We've got a some extra ground to cover this week, and it's all the music industry's fault.
OK, technically, it's not all the music industry's fault, since there really no longer is a music industry, at least not like the one that dominated the business for the latter half of the 20th century.
But even today's fragmented, indie-driven music world still manages to pull together every once in a while, and nowhere more so than at the South By Southwest Music Conference. Each year, bands from all over the globe have descended on the "Live Music Capital of the World" — otherwise known as Austin, Texas — to showcase their wares and hear industry observers pontificate on where this whole "music" thing is headed.
So yeah, that's where I'll be next week. And if you care to follow our Reverb blog (see URL below), I'll be posting updates from the event. You can also look for a sprawling wrap-up article in our March 22 issue.
And since this column will be on hiatus for those two weeks, let's use this one to look a little further ahead than usual.
We begin with a holiday close to my heart: St. Patrick's Day. Now, I know most of you Reverb readers will spend the evening curled up with a well-worn copy of James Joyce's Ulysses, but there are also some pretty great options around town.
Like, for instance, at the Triple Nickel, where Melting Temple will be doing its twisted psych-rock thing long into the night. Be sure to arrive at a reasonable time so you can also take in a set of high-octane grindcore from Malakai side-project Tree of Woe. While spending this most genteel of holidays giving yourself a case of thrash-induced whiplash, you'll also get your first opportunity to pick up Tree of Woe's debut album. In fact, the band will be giving it away at the show, so it's kind of a no-brainer.
Of course, between now and March 17, you'll also want to figure out how to pull off being in multiple places at once. The Black Sheep's St. Patty's Hip Hop Showcase will feature the full Bullhead*ded crew along with Denver hip-hop collective Black Mask. And then there's a DJ/live hip-hop celebration across town at Belle's Lounge, where green beers will be hoisted to the sounds of the incomparable Stony Bertz plus JayOin, Kris Harlow and Ibe Hustles.
The following weekend, plan to catch an epic second anniversary party for the What's Left zine at Zodiac. Ten acts have signed on for the March 23 birthday bash including Cat Color, Conjugal Visits, Blighter and Sole. Full lineup and details are at on.fb.me/zpqR1Z.
As for this coming weekend, a benefit for the Wounded Warrior Fund at Sunshine Studios this Saturday could prove interesting. It'll feature the debut of March Heir, a band fronted by Tommy Gunn, who was the guitarist in Billy Squier's band Piper. The band's debut album, Colorado, is slated for summer release, and they'll be shooting a video for it at the show, so dress nice.
Military men and women get in free.
And finally, to bring things full circle, the Insane Clown Posse have just announced that they'll be doing an onstage interview at SXSW. Unfortunately, that's the one time in Austin I'm scheduled to wash my hair, but I'll make up for it by spending extra time on JuggaloBook, the Facebook rip-off that ICP launched earlier this week as part of its followers' secession from the rest of us. My Juggalo Nation name is Big Money Hustla, so I'll see you there.