March 18, 2011

SXSW: Dan Wilson, The Civil Wars, Crystal Bowersox and More Pack the Room at ASCAP Show; Plus A Festival Wrap-up with Photos Galore




If there was one over-riding theme one could take away from this year's SXSW Music Festival and Conference, it is that music is alive, well and kicking. Coming on the heels of the SXSW Interactive Conference, which smashed attendance records, the Music Fest and Conference drew more than 2,000 acts from around the world, including some of the biggest names in music, such as Diddy and Jay-Z. The Strokes, who made a triumphant return to the national stage at the festival, drew 22,000 people at Austin's Auditorium Shores.

But even as SXSW celebrated its 25th Anniversary by being bigger than ever before, its greatest appeal is still in providing the opportunity for people, whether they be music fans, booking agents or managers, to discover amazing talent bubbling up from obscurity or to see buzzed-about artists in intimate settings.

Such was the case at ASCAP's showcase at The Driskill Hotel on Friday, March 18th. The show featured Antonia Bennett (daughter of music legend Tony Bennett), Andrew Allen, Dan Wilson, who was accompanied by special guests Tracy Bonham, The Dixie Chicks' Martie Maguire and Jeremy Messersmith, The Civil Wars, Hotels & Highways, Infantree and Crystal Bowersox, who was joined by special guests John Popper of Blues Traveler and her husband, singer-songwriter Brian Walker. The Victorian Room at The Driskill show swelled to capacity as music fans and industry execs alike delighted in seeing such an exciting group of rising and established musical stars in one place.

ASCAP made its mark all over Austin during the festival's final days by co-sponsoring a wide range of day parties at various venues. They included Filter Magazine's Culture Collide, GigMaven's Ides of March Day Party, Brooklyn Vegan Day Parties, Stag's Rock and Roll Circus South, The Delie Magazine Party and Boat Cruises with Better Angel Music.

ASCAP editors also spread out to capture great musical moments with a stunning array of ASCAP members at their shows throughout the city. As anyone who has been to SXSW knows, the festival is overwhelming - but for music lovers of all stripes, it is also pure bliss.

The Strokes Take SXSW by Storm - View Our Exclusive Slideshow

One of the most highly-anticipated shows at this year's South by Southwest Music Festival was that of The Strokes. So, when the band hit the Auditorium Shores Stage along Town Lake in Austin, Texas to headline the festival, thousands upon thousands of eager fans were there to greet them. And the trailblazing NYC rock band delivered the goods, performing some of their classics along with songs from their new album, Angles, to be released on March 22. ASCAP's Erik Philbrook got up close to capture some of the excitement.

ASCAP Presents SXSW Showcase Cranks Up the Sound of Some of Today's Hottest Emerging Rock Bands

A diverse and wildly eclectic group of bands took to the stage at Austin's Dirty Dog club on Wednesday, March 15th at the ASCAP Presents SXSW showcase and showed delighted attendees just how far the rock genre has stretched in today's music environment. From "ghettotech" (Chappo) to foot-stomping Southern-fried rave-ups (The Dirty Guv'nahs) to post-punk dance (Streets on Fire), each band took decidedly different paths to raise the roof off the venue, but all hit their mark in entertaining the packed house. Other featured bands included Black Books, Gemini Club, White Arrows and Fake Problems.

For full video highlights of ASCAP at this year's SXSW Music Festival, click here