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    SXSW 2011 Ups&Downs

    Eric Welles Nyström, member of the Heartbeats Movement and our man at this year’s SXSW, gives you the ‘ups&downs’ in regards to bands and brands performing at the much celebrated music conference in Austin, Texas.

    SXSW Brands Top Three

    • The ‘Fader Fort by Fiat’ and how they let Odd Future go totally ballistic onstage.
    • TDK and their new speakers series that combine 70s vintage design, 80s boombox concept and modern technology, to create the best product across the whole of SXSW.
    • AOL and their continuous well-thought-out and well-executed events.

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    SXSW Brands Bottom Three

    • The ‘Fader Fort by Fiat’ and their lack of new ideas and creativity compared to previous years. Having bands play on car parts was the ultimate low.
    • Chevrolet, Camel and Marlboro and their lack of understanding on how to introduce their monster products into a creative music festival.
    • All brands, companies and labels who wasted their marketing budgets on download cards, scrapers, useless gimmicks and flyers that nine times out of ten, were thrown away by whoever received them.

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    SXSW Top Trends

    • Brooklyn’s dark electro/art music scene of gothic, witchlike sets and strong influences of 80s synth and old movie soundtracks, received wider recognition with a number of parties outside of Austin.
    • Esben & the Witch, Glasser, Friendly Fires and Millionyoung continue developing their style with tribal drums.
    • One common denominator among SXSW’s best dressing artists… hats! Including Totally Totally Enormous Extinct Dinasour’s remarkable dinosaur feathers, Theophilus London’s wool felt cowboy hat, Twin Shadow’s brown furr hat, and Night Jewels traditional Fez…

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    SXSW Most Symbolic Moments

    • Theophilus London’s freestyle rap backstage at the Fader Fort, where he made up the ‘The Brand Song’, in the most branded place in the country.
    • Hanson and their hustle throughout the whole city. One day you would see their new album plastered across major billboards, and the next day you would find them in the audience of panels and hustling keyboard speakers for industry insight and feedback.
    • As the Saturday night came rolling in and local new media stated that it was the largest full moon in Austin for more than ten years, everyone from Jay-Z, Jamie XX and James Blake, along with countless other major artists (Kanye West, LL Cool, P. Diddy to name a few) and a couple of hundred other bands played free shows throughout the city.

     
    SXSW Most exciting projects for 2011-2012

    • iTunes project with Green Label Sound
    • Converse’s new recording studio in Brooklyn, Rubber Tracks
    • Vice’s concert recording site Noisey.com

     
    SXSW Top Band Performances

    • Glasser at the Central Presbyterian Church
    • Braids and the fact they don’t have an album yet
    • Gayngs and their 20+ people onstage performance
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