SXSW was Dickensian as always. The best of times, the worst of times. All the ink and blogging about it maybe reflects how its huge size has changed its character in one fundamental way: It is too big to sum up. Everyone who participates in SXSW (or is just impacted by it) has a unique set of experiences. In this spirit, I think all the commentary is helpful rather than confusing or detrimental, as long as we can try to step back and let the various voices help fill in the big picture.
For myself it was an exhausting couple of weeks, but I met some good people, gleaned a few specks of gold from the various panels and publicity events, caught a few interesting musical acts that stood out from the pack, and even managed to play my usual gigs around town. The biggest victory was, of course, finding a parking space when you needed it. For my showcase at the Russian House I did have to resort to a pedicab to get my gear and myself to the gig from my car which was parked over a mile away. I was one of the lucky ones, I’m sure.
The high point of SXSW was getting to play with Sandhya Sanjana, the amazing Indian vocalist, who bridges classical Indian styles, jazz, funk and pop. I look forward to working with her again when the stars align.
A big thank you also to Jakes Srinivasan and WOBEON, for working so hard to strengthen and promote the world music scene here in Austin. The monthly shows at One2One Bar are really memorable, and more cool events will be forthcoming through the year.