I could complain that SXSW isn’t what it used to be — that’s it has morphed from a music festival to a tech festival (which it has). Or I could just listen to the music that is still there and see what’s hot. So I did. Check out Elle King, who recently recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis. If you hurry, you can get to Austin in time to see her showcase tomorrow night.
You can watch over 100 SXSW music videos here. Let us know if you see somebody you’d like us to bring to Gloucester or Beverly.
If you’re already in Austin and checking GMG for a taste of home, I recommend you go see the world premiere of “All Things Must Pass” a documentary about the rise and fall of Tower Records. Here’s a quote from Tower’s founder, Russ Solomon, that might surprise you, “I don’t buy records anymore. I’m too old for that.” See the full interview here.
A recent blog by Paul Lamere of Echo Nest (in Somerville, MA) claims to have analyzed listener data from music streaming services to determine the most “distinctive” artists by state. His method is very interesting, if a tad wonkish (see his explanation here). Essentially the most “distinctive” artist for Massachusetts is the artist that is very popular in MA, but NOT very popular in other states — and, based on Paul Lamere’s study, that artist is Neil Young, who is scheduled to unveil his new, studio-quality music service and device called Pono, at 5pm today at South by Southwest (more here).
Artists LOVE this new sound. Check out what they have to say in Neil Young’s Kickstarter campaign for Pono, here. Even if Pono is a flop, the mere fact that people who make music are finally talking about good quality sound in the digital age is a major breakthrough. Who knows where this revolution will lead, but you can say you were there (even if only via the Internet) when Neil Young Started it.
I guess we should all be proud to live in Massachusetts! Perhaps the boys can play a little Neil Young tonight at Jalapenos in his honor!