SXSW Takeaways Part I: Fleet Foxes, The Pigeon Detectives

Picked up on LOTS of good bands, ideas — even concepts — at SXSW. I attended the music conference previously but this was the first year that I was there for an entire week, focused especially on the Interactive conference.

I’m still going through my notes, but I can drop a couple faves off the bat. I went to Filter’s Showdown at Cedar Street on Friday in hopes of checking out The Wombats and Lightspeed Champion but walked away with an earful of The Pigeon Detectives (already big in the UK, natch) — live, they took the whole Hives/Strokes/Art Brut thing to new levels. LA peeps — they’re playing Spaceland tonight (St. Patty’s Day).

In a week filled with encouraging rock and roll, I found myself totally blown away by the gentler sounds of Fleet Foxes from Washington state. Listen below:

Today at SXSW

Below is just a sampling of the events I’d like to hit today. Day-shows that might be missed can be caught in the night or perhaps tomorrow. Not listed is the Spaceland/Echo party at Antone’s or the Schuba’s party at Yard Dog Art Gallery, which I’d like to stop by in hope of running into some Chicago peeps. Hoping to find a place with good wifi access so I can get some work done and ALSO stream live video/audio from one of these day parties. Check back here for some live-streaming fun.


Jonathan Coulton & Heather Gold: ‘Flagpole Sitta’

Part of the Heather Gold Show at Plutopia 2008 SXSWi party in Austin. “Opting Out” was the theme. After this riff on the Harvey Danger classic, Sean Nelson — who wrote the song — explained why he opted out of rock n’ roll: “Flagpole Sitta took off exactly 10 years ago at SXSW and it was the worst time of my already miserable life.” He added that the one opt-out he regretted was turning down Paul Shaffer’s offer to back Harvey Danger with his full band arrangement on their performance of the song on Letterman.

Check out my brief interview of JoCo here.

Also on the panel:
Ev Williams: “I opted out of football…. There were like 14 people in my graduating class. I basically had my own group. It was me…. and everyone else.”

Nick Douglas, opting out of Jesus: “goin to a baptist school… I didnt realize i was gonna have to retake 6th grade biology.”
Also Ben Brown, Jane McGonigal, and Cathy Brooks