March 30, 2011  |   News

SXSW 2011 Round-Up…

SXSW, well this post could go on all day…. The biggest, best and most forward thinking gathering of all that the arts and media have to offer, have swarmed upon Austin Texas in their droves, and there is a lot to talk about. For now though, I’ll keep it like Smurfette, short and easy. Film, music, tech. Whats going on?


BeaverJodie Foster is married to Mel Gibson (already brilliant), Mel goes nuts and starts hanging out with a toy Beaver. Bosh! I don’t know how this film wasn’t already made…it’s so obvious now!

Satan Since 2003 - The Hell’s Satans (Richmond, Virginia’s premier moped gang) not only an eye-popping peek into this otherwise reclusive society, but also a satirical jab at the process of documentary film-making.

Skateistan: To Live And Skate In Kabul – Following the lives of two young Afghan Skaters, juxtaposing the harsh reality of life in Kabul with the hopes and ambitions of the country youth.


Unfortunately for ocean of new and exciting talent to be showcased at SXSW, the biggest party pooper of them all has rolled into town. The worst, most publicised secret of the festival is that Kanye West will be performing on Saturday the 19th at the 1950s style Austin Power Plant.

The other big hype around SXSW is the appearance of Odd Future. Hugely purported as the new saviours of rap, the collective headed up by Tyler the Creator are absolutely killing their live shows all over the place but have a lot of pressure to perform at the festival, with the spotlight directed straight at them. Let’s see.


Well I was about to give up. I had been scrawling endlessly through the muddy banks of music tech sites, trying to find an interesting slice of music technology related news to come out of SXSW, and things were looking bleak. Then emerged the ‘SXSW Accelerator presented by Microsoft BizSpark’, and a whole array of music technology innovation washed me up on the shore of intrigue. Rather than go into detail on one or two, here’s a little taste of what you can expect to see and hear from the event:

*Air Guitar Ltd Monmouth, United Kingdom
We love music and technology, so we pioneer online platforms that let Fans and Bands interact in ‘tactile’ new ways. Our first product, the AiR Guitar turns a band t-shirt into an instrument you can play at home, using only a webcam and an Augmented Reality website.

*Algoriddim GmbH Munich, Germany
Algoriddim is a Germany-based software company specializing in cutting-edge audio and multimedia applications for Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Our mission is to develop software that is intuitive and user-friendly, yet offers the quality and power of professional level software.

*Exfm New York, NY
Exfm is a browser extension for Chrome that turns the web into your music library. Exfm runs in the background while you browse, creating a music library from every MP3 file you find. The profile you create becomes a great way to share the music you discover with the world.

*Herd Ontario, Canada
The founders of Herd met at a multi-platform matchmaking program sponsored by NBC / UNIVERSAL and The Canadian Film Centre where they conceived of HERD, a music service for mobile device users looking to discover and share local music. HERD introduces location as a key element of music discovery.

*Next Big Sound Boulder, CO
Next Big Sound tracks hundreds of thousands of artists across all the major web sites (YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, etc.) and lets professionals in the music industry see social media data, traffic to an artists .com, traditional sales and radio numbers and P2P data all in one centralized dashboard.

*RootMusic San Francisco CA
There’s a better way to do music online—whether you’re a fan who wants to listen to your favorite band’s music, or a musician that wants to get their music out there. That’s exactly what RootMusic does: make everything easier for you. Musicians and fans, we got your back.

*Roqbot Berkeley, CA
Roqbot is a virtual jukebox and background music service for public venues. The Roqbot player runs on any internet enabled device (i.e. iPod Touch, netbook, or Roku) connected to the venue sound system. Customers utilize our mobile apps or website to purchase credits, play music, and vote on the queue.

* NE, Amsterdam is a audio magazine made by music blogs. Navigate and discover thousands of music blogs without having to weed through them one by one. The web is your player and blogger your dj’s.