SXSW 2014: Thursday, Friday and Saturday Recap with Blondie, Cody ChesnuTT, the Strypes and More

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Dana Plonka
Cody ChesnuTT on Saturday night at SXSW

It's Sunday in Austin, I'm on South Congress at Jo's Coffee Shop, trying to write as the 5000th (at least) performance of the week takes place on yet another parking lot made into a venue. There's much to say about my final three days at SXSW 2014 (read about the first two days here), and only so many brain cells left to say it before my night flight back to St. Louis. So here we go. See you back in Texas in 360 days.

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Two Dead, 23 Injured in Grisly SXSW Tragedy [Updated With Video]

Categories: SXSW

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Aranami/Flickr
[Update: A video from the scene has surfaced on YouTube, shot immediately after the incident with words from witnesses and a view of the area where everything took place. Watch the video below.]

Our sister paper, the Dallas Observer, is reporting a tragedy in the early-morning hours of Thursday at Austin's South By Southwest music festival. The incident occurred at 12:30 a.m., when a suspected drunk driver attempted to evade police by driving against traffic on a one-way street and onto another street that was closed for the festival, killing 2 and injuring 23 before attempting to flee on foot. He was eventually subdued by taser.

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SXSW 2013: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Phosphorescent, Natalie Maines, Richard Thompson, China Rats and More: Review and Photos

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Dana Plonka
Britt Daniel of Divine Fits at SXSW
This happened: Laura Cantrell, a New York-based country singer and songwriter, shared a stage with two friends, Rosie Flores and Kristi Rose, backed by Fats Kaplin and Mark Spencer, two of the finer musicians in a town that, on this or any week, affords some stiff competition. The trio of voices filled one of the most enduring and endearing dance halls in Texas on a Saturday afternoon at SXSW 2013. And it all happened for free.

But nothing is free in this world. That's why we have the cliché. Even with all the time and resources and will power it took to make that one small moment of singing happen, it felt free -- and all the slavish, trend-mongering absurdities before, after and around it made the moment feel freer still.

And that, all ye SXSW haters, skeptics, opportunists and cynics, that is why it's worth it all.

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The Worst Things About SXSW 2013

Categories: SXSW

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Photos by Marco Torres
Somebody somewhere really did not want us to see Smashing Pumpkins at SXSW.

This year, our sister papers at the Houston Press music blog Rocks Off and Dallas Observer music blog DC-9 at Night teamed up to bring you only the choicest moments from last week's SXSW madness.

See Also:
-The Scene at SXSW: Here's What You Are Missing
-SXSW 2013: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Spain, Ivan & Alyosha and More: Review and Photos


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The Best Shows at SXSW 2013

Categories: SXSW

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Photo by Craig Hlavaty

This year, our sister papers at the Houston Press music blog Rocks Off and Dallas Observer music blog DC-9 at Night teamed up to bring you only the choicest moments from last week's SXSW madness.

See Also:
-The Scene at SXSW: Here's What You Are Missing
-SXSW 2013: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Spain, Ivan & Alyosha and More: Review and Photos

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SXSW 2013: Critically Important Questions Raised By This Year's Event

Categories: SXSW

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Marco Torres
Will I die getting the best Facebook photo, like, ever you guys?
Editor: We have so many questions here in Austin. Here are 50 of them.

1. Will I like the pedicab costumed as The Hulk if he gets angry?

2. Are we all really just in New York?

3. Is this t-shirt rad?

4. Do you want to get some 'za, which is now absolutely the slang for pizza?

5. How far can you sprint while drunk?

6. How comfortable is riding a bike in nothing but a g-string when you're over 66-years-old?

7. If I pee in the crowd while cheering, will anyone notice?

8. Is this the line for the line?

9. Will my badge get me in to get a badge?

10. Was that Daryl Hannah at CVS?

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The Five Biggest Sellouts at SXSW

Categories: SXSW

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Seriously, you're not getting into the Fader Fort. Photo by Marco Torres
SXSW is not a music festival so much as it is an experiment in excess. If Coachella is a glass of water that keeps getting bigger until it more resembles a kiddie pool, then SXSW is a flood with a neglected cup somewhere in the middle. The natural result is rampant crowds and ever more rampant lame behavior amidst all the genuinely spectacular musical offerings. In honor of the world's most bloated city this week, we present the five biggest sellouts at SXSW.

See Also:
-The Scene at SXSW: Here's What You Are Missing
-SXSW 2013: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Spain, Ivan & Alyosha and More: Review and Photos

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SXSW 2013: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Spain, Ivan & Alyosha and More: Review and Photos

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Dana Plonka
Nick Cave at SXSW 2013.

Kneeling down at the edge of the stage at the big outdoor venue of Stubb's in Austin, Nick Cave cradled a young man's head in his hands and sang his death-filled take on the deathless "Stagger Lee" myth. The jammed-in crowd laughed a little nervously. Cave stared down at the kid, who just kept nodding his head as if nothing were happening. The band, the Bad Seeds, played like the armies of the night.

Five-thousand miles away a new pope was about to take the throne. Oh hipster, my hipster, I'm not saying these things have never happened before, but you try telling Austin (or the world) that, not to mention the kid whose head will never be the same.

Nor will mine, after the first two days of SXSW Music 2013.

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The Scene at SXSW: Here's What You Are Missing

Categories: SXSW

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Photos by Craig Hlavaty
Well, you actually are missing really good pizza.

Awwwww, I know it is a shame you aren't here with us at SXSW in Austin. I can only imagine the aching and longing in your heart for walking aimlessly and standing in long lines for no reason, and sweating through your cardigan to see a band you heard on one of the Twilight soundtracks.

You don't want to be here. Turn around, go back home. Go see a movie. Go see that new Oz movie, it looks kinda cool. Take advantage of all the empty bars. Save your money and sleep in your own bed.

See Also:
-The 20 Most Overused Terms In SXSW Band Bios
-The 50 Commandments of SXSW

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The 50 Commandments of SXSW

Categories: SXSW

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For Christ's sake, don't break any of these commandments this year.
You're going to South by Southwest, right? Or you're already there? One of those things is bound to be true. Well, we here at RFT Music have got some advice for you, and we've managed to format it all into the style of commandments, because one of our favorite things to do is pretend we're angry gods. Or something like that.

So, here they are, the 50 Commandments of SXSW 2013.

See Also:
-The 20 Most Overused Terms In SXSW Band Bios


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