Live from Squaresville: A SXSW Odyssey in Multiple Parts (Phase 1)

SXSW-2014And it has descended upon us again, the yearly carnival, debacle, fanfare, clusterfuck that is South by Southwest.  It’s that two week period when Austin damn near consumes itself in commerce, excitement, food, drinks, and bitchiness.  I’m all for it.  Sure there are aspects of it all that drive me crazy…the influx of people everywhere, the traffic, the veritable police lineup of ridiculous looking characters, and the cold and flu disease-ridden aftermath that we all lovingly refer to as “South By AIDS.”  But on the other hand, I take a week off from work, catch some cool free shows, drink some cold free beer, and generally take in the circus atmosphere like its some kind of cleanser.  And every year it just gets bigger and bigger.  It’s not all music and film anymore.  There’s a tech side, an interactive side, an education side, and I can only imagine beer, food, and puppy dogs waiting in the wings for their own slice of the expo.  So, there is literally something for everybody here.

The Sunday Song Poem #5 John Muir ‘The Moon Men’

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Sunday. Seven revolutions round the sun for our insignificant little orb. Circling our inevitable infernal-murderer. The Song Poem – Aural encapsulation of a delicate, all pervasive balancing act, evident throughout all God’s creation. Like so many things, it’s indicative of the eternal juxtaposition; Black and white. Sun and moon. Good and Evil. Cobra and Mongoose. While the Earth adheres to strict physical laws, Outer Space on the other hand, is a vastness more mysterious and chaotic the further away we get from our lowly point of origin. The known solar system is orchestrated precariously by forces unknown in a delicate cosmic ballet. Did you know that Pluto could one day abandon its erratic orbit and go hurtling off into space?

The Joup Friday Album – Seventh Edition – Metronomy ‘The English Riviera’

Metronomy-The-English-Riviera

As I said in my previous entry in this series, I feel a responsibility to my lineage to wax sycophantically about some of the underrated or overlooked gems my fellow countrymen have proffered for your aural delectation over the decades. Many a minstrel from this spinach green and soggy land, this sceptic isle, has fallen on deaf American ears over the years, and I for one can sympathise.

35 Albums in 35 Years: 1986

In an ongoing attempt to bleed my opinions all over your computer screen, I’m selecting one album from every year that I’ve been alive that has some sort of significance to me…and then writing about it.  Welcome back to 35 Albums in 35 Years.

 

petergabrielso1986: Peter Gabriel’s So

Like so many people my age, I first became aware of Peter Gabriel through the fantastic and weird video for his hit “Sledgehammer” on MTV.  I have been a sucker for animation of any kind since I was a little kid, and the video’s almost jarring use of live action animation was just amazing to me.  I loved it.  It seemed to be in a perpetual battle with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” for best video of all time back in the 80’s.  Dancing zombies versus quirky animated sequences…a war to end them all.

The Sunday Song Poem #4 Ralph Lowe ‘The Crime Shows’

ralphThere are eight million stories in the naked city…” Pfft, baloney, eight million my eye, what gives – you got smog in the noggin? There are two, just two.

Despite continued attempts by those Godless, whore-mongering, smut pedlars at HBO, to debase the genre with real actors and creators with integrity who refuse to hand over their baby to some committee of bastard hacks to cack-handedly lop off the head of the Golden Goose of a good idea, and smash its egg into a potentially endless series of seasons of 20-odd advertisement peppered pieces, there are but two stories in any Crime drama, and you’re going to shut your yap, sit there and listen while Ralph Lowe spoon-feeds you the skinny, capisce?

The Joup Friday Album – Sixth Edition Robert Calvert’s “Lucky Leif and the Longships”

image courtesy of makeyourowntaste.wordpress.com

Hawkwind is a band that has alluded me my entire life. If I walked into a room and Hawkwind was playing on the turntable I might be able to guess what it was just based on what I know about the group, but I am wholly unfamiliar with their music. And yet the author of my pick for this week’s edition of The Joup Friday Album was penned by Hawkwind’s frontman. How’s this then? you might ask. Well, you see my entry to Lucky Leif and the Longships was not through Robert Calvert, it was through the album’s producer/collaborator Brian Eno.

35 Albums in 35 Years: 1985

In an ongoing attempt to bleed my opinions all over your computer screen, I’m selecting one album from every year that I’ve been alive that has some sort of significance to me…and then writing about it.  Welcome back to 35 Albums in 35 Years.

 

tomwaits1985: Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs

Some years seem to generate so many more albums that hold special places in my heart than others.  It becomes a challenge to not only pick one to write about, but to even narrow the number down to a manageable level to begin with.  1985 is one of those years.  I kind of agonized over which record to choose.  In the end though, there was really only one direction to go in.

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