Last week we announced that San Miguel Primavera Sound would put on two showcases at the South By Southwest festival that has been held every month of March in Austin, Texas for the last 25 years. More than a festival SXSW is a fair for professionals (with all the usual trimmings of these events: stands, talks, etc) in which with the passing of the years concerts, concerts and more concerts have been added until it has become what it is today: a week of parties and endless concerts.
The, shall we call it; artistic part of the festival is divided into two. The official part, that is the concerts and showcases programmed from 8pm until 2 am, and the unofficial, that takes place mainly from midday until the start of the official one, although recently it takes place at any time of the day or night. Well, normally until 2am, because although there are parties from that time, and there are, parties at that time are complicated (let’s just say that the authorities of that State are not very receptive to early hour excesses.
For many of the professionals who come from all over the world, the event SXSW is more like a week of margaritas, free beer and sun (rare in Europe in March), but for us, since the first time we went in 2007, it is the perfect opportunity to build the line up of our festival. Almost 2000 bands, most of which are novice with only one record out in our eyes is irresistible, as it gives us the opportunity to see for ourselves, in advance what the artists who come to San Miguel Primavera Sound are like live, in advance. The only handicap is the date, it is too close to May, which makes it impossible for bands “discovered” at SXSW to be very present in the line up of that same year. However, we always find room for them in San Miguel Primavera Club or in the next edition of the festival.
We have come back from our trips to Austin with bands, which many times, have travelled to Europe for the first time to be with us. Ezra Furman & The Harpoons, Deerhunter, Beirut, Fucked Up, A Place To Bury Strangers, Man Man, Elvis Perkins, Port O´Brien, Voxtrot, Sleepy Sun, Marnie Stern, The Soft Pack, Vivian Girls, Ponytail and Crystal Antlers are some of the bands that we were able to see before many people in those March days and who have played on one of the stages of the Parc del Fòrum. But at South By Southwest it is also possible to end up at the end of the night in the suburbs of the city where Les Savy Fav and Black Lips are playing for 50 people, or to see the first concert of Mary Weiss together with Reigning Sound in a tiny venue.
This year we are going back with two showcases, after a first incursion in 2008 in collaboration with Catalan Music when El Guincho played (these concerts were crucial to launch him into the world scene), Tokyo Sex Destruction, Les Aus, Veracruz and Mazoni together with the guest performances by The Extraordinaires and Fuck Buttons.
On Wednesday 16th March in the Nuvola club we will have The Baseball Project (with members of REM The Dream Syndicate and Young Fresh Fellows), The Soft Moon, Mujeres, Lüger, Guadalupe Plata and the Porto Rican Dávila 666. The next day in the same venue it will be the turn of Edwyn Collins (on what will be his first tour of The USA), the Canadians Suuns, Tokyo Sex Destruction, Za!, Capsula and the Costa Ricans, Las Robertas.