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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Don't Hang the DJ: Breaking into Radio for Minnesota Musicians

This just in, from your friend and mine, Mei Young.

Find out how to get your songs on the radio.....and have a beer. How can you go wrong?

mnSpin presents a series of free professional development workshops for musicians in partnership with Summit Brewery, the Diverse Emerging Music Organization (D.E.M.O.), Springboard for the Arts, the McNally Smith College of Music, and the Minnesota History Center.

mnSpin Development Workshop

Dont Hang the DJ: Breaking into Radio for Minnesota Musicians

Saturday, March 29, 46 pm, at Summit Brewery, 910 Montreal Circle in St. Paul

***A party sponsored by Summit follows the workshop***


Steve Fingerett, former Music Promoter, Warner Brothers Records/WEA

Steve brings 25+ years of experience as a music promoter to radio for Warner Brothers Records. He has worked with many of the program directors currently running broadcast radio today and can paint a vivid picture of major labels' promotions to radio.

Krista Vilinskis, Co-Owner & Publicist at Tinderbox Music ( and Co-Owner of Princess Records (

Krista Vilinskis has more than 15 years of experience as a music publicist. In 2000, she opened Tinderbox Music, a promotions and distribution company. Tinderbox works with unsigned, indie, and major label artists across the country in obtaining press and radio airplay and specializes in college radio and the artists that fit the CMJ (College Music Journal) and secondary FM and community formats. Tinderbox also provides local, national and digital distribution for artists as well as publishing and music licensing opportunities in television and film.

Princess Records is acting as more of a consulting and support group than a traditional record label. Princess has unified our resources and energies with like minded organizations and individuals, resulting in a small collective of enablers. Artists on the label include: Halloween Alaska, Umbrella Sequence, Jeremy Messersmith, These Modern Socks, Alva Star, Dallas Orbiter, The Great Depression, The Original Mark Edwards, Divorcee and Redstart.


Pushkar, Music Director, Radio K

Pushkar Ojha is currently the music director at Radio K, the University of Minnesota's student-run radio station. He is also into his second year as host of Off the Record, the longest running local music show in the Twin Cities, where local musician Martin Dosh recently played him a birthday serenade.


David Safar, Assistant Music Director, 89.3 The Current


Ellen Stanley, Publicity and Radio Promotion Red House Records, Host of KFAI's Womenfolk, staff writer, Metro Magazine

Phil Wilson, Co-Founder/COO - Localtone Systems

Having spent 23 years in broadcasting Phil is the "radio guy" at Localtone Systems, successfully building, managing, and marketing brands for both small and large broadcast companies including WLTE and the launch of Jack-FM here in Minneapolis. He has joined forces with Justin Grammens at Localtone Radio offering the opportunity for local musicians to share their music as well as discover how that music is received by listeners. is a place where local bands can actually be heard and he doesn't have to say, "Thanks for your input, I'll see if I can get that on." anymore. ( )

Moderated by Mei Young, former KQRS and Drive105 Announcer and Host/Producer of the local music specialty program “Homegrown

Mei brings 20 years of broadcast radio experience to this panel.

Topics and questions

-State of radio today (broadcast/HD/satellite/internet)

-Traditional radio promotions

-Radio promotions today

-How to approach media

-How do I pick my single?

-What to send in press packs


Friday, March 21, 2008

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Krumm - Saturday, March 22nd, 2008


March 22,2008 - 8:00 pm - The Fine Line Music Café



A silent auction will be held the night of the benefit for people in attendance...Sheryl Crow, Pearl Jam and R.E.M. have all sent signed items for the auction. The R.E.M. guitar arrived today, it was signed by all four original members of the band....yes, Bill Berry signed it.

Another guitar signed by Sheryl Crow is on the way.

Savage Audio, Inc., the Burnsville maker of worldrenowned Savage Amps, is meeting the crisis of cancer head on.

As owner Jeff Krumm faces a personal battle with cancer, the future of the legendary company is in jeopardy.

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Krumm is a musical benefit event to raise funds to secure the future of Savage Audio. The event will feature a broad spectrum of musical talent, including the Honeydogs, Quiet Drive, This World Fair, The Hopefuls, Conver Watts, Cryptic, and Tim Mahoney.

All owe their phenomenal sound in part to Mr. Krumm’s phenomenal products. This great night of music will be hosted by Jason Nagel.

The benefit will take place at the Fine Line Music Café on Saturday, March 22nd, 2008 at 8:00PM. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.

Savage Audio, Inc. was founded by Jeff Krumm in 1990, and has since created a full line of custom-built, all-tube amplifiers that attract wide-spread attention within the music industry for their classic style and sound. Savage Amps have been spotted onstage with performers including
Beck, Tom Waits, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Sheryl Crow, R.E.M., Counting Crows, and Wilco.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

HowWasTheShow ticket giveaway - Greil Marcus and The Mekons at the Fitzgerald Theater

HowWasTheShow is giving away a pair of tickets to attend the Current Fakebook with Greil Marcus and the Mekons at the Fitzgerald Theater on Friday, March 28th. Please send an email to editor [at] with Greil Marcus in the subject line and your full name in the message body for your chance to win. A winner will be selected randomly at noon on March 26th. (If you don't check your email frequently, please include a phone number with your entry.)

More detail here or below:

Host Mary Lucia welcomes author and critic Greil Marcus to the Current Fakebook® at the Fitzgerald Theater on Friday, March 28th at 8:00 p.m. For the show Marcus has requested the British via Chicago band the Mekons. The group is in many ways an ideal match for Marcus – their stylistic range is wide, they mix a historical and political vision with mordant humor, and their music includes darkness, noise and radiant beauty. The Mekons’ music pulls the 20th century together in sound, just as Marcus’ criticism manages to weave divergent cultural strands to make the ineffable real. And he's a passionate fan.

