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Friday, February 8th, 2008

South By Spring Break

So as everyone and their dog has already blogged, the official SxSW 2008 lineup was released yesterday. In the past, they’ve parceled out the lineup in smaller bundles but this looks to be the whole thing. Of course, it’ll change some between now and mid-March – there’s acts on there that I’ve been told aren’t going to be attending and other acts absent that I know will be in Austin. But by and large, that’s it.

And while I had a pretty good idea before this came out of who I liked or wanted to see that would or wouldn’t be, scanning the whole thing my initial reaction to this year’s lineup – relative to the past three years I’ve attended, anyway – is pretty meh. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I’ll see lots of terrific stuff, old faves and new discoveries, but when I scan the band list I’m looking for those up-and-coming acts that’ve already caught my ear but who are too small to mount a tour to North America and whom I can only reasonably expect to catch at something like Sx. Those bands – the ones I’ve never seen and want to – are the ones that seem sorely lacking this year.

I am, however, very pleased that I’ll finally get to see Trespassers William live and previewing material from their forthcoming fourth album (they’re streaming one of the new songs on their MySpace). That’ll take some sting out of the fact that The Radio Dept are once again going to absent, but there’s some good news from them as well – the new album is done and will be out in May!

But the lineup announcement is really only the beginning – now we can wait for the gigantor-sized MP3 torrents featuring a good chunk of the showcasing bands, the deluge of day show announcements and the actual schedule, which is where the real fun/nightmare begins. So those of you who’ve taken a closer look at the lineup than I and have some recommendations, send them over. Torr, for example, has already singled out a bunch of UK (and some other) acts that have piqued his interest and if I feel like rooting for the home team, Chart has filtered out all the Canadian acts making a run for the border. Goodness, there’s a lot of us. And as always, Donewaiting and SxSW Baby are your best two sources of info for anything and everything Sx-related. Bookmark them or add them to your RSS for the next month and a half. Photo of 6th St in Austin via New York Magazine.

Related – though it’s been getting updated bit by bit over the last few weeks, the Canadian Music Week schedule has been declared as officially released. Still some gaps in there, but you should get a good idea of what’s going on in town the week of March 5 through 8. Note the Ace Frehley show at the Guvernment on March 5 – this is NOT the long-rumoured Frehley’s Comet reunion. It’s just Ace. Don’t get your hopes up.

Some of you may have heard about the feature Spin ran about Toronto – aka “Rock City” (say what?) – in this month’s issue. Well rather than loiter at Chapters checking it out, you can see it on their digital edition, which reproduces the magazine in its entirety – ads and all. To see the article, head to the very back of the ish – page 140 102-103 to be precise – and bask in the warm glow of a formerly relevant American music magazine give Hogtown big props (and without namechecking Rush or the Barenaked Ladies even once).

Indie MP3 has graciously posted up the list of “50 Greatest UK Indie Records Of All Time” as declared by the latest issue of Mojo. The biggest question that it raises in my mind is exactly what is their definition of “record”? Some of their picks are songs, others are albums, or are they referring to the actual physical format? Like, if it was released on shiny slab of black vinyl, be it album, single or EP, it’s fair game? Weird.

Anchorage Press, who incidentally have possibly the worst website layout I’ve ever seen, has an interview with Mountain Goat Peter Hughes. Heretic Pride is out February 19.

Those of you undergoing Decemberist withdrawal will be pleased to know that the Colin Meloy solo tour will indeed be stopping in Toronto. He’s at the Phoenix on April 19 and his live solo record Colin Meloy Sings Live is out April 8.

Spinner has it that Jenny Lewis is working on a second solo record and has invited a bunch of her showbiz friends along to help out.

Kathleen Edwards will play songs from her new record Asking For Flowers, out March 4, at The Phoenix on March April 23.

Bob Mould returns to his own Minneapolis stomping grounds to record a session for Minnesota Public Radio. Mould is in Toronto at the Mod Club on March 10.

Chart chats with Two Hours Traffic’s, in town at the Horseshoe February 23.

The Brooklyn Paper talks to Matt Berninger of The National about making the jump to bigger venues, as they will this Summer on tour with R.E.M.. That tour stops in at the Molson Amphitheatre on June 8.

And a last minute update courtesy of Bradley’s AlmanacOkkervil River’s show in Amsterdam tomorrow night will be webcast live at Fabchannel starting at 8PM local, 2PM Eastern standard time.

By : Frank Yang at 8:16 am
Category: Uncategorized
RSS Feed for this postNo Responses.
  1. alan says:

    i thought the REM show was June 8, was it changed?

  2. stytzer says:

    Too bad you won’t get to see The Radio Dept., but certainly excellent news about the album!

  3. Frank says:

    fact checking is for chumps.

    fixed.

  4. Pat says:

    So I’m really worried about the state of music here in 2008. CMJ Music Marathon was more or less anticlimactic last year, SXSW is shaping up to be one big pile of meh, and all the festivals are touting really horrible lineups so far (with the exception of P-Fork vs. ATP). Plus the releases this year have been subpar to say the least. I think we are seeing the beginning of the end for the "indie" as we know it and need to keep our eyes on the horizon for the next interesting thing to come along.

  5. Windy City Vinnie says:

    …a great chicago post-punk band, Naked Raygun, will be there this year…they are a "paid-their-dues, no-shit" band and the tunes are like melodic sledgehamers banging into your skull, check ’em out!

  6. Gary Campbell says:

    Ya — that Anchorage Press web site is nonsensically stupid. What’s up with the "mood" switcher? When you choose "light" the layout becomes unreadably dark!

  7. Daniel says:

    where’s the toronto article in the pete doherty issue. it only went up to pg 104…

  8. Frank says:

    page 102 and 103. Fuck, I am not on the same wavelength as reality today.

  9. kathryn says:

    BTW – The Kathleen Edwards show at the Phoenix is APRIL 23rd (not March).

  10. Frank says:

    three errors in one post! A new record!

    I quit.