The approach of March means one thing to many fans of music, movies, and all-around interactive culture in the U.S., and to some extent, around the world. This is South by Southwest, the springtime conference and festival that draws hundreds of bands and many thousands of cultural consumers to the streets and clubs of Austin, Texas.
It's interesting every year to check out whether any musicians from Madison will be performing as part of the official festival line-up. Last year, since-departed Charlemagne and the recently arrived Jason Seed Elixir Ensemble both played the official festival, while a couple of other local groups played shows in Austin in parallel events held alongside the main event.
Who is representing us this year?
If the SXSW listings are geographically accurate, there are five musical acts currently calling Wisconsin home set to play at the official festival. All but one is listed as hailing from Milwaukee, the Cream City represented by alt-country shoegaze quintet The Goodnight Loving, happy hardcore from Holy Shit!, the post-emo rockers Maritime and classic R&B and funk songcraft by Harvey Scales. The lone music act playing SXSW that's from outside the southeastern corner of Wisconsin is Pink Reason, a DIY psychedelic assault out of Green Bay created by Kevin De Broux and a varying cast of associates.
Of course, there are others with local connections who are playing the five-day musical portion of the festival in Texas. One of the most prominent of these is Solid Gold, a dance-rock group that currently calls Minneapolis home but was formed in Madison back at the beginning of the decade. Here is how the band describes itself:
Over the past five years, the band has gone through several lineup changes and explored many wavelengths of the sonic spectrum. They have incorporated elements of new wave, disco-punk, shoegaze, brit-pop, glam, hip-hop, and electronic music in their various incarnations.This is the second year that Solid Gold has performed at SXSW.
This is by no means close to a complete listing of Madison-related musicians who may be performing at or attending South by Southwest, or any of the numerous parallel explosions of music that will hit Austin during the second full week of March. If you are planning on playing down south in conjunction with the festival, please send an email with details of your plans.