SXSW

by (@unclegrambo)

SXSW 2013: Top 6 Most Provocative Questions Answered At Today’s Downloaded Panel Discussion

SXSW Downloaded Panel Discussion

From L To R: Shawn Fanning, Sean Parker, John Perry Barlow, Alex Winter and moderator Eugene Hernandez.

VH1′s latest Rock Doc, Downloaded, made its world premiere at the South By Southwest Music Festival on Sunday night. The film tells the story of Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, the two teenage hacker wunderkinds who brought the music industry to its knees when they founded Napster in the late 1990s. Earlier today, director Alex Winter joined Fanning, Parker and internet activist/Grateful Dead collaborator John Perry Barlow for a lively panel discussion about the disruptive effect this product had on the world.

We’ve collected the session’s most provocative quotes for you below. Read more…

by (@seapeaz)

Very VH1 Talks Downloaded With Alex Winter At SXSW

downloaded-150xOn today’s Very VH1, Liz Black chats with director, Alex Winter. Live from SXSW Alex will discuss his new documentary film Downloaded, a film that explores Napster and the world of downloading music from its inception to present day. Join us today at 11:30 AM EST. Check out the video below to watch the show and click on the comment icon in the upper right hand corner to participate in the chat!

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by (@unclegrambo)

SXSW 2013: Napster Co-Founder Shawn Fanning Tells The Story Of How He Finally Got Revenge On Lars Ulrich

When you see Downloaded, the VH1 Rock Doc that made its world premiere at the 2013 SXSW Festival last night, director Alex Winter presents some clear lines of demarcation between who he views as the heroes and villains of the story. Shawn Fanning, co-founder of Napster and the “face” of the company, is presented as a sympathetic figure, and the frightened “old world” mentality is personified by Metallica‘s drummer Lars Ulrich, who famously led the charge against the file-sharing service. We caught up with Shawn Fanning last night and asked him if, after all these years, he still had beef with Lars.

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by (@unclegrambo)

SXSW 2013: Downloaded Stars Shawn Fanning And Sean Parker On The Lessons They Learned Launching Napster

The world premiere of Downloaded, the latest entry in the Emmy award winning VH1 Rock Docs canon, went down at Austin’s Paramount Theater last night as part of the 2013 SXSW Festival. We were there on the red carpet, where we caught up with the film’s primary subjects, Napster co-founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, and asked them each about the single biggest lesson they learned during this equally exciting and chaotic time.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Youngblood Hawke, Jim James Will Perform At Special MTV/VH1/CMT SXSW Showcase

Youngblood Hawke, Jim James MTV/VH1/CMT Live In Austin

It’s less than one week until your friendly VH1 Tuner team will be packing their bags and hopping on a flight headed south … South By Southwest, actually. That’s right, we’ll be in Austin all next week to get the lowdown on the hottest bands (and best barbeque, natch), and a doozy of an announcement just landed in our inboxes. On Tuesday, March 12, we’ll be in attendance at the MTV/VH1/CMT Present: Live in Austin event, which will be headlined by Jim James of My Morning Jacket fame. Read more…

by (@unclegrambo)

Train, The Shins, Fun. And Other Acts Come Out In Support Of Spotify (VIDEO)

While there seems to be near-universal consensus about the benefits of Spotify from a consumer-perspective, the same cannot be said for the artists whose work actually appears on streaming services. There are varied reports as to how much money musical acts actually make from services like Spotify, MOG and Rdio —one widely circulated report last summer claimed that Lady Gaga only made $167 after her song “Poker Face” was spun one million times on Spotify— and some acts like The Black Keys have been very vocal about the reasons they have NOT chosen to make their music available there (“For a band that makes a living selling music, it’s not at a point where it’s feasible for us.”)

This hot button issue was on the top of everyone’s mind at this year’s SXSW Festival, where the worlds of technology and music collided for a few days earlier this month. Spotify executive Sean Parker explained during a VH1 Rock Docs panel audience that “There’s definitely some sort of dissent brewing between record labels, publishing companies and artists [about the compensation they get from streaming services] … Spotify is returning a HUGE amount of money [to the record labels]. If we continue growing at our current rate in terms of subscriptions and downloads, we’ll overtake iTunes in terms of contributions to the recorded music business in under two years.”

But what do the musicians themselves think? We sat down with a number of artists at varying stages of their careers —veteran acts like Train, The Shins, and Keane, as well as relative newcomers like Alabama Shakes, Best Coast, Fun. and Gary Clark Jr.— to get their perspectives on this controversial subject. Find out what they have to say in this exclusive VH1 Tuner video!

