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TGTF Guide to SXSW 2019: this year’s recommended keynotes and speakers

 
By on Wednesday, 6th March 2019 at 11:00 am
 

Every year without fail, you can count on the SXSW Conference to bring you an illuminating parade of industry visionaries and artists speaking next month in Austin. In a few weeks, there will be an awe-inspiring selection of sessions to sit in on and engage with as part of 2019’s Conference. Below is just a smattering of what music programming is on offer this year.

A$AP Rocky and Gorden Wagener (Monday, 11 March, 12:30 PM) – The announcement of A$AP Rocky as a SXSW 2019 showcasing artist has been huge. Quite possibly as huge is his session on the 11th of March to discuss his success with development and sales of his own athletic wear and accessories. (You can check out a recent interview he did with Los Angeles radio station Power 106 before a live appearance at the Forum.) Joining him in this session is Gorden Wagener of Daimler AG, responsible for directing everything related to the customer experience at Mercedes-Benz. The importance of creativity, branding and fans and followers will no doubt be discussed in this session.

T-Bone Burnett (Wednesday, 13 March, 11 AM) – He may not be a household name you recognise, but you definitely know his work. Musician, producer and songwriter T-Bone Burnett has composed the soundtracks for countless films and produced many albums, including those that launched the careers of Counting Crows and Los Lobos while helping reinvent and relaunch those of Gregg Allman and Roy Orbison. Burnett will be releasing his 13th album ‘The Invisible Light’ in April, so he’ll be chomping at the bit to talk about his newest work.

David Byrne (pictured at top) (Wednesday, 13 March, 12:30 PM) – The former frontman of Talking Heads and multi-award winner will be speaking about Reasons to Be Cheerful, a platform to drive social change he launched last year. The purpose of the Web site is to give people the tools and information to make changes locally to social issues as diverse as climate and energy to transportation. For a taste of what Byrne might talk about, I’ve embedded below a talk Byrne gave in early January 2018 at the New School in New York City.

Lance Bass (Wednesday, 13 March, 12:30 PM) – You remember him, Lance was the blond bass singer in *NSYNC. In case you somehow missed this, since his former ‘90s boyband’s implosion, he has become an actor of stage and screen and a gay activist. He even had a turn on Dancing With the Stars. Perhaps it’s surprising that his appearance at SXSW 2019 will be to talk about his current career as a film and tv producer. Like Madonna, Cher and many other legends in the music business, he’s proven resilient in successfully reinventing himself, his time as *NSYNC fading into the distance.

Shirley Manson and Lauren Mayberry (keynote; Thursday, 14 March, 11 AM) – These two female titans of Scottish music will be appearing at Thursday morning’s Music keynote. It’s being presented in association with PRS Foundation’s Keychange programme and will be centred on discussions about “creativity, the music industry and the female identifying narrative.” Both have been outspoken on feminism and and equality in the business; below, watch an interview with Mayberry at Australian music festival Splendour in the Grass.

Laura Jane Grace (Thursday, 14 March, 2 PM) – Formerly the founder and frontman of punk band Against Me!, Grace is a transgender musician who has become a role model for those struggling with gender identity and dysphoria. With her new band Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers, Grace is headed in a decidedly more intimate direction with her first solo album. The changes in her life over the last 6 to 7 years have thrust her more into the public limelight, and I’m sure she’ll be using this platform at SXSW 2019 to revisit key events, as well as discuss the music she’s making while Against Me! is on hiatus.

Björn Ulvaeus and Niclas Molinder (Thursday, 14 March, 3:30 PM) – Ulvaeus is best known as a Swedish songwriter and producer of international giants ABBA and the co-composer of Mamma Mia! and other Broadway musicals. He will be making a stop at SXSW 2019 along with Niclas Molinder; both are cofounders, along with famed pop songwriter and producer Max Martin and manager Ash Pournouri, of Auddly. Auddly is described on the SXSW Web site as “rapidly setting the standard for how music creators, their collaborators and their representatives are identified along with accrediting their contributions in compositions and recordings.” A worthy enterprise, indeed. Ulvaeus seems like such a great interviewee, as evidenced from the BBC One Show clip from last year below.

Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond (keynote; Friday, 15 March, 11 AM) – The surviving members of seminal NYC hip-hop trio Beastie Boys will be stopping by SXSW this year for the Friday morning keynote session during the Music part of the SXSW Conference. Late last year, Horovitz and Diamond released Beastie Boys Book, 6 years on from the untimely death of their bandmate Adam “MCA” Yauch.

Ross Golan (Friday, 15 March, 11 AM) – Like T-Bone Burnett described above, Ross Golan isn’t exactly a name that will ring too many bells but I can guarantee you’ve heard and appreciate his work. Golan penned Ariana Grande’s ‘Dangerous Woman’ and 5 Seconds of Summer’s ‘Mrs. All American’, among others. However, I don’t think Golan will be in Austin to rest on his songwriting laurels and will be speaking on something else near and dear to many artists and managers’ hearts. He’s a major champion of the Music Modernization Act, which was signed into U.S. law last October and aims to move forward with better best practices in issues of copyright in the digital age. He’ll be discussing this, along with the future of songwriting.

As always, the schedule of events at SXSW 2019 is subject to change. For the most up-to-date information on the SXSW Conference, visit SXSW’s official Web site.

