sxsw

SXSW
12:07 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

SXSW Eco Powers Through a Second Year

Advances in renewable energy were a hot topic at this year's SXSW Eco conference.
flickr.com/lancecheungmedia

The second-annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Eco conference comes to an end today.

SXSW Eco is an offshoot of the wildly-popular SXSW festival that takes over Austin for a good chunk of March each year, and has since grown from its roots in music and film to encompass technology and education.

SXSW Eco is still a comparatively smaller affair, viewed against the whopping $190 million in estimated economic impact SXSW brings overall. But this year’s festival expanded its focus onto five themes: Scalable, ecological solutions; collaborations between disparate communities on global issues like climate change; advances in technology and design; green economics; and visions for an environmentally sustainable future.

The team with KUT News’ StateImpact Texas has been filing dispatches from Eco, starting with an interview with Michael E. Mann, a Penn State University professor whose work includes the iconic “hockey stick” graph showing a rise in global temperatures since the dawn of the industrial age – work that his made him a target of climate change deniers.

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The Lead
8:55 am
Fri October 5, 2012

The Lead: Occupy Austin’s Tent City, SXSW Impact, Austin's November Elections

Good morning and a happy Friday. A cold front should blow in around midnight, meaning weekend lows plummeting into the 40s. Here’s some recent stories from KUT News.  

Here’s some more Austin and Texas stories folks are talking about:

  • As Voters Weigh Austin District Plans, a Question Lingers: Who Should Draw the Boundaries? (Statesman)

One of the two plans voters will consider Nov. 6 — switching the council from seven citywide members to 10 district representatives and a citywide mayor — calls for a commission of citizens with no paid ties to city politics to draw the district lines. Critics say that approach, added to the ballot by a citizens’ petition effort, has several possible pitfalls, including strict criteria that could disqualify too many people from serving.

The other plan — eight district representatives and three citywide seats, including a mayor — doesn’t say who would draw the lines, but the City Council would likely be involved. Detractors worry that would lead to the council manipulating the lines for political gain.

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AM Update: 9/12/12
9:01 am
Wed September 12, 2012

AM Update: State Retirement Plans, Assange, Wikileaks and SXSW, Prosecutorial Misconduct

Texas lawmakers are looking at possible ways to slice up state retirement plans.
flickr.com/brotherM

Lawmakers Look at Retirement Plans

Texas lawmakers are scheduled to examine some retirement programs this morning – including the Employees Retirement System of Texas and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

The Texas House Committee on Pensions, Investments & Financial Services wants to know the viability of the plans as they are now. And they’ll look at what might happen to the retirement plans if they are switched from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans or some combination of the two.

TRS is the largest public retirement system in the state, with more than 1.3 million people are on the plan.

Assange’s Legal Threat to SXSW

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange threatened the South by Southwest festival with legal action if it proceeded with its planned showing of the documentary Wikileaks: Secrets and Lies in 2012. That's according to London’s The Guardian.

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Austin
12:52 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

GrulkeFest to Celebrate Brent Grulke's Impact on Austin Music

Grulke is credited with progressing Austin's music scene.
Courtesy SXSW

Tickets go on sale this afternoon for a music event being held in honor of a beloved member of the Austin music community.

SXSW Music Creative Director Brent Grulke passed away August 13 at the age of 51.

GrulkeFest is September 8 at ACL Live at The Moody Theater. Tickets start at $20 – proceeds will go to an education fund for Grulke’s seven-year-old son.

The line-up for the festival includes Doctors’ Mob, the Reivers and Wild Seeds.

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Austin
12:03 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

What if a Terrorist Attack Happened in Austin? City Officials Plan Response

Ronnie Taylor, with Texas Emergency Extension Service, engages city officials on their role during both natural and man-made disasters.
Kelly Connelly for KUT News

Here's one heck of a lunch topic: Responding to a terrorist attack in downtown Austin during South by Southwest.

That was one of the noontime subjects city officials considered yesterday, in a workshop discussing their role in case of catastrophe – such as terrorism, an infrastructure collapse or a natural disaster.

Attendees, including the members of the Austin City Council, considered a range of worst-case scenarios. One was that SXSW attack: “It is a beautiful morning in Austin – bustling, with SXSW in full swing,” a planning scenario posited. “Without warning a large explosion rocks downtown Austin … Confirmed fatalities – 83; Injuries – 200+ (some key officials and staff are known to be among them.)”

