SXSW is all about struggling independent musicians, and Lady Gaga. (Credit Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for Coty Beauty UK)
This year, the tech and film portion of SXSW seemed to explode in popularity and media coverage, and we’re quite pleased we decided to send Ned Ehrbar there to cover it. But SXSW got its start as a music conference, and that’s what kicks into high gear today.
As the film and tech portions wrap up, Ehrbar passes the SXSW coverage baton to me as I land in Austin, Texas, to scour clubs for unknown bands and performers who will soon be hugely popular, and take in a few of the already hugely popular acts who over the last few years have joined in on the musical media frenzy that overtakes Austin every March. Lady Gaga will be there, delivering the keynote address and performing, and it’s rumored that Jay Z and Kanye have something planned, too.
Some of the new acts I'm psyched about seeing include Angel Olsen, the Casket Girls and Skaters. (And there are also a few big ones, like Coldplay, that I may reluctantly watch as they steal attention away from the aforementioned newbies.) Follow @metrousmusic on Twitter for a progress report on whether those young bands I'm psyched about deliver and to see what kinds of weird barbecue-slathered stuff I put in my mouth.
Also, keep all of the hardworking New Yorkers making the Texas trek in your thoughts this week that they may make it big. Here’s a sampling of which N.Y.-based acts are playing SXSW.
• The Men • Weekend • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart • Skaters • Ava Luna • Young Magic • Jonathan Toubin • Matt Sucich • Garland Jeffreys • Cerebral Ballzy • Juan Wauters • Talib Kweli • Milagres • Tanya Morgan • Habibi • Phantogram • Spirit Animal