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by (@unclegrambo)

6 Under The Radar Bands To Keep Your Eye On In 2012

Fallulah, St. Lucia, Of Monsters & Men, The Lumineers

(Clockwise, starting Upper Left: Fallulah, St. Lucia, Of Monsters & Men, The Lumineers)

We’re still recovering from the week we just spent down in Austin, Texas, for the 2012 South By Southwest Music Festival. It’s been four days since we got home, but our ears are still ringing and the taste of barbeque is still fresh in our mouths. During SXSW, most of the headlines were dominated by Fiona Apple’s stunning return to the scene and Eminem’s surprise appearance during 50 Cent’s front-to-back performance of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, but now that we’ve had a few days to put the fest in perspective, some of our favorite performances came from bands that have not yet reached household name status.

We asked a few members of VH1′s CMI (Creative Music Integration) group —they’re the people who determine which songs appear in our on-air programming— to give us a quick summary of acts that they really enjoyed during their time down in Austin, artists whose music seems likely for future sync opportunities in commercials, TV programs or films. So, fire up your Spotify and start sampling bands that you’re likely to hear a lot more from as 2012 progresses.

DOOMTREE
Swan Dive, an official SXSW venue, was packed to the brim, sweltering hot, and buzzing with energy in anticipation for Doomtree, a hip hop collective out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Armed with an eclectic sound that blends hip hop, R&B, and bluesy rock, this group of seven distinct MCs preformed with the aggressive energy of a punk act and just the right amount of hip hop swagger. Songs like “Little Mercy” with its blues-inspired vocals and dramatic, motivational lyrics (“We’re so hungry / We’re so thirsty / But I’m gonna hunt until it hurts me”), Doomtree’s music might fit perfectly in a commercial for an upcoming sporting event or a Nike commercial if they went down an edgier route.—Monsé, Creative Music Integration Assistant
For Fans Of: Grieves

FALLULAH
This Copenhagen-based songstress impressed a sizable crowd during her short Saturday night set at SXSW. She performed a few songs off her debut album Black Cat Neighbourhood (2010) and one new song although she added, “I suppose it doesn’t really matter because I’m new to all of you.” Songs like “Only Human” and “I Lay My Head” showcased her strong lyrical skills, expressive vocals, and vibrant instrumentation peppered with catchy handclaps and whistling. Fallulah has managed to create a richly layered musical landscape that has the potential to fit nicely within shows where it could add that extra oomph to a light hearted, upbeat scene in a female driven dramaedy (think Grey’s Anatomy) or teen drama (Pretty Little Liars).—Monsé, Creative Music Integration Assistant
For Fans Of: Florence + The Machine, Lykke Li, Marina and the Diamonds

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by (@unclegrambo)

SXSW 2012: Is Train’s Mammoth Smash Hit “Hey Soul Sister” Really About, Um, Oral Sex? We Asked!

Train‘s long-awaited follow-up to 2009′s Save Me San Francisco album will be coming out in less than a month. As a means of road testing their new material, and as a way to play live in significantly more intimate venues than this arena band is used to, the guys made their way down to the 2012 SXSW Music Festival last week for a handful of dates. We caught up with the three guys from Train —from left to right, Jimmy Stafford (guitar), Scott Underwood (drums) and Patrick Monahan (lead vocals)— down in Austin and asked them to tell us a bit about their new record, California 37 (which is due out on April 17, 2012).

“California 37 is a road that brought us to one another,” Pat Monahan explained. “This record is more of an expression than it is a ‘Can we come back?’ [kind of thing]. The songs and the stories are just better. They’re more refined. It’s a dance record, but it’s also singer-songwriter at the same time.” After hearing the propulsive and upbeat first single “Drive By”, we’re excited to see how the rest of the album incorporates the dance-y elements that Monahan referred to in our chat with him.

Now, this is where things got a bit awkward in our interview. You see, we’ve always thought that Train‘s gargantuan 2010 hit, “Hey Soul Sister,” is one of the most subversive songs to get mass airplay since “Summer of ’69.” A few years back, Bryan Adams admitted to a shocked Maggie Rodriguez on CBS’s The Early Show that his song was about a sexual position, NOT a year, so we thought we’d try to get Train to do the same thing about “Hey Soul Sister.” Our theory has always been that the song is about a particularly memorable blowjob, our evidence being the line in the song that goes “Your lipstick stains on the front lobe of my left side brains / I knew I wouldn’t forget you / And so I went and let you blow my mind.” So, is it? See how the band responded in our video below!
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