Tuesday, March 12, 2013
FPT x SXSW 2013
That's right. I'm heading down to SXSW to represent FPT, and it's going to be an interesting journey. The ride down alone will be pretty intense (16+ hours from Milwaukee, WI) as me and 3 friends head out on the road trip on Tuesday afternoon.
I've heard a lot about the fest, preparing like a madman for the past few days. There's literally thousands of events and I've listed an average of 50 different things that are worth checking out each day - except Sunday... nothing is happening Sunday.
There's bands I'm gung-ho on seeing, new faces I'm dying to check out, venues and parties hyped beyond belief... and there's rumors stirring, that are actually proving to be more obnoxious than they are worthwhile. Check out these lists below.
The "Duh, Obviously" Acts:
Kendrick Lamar: Undoubtedly hip-hop's hottest newcomer, Kendrick will be all over SXSW for the second year in a row. I've spoken highly enough on Kendrick Lamar for a while now, so I don't even think I need to tell you why I want to see him so badly. Check out "Swimming Pools (Drank)" performed live below.
Toro Y Moi: Chaz Bundick is skyrocketing in 2013. Little known last year, Bundick and his project Toro Y Moi are destined to become household names this year. His album Anything in Return is easily one of the best released so far this year, and Toro Y Moi is on the top of almost every member of my road trip's must-see lists. Check out "Say That"
Poolside: One of my favorite albums of 2012 that slipped by a lot of critics. Two guys performing electronic music they coined as "daytime disco," Poolside's music just begs to be seen outdoors in the sun while slamming free beer and chowing on free tacos.
Foxygen: Another group on the rise, most recently seen opening for Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the group is garnering heavy attention. And for good reason; We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic is an indie pop-lovers wet dream. I'm looking at Thursday's Dead Oceans/Secretly Canadian/Jagujaguwar showcase as the best chance to see them (also performing that night is UMO, Phosphorescent, Bleached and Cayucas).
Wavves: Another one of my most highly anticipated albums of 2013, Nathan Williams brings his project Wavves to SXSW to promote his new album Afraid of Heights. My favorite stoner/surf-punk group will be a band I refuse to miss this week. Here's the group's brand new video for "Demon to Lean On"
Others: Japandroids, Surfer Blood, Local Natives, UMO
The Under-The-Radar Acts:
(Note: This list is simply filled with acts I've never seen before or have just recently been introduced to)
Beach Fossils: One of my favorite albums of 2013 so far, I'm dying to see the live show Beach Fossils puts out. Apparently more aggressive than their first album, and more along the lines of their latest effort Clash The Truth, their live set is almost guaranteed to impress.
Phosphorescent: Yes, fine, the group has been around for around 10 years now, but Phosphorescent is shuffling some parts around and are primed to release a new album with a new sound. Entitled Muchacho, the album is spectacular and "Song for Zula" is one of the most heart-felt songs I've heard in a long time.
Cayucas: One of my new favorite bands, I'm really pumped to see what these guys have to offer on a live stage.
Others: Waxahatchee, CHVRCHES, HAIM, DIIV, Earl Sweatshirt, The 1975, Bleached, Angel Haze, The Wild Feathers, Mister Lies, Disclosure, Ducktails, Sky Ferreira, Parquet Courts, California X, and literally hundreds more...
Parties & Venues
There are a ton of venues I'm dying to check out, if nothing because of some of the hype surrounding them.
Fader Fort: Year in and year out, Fader Fort is the launching pad for the next big thing (Kendrick Lamar highlighted last year's Fort schedule). The RSVP link crashed the site's server, only to relaunch for 9 minutes later that day, and then it was gone. Luckily for us, everyone in our group was on top of our game, and we got our RSVPs in before the link was taken down.
Hype Hotel: What more could I ask for than this lineup AND free Taco Bell AND free beer? Hype Hotel is what SXSW is all about. I'll be found here at least a couple of days this week.
Mohawk: House of Vans is taking over Mohawk, supposed to be one of the coolest venues in the city. I'll be sure to report back to you on this hype, but for now, look at the amazing line-up House of Vans is offering this year.
Stubb's: Undoubtedly the most famous of the venues in Austin, the venue will bring in some of the best acts and parties all week. Spin's week-ending party on Friday will feature Kendrick Lamar and Saturday will have Vampire Weekend gracing the stage.
Rumors, Rumors, Rumors
Ugh. The most frustrating part of this week has been following all of the rumors floating around on Twitter. Some of the biggest names have all but been confirmed (Prince, Justin Timberlake) and some even bigger ones are still on the tips of tongues in Austin (Daft Punk, Jay Z). For now, I refuse to acknowledge or change any plans based on these rumors. Not only because getting in to the shows will be nearly impossible, but also because these rumors have started to cause an unheard of amount of stress. But you can bet your ass I'll be sprinting to a Daft Punk show, if it's ever confirmed.
There will be drama. There will be intrigue. There will be music, hipsters, weirdos, consumption of free beer and tacos, BBQ, and I'll be telling you about all of it. Please follow along with me and my camera as I will be posting some pieces here throughout the week, and blowing up Twitter/Instagram (@KellenYouSoftly) feeds like it's my damn job. Follow along, and if you're in Austin, catch me if you can!