The 10 Worst Things at SXSW This Year

Categories: SXSW

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Photos by Marco Torres
Somebody somewhere really did not want us to see Smashing Pumpkins at SXSW.
Security and Cops Gettin' Wild: Look, I get it. Every drunken dickhead in town "knows someone" or thinks he has pull at the door, but that doesn't mean the hammer goes down on everyone. I was stopped by two cops who didn't want me to walk 50 yards from where the Smashing Pumpkins would be playing an hour hence, for unknown reasons.

And then when you want to play the whimpering "I have a SXSW badge, though" card, you feel like a choad and don't. I don't know what function preventing people from walking in the middle of a closed street had, but I hope it somehow saved thousands of lives. CRAIG HLAVATY

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The Five Biggest Sellouts at SXSW

Categories: SXSW

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Marco Torres
SXSW is not a music festival so much as it is an experiment in excess. In honor of the world's most bloated city this week, we present the five biggest sellouts at SXSW.

See also: Why We'll All Try to See Justin Timberlake at SXSW, and Why That's Completely Wrong

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How To Do SXSW Like A Grizzled Old Man

Categories: Lists, SXSW

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SXSW is in full-swing this week down in Austin, and that means a constant blast of updates in your news feed from your friends and colleagues maxing out their annual diarrhea expense accounts. Many publications are eager to tell you the best ways to enjoy your time at the festival. All of those people are lying to you. Here's some advice on how to do SXSW like a grizzled old man.

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The Most Overused Terms In SXSW Band Bios

Categories: SXSW

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A Vampire Weekend fan prepares to scale a fence during "Horchata" and rage.
By Craig Hlavaty

Before I take any trip to Austin and SXSW, I always take more than a few days to peruse the schedule and check out a few of the hundreds of names on the roster and read their bios.

Some years there are more bands with "wolf" and "space" in their monikers than usual, and some years there are random exclamation points! that seem to make! no sense other than to annoy! copy editors who are already sick of reading about SXSW.

RIP Steaming Wolf Penis. I hardly knew ye.

See also: Why We'll All Try to See Justin Timberlake at SXSW, and Why That's Completely Wrong

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The Worst Moments From SXSW 2012

Categories: SXSW

You were a little flat at the end of your performance of "Happy Birthday" there, Wolf Violinist
Over the last few days, Village Voice Media's music editors have been regaling you with stories of the best from Austin's South By Southwest Festival. But with the best must come the worst, and our critics unfortunately came across the following borefests, technical problems, and insults to their intelligence. Better luck next year?

Yawn - Bar 96
The pleasure of Bandcamp comes from the ability to peruse hashtags like "animal collective, avant-pop, beach boys, brian eno, electronic, of montreal, vampire weekend, yeasayer, avant-pop, dreampop, electronic, indie pop, Chicago" and theoretically end up with something that resembles those terms. (Don't forget "andrew bird" and "beirut," guys.) The downside is that music by the likes of the infantile Chicago quartet Yawn gets out there too fast. Tongue-wagging tastemakery takes over, and suddenly folks trying to fill out lineup cards at festivals end up latching onto goobers like these guys without seeing them perform.

Yawn's live act confirms they are a fraud. Thursday's appearance at Bar 96 showed them engaging in the art of trying as hard as possible to seem like they weren't trying. Imagine four unremarkable white dudes with unkempt hair having a rehearsal consisting of directions like "can you make your voice crack a little more when you add some unnecessary harmony to the second verse," or "make sure to introduce that song that obviously isn't slow as a 'slow jam.'" Further banter clunkers: "This is Terry Gross and you're listening to NPR"; "We're in Austin right now, but let's imagine we're in Africa." Even the guy convulsing and spazzing in place to these diluted ripoffs must have been a paid extra. Such earnest attempts to make flippant music—well, it's enough to make you... yawn.
Reed Fischer

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Nas Takes Illmatic To Texas As South By Southwest Comes To An End

Categories: SXSW

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Marco Torres
Before the 2012 edition of South By Southwest blows out of town, allow Village Voice Media's editors to share their favorite moments from the festival's fourth, and final, day.

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50 Cent, Eminem, And Skrillex's Hordes Of Fans Swarm Austin On Day Three Of SXSW

Categories: SXSW

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Marco Torres
50 Cent and Eminem at the Austin Music Hall. More photos below.
If you're familiar with chaos theory, which in its basic form is the attempt to find patterns in this planet's many happenings, then you may understand the difficulty that comes with describing a full day at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. To break down the chaos, a few of Village Voice Media's music editors have selected their favorite moments from SXSW's third day. Find 'em below.

50 Cent / Eminem - Austin Music Hall
Never mind that Get Rich or Die Trying actually came out in 2003; the moist and dewy crowd at Austin Music Hall last night was plenty psyched for the "10th anniversary" of 50 Cent's debut. Backed by a full band, 50 came out in his signature vest, though it proved unnecessary as not a single shot was fired at him. His mentor Eminem came out as surprise guest, rapping passionately from beneath his hoodie. The show was further proof that this "artists doing their seminal albums in full" thing is popular music's best trend.
Ben Westhoff

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Lil Wayne, Skrillex, And Others Fire Up Austin On Day Two Of SXSW

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If you're familiar with chaos theory, which in its basic form is the attempt to find patterns in this planet's many happenings, then you may understand the difficulty that comes with describing a full day at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. To break down the chaos, a few of Village Voice Media's music editors have selected their favorite moments from SXSW's second day. Find 'em below.

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Fiona Apple, The-Dream, And More At SXSW Day One (With Video Of Two New Fiona Apple Songs)

Categories: SXSW

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Craig Hlavaty
Fiona Apple.
If you're familiar with chaos theory, which in its basic form is the attempt to find patterns in this planet's many happenings, then you may understand the difficulty that comes with describing a full day at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. To break down the chaos, a few of Village Voice Media's music editors have selected their favorite moments from SXSW's first day. Find 'em below.


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Coming This Week: SXSW Coverage

by Chris Gray

Marco Torres
"What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area."

—Tommy Lee Jones, The Fugitive

You don't have to spend much time at South By Southwest to know that all of the above buildings can and do get used as music venues during the annual music festival. And starting Thursday, writers and photographers from the music blogs of the Village Voice Media empire plan to go to as many of them as possible. Those who were there last year—and saw collapsing fences, singers brawling with audience members, the Austin Police Department riot squad on constant standby, Odd Future all over the place—are wondering what else could happen.

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