WBEZ | South by Southwest http://www.wbez.org/tags/south-southwest Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Global Notes: Roster of international artists grows at SXSW http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-30/global-notes-roster-international-artists-grows-sxsw-84493 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-30/cambodian-space-projectIII.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When Chicago blogger and music lover Catalina Maria Johnson went to <a href="http://sxsw.com/" target="_blank">South by Southwest</a> this year, she was pleased to find a growing global music presence. She shares her discoveries with Jerome and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/radio-m" target="_blank"><em>Radio M </em></a>host Tony Sarabia on this week's <em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/globalnotes">Global Notes</a>. </em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Track List</strong></p><p>Herencia de Timbiqui – Ay No!</p><p>Black Gandhi – Pateras</p><p>Cambodian Space Project – Live performance via YouTube</p><p>Los Rakas – Abrazame</p><p>Monareta – Fried Speakers</p></p> Wed, 30 Mar 2011 17:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-30/global-notes-roster-international-artists-grows-sxsw-84493 The Smoking Popes return with nostalgic new album http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-15/smoking-popes-return-nostalgic-new-album-83727 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-15/SmokingPopes_Flickr_NeilCooler.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Smoking Popes first got together during their Lake in the Hills high school days. Some twenty years later, they&rsquo;re back - with a concept record that revisits teenage life. By their own account the band has gone through a couple of lives in the past two decades.<br /><br />Wednesday, they&rsquo;ll kick off their tour with a showcase at the <a target="_blank" href="http://sxsw.com/">South by Southwest </a>music festival in Austin, Texas. But first they sat down with <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> music reporter Althea Legaspi. Frontman Josh Caterer shared the latest chapter in the band&rsquo;s history and the story behind their new album,&nbsp;<em>This is Only a Test</em>, which comes out Tuesday.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>SONG &ldquo;Wish We Were&rdquo;</em></div> <div>&ldquo;I said, &lsquo;OK, I&rsquo;m a teenager again and the first image that popped to my mind was, there&rsquo;s this girl, I&rsquo;ve got a crush on her, she doesn&rsquo;t know I exist.&rsquo; Boom there you go,&rdquo; Smoking Popes singer, songwriter and guitarist Josh Caterer said. &ldquo;And then the song just wrote itself after that.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The song &ldquo;Wish We Were&rdquo; is from their first concept album called <i>This is Only a Test</i>. The idea came to Caterer after hearing a teenage pop song on the radio. He says he never wrote from a teenage perspective, even when he was one. So he wrote the song as if he were a male high school senior. And for five consecutive days, songs came tumbling out quickly.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re just gonna write a song, it could be about anything. And you&rsquo;re like, &lsquo;What do I want to say about life now?&rsquo;&rdquo; Caterer explained. &ldquo;But here I had like this little list of topics that I think would apply to teen life, and looking back on my own life, but not wanting to be really autobiographical.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><em>SONG &ldquo;College&rdquo;</em></div><div>There is a resemblance to Caterer, though. There&rsquo;s a funny song about having mono, and a power ballad about not wanting to go to college. Both of those mirror Caterer&rsquo;s life. Smoking Popes&rsquo; lyrics have shades of British rock star Morrissey&rsquo;s wry sense of humor. And it&rsquo;s evident in &ldquo;Excuse Me, Coach.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><em>SONG &ldquo;Excuse Me Coach&rdquo;</em></div><div>&ldquo;There was a kind of duality going on in the song anyway because here&rsquo;s this kid and he just got dumped, and he&rsquo;s like too depressed to participate in gym class that day, which is a very, you know it&rsquo;s just a very teenage thing to be happening,&rdquo; Josh said of the song.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><em>SONG &ldquo;This is Only a Test&rdquo;</em></div><div>Other lyrics deal with more serious issues, despite the upbeat sound. The character struggles with identity. Caterer describes him as a disaffected punk in spirit, a guy who through the course of the album learns how to cope and survive.