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Some Final Thoughts About SXSW

New music. When I arrived at SXSW four days ago, I had a plan. I was going to see these bands, at these times. I would attend some cool panels and mingle with people in the music industry. The first lesson I learned in Austin on the very first day was, screw the plan.

The entire week was filled with brand new music. New bands, new sounds, many of which I had never even heard of. My most enjoyable experiences came from walking down 6th Street, hearing something good and going to find out who was making the noise. I would agree that you need a rough plan. Know some bands that you really want to see but don’t schedule yourself wall to wall on a planner, it will never work.

Some of the highlight performances from my week included some known artists such as Patrick Stumps solo debut, Street Sweeper Social Club and Sum 41. It also included a huge list of unknowns. VV Brown, Jaguar Love, The Law and Howlies highlighted that portion of my week.

While I was in Texas, I was lucky enough to conduct interviews with eight different artists and bands. It’s great to talk with artists about their plans and the way they view the music industry in 2010. Among my favorite people to talk to were Kelley James, Lights and Scottish bands Twin Atlantic and The Law.

The best part about SXSW is the time spend off the beaten path. While most fans, writers, bloggers, tweeters, industry folk and artists were at concerts like Muse and Stone Temple Pilots, I was able to see shows featuring unknown or lesser known artists. What made blogging the entire event fun and interesting is that most writers went to these larger shows.

For me, seeing bands that I want to see is far less interesting than seeing talented young bands. Readers already know that Muse is a fantastic band so why write a review of their show? For me, the real treasure was seeing Patrick Stump’s first solo performance during Muse’s set.

Over the next few weeks we will continue to release information about a lot of the bands we saw at SXSW, giving you as much information we can about which bands you will know about one year from now.

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