Greil Marcus is author of Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock'n'Roll Music, Lipstick Traces, Dead Elvis, Invisible Republic, The Dustbin of History, In the Fascist Bathroom and Double Trouble. His most recent book is The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice, which seeks to define America as "a story told more in art than in politics" by yoking together the works of several disparate artists and linking them to three speeches: John Winthrop's 1630 sermon "A Modell of Christian Charity," Lincoln's Second Inaugural, and Martin Luther King's address to the March on Washington. The book was made named A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and the London Times Literary Supplement. Marcus has published columns, essays and reviews since 1968 in Rolling Stone (he was the magazine’s first reviews editor), City Pages, Artforum, Interview, Salon.Com, Common Knowledge and many other publications.

The Mekons were formed in 1977 by a group of University of Leeds art students. They took their name from the Mekon, an evil, super-intelligent Venusian featured in the British comic Dan Dare. By the mid-1980s the Mekons had begun to experiment with musical styles derived from traditional English folk and American country music. 1985's watershed Fear and Whiskey, 1986's The Edge of the World and 1987's Honky Tonkin exemplified the band's new sound, which built on the innovations of Gram Parsons and blended punk ethos and leftwing politics with the country of Hank Williams. Subsequent albums such as The Mekons Rock'n'Roll, while containing several straightforward rock songs, continued to explore the boundaries of the punk genre with diverse instrumentation and Sally Timms' haunting vocals. 2007 saw the group’s 30th anniversary and they marked it with the release of Natural, their 26th album, which brings acoustic instrumentation to the record’s post-apocalyptic lyrics.

All tickets are $20.00. There will be an additional $2.50 facility fee added to the price of each ticket. Minnesota Public Radio members receive discount.

Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster..

Sunday, March 16, 2008

HowWasTheShow's complete SXSW 2008 Blogcast Coverage

Want an easy way to take HWTS's blogcast coverage of SXSW with you? This file includes all 16 updates and runs 35 minutes. Listen online or download to your iPod. I think you will find it delightful.

Stacy and I had a ball doing this, and I hope you enjoyed it as well.

MP3 File

Stacy Schwartz arrives home and signs off

Stacy comes home with a head cold, but otherwise victorious. Photos are on her Flickr account at And she sends a few shout outs and words of thanks to those who made these audio blogcasts possible.

No, Stacy. Thank YOU.

MP3 File

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Stacy's text wrap-up of SXSW DAY 3, Part 2

White Rabbits at Antone's - Photo by Stacy Schwartz

Stacy Schwartz's SXSW Day 3 wrap-up, part 2

6:15ish – Back to hotel assuming they will have room service. I am wrong. I am sad. I whine a little and think about the offerings from P.F. Chang’s across the street. Meh. I do not want Chinese food. I just want a sandwich. Is that so wrong? I snack on a granola bar and some trail mix while dreaming of turkey and Swiss. My main goal is to finish editing enough photos for the Pitchfork guys of their day party before I am due at Antone’s for Basia Bulat’s show. Bulat is a sweetheart and she and I have corresponded via email for a while. I promised I’d be there.

8:00 – Finally done editing. Kyle Matteson and Andrea Myers have returned to the room and we discuss plans. We all decide to attempt the lineup at Antone’s – Me w/my badge, Kyle w/his wristband, and Andrea with neither. Antone’s is a bit far away, so we begin our walk.

8:30 – The line is so, so, so long and Andrea is immediately denied as a big sign proclaims “badges and wristbands only.” Sigh. Kyle and I wait in line and get in about five minutes later. Not so bad. We spot Bulat across the room and make our way to her. She is with her booking manager and we talk very briefly as Bulat has a set list to write. I move about, surveying the crowd trying to figure out how and where to stand. The crowd is thick with anticipation of Vampire Weekend at 11pm. I maneuver my way to the right side of the stage and am behind only one row of people. They vary in height, but I think I’ll be ok. I strike up good conversation with the guy next to me from New Orleans. I love meeting people from all over the country. Pretty cool stuff.

9:00 – Bulat takes the stage and kills it. She has a bit of difficulty with the sound guys, but still pulls off one hell of a show. She opens with a gospel-ish hymn and the crowd is immediately silenced and overwhelmed by the huge voice coming out of this small woman. Her set includes songs off her latest album, like “Pilgriming Vine,” “In the Night,” “Snakes and Ladders,” and a few others. I am disappointed though as she leaves out “Before I Knew,” one of my favorites. You can check out Bulat when she opens for DeVotchKa at First Avenue in May.

10:00 - Next up is Foreign Born, who I just saw open for St. Vincent at the Cedar Cultural Center last month. They play a tight, energetic set, and I like them a lot. I think this lineup is definitely the best I’ve seen at SXSW so far.

11:00 – Oh boy! Oh boy! The crowd is a bit frenzied. Vampire Weekend bound onstage in their pretty attire, ready to take over the Harvard-educated world. Whee! They play a solid set with tracks off their new album. They don’t talk a ton, but they are personable and seem to be enjoying themselves. I am enjoying them, too! To be perfectly honest, I am sort of a spoiled brat here. I am at an awesome show where I should be hopping about and all I can think about is White Rabbits. Omgwhiterabbits!! It’s. All. I. Can. Think. About. They play at midnight on the opposite end of the festival and I’m all paranoid I won’t get there before they start or I’ll get there but the line will be huge and I won’t get in, or… ahh! After 3 – 4 Vampire Weekend songs this annoying bald-headed huge beast of a drunkard bellows, “Vampire Weekend rooooccckksss!!!” and pushes to the front of the stage right in front of my camera. He says, “just one shot man!” and holds up his point and shoot to get a photo of himself with the band in the background. He’s sweating profusely and squishing the nice girls in front of him. They are pissed. He keeps yelling and sweating and bounding around like a bull in a china shop. He’s flailing his arms around and blocking my view about ¾ of the time. Gah!! Me = pissed off. The band starts playing “A-Punk,” one of my favorite bounce-around tunes and so I have to be happy. I dance around and sing along. However, once that’s done, I move through the crowd towards the door, away from the sweating bald man and toward the rabbit hole.

