SXSW 2013

by (@unclegrambo)

No Longer Rootless, Youngblood Hawke Is On The Right Path And Ready To Wake Up

(The members of Youngblood Hawke, from L to R: Bass player Omar Ahmed, drummer Nik Hughes, singer Sam Martin, guitarist/keyboardist Simon Katz, guitarist Tasso Smith, vocalist Alice Katz)

(The members of Youngblood Hawke, from L to R: Bass player Omar Ahmed, drummer Nik Hughes, singer Sam Martin, guitarist/keyboardist Simon Katz, guitarist Tasso Smith, vocalist Alice Katz)

It’s 5:30 p.m. and I’m one of eight passengers stuffed into a rented white Ford Econoline van alongside 30 different musical instrument cases housing everything from Roland Juno keyboards to guitars to a full drum kit. The members of Youngblood Hawke have just finished their second soundcheck of the day at the South By Southwest Music Festival, but they’ve already loaded and unloaded equipment from their van five different times today. You’d think the group might be weary after doing all that work without even being able to experience the rush of performing in front of any actual fans yet and, truth be told, the van is a little quiet as the various members of their group using their 10 minutes of downtime as they shuttle between venues to text and check their Twitter feeds. But then lead singer Sam Martin starts spontaneously humming a bit of the opening bars of the band’s song “Rootless” to himself, at an almost imperceptibly low volume. Although his humming is barely audible, sending these vibes out into the universe causes an instinctual, infectious ripple in the van and, within moments, the rest of the band starts singing along in harmonious unison. Sam looks up, smiles and takes the cue. “The world is feeling warmer,” he sings while the van drives down a side street in Austin, “The path rolling to your door is a jungle / I’ll be back because I never left.” And, just like that, I begin to grasp how the familial aura of this band —made up of both friends and family members— is going to be the thing that ultimately earns them a widespread audience.

Read more…

by (@unclegrambo)

SXSW 2013: When Was The Last Time Your Favorite Musician Bought A Compact Disc? (VIDEO)

One of the most amazing things about the evolution of the music industry is that music is suddenly more accessible than ever. The days of having to go out of your way and make a special trip to a record shop are long over. Now, the only thing standing between a consumer and a song they want to buy is the speed of your wireless connection. This advancement of technology has its costs, though: Many have penned obituaries for the medium that energized the music business in the 80s and 90s, the compact disc. Read more…

by (@unclegrambo)

SXSW 2013: Up-And-Coming Sister Act Haim Confess The True Meaning Behind “Don’t Save Me”

Haim is a brand new girl group that hails from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, one that’s made up of sisters Danielle (above left), Este (above middle) and Alana (above right). The band has been kicking around the L.A. scene for a number of years, but got a huge boost late last year when the British press began fawning over their single, “Forever.” NME named it the #4 song of 2012, and the act topped the BBC’s Sound Of 2013 list this January.

Read more…

by (@unclegrambo)

SXSW 2013: Paramore Admits “They Didn’t Hold Back” In The Studio This Time Around

Paramore experienced some significant growing pains during the recording of their fourth studio album. The eponymous LP, due out in April, is the band’s first without founding members Josh and Zac Farro, who acrimoniously split from Paramore back in December of 2010. But to hear lead singer Hayley Williams tell it, Paramore 2.0 is an improved band, one that “didn’t hold back” in pursuing their poppier inclinations this time around.

Read more…

by (@unclegrambo)

SXSW 2013: St. Lucia Readying New Album For Fall Release

St. Lucia might not be a household name quite yet, but they’re already one of our favorite bands here at VH1 headquarters. We first discovered them at SXSW in 2012, after which we featured their music in Hollywood Exes and their self-titled EP in VH1′s Best Albums Of 2012. We got a few minutes to catch up with St. Lucia lead singer Jean-Philip Grobler down at SXSW last week, a few minutes before they played VH1′s “Hello Austin!” party.

Read more…

by (@unclegrambo)

SXSW 2013: Macklemore Finally Tells Us About The Origins Of “Grandpa Style”

We’re barely two and a half months into 2013, but the music success story of the year has already been written. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have been working together for the better part of five years now, but the combination of blaring horns, poppin’ tags and “This is f***in’ awesome” chorus have made their single “Thrift Shop” this year’s most unexpected hit record. We sat down with Macklemore —who, we should note, very politely introduced himself to us by his real name, which is Ben— at SXSW last week to talk about grandpa style.

Read more…

by (@unclegrambo)

SXSW 2013: Jim James On His “Beautiful Open Relationship” With My Morning Jacket

After releasing six studio albums as the frontman of and primary songwriter for My Morning Jacket, Jim James is finally following his musical muse into the realm of being a solo artist. His new album, Regions Of Light And Sound Of God, is as spiritual and introspective as the title suggests, but after seeing him perform the whole thing front to back last week at MTV/VH1/CMT’s Live In Austin showcase, we can confirm that it also ROCKS, too. However, just because he’s released a solo project doesn’t mean that he’s done with My Morning Jacket as a band. Read more…

by (@unclegrambo)

SXSW 2013: George Clinton Is “Horny” For A Parliament-Funkadelic Reunion (And 11 Other Finding The Funk Revelations)

Finding the Funk - 2013 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival

From L to R: Lumar LeBlanc, Bootsy Collins, Novena Carmel, Arthur Baker, George Clinton and Bernie Worrell.

One of our favorite things about SXSW —besides the abundance of Shiner Bock, natch— is that it’s the biggest musical melting pot in all of the United States. Over the course of a few days in Austin each and every March, acts from every conceivable genre of music come together for both performances and conversations, but more importantly, to bond with one another. Perhaps nowhere over the course of the weekend was that issue of “bonding” more relevant than at Saturday afternoon’s panel celebrating the upcoming release of the VH1 Rock Doc Finding The Funk, which saw former Parliament-Funkadelic members George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell putting aside rumors of alleged beef for one glorious hour of truly funky storytelling. Read more…

by (@unclegrambo)

Tegan And Sara, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Dazzle At The mtvU Woodies

We’re finally back from Austin and home in New York City, where we’re taking stock of what happened during the last 8 days of SXSW. We’re going through the early stages of breakfast taco withdrawal, but watching these incredible live performances from Tegan and Sara and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis from this year’s mtvU Woodies Awards is making the comedown go much smoother than anticipated.
Read more…

by (@unclegrambo)

SXSW 2013: Natalie Maines Performs A Breathtaking Set As A Solo Performer

sxsw-friday

With nary a cloud visible all day long against the crisp Austin blue sky, there was no better place in the world for music fans to congregate than at the 2013 South By Southwest Music Festival yesterday. Living up to the festival’s promise of being able to deliver the music world’s most diverse musical lineup, we saw acts from no less than five different genres yesterday: Soul (Solange), hip-hop (Kendrick Lamar), country (Natalie Maines), singer-songwriter (Charlie Mars) and electropop (Chvrches).

View Photo Gallery

Read more…