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SXSW
11:07 am
Mon March 19, 2012

With Grit And Polish, Hip-Hop Comes Of Age At SXSW

Nas performs his classic 1994 album, Illmatic, on stage at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas during the 2012 SXSW music conference.
Heather Kennedy/WireImage Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 3:36 pm

"I do music for women," said Timbaland, onstage at the Parish in Austin, Texas on Thursday afternoon to debut tracks from his as-yet-untitled and unfinished new album, likely coming this fall. "Y'all determine everything," he added, gesturing at a hoop earring-clad fan standing at the lip of the stage.

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SXSW
12:20 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

SXSW Late Night Dispatch: Thursday

The paint-splattered members of Venezuelan rock band La Vida Boheme won over NPR Music's team on the second day of the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 9:30 am

  • Listen to Bob, Robin, Stephen and Ann on the streets of Austin, Texas on Thursday, March 15

Day two for NPR Music's team at South By Southwest started on a high note and hardly ever flagged. After the Wednesday night showcase ran to the wee hours of the morning, Thursday's opening event, a keynote address by Bruce Springsteen, didn't start until after noon, local time.

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AM Update
9:00 am
Thu March 15, 2012

AM Update: Voting Rights Act Challenged, UT's 'Cyborg' Research, SXSW Thefts

Texas AG Greg Abbott has challenged the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act
Photo by KUT News

Texas Challenges Voting Rights Act

Texas is challenging the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act that requires the state to get pre-clearance from the Justice Department for any change to voting procedures. Yesterday Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed that petition to a three-judge panel in Washington.

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SXSW
2:38 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

SXSW Street Closure Map

Update: Looking for SXSW 2013 street closures? Click here.


View Larger Map

As South by Southwest Interactive comes to a close, the SXSW Music festival is gearing up – and with it, a new, vastly expanded round of street closures.

The closures that began during the SXSW Interactive and Film festivals will stay in effect. And a new slate of traffic snarls, depicted in the map above, began at 5 a.m. this morning.

You can click on any highlighted closure in the map above for more details.

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SXSW
2:05 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Cotton Mather's 'Kontiki,' The Album That Won't Go Gently

Cotton Mather (from left): Dana Myzer, Josh Gravelin, Whit Williams and Robert Harrison.
Todd Wolfson Courtesy of Fanatic Promotion

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 12:44 pm

More than a decade ago, an album came out recorded mostly on cassette in a house, never released on a major label — and until last month it had been out of print for almost that long. When Noel Gallagher of Oasis heard it, he declared it "amazing," and The Guardian called it "the best album The Beatles never recorded."

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SXSW
2:01 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

From Rick Rolling to Revolution: The Story of Anonymous

The iconic Guy Fawkes mask associated with Anonymous.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/gato-gato-gato

How did a group of Internet enthusiasts evolve from online trolling to altering the course of world politics?

That was the focus of a South by Southwest Film and Interactive panel today delving into Anonymous, the loosely-organized collective of “hacktivists” that have brought attention to the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and claimed credit for compromising the servers of Austin-based global intelligence firm Stratfor, releasing the company’s emails to Wikileaks.

In contrast to many of the sensational stories Anonymous generates, “I don’t think anything had been done where you’re trying to figure out where it came from and what it is,” said Brian Knappenberger. He’s at SXSW with his documentary, “WE ARE LEGION: The Story of the Hacktivists.” Although this today's panel was ostensibly about the film, it ended up being largely about Anonymous in general, which continues to generate headlines.

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SXSW
11:26 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Amanda Marcotte on Pickup Artists: 'I Don’t Like Charlatans, And I Definitely Don’t Like Sexists'

Blogger Amanda Marcotte sounds off on supposed "pickup artists"
Photo courtesy flickr.com/tankgrrl

While it's easy to forget in the hubub of South by Southwest, it's college Spring Break this week. So as thousands of college students get ready to party, and perhaps try out their pickup lines, one local blogger is warning women to be on the lookout for dubious techniques.

Amanda Marcotte spoke at SXSW Interactive over the weekend. Marcotte, who runs the liberal feminist blog Pandagon, was part of the panel “Sex Nets: Pickup Artists vs. Feminists,” which delved into tips and tricks men share online – and charge money to teach in seminars – on how to "pick up" women.

“I felt like a lot of men are attracted to this [concept] for somewhat of the wrong reasons,” Marcotte told KUT News. “That they feel it’s frustrating for them to be told that women can say no, when men are given a lot of entitlement in this world. … I think pick up artists sort of prey on that in men, and use that to get money from them. And I don’t like charlatans, and I definitely don’t like sexists, so it’s sort of a combination of two things I really hate!”

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SXSW
10:00 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Food Trucks Become Corporate Ads at SXSW

A man takes a free hamburger made by P. Terry's at a food truck operated by the web host Squarespace.
Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

One of the trends at this year’s edition of South by Southwest involves major national brands using food trucks to create a kind of interactive marketing experience. But they’re relying on Austin eateries to inject some local flavor into the mix.

