It's that time again! We've packed up our laptops and iPods and digital cameras and dragged the whole Splendid kit and caboodle down to Austin, Texas for South By Southwest. Our mission: to see as many bands as possible -- and try to get at least three hours of sleep a night (but hey, no promises).
Never heard of SXSW? It's one of the biggest music industry events of the year -- four glorious days in Austin, during which almost every club, bar and empty storefront with enough electricity to power a PA system hosts a handful of bands a night. Venues spring up along 6th Street like weeds in a garden, while artists, label people, PR flacks, journalists and just-plain-folks come together to booze and shmooze. If they're paying attention, they'll also have a chance to check out the bands we'll all be talking about for the rest of the year. Sure, sometimes it's a vile experience -- if you've ever slipped in the slime trail left by a Sony Music exec, you know what we mean -- but more often than not, it's like nothing else on earth. You know, in a good way.
This year's SXSW has the potential to be bigger than most -- attendance is higher than it's been in years, and the number of daytime shows rivals the evening stuff. It's safe to say that we're going to be pretty busy.
We'll update this feature every day during SXSW (though our last report may be a bit late due to travel). Look for a new one every morning (with the understanding that "morning" sometimes means "when we wake up", and not "8:00 a.m.").