Wow! What a week we just enjoyed in Austin for South BY Southwest.
Among the highlights were:
-Playing our showcase at Stubbs, which was joined by a bunch of other great bands and the whole night carried live and now streaming on NPR.org. Bob Boilen, music guy at all NPR music considered, has a great podcast up where you can hear his reflections on the night of music and fun at the epicenter of The Live Music Capital of the World! And the reviews and blogposts are too numerous to count but here are a few I have noticed and enjoyed:
-Taping the Austin City Limits show leading off their 34th season and the show, people, performance, everything– all was just top-rate and made for a wonderful television show (airing on PBS May 24th, the weekend our North American tour kicks off).
-The radio premier, in which the guys were interviewed by old friend Jody Denberg about ACCELERATE and interspersed were selections from the album– and at the end, the guys played a new song, Supernatural Superserious, as well as the 2001 tune Imitation of Life.
-Knowing a ton of other bands, from Athens and otherwise, were in
town and playing all over (everybody from Dark Meat to Modern Skirts to Joseph Arthur to Lou Reed to Bloodkin to Clay Leverett). The only bad part was that due to our schedule we had little to no time to
actually go enjoy anything other than the stuff we were doing (in addition to the above, all the press and promo with everybody from the BBC to MTV to NPR to XM and SIRIUS Radio . . . the results of
all that press the guys did will become evident in the upcoming weeks as ACCELERATE comes more into focus and is FINALLY released March 31st/April 1st everywhere. . . . but leave it to say we all want to come back on a non-work trip and just enjoy the music and the hanging. Last night I had an unexpected evening there and my wife and I just walked aimlessly down Sixth Street totally entertained by the crowdscene and the scores of bands playing, one in literally every bar, every restaurant, every sandwich shop. . . Austin truly is unlike anywhere else in the world– especially this week.
Some have wondered why R.E.M. would have come to SXSW– my
goodness, to me the more pertinent question is, why wouldn’t we? It sure was fun and we sure got to expose the songs and well, after you make the record that’s kind of what you hope to do . . .
More good random reads on the SXSW experience:
Meanwhile on to Italy, then Paris and London. . .stay tuned for
details, including today. ACCELERATE is only 2 weeks away.