, 08:26


Greetings from Austin, Texas as our annual trip to the massive SXSW conference, convention, festival and taco-eating marathon gets into full swing. Actually, it has been in full swing since Friday and FOMO is the term of the day. And yes, we naturally missed the interactive panel on FOMO.

Missing stuff at SXSW has to be accepted because the event has just got so darn massive. Even trying to get your head around the amount of stuff on offer during Interactive alone is a bit of a task. There are individual campuses dealing with everything from culture to convergence, journalism to government, design to health and much more besides. I made my first trip to Austin in 2000 and, back then, the Interactive convention had the same amount of panels and programming as one of those individual sections. You also didn’t have every fecking brand on the planet back then attempting some stealth association.

It also reminds me, as happens every year, that when someone tries to claim their event is ‘just like SXSW’ that they have obviously never been here. Your event is not ‘just like SXSW’ because the Texan monster’s size and heft right now just can’t be emulated. As someone remarked at a panel on when the social media bubble will burst (Oct 10, 2013 is the date for your SEO diaries), SXSW attracts influential people who want to be influenced.

Aside from feeding our brains at Interactive (our pick of the panels so far include ones on coolfarming, the aforementioned one on social media bubbles, the attention drugs wars, Nick Denton from Gawker on the failure of blog comments (though he says Gawker will be launching a solution to this in the coming weeks – dude is obviously taking notes from OTR), a brilliant keynote from cultural antropologist Amber Case on ambient location technology, curation and libraries) and our bellies at Juan In A Million, we’re here naturally for SXSW Music which gets underway on Wednesday with thousands of bands replacing the thousands of geeks and nerds currently in situ. Expect full reports on all the new acts you’ll be raving about in 2013 and 2014. There are also a huge number of mega acts in town to grab some of the buzz which SXSW attracts (Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z and Eminem for example – Jigga is taking a monster cheque from American Express to play a show in town tonight), but our focus as usual will probably be more on the new acts than the established ones.

And when I say “our”, I do mean “our” this time around. We’ll have SXSW reviews and observations all week long from our old pal and always welcome OTR guest writer Leagues O’Toole. The Foggy Notions man will be helping to bring you the best of SXSW 2012 in snappy, snazzy, superfly sentences (though probably without that kind of alliteration).

Because we’re Over Here and you’re Over There, some transatlantic house-rules are now in effect. All comments will be moderated and go live from lunchtime on. Most of the new content on the blog will go live in the afternoons rather than in the mornings. If you’re on Twitter, so am I and Leagues is also there.

Some footnotes: regular readers will know that we’ve mentioned Dublin-based start-up 45 Sound here before. They’re one of the finalists in this year’s SXSW Music Accelerator competition. Their site and product – which matches fans’ live videos of their favourite acts with top-notch audio recorded by the bands on the night from their sound-desk – is getting better and better. Have a look at their latest work for And So I Watch You from Afar, playing a post-Choice Music Prize at Dublin’s Mercantile last week.

Speaking of Choice, one of the other acts who didn’t get to go home last week with the cheque for 10k were the mighty Tieranniesaur. Here’s some new eye-candy from them for you in the shape of a Bowsie Workshop-directed video for their new digital single “In the Sargasso”. Watch out for a Dublin launch gig in a BYOB venue in the coming weeks. Take it away Annie and co.

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