Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

The best lil’ randomiser in Texas

It’s On The Record’s favourite time of year as we head to Austin, Texas for the three-legged joy that is South By Southwest (SXSW). The SXSW Interactive (SXSWi) and SXSW Film fests are already in full flow and SXSW music, …

Mon, Mar 15, 2010, 05:48


It’s On The Record’s favourite time of year as we head to Austin, Texas for the three-legged joy that is South By Southwest (SXSW). The SXSW Interactive (SXSWi) and SXSW Film fests are already in full flow and SXSW music, the big one, kicks off on Wednesday. The last few nights have been a little busy on Sixth Street, but that’s nothing compared to what will happen once bands, hipsters and everyone else arrives.

Austin, yesterday morning

The weekend was spent panel-hopping at SXSWi where the highlight so far was the keynote from the fast-talking danah boyd on managing privacy and publicity. Tons of quotables from this one as she analysed such privacy fails as Google Buzz and Facebook’s updated privacy settings. Item one: “no matter how many times a privileged, straight, white, male technology executive tells you privacy is dead, privacy is not dead”. Item two: “Teenagers think about what they have to gain by what’s in public about them; adults think about what they stand to lose by what’s in public”.

While the big offstage SXSWi buzz is to do with Foursquare (man, the Yanks are going mad for it), there was plenty of panel-prattle about crowd-sourcing, what people are going to do when and if the New York Times comes to an end (this panel featured an entertaining spat between NY Times media corr David Carr and Markos Moulitsas from the Daily Kos), what we’re going to be using in 2015 (more of the same, basically, but with jetpacks), a no-holds-barred “Does My Sh*t-Talking Really Help Your Brand?” look at social media experts and, one with the OTR readers obviously in mind, the “Trollz to Stars” look at the commenter ecosystem.

Film of the weekend: Will Canon’s debut feature Brotherhood follows a bunch of frat-boy eejits whose initiation ceremony, which involves robbing a series of convenience stores, goes spectacularly wrong. Snappy story, some impeccable twists and a thumping good momentum throughout.

Gigwatch (1): The excellent Joy Formidable play Cork’s Cyprus Avenue on May 27, Dublin’s Academy 2 the night after and Belfast’s Spring & Airbrake the night after that.

Potholes on yo’ lawn: once upon a time, it was only newspapers in Cavan who kept an eye on potholes. Nowadays, though, you’ll find The Guardian and USA Today also on the case.

Gigwatch (2): Irish debut for The Hundred In the Hands happens at Dublin’s Crawdaddy on May 2.

Documentary of the weekend: Reggie Rock Bythewood has form when it comes to hip-hop flicks – he wrote the Notorious biopic on Biggie Smalls – and One Night In Vegas sees him turn his attention to the friendship between Tupac Shakur and Mike Tyson, culminating in that night in Las Vegas in September 1996 when Tyson knocked out Bruce Seldon in a world title fight at the MGM Grand and Shakur was gunned down en route to an after-bout party. While both men’s stories are well known, it’s the first time anyone has focused on the relationship between the two kings of the world and the similarities between their lives. Excellently shot (Bythewood uses a really slick graphic novel style to convey some of the action) with some great interviews and insights.

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Gigwatch (3): full info on that Grizzly Bear show at 6 bells today. Trust me, it’s a good ‘un.

And wait till you see what we have in store tomorrow. Get the popcorn in, fight fans! It’s going to be historic (I think).

The music lists: there are over 2,000 bands playing at SXSW this week so how the hell do you decide which ones you are going to see? You tap the experts, of course. Here’s what the excellent Future Sounds, Spin’s magazine, Live Daily, Billboard, and Nialler9 reckon are so hot right now. Please note only one of the above pundits championed Crystal Swing.

On one hand, you need record labels. On the other hand, who needs record labels? This one will run and run. Hey, maybe we could get a Christmas panto out of this?

Housekeeping: please note this blog is now on US time so any comments you make in the AM will get updated early PM Irish-time.

And finally: there are currently 120 acts on my want-to-see-at-SXSW-2010 list so please feel free to suggest/recommend some more. Meanwhile, here’s one to watch.

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