South by Southwest Music Festival + Conference
@ Austin, Texas (13th-18th Mar '07)
Feature Special SXSW 2007
- Intro - Austin Rocks!
The town was rockin' - no other way to say it. And I mean the WHOLE town: wherever you looked, wherever there was enough space for a musician, there was enough space for a show. Usual venue and concert halls across the city were packed till the wee hours every night, but there was no need to be there, since every bar, club and street corner (even fashion shops!) became center stage for countless musicians from all over the world. No matter where you were or what you did in this town, a flood of sound surrounded you from all of the directions, the noise of smiling people mixing with laughter, chatter and dancing. |
This was especially true on 6th street, the center of the festival. The entire area was a blur of sound, motion. The people and energy here reminded me a lot of Shibuya crossing in Tokyo and London's Oxford Street during the pre-Christmas rush. It was impossible to find any calm or quiet here, but no one comes to SXSW for calm and quiet. No, the thousands upon thousands of global music fans descend on Austin, Texas to have bloody good fun.
The guy who introduced this rockin' festival the first time for Smashing Mag was Ryota Mori, one of our best regular freelance photographers contributing to us. His 2004 reporthelped us imagine perfectly how exciting it was, but pictures and media only say so much. The way you experience something through words and pictures can frequently be damn wrong. You've got to experience it for yourself - to be there to feel and touch the real things or you would be missing something essential and real. We have been reporting about this festival as well as Glastonbury in the UK, Fuji Rock in Japan and The Green Man in Wales, but no matter how good the photos and articles were, there is no comparison with being there.
My first journey to SXSW was last year, 2006. I was hired as an MC and photographer for the Japanese Shamisen Extravaganza Tour, which introduced the traditional music of Japan to the States. I was there for 2 days - my first touch of the festival. The tour headed to some other cities in the US, so I wasn't there nearly long enough, but only a couple of days were good enough to have an extraordinary experience in a madly rockin' town. I knew then that I would be back to see more. As a result, I joined forces with Sam, Keco and Ryota who have been covering this festival for the last couple of years.
Well, how many musicians were there? The answer simply is a lot! There were too many to count. It seemed like something amazing was happening every minute, and if you didn't plan well you'd miss it. One of the incredible moments I missed this time was Booker T & MGs. You see, even with a good plan, you have to know the location of the venue and how long it takes from one to another or you would loose a chance. Timing is everything.
While there were so many big names playing and listed, there were lots of unknown talents everywhere. I was in love with a Skiffle band on the 6th street and some Australian guys playing in a tiny space at a super market far from the center of the festival. I had more fun finding those unknown talents than checking out the superstars.
Unfortunately this time, there were no writers covering the festival for Smashing Mag, but with lots of photo reports, perhaps you can get a sense of the festival, maybe even hear the music and noise from this rockin' town. And since Ryota was there as the official photographer of the 50 Kaitenz, there might be some special photo reports of the band hanging around the town, we hope.
We hope these photos give you an idea of what was happening. Maybe next time you can have as much fun as we did running up and down Austin's rockin' streets.
comment and photo by hanasan
South by Southwest Music Festival + Conference feat. Lily Allen, A.J. Croce, owkmj (ore wa konna mon janai）, Alina Simone, Bobby Witlock with Coco Carmel, Cho Sister Brothers : Pianica & Magic Orchestra, Go!Go!7188, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals , Casa De Chihuahua, John Hammond, Rickie Lee Jones, Ozomatli , Buzzcocks, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Andrew Winton, YB(13th to 18th Mar. @ Austin, Texas)
Peace Music Festa! Henoko2007 : photo document : pre opening day / the 1st day feat. Jicchaku Orchestra / Cyclub / Yoko Utsumi / Trinity Club Band / Akiko Noma (Go!Go!7188), CocotaboYoul & Amina, Shaolong To The Sky, kotobuki, Masao Taruya + Koji Nakamoto, Donal Lunny + Kazutoki Umezu + Hiromi Kondo, Duty Free Shopp., Soul Flower Mononoke Summit & Misako Oshiro / photo document : the 2nd day feat. Hana Band, Yambaru Reggae Brothers, King Jam Session,KZ [G.A.C], Kakumakushaka, Papa U-Gee with Zion High Playaz, Yukihito Ara, Kachimba 1551, Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra, Soul Flower Union, Ryukyu Lion, Nanjaman & U-Dou & Platy / over all view(23rd to 25th Feb. @ Henoko Beach, Okinawa)
