Sunday, March 17, 2013

SXSW 2013, Thurs.

The past two days have gone by in a blur. I have been at times exhausted and others inspired and exhilarated. I've seen legends and new acts, the beauty of SXSW. Thursday was one of those days where you just couldn't believe what you got to see. It started with the Dave Grohl keynote. Before Dave went on, the SXSW Music staff paid tribute to SXSW pioneer and inspiration Brent Grulke who sadly passed away last year. It must have been a difficult event for them to plan without him, and the film they showed demonstrated Grulke's profound mark on the festival.

That set an emotional tone for the day. Grohl's keynote was amazing. It was one of the best things I have seen at SXSW, including Springsteen's keynote last year. It was fascinating to learn of a young Dave growing up in Virginia, being inspired by his punk-rock cousin in Chicago and then ultimately ending up in Nirvana. When he spoke of Kurt, starting with a long pause, there wasn't a dry eye in the room.

I just watched his Sound City film that he screened this week, and it is a beautiful tribute to the creative process.


That could have been enough, but then after growing impatient with a panel entitled "Silicon Valley Isn't the Enemy Anymore," I stumbled into a talk celebrating 50 Years of the Beatles. It featured Rodney Crowell, Ron Sexsmith and Robyn Hitchcock. I could listen to these guys talk about the Beatles forever. Legends talking about legends. So nice. 

The Day Stage in the convention center is the place to be (if you have a badge). You can see all kinds of acts in a comfortable, uncrowded space. Above is Cayucas, a band I had heard on Sirius/XM. I like their song High School Lover. And then I could have called it a day. But there was one more legend in the mix - an interview with Stevie Nicks. Her music both with Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist featured prominently in my childhood and teenage years. It was incredibly fascinating to hear about how she became a part of Fleetwood Mac and how her life changed after making Rumours. She is an incredibly gracious, smart, talented and inspiring person. 

At this point, I was a little overwhelmed with what I had experienced. I went home and didn't see any shows, hoping to save up energy for a big Friday. Stay tuned.

I got a little of the Dave Grohl keynote, but you really should watch the whole thing!


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