Whereas Day 2 and Day 3 of SXSW Music were pretty glorious, weather-wise, Day 4, the Saturday, was... not "Chamber of Commerce" weather. It started out cold and, um, just never warmed up. It made for a lack of motivation to get back downtown for a third day of music. What I never fully appreciated having never attended SXSW before was how tiring the whole thing can be. Now, to some extent, this trip was just a giant vacation for me. My wife, whose tolerance of crowds and standing around is waaaay lower than mine, stayed home for some time without the kids, and my kids got lots of grandparental time. Which meant I could play hooky, listening to music for 3 days straight. It was wonderful. But just like you can be exhausted after a couple days of Disneyland or camping in the woods, SXSW can be exhausting. Scratch "can" -- is exhausting. So after telling you how cold and tired I was, what was my first activity on Saturday? Waiting in line for 30 minutes to get into the Rachel Ray party. I wanted to go for a couple reasons: 1) the bands (Jakob Dylan with Neko Case and Kelly Hogan, as well as She & Him), and 2) just to see what it was like doing a "free" (no badges) event. There were plenty of other events like that I skipped (who really needs free Taco Bell?), but the music (and the food) pushed it over the top for me. (The food was pretty good, definitely better than Taco Bell.) I got in, heard Street Sweeper Social Club, which sounded like it was for those who liked Rage Against the Machine but couldn't be bothered with the whole politics thing. (Turns out that was a pretty good read, as the band included Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine.) I chatted with a random stranger for awhile while listening to She & Him, the Zooey Deschanel / M. Ward project, who were pretty sunny for such a blustery day. As I noted before, it's amazing how much networking you can do when you're not expecting it -- it even was slightly kids music related. I don't remember much of the show, but I did note that they had 2 tambourines in the band. For some reason, I spent much of Saturday noting the presence of tambourines in the bands, because it seemed like everyone had them. She & Him were the final act for the party, so they rushed us out of Stubb's, and I made my way to Flatstock for the second time. It was just as cool the second time. I never did find a show poster I loved (I picked up a small New Pornographers poster for $5), but I did find this at the Seattle Show Posters booth. (What can I say? It was my third day without my wife.)
You might be wondering... uh, what happened to my Day 1 report of SXSW 2010 Music? The answer is that the conference started Wednesday and I didn't get into town 'til Thursday. Hence, Day 2. Anyway, I thought I'd give you a day-by-day report of my SXSW experiences. Not because it's relevant to kids' music (it's not, for the most part), but because I figure a lot of you readers (fans and musicians alike) are big music geeks and would find impressions of a weekend entirely focused on music of no small interest. But I'll give you some kids music equivalents for a few of the folks. Oh, and there are details on a contest giving away a kids' music CD. So here we go... Our flight arrived in Austin about 1 or so, and after getting the rental car, we (that is, myself and Miss Mary Mack and Little Boy Blue, both on spring break) drove up to my mom's house. Because we were having dinner with friends and family, I decided to go pick up my badge and headed downtown in the meantime. Badge pickup was easy (far easier than parking at 4 pm on a SXSW Thursday -- I found the last $10 spot at a surface lot about 8 blocks away from the Convention Center), so having already spent the $10 on parking, I decided to explore a bit. After visiting the trade show (which was kinda small, actually), I got my first taste of SXSW music at the Day Stage/"Blogger's Lounge," which despite being dimly lit and furnished with large beanbags, was still in a cavernous convention center. It was like being in your friend's basement, if your friend lived in an airplane hangar.
Well, there's some but you have to look hard. Although there are a number of artists here who have a kids' album under their belt (I'm listening to Tom Freund right now), this isn't a kids music friendly conference. Which is fine. I've got my kids music panel with Tor Hyams, Karen Rappaport McHugh, Matt Pryor, and more. 2 PM, don't miss it if you're here. And if you need a kids music fix and want to brave the crowds at Auditorium Shores, Walter T and the Rated G's, Big Don, and Daddy-A-Go-Go isn't a bad set of music. Starts at noon. But really, this isn't about the kids. First day in the books - eight artists. I'll have to tell you about it. When it's not 1:30 AM.
When I mentioned a while back that South By Southwest would feature another kids music panel, I omitted one small detail: I'm going to participate on the panel. That's right -- "Jumping into the Kiddie Pool: Diving for Dollars" will feature me along with four other folks talking about this little (but growing) slice of the music industry. Considering the other folks on the panel -- Tor Hyams, Karen Rappaport McHugh, Daniel Brindley (who runs Jammin' Java and manages Rocknoceros), and Marty Diamond (who books a lot of kids shows, including the Sippy Cups) -- I'll excited just to be a part of it. While I wouldn't expect somebody to register for the conference just for that one panel, if you're around -- even if you're an artist who thinks they'd never record music for kids -- on Friday, March 18 at 2 PM, stop by. It'll be lots of fun, and I'm pretty sure you'll learn something. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to be spending the next five weeks catching up on my sleep. I gather from Bill, who spoke on a similar panel last year, that I may not sleep that much that weekend.
Well, it's been a presence at the last couple SXSW conferences, and it'll be there again this year, as a set of panels for the 2010 South By Southwest Music Conference was announced today, officially confirming "Jumping into the Kiddie Pool: Diving for Dollars" as being in the mix. Tor Hyams is heading up the panel, which will answer questions such as... What venues are booking kids acts during the day and grown up acts at night? What sponsors are paying for the kid's venues? What are the Imagination Movers really like on tour? OK, maybe not that last one. In any case, I'm expecting Tor and Karen Rappaport McHugh (who's also helping put together the panel) to assemble a good list of panelists. Should be fun. (Also kids-music-related to that list of panels: Andy Adelewitz, who does PR for the Sippy Cups, will lead a panel on "The Future of Music PR." And Holly George-Warren, noted rock journalist who happens to be the wife of Robert Burke Warren AKA Uncle Rock -- does that make her Aunt Rock? -- will lead a panel on "Women Write Women's Experiences in Music.")