12:00 – I arrive at Club DeVille and there is only a short line. I get inside and grab two glasses of Sprite. I am still starving, having not eaten yet, and thirsty and need something with sugar. I gulp one down on my way to the stage. Eeeee!! OMGWHITERABBITS!! Matthew and Steve are on stage setting up their gear. I get a nice prime spot and Matthew spots me. He gives me a nice big hug and I am so happy I ditched the other show for this one. Steve says hello and Jamie waves. Sweet. Another photographer I met at Lollapalooza is there as well and he and I talk shit while the band sets up. White Rabbits gets their set going and play great tunes like “The Plot,” “Kid on My Shoulders,” and “As We Go Dancing,” off their album Fort Nightly. Alas, they leave out my ultimate favorite “Sea of Rum” in favor of a few newer songs. White Rabbits just signed to Radiohead’s label this week. Woot! Yay! No more crappy dented van for them hopefully. As their set winds down and I am breathless from dancing and flushed with happiness, I make the executive decision that White Rabbits will be my finale to Friday night. They are coming to Minneapolis in a few months, and I tell Matthew we’d better be on for dinner before the show. He laughs and says that would be sooo much better than road food. Awesome.

12:50 – I head down 6th looking for a sandwich. SANDWICH. Give me a sandwich!! I pass by pizza, brats, tacos and nachos and finally a glaring neon light proclaims “sandwiches!” Hooray! I stop in and order a chicken sandwich to go. I grab my food and head back to the hotel. I get in, put my feet up, and finally eat my meal. It’s satisfying and my legs are much happier. Oof do they hurt. I edit some Basia Bulat and White Rabbits photos, ‘cause I have a compelling need to do so, then bed. Another long day tomorrow.

3:00am – night night.

Stacy talks to Ben Kyle of Romantica

Romantica played 5 shows this week at SXSX. Stacy catches up with Ben Kyle outside Molotov's where the Reveille Mag/Eclectone showcase is going on inside. Ben tells her about a few highlights of the festival for him, including Tommy Lee Jones showing up at one of their shows last night. Romantica will be playing at Grumpy's Northeast on St. Patty's day night after a long drive back from Austin.

MP3 File

Stacy's text wrap-up of SXSW DAY 3, Part 1

Basia Bulat at Antone's

Day Three

*again times are approximate. I have no sense of time or date right now. What day is it? [Editor’s aside: Yo, Stacy’s. Good morning, it’s Saturday!]

9:15 – get up, eat free hotel breakfast, blog about prior day

11:15 – Back to hotel room to grab my gear and run off to the Pitchfork Media day party. I am scheduled to shoot the Emo’s Jr. stage. I am excited and hope people show up. Day parties are almost always packed if only because they are usually free and anyone can go. No badge or wristband required. I hope to catch acts in the main room at Emo’s as well, since it’s just next door to where I’ll be shooting.

12:00 – High Places take the stage. They are from Brooklyn and have a great sound. It’s all female vocals, with a lot of looping. They use a lot of various types of bells and shakers and such to compliment their electronics. It’s actually pretty relaxing and I enjoy it. However, the sound is all pretty similar and I sort of zone out. The sound is pretty muffled so I can’t really understand what they are saying, so that’s most of it.

12:30 – Head into Emo’s main room, where Lykke Lihas just finished setting up. She waits until the three men in her band have finished setting up before sauntering onto the stage. Right off the bat, I’m annoyed. She seems pretentious as hell, and I just want to have a good time. I enjoy her sound, but whatever. She ends one song with, “I know it’s early, but let’s pretend it’s a club, ok?” Yeah, ok. Thank God Emo’s has set up giant fans which are swirling about and helping to cool the crowd. It’s going to be 93 today. If only for that reason I’m sort of glad I’m going to be inside the venue instead of at the outdoor stage.

12:45 – I walk back to Emo Jr’s where White Williams is setting up their gear. They just came from The Current’s day party down the block. I’ve liked the one song I’ve heard played on The Current so this will hopefully be a new band for me to love. Turns out they are just ok. They are bouncing around and decent to watch, but I’m not all that impressed. I don’t care much for the sound in this room and that’s bothering me. I find most of the vocals for bands here muffled and hard to understand. To be fair, this may be due to the fact that I have stupid cheap foam earplugs on because I lost one of my good ones. Fuck. Something else to buy when I get home. Sigh…

1:15 - It’s getting hard to blog here. There is really loud music in-between sets. I am hoping to hit up Emo’s Annex (a tent across the street), that is a day party for Soundcheck Magazine, a local publication. They have bands like Cloud Cult and Why? scheduled to play, and I’m more interested in those than what Pitchfork has on tap. At this point I haven’t yet met my boys from P.Fork. As I am looking at my handwriting in my blogging notebook I make a mental note wondering how I will be able to write a legible bar exam when I can’t even read this scrawl.

1:30 – Next up is the band who carries my favorite band name (possibly of all time), Fuck Buttons. I chat with their manager from the UK about the band – they’ll be in Mpls with Caribou soon – and tell him I am interested in talking with them when they come to my hometown. He says that’d be great and tells me to email him. Fuck Buttons requested one thing from the venue… a table. But alas, it was not meant to be and they end up using some upturned equipment cases instead. They begin their set and I find myself bouncing and involuntarily hardcore head bobbing. Woot! They are great. SO great. I usually am not that into electronic music. Maybe it’s the band name, but I’m enjoying myself immensely. Andrew Hung keeps looking over at me and smiling. I’m one of the only people with a constant bounce and I’m just a happy girl.

