Results for Austin, Texas

interviews

Eleanor Friedberger

Singer-songwriter Eleanor Friedberger last joined us in 2008 as one half of the duo The Fiery Furnaces, along with her older brother Matthew. Famous for their fragmented and experimental sound, they made an impressive nine albums in six years together. However since 2011, Eleanor has been pursuing a solo career that is sonically quite different from the work she was doing in The Fiery Furnaces. She's put out three albums, Last Summer (2011), Personal Record (2013) and most recently, New View. While Eleanor Friedberger is an Oak Park, Illinois native currently living in New York state, she recently joined Jim and Greg during the SXSW Music Conference in Austin, Texas for a conversation and live performance in front of an audience at the Gibson Showroom. She speaks about growing up, going solo, Seth Meyers, and Andy Warhol.

Go to episode 550

A Giant Dog

A Giant Dog is a rock band out of Austin, Texas, whose power and charisma on stage make the outfit unique. Made up of Sabrina Ellis, Andrew Cashen, Andy Bauer, Graham Low, and Daniel Blanchard, Greg fell in love with this band when he saw them several times at SXSW in 2017. Greg interviews the band about how they came together, signing with Merge Records and how their antics onstage have changed over the years. Plus, they perform live.

Go to episode 641
dijs

Jim

“Eat Steak”Reverend Horton Heat

This week, Jim and Greg are soaking up some sun and new music in the beautiful city of Austin, Texas for South by Southwest. While Jim always loves visiting the annual festival to discover new talent, there's one element that makes him positively giddy – world famous Texas BBQ food. So for this trip to the desert island, Jim thought he would mentally prepare himself for some good old-fashioned carnivorous cuisine with the Reverend Horton Heat song, "Eat Steak." This track is some fun psychobilly rock that will get you looking for the closest barbeque restaurant, and fast.

Go to episode 538
lists

SXSW 2016

The South by Southwest Conferences in Austin, Texas showcase a whole host of creative content from films to developing technologies to new media. But for Greg and Jim, the chief purpose of attending is to discover their favorite new artists. Check out their picks for the best of 2016's SXSW.

Go to episode 539

SXSW 2010

For decades Jim and Greg have been making an annual pilgrimage to Austin, Texas for the SXSW Music Festival and Conference. That makes them industry vets, just like this year's keynote speaker Smokey Robinson. In the digital age, it's easy to sample music from hundreds, if not thousands of bands from all around the world, but as Jim and Greg explain, a MySpace stream has got nothing on the live experience. This is why they and more than 10,000 other people converge on the Texas capital year after year. Here are Jim and Greg's SXSW discoveries for 2010:

Read more about SXSW at Jim and Greg's blogs.

Go to episode 226

SXSW 2018

Greg and Jim report back from the South By Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas. They share some of their favorite new musical discoveries.

Go to episode 643

Greg's SXSW 2019 Recap

Instagram/Cimafunk

The 32nd South By Southwest festival wrapped up last weekend in Austin, Texas. The music industry spring break has long been one of the best places to discover ambitious new bands for record labels, managers, promoters and critics. Jim was sad to miss the event for the first time in 27 years, but was eager to hear what Greg learned while down south.

Greg was happy to report that after years of expansion (the film and tech conferences are in some ways bigger newsmakers now) and over-the-top corporate presence (Doritos vending machine stage, anyone?), the music festival was scaled-back this year. There was less focus on major stars and more emphasis on acts from around the world.

The decline in corporate influence at SXSW could be heard in the keynote address from T. Bone Burnett, the producer of many Coen brothers film soundtracks. He didn't hold back, claiming that tech companies like Facebook and Google were a threat to our humanity.

"To stay human, to survive as a species, we have to wrest our communications out of the control of the lust for power, the avarice, larceny, hubris, deceit, and self-delusion of the heads of Google and Facebook. I am confident that we can do this," Burnett said.

Greg juxtaposed Burnett's comments against a panel with Nile Rodgers on songwriting as an investment. In that discussion Rodgers' business partner made a plea to keep streaming platforms like Spotify alive until they can become worldwide platforms despite the low dividends they provide artists now.

As for new music discoveries, Greg shared three:

  • Cimafunk, a project of Erik Alejandro Rodriguez that blends Afro-Cuban polyrhythms with Fela Kuti trance vibes.
  • Trupa Trupa, a Polish band he saw last year at SXSW and signed to Sub Pop Records as a result of that visit.
  • Tasha, a Chicago-based solo artist with radiant stage presence who reminded Greg of the folk soul movement of the 1960s and 70s.
Go to episode 695
features

Roky Erickson and The 13th Floor Elevators

roky Roky Erickson was a psychedelic pioneer who kept bouncing back to music despite many tragic challenges throughout his life. With The 13th Floor Elevators he helped spread drug-assisted enlightenment in one of the least accepting places in America: 1960s Texas. After their single "You're Gonna Miss Me" became a national hit, The Elevators appeared on American Bandstand and amassed a significant following, largely on the strength of Erickson's vocals. Combining elements of Little Richard, James Brown and Buddy Holly, Greg says Erickson had a punk rock approach to music as early as 1965.

With a larger audience came closer scrutiny, especially from Texas law enforcement. Roky was busted for drug possession twice in the late 60s and plead insanity to avoid a lengthy prison sentence. Over his four year stay in Rusk State Hospital, Erickson battled schizophrenia and underwent electroconvulsive therapy. By the mid-70s Erickson was out of the institution and returned with darker music exploring paranormal and horror movie themes.

After another run-in with the law (this time for mail theft), long-time Elevators fan turned music publicist, Bill Bentley, organized a fundraising tribute album: Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye. From that album's release in 1990 until his death last month, the music community of Austin, Texas (including Okkervil River, Butthole Surfers and ZZ Top) shared the duty of supporting Erickson with his family, helping him thrive as a musician until the end.

Go to episode 707