“Hey guys, this year we’ll definitely go to…” and it’s only here again already! South by Southwest (or SXSW) is a music/film/tech festival held every year in Austin, Texas with music-related stuff running this year from March 17th-22th, film shizz from 13th-21st and interactive goings on between 13th-17th. This year’s keynote speaker is Snoop Dogg (seriously CANNOT wait for his words of wisdom) and if you’ve been following the McDonalds related semi-scandal, you’ll only be delighted to hear that they have somehow actually found the pennies to pay the acts they are putting on at the event.
Unless you already have a ticket and a flight/happen to live near Texas or elsewhere in the US or are feeling spontaneous and are planning to rock up there in the next few days, you will actually be able to watch proceedings wherever you are in the world via their free on-demand streaming service and also on their YouTube channel. Sweet.
There is SO much going on at this shindig but GirlCrew has been kind enough to peruse the listings for you and whittle down the truly daycent bands and fillums.
1. Courtney Barnett. A kickass Aussie with an infectious rambling style that will make you want to join her band. Her stuff sounds chilled out on first listen but they rock out in the flesh. TUNE: Avant Gardener.
2. Fight Like Apes. Screechy punk popsters with the awesome MayKay at the helm, they’ve toured the UK with the likes of The Von Bondies, The Ting Tings, New Found Glory, The Prodigy and Kasabian and have played several Irish and European festivals throughout their career. Pro Tip: If you want to look like you’re cool, down with Irish bands and know heaps about them you can also refer to them as FLA or FLApes. Tune: Do you Karate? Or the Le Galaxie/MayKay collaboration Carmen.
3. Speedy Ortiz. They hail from West Massachusetts, where the mighty Pixies started out. Points gained for the fact they started out as a solo project when the singer was teaching at summer camp. (The only way that could be topped is if she also knew somebody who had mono that summer.) Tune: No Below.
4. Girl Band. Spoiler: there are no girls in this band but they do hail from Dublin and they are cracking live. They are post-punk goodness and all round lovely lads. They had visa issues earlier in the year so this will actually be their first jaunt to the US. Fingers crossed for them. Tune: Lawman.
5. Twin Peaks. Yeah, I got sucked in by my love of the TV show of the same name. They sound like power pop garage rock with a hint of Big Star and my friend has just walked in and said “oh that sounds a bit country” or maybe it sounds like a damn fine cup of coffee and… I’ll stop. Tune: Making Breakfast.
6. Girlpool. You might notice there is something different/missing from their sound – yep, no drummer but it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference to their sound. Their songs are genuinely catchy with snippy observations at times and some good screaming. Tune: Blah Blah Blah.
1. GTFO: Get the Fuck Out. Almost half of all gamers are women; yet, female gamers are disproportionately subject to harassment and abuse. GTFO seeks to investigate misogyny in video game culture and questions the future of this 20 billion dollar industry.
2. Ex-Machina: This already been released in Europe but Ex-Machina but is now getting its North American debut. Directed by Alex Garland of The Beach and 28 Days later fame and starring Domnhall Gleeson and object of lust, Oscar Isaac.
3. Raiders! There seems to be a craze of adults recreating photos of them as their younger selves with their siblings at the moment and this takes that idea one step further. In 1982, two 11-year-olds in Mississippi set out to remake Raiders of the Lost Ark. After seven years, they finished every scene except one. 30 years later, they attempt to finally finish their fan film and realise their childhood dream.
4. Get Hard. Film festivals are all about arty films that wouldn’t make you raise a smile. Wrong! Here’s a Will Ferrell film for you. With a ten-year stint in San Quentin hanging over his head, yuppie Brad (Will) hires Darnell (Kevin Hart) to toughen him up for prison life. We’ll assume that hilarity ensues.
5. Made in Japan. A documentary that tells the tale of Tomi Fujiyama, the world’s ﬁrst Japanese country music superstar and aims to show the impact of the corporate world on the dreams of one woman.
For the full lowdown, and complete listings, check out sxsw.com. Or just stick to our super concise guide and then just go with the flow/follow someone who looks like they’re having the best time.
PS-SXSW Phone Filming Warning: If one of our girls catches you filming an entire set on your phone in front of her at a gig, she’s going to take it off you, send it to us to put in our drawer of confiscated goods and we will post it back to you when we’ve decided you’re done being smartphone grounded. So please do make sure to give her your correct postal address.
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