SXSW 2011 Wrap Up: I Play the Laptop

The cold is gone and I have the energy to write again.  I’ve been behind but I’m all caught up with this SXSW crap.  Now, very few bands I saw were crap this year but I wanted to give a good overview of what the vibe was to me.  The laptop is now a full fledged instrument.  There are some other crazy things but now I don’t feel so alone with my own computer music buddy.

The musicianship was hard to find but once you did, it was beautiful.  Jonahtan Edwards comes to mind.  But outside of the great talent playing old timey instruments, I witnessed a bunch of bands using one ore more laptops.  Usually, it would be next to the guitar player or lead singer, but on one or two occasions the laptop was another percussive tool for the drummer.  The stigma of using a computer for beats on a live stage is gone, or at least gone for this generation of musicians.

That’s not to say the new generation isn’t lost on playing other instruments.  The other trend was switching gear on the fly.  I saw a guy jump from drum machine to bass guitar only to have the lead singer take over for beats.  I wish I was ambidextrous.  It’s like the members of a band all had their own gear that overlapped and they decided to just lump it together and go with it.  So when it was time for Johnny to be on his guitar, the lead guitar player will jump on his rinky dink synthesizer to provide a humming rhythm.  I guess that’s how bands get formed.

At any rate, I’m more confident than ever in not only listening to music but creating.  There’s so much to fall in love with musically, it’s nearly impossible to walk away from your favorite online store, or SXSW for that matter, unhappy. That’s inspired me to work more not only for discovering new music (I have a ton of CDs to go through now), but it’s also planted a seed of creativity in me that now needs nurturing.

So there’s a couple of things coming up that I’m going to unload all of his knife free joint.  I’m not even close to done for uploading the ginormous amount of video I filmed.  Look for more in depth review of the bands I saw when that pops up.  The new music from the conference will get a closer look as well.  I also have some gear to review and/or purchase, depending on the budget.  And, who knows, maybe I’ll toss up a demo here or there and ask for negative reviews only.  The positive stuff is fluffy crap anyway.