Thursday, March 16, 2006
SXSW: Let The Music Begin
Today officially kicks-off the music portion of the SXSW which means I'll need to double my caffeine intake.
As an ideal crossover from film to music, I screened the Beastie Boys concert film, "Aweseome! I Fuckin' Shot That!" The title refers to the random rookie film crew the boys put together to document their concert at Madison Square Gardens. Through their website, they found 50 ticket holders who were given video cameras and asked to shoot the experience from their seats all around the arena.
So damn fun! Mixed with professional camera work and some fancy moves thrown in, the grainy amateur footage really takes you to the concert. Let's face, we'd be in the cheap seats anyway and dance just as much. The Q&A afterward was pretty crazy. Audience members gushed over them without really asking much. I felt almost like an anti-fan for actually posing a question. (I wanted to know where they got they idea for the film and Adam Yauch explained that he'd heard about a kid that had filmed an entire concert with his phone. He saw the result on the internet and loved the feeling.)
Yeah, the Boys are terrific but absolutely nothing compares to Neil Young. Introducing Young this morning for the keynote, SXSW founder Louis Black, said: "We weren't nervous about asking Dylan or Springsteen to come and address but Neil Young . . . ?" Neil was interviewed along with Jonathan Demme about their new concert film, "Heart of Gold."
I realized that Young is mankind's Grandfather, the same term Native Americans use to describe God. Listening to him speak so casually and openly was an incredible way to start my day. Some of my favorite quotes:
"Accessing creativity - it's like approaching a wild animal in a hole. If you try too hard, it's gonna get away."
"I'm proudest of my work when it comes really fast."
"It's so great to be in the same room with people who have dedicated their lives to their art."
"You can't be who you were and you can't be who you're gonna be."
"Commitments are one of the worst things for musicians."
"People want to know why you don't make your most famous album over and over again. Because it's death, that's why."
"I just turned down a promoter who wanted to do a tour called, 'Neil Young's Greatest Hits.' Oh boy, that was it, they were done."
"If you're terrified, you're on the right track."
After reading a USA Today story about how Young is "ripping off his fans" by not playing his most popular hits, Young was elated:
"I thought, 'Hey, I'm really on to something here.'"
More to come - will see kd lang speak this afternoon but first I must try to finish my breakfast that I started five hours ago . . .