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;This kid is able to, you know, take a step back and get a perspective on life that allows him to see this high school world that we&rsquo;re living in is not the real world. And maybe that&rsquo;s something I&rsquo;ve been able to bring to it as an adult, since I&rsquo;ve, you know. had years to separate me from that environment &ndash; I don&rsquo;t know if you can see that as well in high school,&rdquo; Caterer said. &ldquo;So who knows? Maybe that&rsquo;s gonna be helpful to some teenage kid who&rsquo;s listening to the album, and just realizing that these people who appear to be&nbsp;your enemies because they&rsquo;re just prevailing over you in these different situations, you know that&rsquo;s not gonna last and you&rsquo;ve got things within you that are valuable, but maybe not appreciated, right now. But like in the real world these things you&rsquo;ve been gifted with are gonna have a chance to shine.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><em>SONG &ldquo;Letter to Emily&rdquo;</em></div><div>The album ends on a poignant note with &ldquo;Letter to Emily,&rdquo; a song about suicide. &ldquo;This was a letter just to sort of deal with that that sense of guilt that a person can have about &lsquo;even if I didn&rsquo;t know this person that well, maybe if I had reached out, maybe I could have impacted this person&rsquo;s life and helped them. But now I&rsquo;ll never know,&rsquo;&rdquo; Caterer explained. &ldquo;I think that&rsquo;s something you know that every kid in high school, if there&rsquo;s a kid at school who&rsquo;s committed suicide, every kid who&rsquo;s had contact with them is affected in that way to some extent.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><em>SONG &ldquo;Need You Around&rdquo;</em></div><div>That yearning to help and seek understanding parallels Smoking Popes own story. Core members and brothers Josh, Matt and Eli Caterer formed the group in 1991. Their indie debut album and their robust shows got them noticed. Their sophomore album <i>Born to Quit</i> appeared on major label Capitol Records in 1995; <i>Destination Failure</i> followed in 1997. Those album titles foreshadowed what came next. Caterer unexpectedly called it quits in 1999. He says at the time he thought being in a rock band was incompatible with his newly found faith.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;It took me a period of years to be able to come back to the band and feel comfortable in the environment of the Smoking Popes without feeling like being in that environment is going to cause me to compromise my faith,&rdquo; Caterer revealed. &ldquo;And also it not feeling like as a perquisite to be in that environment I have to evangelize from the stage, you know, which would be a compromise to the integrity of what the Smoking Popes are trying to do &hellip; Our whole breakup and reformation for me was just a process of working that out.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><em>SONG &ldquo;Punk Band&rdquo;</em></div><div>They reunited in 2005 and <i>This is Only a Test</i> is their second studio album since they regrouped. Caterer says the song &ldquo;Punk Band&rdquo; encapsulates the spirit of who Smoking Popes are now. He references Iggy Pop in the song, who inspires Caterer with his career longevity and riveting performances</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a privilege to be able to participate in that&hellip;That at least is an attitude that we&rsquo;ve been able to have during the more recent years of our career. I don&rsquo;t think we had that during the &lsquo;90s when we got signed and we were going through that stuff. I think we were a little bit too self-absorbed and not quite capable of handling what was going on,&rdquo; Caterer said. &ldquo;But I think that now we have a much more defined sense of who we are as a band who are audience is, what our relationship is to them and a lot of that external stuff that sort of has to do with the trappings of your career and stuff. We&rsquo;re able to forget that when we&rsquo;re onstage and just really enjoy the moment.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Looking back through the eyes of a teenager, Smoking Popes have gained a mature perspective.</div></p> Tue, 15 Mar 2011 13:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-15/smoking-popes-return-nostalgic-new-album-83727 Wish I Was in Austin Coverage SXSW Recap http://www.wbez.org/mwettergreen/2009/03/wish-i-was-in-austin-coverage-sxsw-recap/2428 <p><p style="text-align: left;">It's been one week since SXSW ended, where's the recap for Friday and Saturday of SXSW Music? What happened?