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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

WNY Goes SXSW

Last week, three Buffalo bands traded the blustery rust belt for the dry heat of Austin.

South by Southwest (SXSW), the 10 day film/music/interactive media festival, has been the innovative, go-to mecca for unsigned bands and headliners alike since 1987. Now in its 26th year, this monolithic festival saw nearly 2,000 bands converge on the Texan capital, playing shows around the clock on over 90 stages.

Joining this m??l?(c)e were Buffalo rockers The Albrights, Son of the Sun, and The Tins. Brought together by local Buffalo promoter Seamus Gallivan of TheGoodNeighborhood.com, the trio played together at the Rustbelt by Sunbelt unofficial SXSW show last Friday.

"Seamus put together a SXSW showcase in Austin to benefit the T-shirt company 'You and Who,'" said Matt Crane, bassist for The Albrights. "'You and Who' teams up with artists in different cities to design a shirt and the proceeds of shirts sold go to the local homeless shelter where the artist lives. The show in Austin was to benefit a local homeless shelter."

Aside from teaming up with The Good Neighborhood to book the show, the bands also saw the support and backing from the local Buffalo music scene.

"We would not have went on this tour without the support of Buffalo," Crane said "We played an official SXSW send off show at Nietzsche's that helped us raise some cash and another show at Mister Goodbar the night before we left...It wasn't just financial support from the city, it was all the encouragement and excitement we received too."

While The Albrights also played with Son of the Sun on the road to Austin, the latter picked up a few extra SXSW shows to make their trip worthwhile. On their schedule was the Outlaw Roadshow as well as the day party hosted by Buffalo founded collective I Blame Yoko, also with The Tins.

"We were asked to play the outlaw road show put on by Ryan Spaulding who runs a blog out of Boston and Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows after playing a CMJ show in NYC this past fall," said Joseph Stocker, guitarist and keyboardist for Son of the Sun. "So we just built the rest of the week with that being our anchor."

Playing afternoon shows to a city saturated with musicians can be a difficult venture for small bands, but it has its merits.

"The experience was incredible. I've heard a lot of horror stories about SXSW from smaller indie bands [that] have made the journey down. Saying things like, 'there are too many bands playing every minute its impossible to get people to your show' etc. etc. Some of that is true, [but] either way, that's where the industry is for that week. So if you're an undiscovered band, go to where to people that make the discoveries are, or at least that's how we saw this trip. More than half the people at the festival are media folks," Crane said.

The Albrights found this media to be advantageous as they found part of their street performance on Fuse Television. Along with television media, Austin found itself swamped by magazine editors, label representatives and tech salesman- all to the benefit of the bands lucky enough to make their way down south.

Now back in Buffalo, The Albrights can be seen opening for Last Stand For Lucy this Saturday at Mohawk Place while Son of the Sun and The Tins can be seen free at the Niagara Falls Hard Rock Caf?(c) on March 30.

Email: arts@ubspectrum.com


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