2:05 – I head back to Emo’s main room to check out someone… I’m not sure what the schedule is in that room. I see a ridiculous looking metal band on stage complete with Flying V guitars and a Garth-like drummer. I am a bit intrigued, a bit afraid. They begin their set and I can’t stop laughing. They are awesome and hilarious and seem to be totally taking themselves too seriously, which is great. Turns out this band is Jay Reatard. Sweet!

2:20 – Back to Jr’s to check out Atlas Sound. Turns out the lead singer is Bradford Cox of Deerhunter. He is the skinniest man alive. I met him at Pitchfork. I have a photo of me sitting on his lap while he kisses my cheek. He’s super nice, but insane. They are much different that Deerhunter as far as sound goes, and Cox is dressed in more normal attire. I’m not super impressed, but it’s alright.

3:15 – I run over to the main room and am sad to see Bon Iver’s set is already over. Justin Vernon is just hanging out and I say hello. I was sad to learn last night that Vernon’s wallet was stolen from the green room at one of his shows. That’s balls! He has no ID, no cash, and no credit card. That’s gotta be frustrating and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Oh –and it has to be said that Vernon’s wallet was in his “tanny pack” – a tan fanny pack. Really, Justin? Really?

3:30 – Back and forth. Back and forth. Now watching Times New Viking set up their gear. I am excited to see these guys. They take a bit setting up, but not overly long. The show is running super early (which never happens) and so they have plenty of time. They take the stage and jam. Rocking out, shaking heads and pounding drums. I am bored. Is that bad? Meh.

4:00 – At this point I find myself waiting for the show to be over. I haven’t eaten since 10:00 am and I’m starving. I’ve had a bajillion free Fuse drinks and a nasty energy drink in a blue and orange can (where’s my Rockstar beverage!?). BAH. I am becoming the cranky music lover. Baaaaahhhhh…. A Place to Bury Strangers is setting up their gear and I note with a tone of exasperation that they are unloading both a fog machine and strobe lights. Those two things do not good photos make. I am whiny, cranky, and I need a nap. Boo.

4:15 – APTBS starts their set. WHOA. Loud. Omg. Whoa. I do not like it. Flat out. No. I shoot to kill and leave the venue looking for fresh air and love. Oooo! Cloud Cult across the street. I sigh with relief and head over.

5:00 – Yay!! Home again. Craig Minowa is singing, Jeff D. Johnson is behind the soundboard. I am happy. They play a few tracks from their new CD, as well as favorites from The Happy Hippo and The Meaning of Eight, including one of my favorites, “Take Your Medicine.” I shoot what’s left of their set6, and then haul ass to The Current’s tent just down the block. I am hoping to make it to see Carbon/Silicon and also my favorite DJ Mary Lucia.

5:30 – Crowd at The Current tent is thick. It’s packed here. Awesome. Lucia says she might throw up because she’s so nervous to talk with the band. This is why I love her so much. Passion baby. She has it. Carbon/Silicon take the stage. The four rows of people in front of me (all men over 6’ tall) raise their arms… and point and shoots. I can’t see a damn thing. Fuck. Even with my fancy outdoor zoom lens I’m worthless. I shoot a song, what I can, and back out of the crowd. The Alarmists boys are there and I bullshit with them for a bit. I am still hungry and feeling a bit gross. I haven’t eaten still. I tell them I need to run or I am going to die (true!). I run into my friend Mark’s friend Bruce. We talk music for a bit and I pawn off on him for food as well.

David talks to Martin Devaney of Eclectone Records

Back in Minneapolis, David de Young talks to Eclectone Records kingpin Martin Devaney in the green room of the Fine Line Music Cafe about the SXSW Eclectone Showcase scheduled for Saturday in Austin. Devaney may be missing his own party (co-hosted by Reveille Mag), but he sends his love and well wishes from Minneapolis, where tonight he Joined JoAnna James on stage at her packed and emotionally-charged going away party. (JoAnna is moving to California.) The all-star lineup at the Fine Line included Dan Wilson, John Munson, Mark Perlman, Jessy Greene, Chris Koza, Haley Bonar, Sean McPherson and more, so eat your heart out SXSW!

MP3 File

Stacy's Friday night SXSW roundup

Stacy blogcasts from her hotel parking lot, from which she can hear Nada Surf playing in the background. Tonight she saw Basia Bulat, Foreign Born, and a Vampire Weekend complete show with a crazed fan. She then headed to Club DeVille to see White Rabbits. (omgwhiterabbits) White Rabbits, one of Stacy's favorite bands, will be coming back to Minneapolis May 21st at the 400 Bar. Time for Stacy to get some food to get her brain working again and edit some photos. Look for her text wrap-up from Friday later Saturday morning.

MP3 File

Friday, March 14, 2008

Stacy's Day 3 SXSW afternoon update

It's 93 degrees in Austin this afternoon and Stacy is shooting the Pitchfork SXSW Day Party today for Pitchfork. Keep an eye out there for those photos. She enjoyed seeing Fuck Buttons, who will be coming to Minneapolis on April 12th with Caribou (at the Triple Rock). She also saw Atlas Sound, White Williams and more.

Next band on the menu, Times New Viking.

Happy Friday!

MP3 File

How Stacy Does It

It's David (back in Minneapolis) with a quick editorial comment. First, I for one am loving Stacy's audio blogcast coverage of SXSW. I had envisioned it would be like a series of almost personal sounding voicemails back to the folks at home, and at least for me, that's what they are feeling like, and they've really made me smile and often feel as if I'm almost there.

