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For three decades now, musicians have been making their ways to Austin in March, hoping South by Southwest will provide that elusive boost to their musical careers. It’s happened countless times.

But as my band, Dread, experienced back in 1989, it often doesn’t happen exactly as planned.


whitehouse.gov and SXSW

Unless you've been locked in a soundproof lead box and submerged in Lady Bird Lake, you're fully aware of the traffic situation that's transpiring today: President Obama's visiting and it's the first day of SXSW Interactive.  

Suffice to say, people weren't too jazzed about the prospect and they're took to the Internet to vent about it.

whitehouse.gov and sxsw

President Obama’s motorcade proceeded from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Friday afternoon directly to Torchy’s Tacos on South First before making its way to the Long Center.

“I want to acknowledge your mayor, Steve Adler, who bought tacos with me,” the President said.

Thousands of visitors will flock to Austin in the coming days and weeks for South by Southwest, but is there enough room to house all of them? Of course, it’s hard to pinpoint just how many people attend SXSW each year, but, as any Austinite can tell you, it’s a lot.


KUT News

With South by Southwest Film and Interactive starting Friday, and President Obama in Austin the same day, Austin is anticipating significant effects on traffic congestion. Austin ISD announced that 17 campuses will be letting students out early on Friday to “minimize complications” for families.

KUT

City of Austin officials are trying to keep events during South by Southwest near the same level of activity as 2015. More amplified sound permits were issued this year, but overall, the city has maintained the dialed-back approach it adopted after 2014 – the year Rashad Owens crashed his car through a crowd of people on Red River Street, killing four. 

36 Hours in Austin, Realistically

Mar 8, 2016

The New York Times featured over the weekend its travel guide to Austin, "36 Hours in Austin, Texas.” That guide inspired one "traveler" to hop on a Saturday morning plane to Austin and follow the Grey Lady's itinerary to a "T."

This is that hypothetical traveler's story.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

From the Austin Monitor: Mayor Steve Adler will sponsor an item on next week’s City Council agenda authorizing fee waivers and payments by the city in connection with the 2016 South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Festival for up to $309,310, according to Jim Wick, the mayor’s director of community engagement.

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The head of SXSW Interactive, Hugh Forrest, released a statement today announcing that he made a "mistake" in canceling two GamerGate-related panels earlier this week. Instead of reinstating the panels, Forrest says they've been rolled into a newly scheduled day-long summit on online harassment to be held on Sunday, March 12.

Update 2:30 p.m. It turns out that several of the panelists scheduled for this new online harassment summit were not informed about the full panelist lineup. 

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

The second weekend of the Austin City Limits Festival is upon us.

If you don’t go to ACL, you may just view the two-weekend music event as a headache that consumes a lot city attention and resources. But, the thousands of visitors it brings to the city pump millions of dollars into the Austin economy – $194 million last year, according to C3 Presents. 

SXSW: Episode Thirteen from The Daily Buzz

Mar 25, 2015

Zee and Milo, the brains behind From The Airport (FTA) met at a friend's underground studio in Seoul in 2010 and have since collaborated to create a unique mix of energizing distortions, dance beats, melodies, and moving lyrics. Milo (producing, guitar, bass, keys, vocals) and Zee (producing, DJ, drums, keys, vocals) both have roots in film, Zee as a screenwriter and Milo as a film composer. We spoke about their obsession with films, what inspires them as musicians, their time in the Korean Army, and what American bands influenced them growing up as kids in S. Korea.

SXSW: Episode Twelve from The Daily Buzz

Mar 25, 2015

Korean American Daniel Park (aka DPD) is a director and producer. His film Ktown Cowboys made its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. He started his music, news and publishing agency, Transparent Agency, along with electro-hop band Far East Movement. Together they manage artists April Nhem, Bye Felicia, Dustin Lenji, Paul Mason, Rell The Soundbender, and Yultron. He sat down with us during KPop Meet Up @Blackheart to talk about the KPop wave, why the computer is a musical instrument, and how DJs are artists too.

SXSW: Episode Eleven from The Daily Buzz

Mar 25, 2015

The Daily Buzz caught up with Korean rock, electronic and indie band HEO in the hallway of the Majestic on 6th Street during SXSW just prior to their performance. We spoke with HEO's Kim Bo Yeong (vocals, keyboard, and bass), K (guitar and sound engineer) and Kim Geonjae (drums).

SXSW: Episode Ten from The Daily Buzz

Mar 25, 2015

The Daily Buzz caught up with the winners of the 2015 Korean Music Awards Rock Song Of The Year Asian Chairshot after their performance at KPop Night Out at the Elysium. This psychedelic garage rock band group consists of a talented trio: drummer Pak Gye Wan, guitarist Sohn Hee Nam, and bassist and vocalist Hwang Yong Won. Others have compared their sound to Black Sabbath, Soundgarden and Radiohead.

Find out during our interview how they met Jeff Schroeder of Smashing Pumpkins, how they convinced him to produce their album, and why it's important to never give up.

SXSW: Episode Nine from The Daily Buzz

Mar 25, 2015

Singer-songwriter Bobby Choy is no stranger to SXSW. This graduate of NYC's School of Performing Arts returns to the festival for a second time this year doing double duty as an artist in both the film and music portions. He had a lead role in Ktown Cowboys, which made its world premiere in Austin at SXSW. The film, based on the successful web series of the same name, follows a group of childhood friends who spend their free time in Los Angeles' Koreatown (aka Ktown).

SXSW: Episode Eight from The Daily Buzz

Mar 25, 2015

The Daily Buzz spoke to The Barberettes, a retro Korean female trio made up of three vocalists: Shinae An Wheeler, Grace Kim and So Hee Park, at SXSW during the Music portion of the festival. Specializing in harmony, this very stylish doo wop group takes us back in time with their nostalgic interpretations of hits from the 1950s and 1960s such as "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes and "Barbara Ann" by the Beach Boys. They call themselves the "Time Traveling Girl Group" and have inspired a new wave of fashion followers with their dapper outfits and picture perfect hair and makeup.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

You might be surprised to hear that Sweden is the world’s third biggest exporter of music. ABBA, Ace of Base, and the guy who invented Spotify are all Swedes.

And when Swedish musicians travel outside their country, one of their first stops is South by Southwest.

But what makes Swedish music so popular?

Bernardo Ruiz

This story comes from Texas Standard.

A documentary at SXSW – “Kingdom of Shadows” – forces us to look at the ongoing violence south of the Texas-Mexico border.

The film is told through three people – a Mexican nun working to find answers about tens of thousands of disappearances, a U.S. drug enforcement agent and a former Texas drug smuggler. Bernardo Ruiz directed the film.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

At South by Southwest Music you can hear everything from metal and rock to hip hop and electronic music.

Dozens of genres – but for the most part, they all have one very basic thing in common.

If you’re a musician, it might sound familiar to you:
The musical note A, above middle C, equals 440 hertz.

It’s the basis of virtually every piece of music you’ll hear today. And probably every piece of music you have ever heard, with a few exceptions.

It’s called reference pitch or concert pitch. It’s the note that every other note is based on.

Take a listen:

Every instrument in Western music – more or less – is tuned to this standard.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

This year's South by Southwest Music festival features more than 900 bands – not counting those who play impromptu shows in clubs and houses and on the streets – and as usual, it's drawn swarms of visitors to Austin. KUT/KUTX photographers and multimedia producers are out in the field, capturing images of musicians, crowds and workers.

Click through the photos above for a slideshow.

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