Report From South By Southwest Music, Tech, and Film Festival
Not too many political insights from my 5 days in Austin for the South By Southwest Music, Tech, and Film Festival, but I sure had a good time. I was there launching a pet project I created for Legalzoom.com. It was my beloved, and long awaited, "Band Partnership Agreement." I appeared at the IFC (Independent Film Channel) House each evening for a couple hours, sipping cocktails while dispensing film and music industry advice to very nice up-beat people.
There was advance word that pro-Limbaugh forces were going to throw tomatoes at me. Maybe I deserved that, but nothing happened. I think you had to buy a $600 Festival Badge to get in the room to get this "free" advice so I wasn't exactly mobbed.
I saw some films, and saw some bands.
Bomba Estereo from Colombia. This is the modern day version of Bow Wow Wow, which is sorely needed.
Lila Downs: Mexican mariachi singer with "in-tune" horn section. Novel approach, excellent performer.
Pennywise: Not exactly new music, but they are my friends, so we had a great time together and they can still whip up the crowd.
Duran: Another talented Colombian performer.
Built To Spill: Again, not exactly new, but aging well.
Youth Lagoon: As hip as it gets in 2012. Daniel Johnston inspired melodies. Pretty cool.
Cro Mags: Very old hardcore, so the name gets more descriptive as each year goes by but they put on an excellent old fashioned hardcore show.
Paul Williams Is Still Alive:I loved it, but maybe because Paul Williams is still my brother in law.
I was hoping to see some unseen riot footage and this film did not disappoint. I lived through this thing in a very real way so I can't get enough of new footage. Unfortunately this film had problems. It was met with outrage by Koreans at its first screening. It portrayed them as crazy people with guns. I learned about a riot themed film from the Korean Perspective. One of its other problems was trying everything it could to pretend the cops that beat Rodney King did not do jail time. This enhanced the outrage, which made the riot protagonists seem more justified.
The film made no mention of the follow up federal trial. It followed up on other things. It even got Rodney King to lie down in the same spot 18 years later to demonstrate what happened. But they would not let on that the Federal Government prosecuted and convicted King's attackers. Director Mark Ford was called on this during the Q&A by some very brave woman. She would not let up and he looked like a fool trying to explain why he couldn't devote 10 seconds of his film make it clear that these America did punish these officers.
So VH1 will air this film as part of the riot's 20th anniversary. Instead of promoting peace, this film uses deception to drive a wedge between blacks and the rest of society. Nice job VH1. First Jersey Shore, and now this? Congratulations to all of you. You should be very proud.
Other than that, business is booming for this wild festival despite the fact that few people pay for recorded music anymore.