Also, I'd requested that Stacy send a photo back of what it looks like when she records her audio interviews (she's pictured above while recording her interview with Craig Minowa of Cloud Cult which we posted yesterday), and yes, it does look a little odd doesn't it? Someone ought to invent a microphone-shaped cell phone on a stick for this sort of thing. (Maybe they'll be selling them at the Minnesota State Fair this year?)

Anyway, cheers Stacy. Keep up the great work!

Stacy Schwartz words from SXSW Day 2

Mark Wheat at the 89.3 Stage

Day Twooooo

* Times are approximate… I didn’t write much down this day*

9:30 – Drag self out of bed, shower (much needed), head over to the Convention Center for Lou Reed keynote speech.

10:30 – We get two (TWO!) whole minutes to take as many photos of Lou Reed as possible. It’s nuts. About 60 photographers crammed on the floor in front of a stage that’s about 18 inches off the ground, constantly flashing (and not) and all you hear is “click click click click” and nothing else. I don’t even know what Reed talked about. After our 2 minutes they shuffle us out and we are forced to the back of the room, where it’s packed and standing room only. We are told the Fire Marshall will ticket us and SXSW if we stay because you must be in a chair (there’s none in sight). I sigh and head off.

11:00 – I’d gotten some text messages earlier from Eric Lovold of The Alarmists and so I find out they are playing a few blocks down at the 710 Club. I head over there to the Voltage party. When I get there The Alarmists are setting up and MC/VL are running around the bar with cordless mics getting in everyone’s face. It’s silly and awesome. …also nice to see MN representing in Austin. There aren’t a ton of people there, but random photographers and such pop in. The Alarmists play their set – a nice mix of a few new songs and some stuff from their EP and full-length album. I stay for another MC/VL set (they play in-between the other MN acts) and then go outside to get some air (it’s a dark bar sort of like the 400 Bar). I see more Minneapolitans like White Light Riot and Bill DeVille from The Current. I wait for Andrea Myers, who’s on her way down to the bar. She calls home while I meander over to The Current’s day party tent, which is just next door to the 710 Club.

12:00 – At The Current tent they have a place to make t-shirts (I make one that says “Staciaann” thinking the words are on the back of the shirt, but they are on the front. Doh!). They also have a button-maker and tons of music mags. You can choose your pic and they’ll make you a button. I make one with a little devil on it and I make one for my boy that says “Poet.” It’s fun! Jesca Hoop is on stage and her voice is clear and sweet. She sings Money and a few others from her most recent album. I like her more with a full band than I dd when she opened for The Polyphonic Spree at The Fine Line last summer. Current DJ Mark Wheat is on stage with the bands and doing the intros and such. Hee! It’s odd to hear him and be able to see him at the same time. I <3 style=""> I also run into Lindsay Kimball at the venue as she’s helping produce this year’s SXSW coverage. After Hoop’s set, I decide to try and find out when Tapes ‘N Tapes are playing at Emo’s later in the day.

12:45 – On my way to Emo’s, I actually run into the band. They are just hanging out on the street talking. Find out TNT plays at 5:20, so I have plenty of time to do a few things before their show.

1:00 – I head back towards The Current tent to collect Andrea. I run into Chris Kallal, Ryan McMillan, Tony Najm, and Jorge Raasch just hanging out waiting to load their gear into their new van. Andrea and I decide to attempt to see Nada Surf at the Paste Magazine party. We head over there…

1:25 – Paste Mag party is crowded, but manageable. They have free drinks with SoCo in them… blech. I pass. Andrea and I squeeze our way toward the front of the stage and I ask some people if they’d mind if I stand in front of them for some pics, and they say, “You’re obviously not from the coasts, are you?” I laugh and we talk about music, Minneapolis and Nada Surf. They are very nice Austinites and others from across the US. Nada Surf takes the stage acoustic-style just like the show they did at The Nomad back in January. It’s good. They are dead on and wonderfully harmonious. They end the set with David de Young’s new favorite song “See These Bones.”

2:00 – Andrea and I stop to say hello to Ira and Matthew and we head out onto a patio. They have free chips and cheese and also Fuse drink. Andrea grabs some chips and I grab some Fuze and we chill out. Ben, Nada Surf’s manager, appears to say hello (he also manages Elvis Perkins, and was the one I worked with to set up both Perkins’ and Nada Surf’s shows in Mpls). He’s very nice and we have a great conversation with him. Andrea ends up interviewing Matthew for The Electric Fetus and I interview both Matthew and Ira for my nerdy blog-cast. It’s weird to be holding the phone up as a mic, but we work with it.

2:45 – Gotta jet back over to The Current’s tent to catch DeVotchKa. Andrea and I walk back over there and get there just as DeVotchKa is playing their first or second song. Mark Wheat begins the live broadcast and he sounds and looks positively giddy. HUGE grin and just overall excited for this band. I can’t blame him at all. We are told that the band will be playing one song “by request of The Current staff.” Owning “Live from The Current Vol.1,” I know they are talking about “Queen of the Surface Streets” and I can’t wait. DeVotchKa launches right into it and I am in heaven. Beautiful, soaring strings, amazing vocals that reach out and grab my heart and squeeze it. The strawberry chocolate-chip whipped topping pancake on my day is when I hear that intro. Oh my God, that intro! I can hum it in my head now. They swell and soar and float and knock me out with “Queen of the Surface Streets.” I am literally a bit breathless. Wheat is pounding on his knees at some points, holding his hands as in prayer in another moment and I have never seen that man smile so big. That seems to be the general consensus of all there. I have never been so overwhelmed in such a lovely way. I could die right now, and it’s ok. Whew.

