Well here it goes, the year's first official blog entry about South by Southwest 2010. Yes, we know that it doesn't start until March 17, but the hype machines have already been running since the fall and rumors have been getting stoked since before Austin City Limits in October. So let's get this frivolous motor running. In early December, SXSW's organizers sent out the first list of over 200 bands that had made the cut for the festival. It wasn't very surprising, and was mostly populated with bands and artists that have been clogging up the works for years now. What we have seen are quite a lot of no-name international bands and folks from around the state who are still chomping at the bit for a taste of exposure outside Austin, Dallas and Houston. We have yet to see the big indie "It" bands like the Big Pink and the xx get any official show dates and times, but we can say that we have an inside track that they may both be playing a day party for your favorite alt-weekly. But we aren't sure who we heard that from, since we drink a lot. Stay tuned here for any updates on that one, kids.
If there is one big act that we have been getting excited about from that initial list, it's Los Angeles' Mariachi El Bronx. The band is basically erstwhile death-punk band The Bronx churning out original mariachi songs aided by a group of traditional musicians from the genre. "Cell Mates" and "Quinceniera" have both got major blog pushes and limited airplay around the horn.
It's really chill stuff for a Saturday morning while you are out hunting for food to make the headache and the person from the night before go away.
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As with every SXSW run-up, there comes the bag of big names that will inevitably get thrown out into the blog ether to create heated speculation. With last week's Twitter announcement by Chris Cornell that "The 12 year break is over & school is back in session. Sign up now. Knights of the Soundtable ride again!" thoughts turned to a possible stand by Soundgarden during that week.
If this were to happen it would more than likely be on the closing night on Saturday at a bigger venue or some sweatbox off Sixth Street where we would have to be patted down for cameras. Needless to say, we were jamming Superunknown all weekend long.
The Soundgarden rumor goes well with the long-circulating Pavement rumor. That band will be coming off a festival stint in Australia on March 12 and they wouldn't need to be in Austin until that next week. That's if the band doesn't feel the need to rest up for their April shows in Japan, and now being the old men that they are, that could be a hindrance to a SXSW berth.
As always stay tuned to Rocks Off and our Twitter page at @hprocksoff for any breaking SXSW news. We can usually break stuff overnight and on the weekends on there before we can get it on the blog during the weekdays. Plus you get all sorts of cool music and ramblings at all hours of the night. During SXSW this will be the place to follow our insanity.