Bloodest Saxophone (17th Feb. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
Donavon Frankenreiter with Timmy Curran (6th Feb. @ Shibuya AX)
St. Vicious Day feat. Stance Punks、The Star Club、Tokyo Shock Boys、Michiro Endo、Sorrow (2nd Feb. @ Daikanyama Unit)
Calexico with Overground Acoustic Underground & Sly Mongoose (22nd Jan. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)
Kotobuki : 寿は幸せを呼ぶ (20th Jan. @ Shin Okubo R7S Art Court)
Lily Allen (12th Jan. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)
Theatre Brook (23rd Dec. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)
Waht's Love? (23rd Dec. @ Shibuya Lush)
Celtic Xmas feat. Paul Brady, Lunasa, Tim O'Brien & Dirk Powell with Cara Butler & Jon Pilatzke & session of all(9th Dec. @ Sumida Triphony Hall)
Tokyo Crossover Jazz Festival 2006 with overall photo document feat. Shuya Okino / Sleep Walker / Koop / Kyoto Jazz Massive / Jam Session (8th Dec. @ Shinkiba Studio Coast)
Goro Nakagawa (4th Dec. @ Shimokitazawa La Cana)
Edgar"Jones"Jones & The Joneses (18th Nov. @ Daikanyama Unit)
Edgar"Jones"Jones & The Joneses (17th Nov. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
Happy & Artie Traum (2nd Nov. @ Yokohama Thumb's Up)
Bleach (1st Nov. @ Sangenchaya Heaven's Door)
Uri Nakayama (10th Oct. @ Yoyogi Zher the Zoo)
Clammbon, Ron Sezsmith, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Chris Pierce, Cool Wise Men, Zion Train, Brinsley Forde (7th to 8th Oct. @ Asagiri Arena)
Michael Franti & Spearhead (5th Oct. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)
Faiz Ali Faiz, Kayhan Kalhor, DuOud with Abdulatif Yagoub, Gnawa Diffusion & Mercan Dede & Secret Tribe (2nd to 4th Oct. @ Tokyu Bunkamura Theater Cocoon)
SsamZie Sound Festival feat. moonlight a fairy a hard desperate full base home run / Cool Age / Golden Pops / Cockrasher / Cocore / The Emeralds / Starbow / Prana / Loro's / Vanilla Unity, photo document & Transfixion, Biuret, Nicotine, Fortune Cookie, Sugardonut, Lee Sang Eun (Lee-tzsche), Lee Ji Hyung, YB (Yoon Do Hyun Band), No Brain, Ellegarden, PIA, Hajji and TJ with Sim Soo Bong, Schizo＋Hyun Jin Young, Morning of all ＋ Kim Jang Hoon (30th Sept. @ Olympic Park, Seoul)
Asylum Street Spankers with Uri Nakayama (17th Sept. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
Fumio Ito and Gen Ueda, Magnolia, Keison, Caravan, Pocaskajan, Eye Don't Nose, Hige, Moon Riders, Ban Ban Bazar, The Blues Power with Monsieur Kamayatu, Kodama & The Dub Station Band, Marcos Suzano, Takashi Numazawa with Haruka Sakota, Leyona, Taiji All Stars, Kemuri (18th to 19th Aug. @ Rising Sun Rock Festival)
Sleep Walker (11th Aug. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
Soul Flowwer Mononoke Summit with Kotobuki (15th Jul. @ Tokyo Kinema Club)
Sleep Walker (23rd Jun. @ Shibuya Club Asia)
Soul Flower Union (11th Jun. @ Shinjuku Loft)
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals (9th Jun. @ Shinkiba Studio Coast)
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals (9th Jun. @ Nagoya Diamond Hall)
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals (7th Jun. @ Namba Hatch)
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals (6th Jun. @ Hiroshima Club Quattro)
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals (5th Jun. @ Fukuoka Drum Logos)
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals (3rd Jun. @ Zepp Tokyo)
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals (2nd Jun. @ Yokohama Blitz)
Allen Toussaint (1st Jun. @ Harajuku Blue Jay Way)
Mishka (27th May. @ Yokohama Osanbashi Hall)
Rico Rodriguez with Cool Wise Men (6th May. @ Nagoya Up Set)
Rico Rodriguez with Cool Wise Men (5th May. @ Esaka Muse Hall)
Down Beat Ruler feat. Bagdad Cafe The Trench Town & The Ska Flames with Rico Rodriguez (3rd May. @ Ebis Garden Hall)
Ska Cubano (2nd May. @ Roppongi Hills Arena)
Janet Klein (24th Apr. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
Banda Bassotti (17th Apr. @ Parco Degli Acquedotti, Rome)
Banda Bassotti (8th Apr. @ Zapata, Genova)
Banda Bassotti with Talco (7th Apr. @ C.S.A. Paciana, Bergamo)
Banda Bassotti (4th Apr. @ Piazza Mercato, Marghera)
Banda Bassotti with Brigada Flores Magon (1st Apr. @ Villagio Globale, Rome)
Banda Bassotti (29th Mar. @ Auditorium Flog, Firenze)
Shamisen Nite : Mika Uchizato, Keisho Ohno, Umekichi, Yasukatsu Oshima & Takeharu Kunimoto : (23rd Mar. @ McCabe's Guitar Shop, Santa Monica)
Shamisen Nite : Mika Uchizato, Keisho Ohno, Umekichi, Yasukatsu Oshima & Takeharu Kunimoto : (22nd Mar. @ Yoshi's Bar, Oakland)
Shamisen Nite : Mika Uchizato, Keisho Ohno, Umekichi, Yasukatsu Oshima & Takeharu Kunimoto : (20th Mar. @ Schubas Tavern, Chicago)
Shamisen Nite : Mika Uchizato, Keisho Ohno, Umekichi, Yasukatsu Oshima & Takeharu Kunimoto : (18th Mar. @ Joe's Pub, N.Y.C.)