</p><p style="text-align: left;">What happened is that Friday we lived like Kings. We party hopped, we took pictures of people's bad fashion designs, we imbibed more Red Bull than could possibly be healthy. We had so much fun that the collective hearts and minds of Chicagoans not at SXSW and jealous of us lobbied from a distance for our waning immune systems to be struck down for our intemperance. Your voodoo worked; Saturday was met not with a hangover but a 104 fever. The next four days were a shivery and delirious haze of sweat and fever dreams (In my hallucinations I wrote a children's book detailing the story of my cartoonish immune system fighting off the evil corporate flu bug) brought on by the dreaded sxSARS or SXscurvy (whatever you call it). For those unfamiliar with affliction, it's kind of like a super bug created from the the combination of a) being around too many people, b) improper bathing habits during sxsw, c) putting a humongous toll on your body.</p><p style="text-align: left;">Enough about sweat angels, don't you want to know what brought us to this point? Then read on...<!--break--></p><p style="text-align: left;">The beginning of Friday was lost to actual work and writing including some of the final SXSW posts. Our first stop was to the Austin coworking space, <a href="http://conjunctured.com" target="_blank">Conjuntured</a>, where we got a tour and immediately shunned work for the beginning of party hopping which at that point we were late for considering it was almost 4pm. The first party was thrown by <a href="http://musicheals.org/" target="_blank">Music Heals</a>, a non-profit record label and health care group, held at Ace's Lounge and featuring members of <a href="http://www.swishahouse.biz/" target="_blank">Swisha House</a>. From there we headed to the <a href="http://pitchforkmedia.com/" target="_blank">Pitchfork</a>/<a href="http://windishagency.com/" target="_blank">Windish</a> Party where we ran into several hipsters from Houston, took some pictures of things worse than skinny jeans and received free booze from the rep for <a href="http://www.starrhill.com/" target="_blank">Starr Hill Brewery</a> just because he eavesdropped on our conversation about how pretty the bottles are. We left the party right after <a href="http://www.departmentofeagles.com/" target="_blank">Department of Eagles</a> continued to rock the audience by playing a *gasp* Grateful Dead cover.</p><p style="text-align: left;">We raced back to Conjunctured to pick up more partygoers to hit the Fader Fort but not before getting electrocuted <em>twice </em>on a revolver-shaped lighter at one of the convenience stores on 6th St. The woman behind the register refused to believe the lighter was defective or touch it and simply pushed it back into the sale bin with another lighter, ready for another unsuspecting customer. Classy. At the Fader Fort we caught the Super Band that sounds like it played your 80's prom, <a href="http://www.tintedwindowsmusic.com/" target="_blank">Tinted Windows</a>, made up of James Iha, Taylor Hanson, Adam Schleslinger (Fountains of Wayne), and Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick). The Fader Fort ended that night with Peter, Bjorn and John playing mostly new tracks to a packed house and waiting until the encore to break out you-know-which-track-I-mean. After that we wandered around East Austin and on our fourth try found a working ATM and on our fifth try found a taco truck.</p><p style="text-align: left;">With only two more parties left for Friday night, we jetted over to the <a href="http://indiehouston.org" target="_blank">IndieHouston.org</a> party in time to just catch the last song by <a href="http://www.myspace.com/tambersauro" target="_blank">Tambersauro</a>. As that party shut down around us and we kept demanding double vodka red bulls we talked to the other members of the rotating crew from Tambersauro/<a href="http://www.myspace.com/goldencities" target="_blank">Golden Cities</a>/<a href="http://warblerpl.com/" target="_blank">Warblerpl</a> about the new Martin Atkins Touring textbook:&sbquo;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.myspace.com/toursmart" target="_blank">Tour Smart</a>.</p><p style="text-align: left;">The final party of the night was the &quot;<em>exclusive</em>&quot; Red Bull Moon Tower, running every night from 10:30pm til 4:00am. The exclusivity was backed up by a required pre-registration including both name <em>and </em>affiliation. We arrived at the undisclosed location to multiple lines with laptops and excel files for checking names. <a href="http://twitter.com/tonybgoode" target="_blank">Tony Bacigalupo</a>'s name was not to be found anywhere on the list (Jazz Hands! Surprise!) but they wouldn't budge an inch. No sweet talking him in, no bribes, no leniency. He was out of luck and destined to pace the parking lot until <a href="http://twitter.com/gracerodriguez" target="_blank">Grace</a> and I finished having fun in what surely would be the best party at SXSW that year. Grace went into the party and waited for us while Tony and I walked to the parking lot and jumped a fence to sneak in unnoticed behind one of the bars. Success! We found the party to be well lit, full of Red Bull and mixers, including a photobooth and accompanied projection onto the outside walls and the best part: a giant outside stage with <strong>terrible</strong> bands playing: <a href="http://www.myspace.com/twinatlantic" target="_blank">Twin Atlantic</a> and <a href="http://www.myspace.com/sonsofalbionuk" target="_blank">Sons of Albion</a>. They were disruptive, overly loud, embarrassingly emotive and too many of the members suffered from &quot;guitar face&quot; which is a look similar to &quot;bitter beer face.