Wednesday, March 25, 2015

80s Vibes + SXSW

I'm LOVIN all these 80s sounding songs of late.  All brand new - but you can tell artists are diving into their old record collections for inspiration.  Here's what I'm talking about.

I'm just back from South By South West Music Festival and still trying to remember all the shows I saw there.  It's always an overwhelming experience - but in the end I've come back to work more pumped than ever about new music.  Pumped about all styles and level of greatness.

If you take a stroll down 6th street in Austin you'll see some seriously random things. From a homeless guy swinging flags around his head to the beat of a distant DJ set in a local venue to unicycles and jugglers and everything in between.  You'll also see hundreds of struggling artists.  Some are part of the actual festival slugging their gear from one gig to the next - but there are many that aren't part of the festival at all.  They come with hopes of being seen and set up in street corners, in hotel lobbies, on the backs of pedicabs, up dark alleys and just about any other spot where people might be walking past.  Loads of hip-hop crews handing out mixed tapes while wearing matching sweaters with names of artists while holding massive signs with twitter and Instagram handles.  It's actually sad to see many of these things.  Sad because it's a desperate attempt that will likely fall short in the end.  

I really don't envy musicians trying to make it today.  For all the success stories through Vine and YouTube - there are million of others cluttering our social media feeds and other media outlets daily. The lion's share are mediocre at best - thus making it harder than ever before for real talent to break through.  It's a shame because there are some truly amazing new talents on the grind right now.  Artists that should by all means succeed and I for one hope they can.

Some highlights for me at this year's festival were these talented artists...

  • Frank Turner
  • Yukon Blonde
  • Scott Weiland
  • Run The Jewels
  • Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires
  • Marina and the Diamonds
  • The Weeknd
  • The War On Drugs
  • Twin Shadow
  • July Talk
  • Leon Bridges
  • James Bay
  • Metz
  • Ibeyi
  • The Vaccines
  • The Sheepdogs

Here's - My SXSW Spotify Play list - that includes many of the above mentioned as well as others that performed in Austin this year.

Until next time.