It’s oh so true: South By Southwest is here. The annual music utopia is finally putting on some pants this week to help end everyone’s winter hangover and before we introduce a few must-see musicians, we’re going the speaker route. This year, SXSW Interactive is a techie’s dream come true but SXSW Music’s programming is waaaaaaaaaaaaay better than you think. Outside of the interviews with St. Vincent, Jarvis Cocker, Blondie, Diddy, and Neil Young, there’s an endless flow of sessions that pick at social perspectives, debate the future, and mercilessly gut specific genres like they’re Pitchfork reviewing a Childish Gambino album. Sitting is never fun in Austin, Texas – unless your motor skills have betrayed your liver – but here are 20 SXSW Music panels that are absolutely worth your time.
For more info on panels/sessions that touch on Interactive, Film, Comedy, and Sports, head to SXSW.com
“90’S SUBURBIA: A REVIVAL OF LETTERS, TAPES & ZINES” (TUES MAR. 11TH – 11:00AM)
Zines are awesome and it’s hard to hate the ’90s so one can only hope that there will be free Pogs on hand.
“PRINT OR DIGITAL? IT’S THE PACKAGE THAT COUNTS” (TUES MAR. 11TH – 11:00AM)
Texas Monthly’s EIC Jake Silverstein and WIRED’s EIC Scott Dadich ask if “glossies will go the way of vinyl”.
“HOW TO WIN THE INTERNET IN 60 MINUTES WITH FUNNY OR DIE” (TUES MAR. 11TH – 11:15AM)
Five FODs share secrets about their success at the ‘net which casually involved Bieber, ferns, and sex tapes.
“PORTLANDIA: BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE CREATORS” (TUES MAR. 11TH – 3:30PM)
Will Fred Armisen recite the scripture of Bonny Bear while Sleater-Kinney rock out in the back? It could happen.
“MODERN SEINFELD & OUR SOCIETY” (TUES MAR. 11TH – 4:45PM) The Modern Seinfeld Twitter account goes to SXSW, George becomes obsessed with the concept of Tinder.
“MAN VS. MACHINE: THE CURATION DILEMMA” (WED MAR. 12TH – 11:00AM)
We’re still scared of how machines were portrayed in “The Animatrix” but this early riser features some major players including Pandora’s Eric Bieschke, Google’s Tim Quirk, Rdio’s Chris Becherer, and Beats Music’s CEO Ian Rogers.
“FROM SONGS TO SCORES: CAN SONGWRITERS SCORE FILMS?” (WED MAR. 12TH – 12:30PM)
The Oscars are setting bars for musicians and this panel features Explosions In The Sky’s Michael James so go.
“DID THE INTERNET KILL THE ALBUM REVIEW?” (WED MAR. 12TH – 5:00PM)
This one features The Needle Drop’s Anthony Fantano and avid music dignitaries such as Force Field PR’s Daniel Gill. We’re really hoping for a Yeezy caemo here because “BEYONCE HAD THE SECOND BEST ALBUM OF 2013”.
“HIP HOP: FROM MIXTAPES TO THE CLOUD” (WED MAR. 12TH – 5:00PM)
The Wall Street Journal, Soundcloud, and Rostrum Records talk mixtapes so grab your bae.
“BE YOUR OWN TASTEMAKER: MUSIC DISCOVERY IN 2014” (THU MAR. 13TH – 12:30PM)
A chit-chat featuring members of Bandcamp, Rawkblog, KCRW, and Angry Mob that’s ideal for music fiends.
“INDEPENDENCE DAY: ARE INDIE LABELS THE NEW MAJOR?” (THU MAR. 13TH – 12:30PM)
Funk Volume’s Damien Ritter, DJ Skee, Murs, and more discuss the DIY business model and staying indie.
“LOU REED: A ROCK & ROLL HEART” (THU MAR. 13TH – 2:00PM)
Pay tribute to the New Yorker who illustrated bits of reality and forced emotions to rock the mic.
“THE BAND PORTRAIT: MARKETING PERCEPTION” (THU MAR. 13TH – 2:00PM)
Promo images have a purpose and various photographers plus Big Hassle’s Ken Weinstein explain why.
“HAS METAL LOST ITS EDGE?” (THU MAR. 13TH – 3:30PM)
Our pick of the fest peels back the skin of metal Woe’s Chris Grigg, Noisey/VICE’s Fred Pessaro, The FADER’s Emilie Friedlander, and Pitchfork’s Brandon Stosuy and Kim Kelly analyzing its future and showing no mercy.
“INDIE FOOD IS THE NEW INDIE ROCK” (THUR MAR. 13TH – 5:00PM)
Love food and Pavement? Postpone your every barbecue date you have and get educated.
“FROM RIFFS TO BITS: JAMES WILLIAMSON AND BUZZ OSBORNE” (FRI MAR. 14TH – 12:30PM)
There’s a punk in all of us (including Shania Twain) and Williamson’s one-on-one with Osborne will prove it.
“RECORD STORES ARE DEAD. LONG LIVE RECORD STORES” (FRI MAR. 14TH – 2:00PM)
Industry vets and Record Store Day’s Carrie Colliton spotlight the indie retailers that are staying physical.
“NEW ERA OF A&R” (FRI MAR. 14TH – 2:00PM)
New talent is everywhere and OWSLA, Virgin EMI, Future Classic, and Soundcloud talk about the art of “browsing”.
“ADVICE FROM THE MUSIC FESTIVAL EXPERTS” (FRI MAR. 14TH – 5:00PM)
Self-explanatory but a crossover that features HARD Events CEO Gary Richards and Warped Tour’s Kevin Lyman.
“WOMEN WHO CONQUERED THE MUSIC BUSINESS” (FRI MAR. 14TH – 5:00PM)
Looking for a true inspiration? Beats Music’s Julie Pilat, Island Def Jam’s Karen Kwak, KROQ’s Lisa Worden, and more tackle subjects such as equality in the workforce and conquering sexism. In short, tune in and listen up.