By Paul Stinson
On your mark. Get set. Play a ton of shows. Have your usual drink ticket beer replaced with something even crappier because it’s that time of year again. Maybe Pharrell tweets about your band after stepping out of his trailer, forever altering the course of human history. Go.
Writing killer albums and slaying on stage isn’t always enough. That next thing favors those in circulation. Read your Murakami for further details. Or not. Opportunity awaits at the Doritos Vans IBM Pepsi Jameson Tito’s Vodka stage fort.
We welcome our synergistic overlords.
A deserved badge of honor for many. A brand for some. An albatross of managed expectations for others, the still frequently spectacular SXSW poses an endurance challenge for bands, bartenders, bar-backs, locals and attendees alike. Duh.
Austin standouts A Giant Dog and Sweet Spirit – who share three members – played a combined fifteen shows last year and are set for a combined 12 for the 2017 SXSW incarnation. Sleep when you’re dead, right?
And while affordability issues persist as to how much longer Austin can continue to expand while still making it possible for the city’s artists to live here, the vibrancy and intensity of the lives dedicated to their craft continues to inspire.
Bolstered by the halls of Beerland, Hotel Vegas, The Mohawk, Barracuda, Cheer Up Charlie’s, Sidewinder and others, there’s no shortage of Austin bands capable of provoking a jaw-dropping surprise while on tour.
For a week, the touring world comes to Austin. For a week, Austin bands face the challenge of not getting lost in that shuffle.
This year’s SXSW Six Pack – as always – is a modest attempt to spotlight a handful out of many worthy local souls deserving of your attention. We hope you’ll enjoy our take.