 

Live Gig Video: The Xcerts share tour video set to new single and EP track ‘You Mean Everything’

 
By on Tuesday, 5th March 2019 at 4:00 pm
 

This time last year, The Xcerts were riding high following the release of their fourth studio album, ‘Hold On to Your Heart’. The LP was the Scottish trio’s first to reach the top 40 of the UK albums chart. In a few short weeks, the group will be releasing a new EP. ‘Wildheart Dreaming’. Starring on the upcoming release is new feel good, anthemic track ‘You Mean Everything’. To go with the single release, The Xcerts have a tour diary-style video to accompany it. Directed by their mate Thomas Brooker, it follows the band on their tour campaign for ‘Hold On to Your Heart’. Go along for the ride and watch the tour video below. Stay tuned for the ‘Wildheart Dreaming’ EP, to be released on the 22nd of March on Raygun Music. To read through all of our coverage here on TGTF on The Xcerts, go here.

 

Live Gig Video: Demob Happy share international tour video set to single ‘Less is More’

 
By on Wednesday, 27th February 2019 at 4:00 pm
 

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Brighton via Newcastle band Demob Happy have admitted that their latest video is the realisation of “…the Holy Grail of band videos that is the ‘International Tour Video’ – It’s simply a must-have for any band.” Ha! It’s for their new single ‘Less is More’, out now. The promo chronicles their touring life in 2018 across Europe with Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes, a sold-out UK headline tour, 27 dates through America supporting Nothing But Thieves, their own headline American shows and recent UK gigs with Jack White. Full of live performance clips in color and black and white, plus some trippy overlays to boot, the video for ‘Less is More’ captures the excitement generated from Demob Happy’s live shows and the band’s own passion when performing for their fans. Watch the video for ‘Less is More’ below; the single is out now on SO Recordings. Past coverage of Demob Happy here on TGTF can be found through here.

 

(SXSW 2019 flavoured!) Live Gig Video: Cassia share sunny performance video for ‘Small Spaces’, from debut album ‘Replica’

 
By on Tuesday, 26th February 2019 at 4:00 pm
 

It seems all too perfect that following my posting of Vampire Weekend‘s latest promo video last week, now it’s Cassia‘s turn on TGTF. The sunniest export to come out of Macclesfield are finally going to be able to capitalise on the growing hype surrounding them. Next month, they will appear at SXSW 2019, and there is no doubt they’ll be representing the North in fine fashion. Shortly after appearing in Austin, they will also be releasing their debut album, ‘Replica’, on Distiller Records on the 5th of April.

In case somehow you have been living under a rock – and somehow missed both my report on seeing them at The Great Escape 2018 and Lily’s of their single ‘Get Up Tight – the promo video for ‘Small Spaces’, taken from their upcoming debut, is a great introduction. Favouring a bouncy, sun-dappled sound reminiscent of early Vampire Weekend, it’s easy to see how Cassia and their buoyant music will be right at home in Austin in a few short weeks. Watch the video for single ‘Small Spaces’ below. The band’s one official SXSW 2019 performance announced so far is at the Scruff of the Neck / Distiller Records showcase at Malverde on Wednesday evening, the 13th of March; stay tuned for future coverage on Cassia here on TGTF.

 

(SXSW 2019 flavoured!) Live Gig Video: Jealous of the Birds shares acoustic performance of ‘Clementina’ filmed in Dublin

 
By on Wednesday, 20th February 2019 at 4:00 pm
 

Like her fellow Northern Irish singer/songwriter Joshua Burnside, Naomi Hamilton, stage name Jealous of the Birds, will be appearing at SXSW 2019 in Austin in mid-March. Just like Burnside whose newest video we featured on TGTF last week, Hamilton has an acoustic video of her own ahead of SXSW. In the embed below, she performs ‘Clementina’ with a bandmate in pretty nice, cosy digs: the Vintage Room of famed Dublin venue The Workman’s Club just steps away from the River Liffey. ‘Clementina’ appears on Hamilton’s latest EP ‘Wisdom Teeth’, out now on Canvasback / Atlantic Records. All of our past Jealous of the Birds coverage on TGTF can be read through here.

 

(SXSW 2019 flavoured!) Live Gig Video: Mansionair unveil sultry performance video for ‘We Could Leave’

 
By on Tuesday, 19th February 2019 at 4:00 pm
 

Sydney’s Mansionair released a new video last week on Valentine’s Day. Latest single ‘We Could Leave’ follows in the heady footsteps of the many sexy, sultry songs we’ve heard so far from the soulful Aussies. In this tune, Jack Froggatt chooses to focus on that paralysing feeling when mesmerised and frozen by his attraction to a gorgeous creature at a party. His thoughts of escaping with his lady love “grace the night ligh0ts” are halted by his inability to act, or to even speak. The lyrics seem to suggest the object of his affection doesn’t want to reciprocate, so he’s stuck waiting for something, seemingly anything, to bring him out of his trance. As terrible as this sounds, it’s completely relatable, something that Mansionair excels at in all their music. Watch the performance video for single ‘We Could Leave’ below; the single is out now on Glassnote Records. To read more on the Aussie trio on TGTF before their scheduled appearance at SXSW 2019 next month in Austin, follow this link.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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