Saturday, February 12, 2011

What To See At SXSW 2011

With South By Southwest just a month away, musicians, filmmakers, press and fans from across the world are gearing up for the yearly pilgrimage to Austin, Texas. The week-long festival, which started in the late 80s, has grown to incorporate the best of the global art scene.

From writing seminars to live music, trade shows to a film conference, this year's SXSW has got it all. There are set to be "can't miss" performances by Neon Trees, Dance Gavin Dance, Automatic Loveletter, Panic! At The Disco and more.

A music lover's dream, no doubt. And while fans can have their choice of what events they want to attend, not all the musical buzz will be held at the some 80 stages this year.

For those of you music purists with an affinity for vinyl and the long-lost record store, you're going to want to check out the film portion of SXSW this year. That's because you'll get to see the world premiere of the Official Film of Record Store Day, entitled, Sound It Out.

Sound It Out is a 75-minute documentary that chronicles life in the last surviving record store in Teesside, North East England.

In an all but too-rare phenomenon of the past decade, record stores have become virtually extinct. The availability of music on the internet has led to a serious decline in the sales and marketability of both vinyl and CDs. But, it seems that no matter where you live, there's still just one shop that has stayed open, despite all these setbacks.

And that's exactly what this documentary is looking at (and exactly why you should check it out). Sound It Out may take place over in the UK, but its fundamental meaning is something that rings true from country to country, wherever music is sold.

What does it mean to own a record? Why is it important to have a record shop around? Who even shops for these things anymore? This is what it's all about.

The filmmakers are also asking for a little bit of help from all you audiophiles out there. They've raised enough money to finish the film, but still need quite a bit to make it down to SXSW in Austin from the Northern UK. You can help 'em out by donating, and in return you'll score some sweet stuff. Depending on your donation, you'll receive stickers, a signed poster, a DVD of the film or even a few tickets to a screening in London this spring. To donate, click HERE.

So if you're headed to Texas next month, be sure to catch a screening of Sound It Out. And if you're not, but remain righteous to the cause, hit up the donation page and help the filmmakers out. Only you can keep rock 'n' roll alive.

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