3:30 – After that set I try to say hi to Wheat, but run into Jeff Johnson and Craig Minowa from Cloud Cult. I interview Minowa for my HWTS nerdcast, hug Johnson, and I’m out to harass and follow DeVotchKa. They are trying to go somewhere to relax, but I have a nice brief conversation with their tour manager while we meander down the street. Andrea and I split off after a bit and head to the convention center to try and see a book signing and such.

3:45 – I hit up the trade show in the Convention Center. Andrea doesn’t have a badge, so they won’t let her in. I take one for the team and bust in, grabbing swag as I go. Free earplugs? Yes, please. Free CDs, stickers, postcards, t-shirts, egg shaker things, etc? Yes, please. I grab it all. I’m sure that much of this score will get dumped out later on and tossed, but that’s ok. I run into my friend Mark Trammell from Digg again and we check out some Koss headphones plugged into a turntable with Bon Iver playing. Sweet! I head out to grab Andrea and we go downstairs to Flatstock.

4:20 – Andrea and I drool over ridiculous amounts of concert posters by a myriad of artists I’ve seen on Sweet!! It’s awesome, but very, very dangerous. We have places to be and we head back to the hotel to drop off swag and so Andrea can dump her photos onto her computer.

5:10 – Leave the hotel and head over to Emo’s to catch Tapes ‘N Tapes. It’s packed. …and very, very hot. So hot that 1/3 way into the set Josh Grier has to remove his guitar and re-shorten the strap. He’s sweated so much that it keeps slipping. TNT plays a lot of their new album, along with crowd favorites “Cowbell” and “Insistor.” The crowd is full of people from every age group, and they are all singing. Surreal and awesome. I also run into Tony Nelson who’s down there taking pics for various publications. Andrea ends up at Emo’s later and after TNT’s set we jet off to think about food.

6:15 – We find The Alarmists again and wander down the street in search of the “Best Damn Tacos.” We get to the stand and the wait is 30 minutes. Boo. I grab a Dr. Pepper and we move on. Andrea and I end up getting some mediocre pizza from a walk-up restaurant on the street and we all just stand around trying to figure out what to do. I meet up with my friend Eric and he joins us to head to the bar The Library for $1 beers. At The Library we again run into the guys from White Light Riot and we all hang out for a bit. Andrea, Eric and I split off to see The XYZ Affair.

7:45 – Walking, walking… We get to the venue and some other band is on stage. WTF? Apparently they shifted the sets and I am subjected to the worst jammy-bullshit dribble I’ve heard. They are in the running for The Worst Band in the World. Not kidding. It’s this scratchy guitar and violin with drums being beaten and hammered. I want to cry. I am getting a headache and I keep cheering that their songs are over. Ugh. The lead singer prefaces their final song by saying, “This song is either about the cremation of the Jews at Auschwitz, or brutal sex. I don’t know which.” Ummm… what? Wow. When they are done I say a bit too loudly, “Thank GOD!” and Andrea laughs her ass off.

8:45 – The XYZ Affair take the stage and I am once again blown away by their awesome choral power. Yup. It’s that kind of nerdy. The boys open with “Sweet Adeline” and move into a bunch of songs off their latest album A Few More Published Studies. So good. SO good. I am once again blown away and happy as a clam. Andrea is grinning and I find out she thinks that lead Alex Feder is hot. Ahhh.. well, that was easy. Hee hee… They play a solid set and then find out they have more time than expected. I yell and yell and the boys oblige. “Don’t Stop Believing!” The XYZ Affair then launches into one of the best version of a Journey cover I’ve ever heard. I am laughing my head off, singing loudly, and just enjoying myself. Unfortunately I have to head off to make Mohawks to see Throw Me the Statue, so away I go.

9:25 – I walk/run to Mohawks to find the line long and winding. I am annoyed. They are letting in people without badges or wristbands who are friends of the owner. Ummm.. yes, but did they pay to be here? No. Gah. The band is supposed to play at 9:30, and I’m finally let in the door at 9:50. Boo! Meet up again with Trammell and we shoot the band. They are good, but nothing too special. After their set I jet off to try and see Liam Finn.

10:40 – Make it to The Ale House, which is a venue with a back alley entrance and it’s dark and crowded. I make it to the front and then the lights go out. Dammit. Not good for shooting pics. One of Finn’s tour managers comes up and holds a spotlight on him, which also means he’s sitting on my foot. I can’t move and my food begins it’s decent into sleep. Fuck. Owwwwww…. I shoot what I can, and eventually the lights rise a bit. I am impressed with Finn, but was paying too much attention to the light/foot situation to give a good review. Sigh.

11:45 – Trying to decide what to do next. Our group is spread out all over the place, but it seems everywhere is full and crazy busy. I am tired, sweaty, and I need to wash my hair. I also have 6 MB of photos to upload and that alone is enough to make me hit the hotel. Steve McPherson is there when I walk in around 12:15. I shower, upload, and then Matt Perkins shows up around 2am with a great story.

10:54 am on Friday – I just finished updating this nerdy blog and eaten my free hotel breakfast. Today is my most planned out day – and by that I mean planned for me. I am shooting the Pitchfork Media day party at Emo’s from noon – 6pm, which is awesome and sucks at the same time. I am most excited to see the band Fuck Buttons, but that’s mostly because I love their name. I MUST have a t-shirt. Please? Whee! Then tonight I am meeting up with Basia Bulat and she’s asked me to shoot her show at Antone’s Records. The awesome part is she’s playing with The Constantines, Vampire Weekend, and DeVotchka, so it should be great fun.

More later…. Supposed to be 93 degrees today. Oy. Sweaty Schwartz. Ick.

Stacy Schwartz photos from SXSW Day 2

Selected images from Stacys' Day 2 SXSW photo set (all images link to full set).