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SXSW
9:22 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Watch Bloggers Discuss the 2012 Election, Live From SXSW

Live video by Ustream

Here’s one South by Southwest Interactive panel you don’t need a badge for.

At 9:30 a.m. today, a group of panelists are gathering to answer a question: “Can Bloggers Put Hope Back Into the 2012 Election?” The group is set to discuss whether the online team the Obama campaign assembled in 2008 can be jump-started this cycle and counter potential Democratic unenthusiasm:

2008 was the first Election in American History where bloggers and vloggers helped shape the political narrative and carry President Obama to the presidency. Four years later, the Administration has not nurtured these pop cultural connections. Will the blogosphere turn out for Obama in 2012?

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SXSW
3:46 pm
Sun March 11, 2012

Sunday SXSW Roundup: Catch KUT’s 'Daily Buzz' and Follow Us On Tumblr

A SXSW registrant sorts through a "swag bag."
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Follow Us on Tumblr

KUT has a Tumblr account documenting SXSW on the fly, with photos, videos and more. KUT’s Terrence Henry, covering SXSW Film, has posted a review of "Electrick Children":

They shot the film on the burnt orange landscapes of Southern Utah and the urban desolation of Las Vegas over four weeks, filming six days a week. One of the bigger obstacles they faced during filming, despite the fact they were in the desert, was rain. “The rain follows us wherever we go, even here to Austin,” the director said during the Q&A afterwards. 

The film stars Rory Culkin (yes, of that family) and the delicate Julia Garner (playing the lead, Rachel), who’s only eighteen years old. You may remember her from a smaller role in Martha Marcy May Marlene.

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SXSW
3:19 pm
Sun March 11, 2012

From Thousands Of Bands, Four SXSW Discoveries

K Ishibashi, who performs under the name Kishi Bashi, will perform at SXSW Friday.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 10:27 am

This week, more than 2,000 bands will perform live as part of the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas — and each will hope to stand out somehow. It's one thing to play SXSW, but another to generate excitement.

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SXSW
5:40 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

Tech Firms Headhunt at SXSW

Companies paid $1,900 a table for the two-day Tech Career Expo at SXSW.
Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Austin has become a hotbed for technology companies. They account for one out of every eight jobs in the city, according to the Austin Chamber of Commerce. But a shortage of qualified workers is making it tough to fill some of those positions.

South by Southwest Interactive, currently in its second day, has brought about 18,000 technology workers to the city, and local tech firms are hoping to skim some of that talent.

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SXSW
5:17 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

The Power of Satire: Baratunde Thurston's SXSW Keynote

Baratunde Thurston speaks about his work in this promotional photo.
Photo courtesy Mindy Tucker

The SXSW Interactive kickoff keynote address was delivered today by Baratunde Thurston. That name may not be widely familiar outside plugged-in circles, but Thurston’s work is: He’s a comedian and political satirist who's driven the digital development of satirical newspaper The Onion.

He’s also an author that discusses topics from an African-American perspective. His first book, “How to Be Black,” was just published. He entwined the threads of his heritage and digital connectivity by describing how his mother, raised in rural Pennsylvania, came to join in the Black Power movement. “She changed her social networks!” Thurston said, displaying pictures on his mother marching in the street.  

But the Onion’s online content – and the strange way fake news can bleed over into real-life events – was another theme of Thurston’s speech: Earlier this year, Republican Rep. John Fleming shared a fictional Onion article, “Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex,” with his followers on Facebook, allegedly believing the article to be real.

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SXSW
12:34 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

SXSW Film: 'The Cabin In The Woods'

Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Holden (Jesse Williams), Jules (Anna Hutchison), Marty (Fran Kranz) and Dana (Kristen Connolly) head off for a fun weekend in Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon's The Cabin In The Woods.
Diyah Pera Lionsgate

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 7:13 am

When Joss Whedon introduced The Cabin In The Woods to a rowdy, friendly, huge crowd at the Paramount Theater on the opening night of the South By Southwest Film Festival, he explained that one of the challenges of marketing the film is that you really can't say anything about what happens in it. And he begged everyone in the audience not to say anything about what happens in it, either.

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SXSW
10:47 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Five Texas Films to Watch at SXSW

Jack Black stars in Richard Linklater's "Bernie," which was filmed in Bastrop.
Image courtesy sxsw.com

Attending South by Southwest is a little like entering IKEA for the first time. The sheer size of it is enough to make anyone sweat, and ask themselves nervously: "So, where do I go first?"

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