Thursday, March 15, 2007

SXSW: Day 1

South by Southwest 2007, Austin Pete Townshend says screw the Internet! Sort of. In a keynote speech last night, the legendary Who demanded to know why he could pay $50 to "watch two motherfuckers beat the shit out of each other" but couldn't watch his friend play an intimate set at the neighborhood bar streaming live and direct online. Townshend called out the record and tech industries, claiming the "new boss," same as the old, are restricting access to a world he envisioned 30 years ago with the story that inspired Who's Next.

But the lively, frank artist isn't just flapping his jaw. On April 25, Townshend will launch the "Method," an interactive experience that offers subscribers the opportunity to create musical works modeled after their individual characteristics by "sitting" for a software composer as one would pose for a painter. Townshend tested the new process on the Who's latest album, Endless Wire. He encouraged the audience to attend the unveiling, especially journalists who he kindly referred to as "his friends," and as artists who are writing and researching and producing works that deserve as much respect as a musician's compositions.

I followed my new crush to the Austin Chronicle's annual music awards where he performed with Faces' alumn Ian MacLagan on the giant convention center stage. Standing four feet away from Townshend as he struck his trademark pose (arm windmilled above his guitar, legs in a lunge) was inspiring, to say the least.

My night closed with New York afro-punk act Game Rebellion, whose shirtless frontman left the stage several times to mosh with the crowd and who referred to Bush & Co. as the real gangstas. Today promises to bring much, much, much more music including sets by the Pippettes, Dirty Projectors, Black Lips, The Whigs, Sloan ... oh, who am I kidding. It's impossible to predict what will happen. Stay tuned. (Jamie Gadette)

1 comment:

  1. Four feet from Pete?! You are my hero. Keep those recaps coming...


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