&quot; There was no beat to shake your hips to, something that might have been important to consider at, say, 3am when people could use some sort of psychological pick-me-up to match the chemical upper of the Red Bull.&sbquo;&nbsp; At some point the bands began to annoy us so much that we decided to <strong>leave </strong>the party but not <strong>be seen</strong> leaving such a lame and tasteless concert so the three of us left like ninjas, walking behind the bar and hopping over the hidden fence directly into the parking lot. That and we decided this would suffice for our daily exercise regime.</p><p style="text-align: left;">Saturday was exactly 2 hours long. Hour 1:&sbquo;&nbsp; up at 9am to meet <a href="http://jimdero.com" target="_blank">Jim DeRogatis</a>, <a href="http://gregkot.com" target="_blank">Greg Kot</a> and the winners of the <a href="http://soundopinions.com/" target="_blank">Sound Opinions</a> contest for breakfast. Hour 2: breakfast, the discovery of a full on-case of what seemed like the flu, including the aforementioned 104 degree fever and the immediate return to bed for the day.&sbquo;&nbsp; Shivering increased in intensity with the knowledge that I missed Kanye's &quot;secret&quot; performance at the Fader Fort, The Breeders headlining the Mess With Texas 2 Party, and Robyn's &quot;secret&quot; performance at the Perez Hilton party.</p><p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Recap</strong></p><p style="text-align: left;"><img align="left" style="margin-right: 5px; width: 293px; height: 160px;" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-12/3391004824_c83b67182d_m.jpg" alt="" /> As for some grand &quot;what does it all mean&quot; recap of the entire SXSW, from Interactive/Film through Music? That's not going to be possible considering I sweat out the wealth of knowledge taken in over the course of a week. All that's left of SXSW is the schwag (buttons, poker chips, luggage tags, matchbooks, sunglasses, two-sizes-too-big-t-shirts, and the stickers) and a list of services and bands to check out over the next year. That and a slideshow created by Grace Rodriguez demonstrating that there are far worse things than skinny jeans out there, my friends.</p><p style="text-align: left;">Thanks for the opportunity to give you a play by play of 2009's SXSW. Here's a personal list of the products or services that were essential to SXSW this year or that you should check out over the next year to improve productivity, connectivity with your friends or to help you tell your story:</p><ul> <li style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.eye.fi/" target="_blank">Eye-Fi</a>, 4GB wireless memory cards that automatically upload videos and photos to YouTube and Flickr</li> <li style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://nutshellmail.com/" target="_blank">Nutshell Mail</a>, Bypass your corporate firewall and access all your <em>email</em> and social network messages through your email inbox</li> <li style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://sched.org/" target="_blank">sched.org</a>, essential this year for planning the attack</li> <li style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://artistdata.com/" target="_blank">ArtistData.com</a>, aggregator and distributor for managing your online presence if you are a musical artist</li> <li style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.nvidia.com/object/GeForce_3D_Vision_Main.html" target="_blank">NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision</a>, makes any game 3D if you have the NVIDIA GeForce chip and the glasses</li> </ul> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/organ_printer/3391004882/in/photostream/"><img align="right" alt="" class="alignright" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 7px; float: right;" src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3421/3391004882_5872e13be0_m.jpg" /></a>Here's a list of bands that were impressive or received enough press that they should be checked out personally to form your own opinions:</p><ul> <li style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.theraa.com/" target="_blank">Rural Alberta Advantage</a></li> <li style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.myspace.com/mtsthelensvietnamband" target="_blank">Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band</a></li> <li style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.myspace.com/viviangirlsnyc" target="_blank">Vivian Girls</a></li> <li style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.myspace.com/micayomusic" target="_blank">Micachu</a></li> <li