See the full set:

Stacy interviews foiled Lone Star Beer keg thief

I believe this one speaks for itself.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Stacy interviews Sean Carey of Bon Iver at Mohawk's

Stacy scores an interview with Sean Carey of Bon Iver at Mohawks and he tells the story of how he hooked up with Bon Iver Singer/Songwriter Justin Vernon

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Stacy's Thursday evening SXSW update

Stacy just saw the XYZ Affair at the Hilton Garden Inn and recommends that you run out and buy their CD right NOW. Things are getting a bit crazy on the streets of Austin, she reports, and she says she saw the worst band in the world. (She promises to name the band later in her text wrap-up later.) Next she's off to Mohawk's to see Seattle's Throw Me The Statue.

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Stacy talks to Craig from Cloud Cult

Stacy talks to Craig Minowa of Cloud Cult at SXSW. He mentions their First Avenue show coming up April 26th and talks a little bit about recording their new album, Feel Good Ghosts.

(Sorry, this one's a bit muddy due to background noise at the 89.3 Current Stage, but I hope you can still make it out.)

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Stacy talks to Ira Elliot from Nada Surf

Ira Elliot, drummer for Nada Surf gives Stacy an in depth interview about all the fun they have at SXSW and how the tour's going. He also talks about how much fun it is sometimes to play in Nada Surf's alternate acoustic setup, like the one of just him and Matthew Caws that they brought to the Nomad Pub earlier this year.

And Ira gives a shout out to Minneapolis and the Replacements.

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Stacy talks to Matthew Caws of Nada Surf

Stacy talks to Matthew Caws at the Paste Magazine Party. Nada Surf is at SXSW for the 4th or 5th time. Matthew talks a bit about Nada Surf's new album, Lucky, which was released on Barsuk February 5th. And he also talks a bit about what he enjoys at SXSW.

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Stacy Schwartz words and pictures from SXSW Day 1

Stacy's full Day 1 photo set is here:

Stacy's Day 1 itinerary recollections:

9:45 – 10:00 Head down to the hotel’s free hot breakfast! Breakfast sandwiches, fruit, yogurt, cereal, coffee, etc. Good stuff.

10:30 – 11:30 – Go pick up my badge at the conference center. Line is soooo much longer than last year, but they have everything under control. My badge pic is the one David de Young took of me at the Turf last fall and it’s hilarious. Pick up my big bag of swag and throw out a lot of junk. Survey the tables and Andrea Myers & Kyle Matteson pick up leftovers from other badge holders. Post-its, buttons, cds, magazines, etc.

12:00 - Leave and head off to Emo’s for some music and free PBR! Take that POB!!

12:30 – See These United States at Emo’s – get there for the last song of their set. I have full belly after breakfast and the weather is freakin’ AMAZING. Woooot!

12:45 – Swag! Antone’s t-shirts (unicorn shirts – huh?) and energy water, lip balm and a random sampler cd. Back into Emos for Evangelicals. The lead guitarist broke one of his strings, but just pulled it out as he continued playing and tossed it on the ground. The keyboard player/guitarist matched his outfit to the material covering the keyboard – fancy!

1:00 – Meh to Evangelicals, so off to Emo Jr’s (they’re connected) to see Radar Brothers. It’s much more mellow that I’m looking for at this point in time. Sort of reminds me of The Beatifics. Get a txt message from friends I met last SXSW so that was neat – I am looking forward to seeing them again as well as other Mpls folks.

The second Radar Brothers song has a bit more oomph. It seems like a band that used to rock hardcore, but now has mellowed and matured with age. They are good though. The bass player reminds me of Heath Henjum – he does that same lip thing.

1:45 – The New Puritans. Oh. My. God. Awesomeness in a can. The last song they play is that “Elvis, I wasn’t talking about that king” song that The Current plays a bit. Holy shit I’d watch these guys play again in a heartbeat. Of course this falls in line with my love for all Brit bands, TNP being from the UK. Wheee!! I am happy and bouncing along to their tunes.

2:15 – Matt Perkins (from The Nomad and The Current) just got into town. I am waiting to see Frightened Rabbit (a Scottish band – me? Seeing a Scottish band? Imagine that!) at Emo’s Annex (same venue, just across the street from where I just was). Attempting via text to figure out room keys and such with four people in different places is odd, but it still works.

2:40 – Frightened Rabbit sound checking – I am excited! I’m at the Iota Party. I talk to Eric (This guy from PA I’m working on a book with about SXSW) and we plan to meet up later. FR begins playing and I am sadly unimpressed. Dammit. Oh well. Sometimes the recordings are just better than the live act. OR it could be the venue. I’m not adverse to attempting to see them again, but we’ll see what happens.

3:55 – Leaving Emos Annex after eating some ridiculously good free Tex Mex food (quesadillas, tamales, chips, guac, kabobs, salsa, cheese sauce) and free beer. Yum yum! Go to meet up with Perkins, Sean Peterson (Universal Music), and a few other people. Andrea Myers, Kyle Matteson & Steve McPherson are now at the Annex too.

4:15 – Meeting Jim Walsh at the hotel pool as he just got into Austin. Crazy day! Perkins and I stop to wait in line and get our Fader Party wristbands. Afterwards we meet up with Jim, drop stuff off in the room, and head out into the sunshine. It’s SO beautiful out. Perkins is with us and he gets called to help The Current set up their stuff. Jim grabs a taco and we sit on a fire escape stairway overlooking Sixth Street and watch the musicians, hipsters, scenesters, publishers, A&R Reps, fans and anyone and everyone else imaginable walk past. It’s perfect.

5:50 – Meet Andrea & Kyle at Creekside to see Spinto Band. $2 PBRs. There are 6 members of Spinto Band and there’s something wrong with a piece of their equipment so they are taking a while to set up. The drunk guy next to me keeps yelling for their song “Mandy.” Shut up!

