South by Southwest is commercial, chaotic, concentrated. It’s also elemental, extraordinary and the most essential week in American music. In the last few years we saw bands from Au Revoir Simone to Andrew Bird, Beach House to Midlake.Â Not in a field with 100,000 stoners or the echo chamber of Madison Square Garden, but in clubs where you’re 50 feet away from Warpaint or School of Seven Bells. At this late date you’re not getting a room at the Hotel San Jose, but you can still road trip to Austin and crash on the couch of your friend who’s still working on their thesis at U of T. Â Then head to Marfa check in at the Thunderbird Motel and you’re feeling pretty smart indeed. Don’t worry about tickets, there are free concerts all day, everyday and light beer for everyone.
Every concert needs its audience, so get thee to Austin.