Saturday, March 26, 2011

5 tracks for the weekend

Hello Friends,

March continues to deliver amazing music and I though I had better share a few with you. From Canadian Music Week to South by South West and now The Junos it's been on hell of an epic month.

Here's a quick list of tunes for you to check out this weekend...
Thanks for reading/listening.


Monday, March 21, 2011

The Capital City of Live Music

Hello Friends,

Austin Texas really is the home to Live Music. The hype and excitement exceeded all my expectations over the past 5 days at the South By South West Music Festival & Conference.

This was my first trip to the festival and I couldn't be happier that I went - and highly recommend it to anyone who likes live music. This festival is World class and it's because all the craziest musicians and music nuts come and live together for 5 days. They eat, sleep, party and celebrate together as one.

The venues are the coolest thing about shows in Austin. From outdoor courtyards, back gardens, packed open air clubs to parks and of course Stubbs BBQ. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing the 'Super Moon' whilst listening to Scala & Kolacny Choir covering Radiohead's 'Cree with a Texas Tea and brisket in hand. Screw GLEE.

My SXSW started with a trip to the MTVU Woodie Awards on Wednesday night. It was a fun experience and the entertainment was amazing.

Here's who played this year's Woodies...

  • Foo Fighters *Legends
  • Wiz Khalifa
  • Two Door Cinema Club *so happy that MTV US are all over these guys
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Odd Future
Here's a snapshot of the rest of my days - and the bands that stood out to me.

  • The Violins
  • Great Lake Swimmers
  • Theopolus London
  • Foster the People *legit
  • Tinie Tempah *proper performer
  • Friendly Fires
  • City and Colour
  • The Sheepdogs *Canada should stand and be proud of these boys. It made me smile when an artist at the poster conference recommended I give them a try:)
  • The Strokes
  • G Love *it's amazing how much a setting can heighten the songs. Austin is where you should see this man.
  • Click Clak Boom
  • Shad
  • The Sheepdogs *if you didn't click earlier then do it now!
  • Emmylou Harris *Legend
  • The Vaccines
  • City and Colour
  • Airbourne Toxic Event
  • Scars on 45 *beautiful tunes
  • Data Rock *I don't think that there's a more entertaining act out there today. Photo above.
  • The Naked and Famous
  • Nicole Atkins
  • Eliza Doolittle *fantastic
  • The Boxer Rebellion *this band was my favourite of all. I just bought their 3 albums.
  • The Funeral Party
In my pre-SXSW post I was contacted by an Austin local. Here's an insider's perspective on SXSW and the characters that visit Austin during the festival. Thanks Hunter:) These ring very true - but I will not reveal to which I most resemble.

Some other highlights for me were meeting Nic Harcourt from KCRW. He's someone I've been listening to for years and he can boast some of the best interviews in the radio World.

I never had the pleasure to see or run into Huw Stephens from BBC Radio 1 - but look forward to hearing his post reviews and recommendations.

Bands I missed - but there's always next time...
Austin is more than music - it's a beautifully clean city and it's slogan 'Keep Austin Weird' really makes sense once you see it in person. Thank you for a great week in music @sxsw

Thanks for reading/listening.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SXSW 2011

Hello Friends,

Tonight feels like Christmas eve for the music lover in me. Tomorrow I'm headed to Austin, Texas for the famed South by South West Music Festival and Conference.

I've never been before so am very anxious and a bit nervous as the festival itself seems a bit overwhelming to say the least. 5 days in a city that hundreds of bands come to in an attempt to get to that next level. Some of the acts are also some of the biggest names in the world - but they bring attention to the festival on a World stage and open peoples eyes/ears to the up and coming.

I've been reading and hearing about SXSW for years now via blogs, music sites, magazines, radio shows and television. More recently I read about the festival in a John Niven book entitled 'Kill Your Friends'.

It seems like I've been responding to emails and RSVPs for months now and the lists of 'Must See' artists continues to grow. I'm personally hoping to stumble across some amazing acts and learn about as many new acts as possible. The festival organizers are the best in the business so I think we can safely say that all these acts will be amazing.

MTV are hosting their annual Woodie Awards tomorrow night as a kick off to the music portion of SXSW. The performers list includes Foo Fighters, Wiz Khalifa, Sleigh Bells and Two Door Cinema Club. It promises to be a fantastic little night - I can't wait to see all these acts live.

I will give a full brief once I return and hopefully be able to share with you some amazing finds from my travels. Until then - here's a few I am hoping and looking forward to seeing in the next 5 days.
A few of these are at the @britishmusicbiz showcases which will be hosted by BBC Radio 1's own Huw Stephens. I'm a huge fan of all he and Zane Lowe speak of - so this feels like a very special opportunity indeed.

I'm also really looking forward to seeing Waterloo Records as it's apparently one of the World's finest.

Thanks for reading/listening.

Gregg Stewart

PS - If anyone has links to THIS SHOW then please let me know :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Music Videos Are Back

Hello Friends,

I do realize that music videos never actually went away - but it needs to be stated that they've garnered some serious interest of late and for good reason.

I'm in a luck position in that part of my job is to watch music videos. It's surreal and sometimes makes me laugh. It also keeps me awake at night as I take it very serious.

Like an artists or not - today's biggest stars are doing some great stuff and keeping the audience's attention for a longer period of time. For an industry that's taken so much stick in recent years - it's a good shot of adrenaline that will hopefully bring it back to life. There's still a ways to go - but for a generation with A.D.D. it's a massive step.

Here's a list of newish videos I recommend you take a second look at along with reasons as to why. If not for the message then for the simple fact that they're creative and entertaining as hell.

Thanks for reading/listening.

Gregg Stewart