6:00 – The band starts as they’re supposed to be done by 6:15. Oh well. Spinto Band plays 6 – 7 songs and I really dig them. Find #2 of my trip, thanks to Kyle Matteson’s suggestion. They are pop-rocky and bounding around the stage. The keyboard player totally looks like Jon Behm and Andrea and I giggle.

6:30 – Head off to the hotel to drop off gear and swag and think about food. Andrea and Kyle decide to wait in line to get their Fader Party bracelets while I go back to the hotel. Jim and Steve are already there. I start editing pics, while the rest of them blog and nerd out. Andrea and Kyle arrive and the crew figures out where to eat. I stay behind to catch up on editing pics... and I’m still full from all that Tex Mex this afternoon. Ooo! I get an email from Basia Bulat, who’s awesome and sweet, and we plan to meet for lunch or something on Saturday. Yay! I can hear some band playing outside our room. Glad I brought earplugs.

8:15 – Gang back from dinner, I am finishing up editing the 1st half of the day’s photos. Whew. Hopefully that’ll grant me some reprieve tonight when blogging and editing the rest. Decide to head out to see Romantica at Touche. We get part way there when my friend Eric calls and says REM is getting hard to get into. I jet over that direction, as I reaaaaalllly wanna shoot that.

10:15 – Yay!!! Into Stubbs (with camera pass this year!) to see REM. Have to sit through another band prior to them coming on and I’m in line for the photo pit so I can’t see a thing. Zzzz…. There are a LOT of photographers! They decide to put us into the pit 25 at time for 3 songs each. REM has agreed to let two sets of photographers into the pit (total of 50 people) instead of just one shot so that it’s not so nuts. They apparently are really great to press.

12:00ish – REM!!!!! I am in the first batch of photographers into the pit, which pleases me because it means that I get to see them sound checking (well, not REM, but their people) and take a bunch of gear shots. Whee! I love gear shots. Stipe and co. finally emerge, are very gracious and kind and jump around frantically. It’s amazing and I am in love with them. Unfortunately we (the press) are whisked out after 3 songs (Stipe waving and saying, “Goodbye press!”). I blow him a kiss and he smiles at me. Hee!

12:30 – Run into my friend Mark Trammell from Digg and we go to Emos to get his girlfriend. We are then planning on going to see Bon Iver at Maggie Mays rooftop. Mark finds his gal is at a different venue, but I meet Bruce, Mark’s friend and so Bruce and I head over to Maggie Mays. We meet up with Gabe from the Varsity and Lindsay Kimball from The Current.

1:00 – Bon Iver takes the stage. Justin says hello. I take pics. Kimball and I are sitting on little stairs that lead up to the stage and it’s relaxing and Minneapolis-like. I’m tired, but my feet and such are holding up better than last year. My face is a bit sun-burned and my shoulder is killing me from carrying around my camera bag. Oh well. I am happy and tired.

1:45 – Meet up with Kyle and Andrea. Hit up the “Damn Good Tacos” stand and get the best taco I probably have ever had. Guac, queso and fried chicken in a flour tortilla. OMG. Yum!!! We head back to the hotel. Perkins, McPherson & Walsh are all on the floor sleeping when we get there. Lame. Hee hee…

2:55 – I’ve uploaded my pics to my computer and am done blogging. Whew. Another full day tomorrow. Night, night.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stacy chats with Jim Walsh at SXSW

While on their way to get some eats, Stacy talks to Jim Walsh about The Sun and Vitamin D. Jim calls me out (again) for getting caught yawning at the Bruce Springsteen Hoot in MPLS last night, and talks about what he's looking forward to seeing at SXSW including Billy Bragg, Tift Merritt and more.

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Stacy's Wednesday Afternoon SXSW Update

Stacy talks to Matt Perkins from 89.3 The Current and The Nomad World Pub, and Matt gives tells her a candid answer about what he likes about SXSW. (And he likes seeing bands too!) Among other bands, Stacy and Matt just checked out Frightened Rabbit (No relation to White Rabbits). Of course Stacy has to give the weather forecast for Austin just to rub it in for us stuck back here in MN.

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Stacy's SXSW experience gets underway

Stacy picks up her badge, photo press pass, SXSW directory and other swag and heads off to see some music.

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Stacy and travel mates arrive in Austin

Stacy Schwartz and travel mates finally arrive in Austin after a grueling busride from Dallas. They check in briefly just to say goodnight before resting up for a big day Wednesday.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Stacy Schwartz takes off for Austin

Stacy Schwartz, on the plane to Austin for SXSW talks to Andrea Myers of Reveille Magazine about the Reveille Day Party coming up Saturday and their experience at the MSP Airport Wok & Roll restaurant. Also, Kyle Matteson of Reveille tells Stacy he's looking forward to the free beer.

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HWTS does SXSW yet again. Watch this spot!

A few hours from now, HWTS Photo Editor Stacy Schwartz will be jumping on a plane to Austin, TX for SXSW. In addition to photographing the myriad events again this year, Stacy will be presenting an audio blog right here in this space details her experiences and sprinkling it with almost live interviews.

Here are Stacy's photos from last year along with links to HWTS does SXSW reviews by both Stacy and Neil Olstad.

One fabulous way people are covering and hearing about SXSW this year is via Tweets from Twitter users who are already on site in Austin. See an aggregation of many of those Tweets here:

Follow Stacy's journey on Twitter here. (Feel free to follow me here, as I'll be manning the HWTS SXSW coverage from the safety of my living room in Minneapolis.)

Our good friends at Reveille Magazine also just started a new SXSW blog today here: that you'll want to keep an eye on.

Also, many of the locals travelling to SXSW are members of the HWTS forum, so be sure to check in early and often to for additional bits of vicarious enjoyment.