style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.myspace.com/goldencities" target="_blank">Golden Cities</a></li> <li style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.myspace.com/benjaminwesleywinder3" target="_blank">Ben Wesley</a></li> <li style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.myspace.com/thekingkhanbbqshow" target="_blank">King Khan and the BBQ Show</a></li> </ul> <div class="zemanta-pixie" style="margin-top: 10px; height: 15px; text-align: left;"><a class="zemanta-pixie-a" title="Zemified by Zemanta" href="http://reblog.zemanta.com/zemified/71b72df3-d197-4734-8d93-31d2bb635345/"><img class="zemanta-pixie-img" style="border: medium none ; float: right;" src="http://img.zemanta.com/reblog_e.png?x-id=71b72df3-d197-4734-8d93-31d2bb635345" alt="Reblog this post [with Zemanta]" /></a><span class="zem-script more-related"><script src="http://static.zemanta.com/readside/loader.js" type="text/javascript"></script></span></div><p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 30 Mar 2009 09:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/mwettergreen/2009/03/wish-i-was-in-austin-coverage-sxsw-recap/2428 Wish I was in Austin: Friday @ SXSW Interactive http://www.wbez.org/mwettergreen/2009/03/sxsw-coverage-friday-recap/2050 <p>SXSW started on Friday during a cold and rainy day in Austin, unwelcome seeing as how SXSW happens every year in March. This weather was unable to defeat the spirit of the tech and film crowd attending SXSW though. We immediately headed to the <a href="http://freelance.meetup.com/65/" target="_blank">Coworking Meetup</a> (organized by Julie Gomoll of LaunchPad Coworking), the yearly session where people from around the world meet and discuss their coworking spaces and the state of the cowork nation. For those of you new to coworking, it's a worldwide movement that creates physical centers of innovation where independents and creatives work together with their community because "when you work together you work smarter." More coworking resources can be found <a href="http://groups.google.com/group/coworking" target="_blank">here</a>, <a href="http://coworking.pbwiki.com/" target="_blank">here</a> and <a href="http://blog.coworking.info/" target="_blank">here</a>. Unsurprisingly the meetup was packed with an international crowd quaffing wine and beer from Hotel San Jose's collection (the <a href="http://www.sanjosehotel.com/" target="_blank">Hotel San Jose</a> is one of the two hippest hotels in Austin, the other being the <a href="http://www.driskillhotel.com/" target="_blank">Driskill</a>). The night's discussion centered around the year's successes, more coworking spaces open than last year at this time. Semi-internet famous people shared stories of launches; <a href="http://twitter.com/alexknowshtml" target="_blank">Alex Hillman</a> of <a href="http://indyhall.com/" target="_blank">Independents Hall</a> who along with <a href="http://twitter.com/geoffd" target="_blank">Geoff Dimasi</a> has corralled the Philly tech scene and provided a physical clubhouse to stage game changing initiatives for Philly community. <a href="http://twitter.com/tonybgoode" target="_blank">Tony Bacigalupo</a> of <a href="http://newworkcity.com" target="_blank">New Work City</a> discussed a freshly inked deal with the Mayor's Office of New York and sold copies of his new book, <a href="http://www.imouttaherethebook.com/" target="_blank">I'm Outta Here: How Coworking is Making the Office Obselete</a>. Debauchery seemed to be a theme for Friday night both at the coworking meetup and elsewhere. At the coworking meetup <a href="http://twitter.com/elliotcole" target="_blank">Elliot Cole</a> of <a href="http://carolinecollective.cc" target="_blank">Caroline Collective</a> handed out cards for his social experiment: <a href="http://dr.unkdial.me" target="_blank">Drunk Dial Me</a>, an anonymous drunk dial podcast, just in time for SXSW's debauchery. SXSW hosted Pastries &amp; Pasties! A Burlesque Cupcake Cookoff! Featuring Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Jigglewatts, Big Star Burlesque and lots of cupcakes (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=all&amp;q=pasties+pastries+sxsw&amp;m=text" target="_blank">pictures here</a>). Pace yourself people. <div class="zemanta-pixie" style="margin-top: 10px; height: 15px;"><a class="zemanta-pixie-a" title="Zemified by Zemanta" href="http://reblog.zemanta.com/zemified/42ffa060-370e-4fc3-b8dd-94f09156b05f/"><img class="zemanta-pixie-img" style="border: medium none; float: right;" src="http://img.zemanta.com/reblog_e.png?x-id=42ffa060-370e-4fc3-b8dd-94f09156b05f" alt="Reblog this post [with Zemanta]" /></a><span class="zem-script more-related"><script src="http://static.zemanta.com/readside/loader.js" type="text/javascript"></script></span></div></p> Mon, 16 Mar 2009 07:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/mwettergreen/2009/03/sxsw-coverage-friday-recap/2050