SXSW 2013: What The Hell Just Happened?
  • MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2013

  • Posted by: David Moffly

My head is swimming. Five days, 64 shows, 20 hours of sleep and now at my desk on Monday attempting to organize thoughts about what went on for Baeblemusic at SXSW. We had an exceptionally busy SXSW as the media partner for Hype Machines' Hype Hotel series and the hosts of our own packed showcase on Saturday. We filmed 64 acts as part of this juggernaut of production and no sleep; single songs from a large portion can be seen in the concerts section of the site right now. We are now editing all shows and adding additional cameras to the edits and full multi-track audio to showcase the collective brilliance of all the acts we filmed.

I had some favorites from the huge number of performances I saw did anyone else get to see 64 performances as part of their SXSW? You will here at Baeblemusic over the coming month or two as we bring these shows to life for you here on the site. Jim James was overwhelming but I expected no less from him. Ivan and Alyosha was the only act that performed for our cameras twice and they were wonderful both times. Rudimental and St. Lucia completely knocked me over with their intensity and power. Jake Bugg gets the big balls award for doing a solo acoustic set at 1AM. Paloma Faith silenced an unruly crowd at our showcase to be followed by The Thermals igniting a mini riot of crowd surfing and moshing. !!! (Chk Chk Chk) closed out of SXSW for us and their performance was what you would expect from this band - outrageous and fun. Nic Offer performed in Rolling Stones boxers (head over to our Facebook page for some photos) and inspired several audience members to get up on the stage their somewhat less modest briefs. I also now have a huge crush on Beyonce's cooler and realer younger sister Solange (as America should).

The moments from the last five days are many and the levels of the festival and what goes on during this music- and alcohol-fueled fiesta are also complex and varied. Big money, big brands, bands large and obscure is all part of the intense mix. Music lovers and hardcore partiers drive the scene. Where else can you find intense (creepy) 13-year-olds hanging out in front of your showcase for hours for a chance to see Paloma Faith and at the same time witness a young woman vomiting out the passenger door of a moving car?

More digital and real ink will and has been spilled over what it all means and is it relevant and are the big brands taking over? Has the SXSW organization lost control of the event? Is it demeaning to play in the Doritos Machine, WTF is Stubhub (a company that is a premier scalper) doing as a presence? Were the riot fences really necessary for the Justin Timberlake show? Do we all still love Prince?

I will let all the real writers and music pundits get into what it all means and the future of music (the music industry loves more than anything else to talk about itself at endless and overlapping conferences). We loved the music and the talents that brought it to us.

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