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Extreme Airshots/SXSW

Free concerts at Auditorium Shores, a South by Southwest tradition, start this evening.

They get going at 5 p.m. with Jovanotti, followed by Bajofondo, Molotov, and then Café Tacuba at 8 p.m., all presented by NPR Music.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News\

At Austin’s South by Southwest Music conference this morning, Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl gave the annual keynote address.

Dismissing any state-of-the-industry somberness, Grohl offered his life story as a blueprint for kids who want to grow up playing music.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update: With South by Southwest Music in full swing, throngs of music fans have descended upon Austin. And that gives marketers more crowds to pitch their products and experiences to.

"The whole experience is more like social media,” says GSD&M’s Matthew Childs. "It’s not to actually sell something. It’s to get people talking about you, to position your brand with the Venturi effect of the community at South By. If you’re inauthentic to the community, you’re going to get called out pretty quickly."

Companies attempting to ingratiate themselves to the SXSW community have been on display all week: everything from the edgy (like HBO’s Game of Thrones pedicabs) to the decidedly less so (brands like Oreo and Cap’n Crunch advertising at SXSW Interactive).

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl was at the Paramount Theater yesterday for the South by Southwest screening of his new film "Sound City".

The documentary features the famed LA studios of the same name, where Nirvana, Queens of the Age, Rage Against the Machine and hundred of other bands recorded albums.

This week, about 2,000 bands from around the world are performing at various venues throughout Austin, Texas, for the South by Southwest music festival. Many of the musicians are young and have had plenty of experience performing in public.

And then there's guitarist Harry Taussig, who is nearly 72 years old. On Thursday, he'll be performing live for the first time ever.

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Can homeless people pedal their way into a home? An Austin nonprofit certainly hopes so. 

It also hopes to capitalize on the large crowds drawn to town for South by Southwest. So, during the festival, the nonprofit Mobile Loaves and Fishes equipped a group of homeless people with foot-powered snack-vending carts and uniforms. The new business is called Street Treats, and the vendors get to keep the profits.

flickr.com/curtiskennington

Roman Mars, the host and producer of 99% Invisible, is a superhero in the field of contemporary podcasting. That’s according to his co-panelists at a South by Southwest Interactive panelAnswer Me This host Helen Zaltzman, and Bullseye host and producer Jesse Thorn.

Maidentrip filmmakers

A word of warning: if you're going to see “Maidentrip” at SXSW Film this week (and by all means, you should), you may want to secure a large line of credit beforehand, as afterwards you'll likely have the inclination to go out, buy a boat, and set off to circumnavigate the globe.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Austin Water is still working with the fire department to extinguish an ongoing compost fire at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Plant.

The fire started at the waste management facility more than two weeks ago, on Monday, Feb. 25. While water utility officials have seen a reduction of smoke from the smoldering heaps – especially with help from a rainy weekend – the surrounding area still smells.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

South by Southwest Interactive powered down last night, although not before a blowout closing party at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q and the SXSW Interactive Awards.

The 16th Annual Interactive Awards held at the Hilton Austin Downtown honored winners across 15 different categories. Emcee Aisha Tyler kept the jokes coming at a rapid clip, imploring honorees (with mixed success) to keep their acceptance speeches Tweet length. And bluegrass performers The Austin Steamers kicked the festivities off with a Texas twang.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Sure – Austin’s weird.

flickr.com/satyrika

As South by Southwest Interactive grows, so does the difficulty of trying to encapsulate the annual conference. And while onlookers can point to big themes in 2013 and much, much more, one burgeoning area with real world applications is civic apps and hacks.

Simply put, civic apps take publicly available data – anything from crime statistics to restaurant inspection scores – and mashes them up with applications like maps, making them accessible to the smartphone set. The biggest example is Code for America, a national non-profit that works with cities to develop meaningful data applications.

Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

If you’ve ever attended South by Southwest, then you know: Invitations to private events come fast and furious, and it’s hard to keep on top of them.

That’s where RSVPster comes in. It charges customers 30 to 40 bucks to respond to invitations to unofficial events during the SXSW Interactive and Music conferences. Though it’s the company’s third festival, founder Jennifer Sinski says it’s gotten its fair share of criticism since the service started.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Good morning, Austin! Ready for a sunny start to SXSW Music? The National Weather Service says Austin's due for a high near 77 today.  The evening will be clear with a low around 44.

Here's a roundup of some KUT News stories for today:

The Lead: Austin's Police Chief says he thinks South by Southwest has been a little calmer so far this year.

But APD Chief Art Acevedo acknowledges that things will probably start to heat up a bit as the music portion of the festival gets going. Acevedo plans to hit the streets over the next several days.

Technology has made it easier than ever to track your activity levels, your sleep cycles, how you spend your time, and more. The self-trackers who near-obsessively capture and analyze their own data are part of a growing "Quantified Self" movement.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

With badge pickup for the music portion of South by Southwest open, a changing of the guard is afoot.

While the crowds at Austin Convention Center are as thick as ever, spillover into the streets of downtown Austin is relatively quiet at this point.

“This year it seems a little bit calmer that last year, so far,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said.  “Music starts tomorrow, so we anticipate things to start heating up.”

The city of Branson, Missouri is home to under 11,000 permanent residents, but enjoys more than 7.5 million visitors a year. A new documentary premiering at SXSW Film this week takes a peek behind the rhinestone curtain to look at the lives of the performers when they’re not on stage. It’s called ‘We Always Lie to Strangers.’

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Starting with Richard Linklater's latest film "Before Midnight" screening Saturday, SXSW Film saw several Texans walk the red carpet.

Sunday saw the screening of "Mud," starring Texas actor Matthew McConaughey, along with "Tree of Life" actor Tye Sheridan and first-time actor Jacob Lofland. The feature from director Jeff Nichols tells the adventure of two boys who meet a fugitive in the middle of an island and try to help him reunite with his true love.

facebook.com/GettingBackToAbnormal

Hurricane Katrina changed more than just the landscape of New Orleans. After the disaster, thousands of people moved away from the city, most of them black and poor. In the years since, the city has slowly been rebuilt. But what has become of its culture?

KUT News reports on a new film premiering today at the South by Southwest film festival, “Getting Back to Abnormal,” that tries to answer that question.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

It's feeling like a spring break week in Austin with highs in the 60s and 70s. And, of course, South by Southwest is in full swing.

Lead Story: Tens of thousands of badge-toting visitors are in town for "South by." That may mean some traffic congestion. Check out this interactive map of road closures to help guide you through it.

South by Southwest Interactive and Film continue as preparations for the Music portion of the festival ramp up. Music starts tomorrow.

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