Berklee SXSW Party, March 15 in Austin
Berklee College of Music, the only college to host an official party at the SXSW Music and Media Conference—one of the music industry’s biggest events—presents its eighth annual SXSW Party on Friday, March 15, from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Brush Square Park (East Tent), located at 409 East 5th St. (Neches and 5th), Austin, Texas. Berklee's SXSW party is at an all-ages outdoor venue for the first time this year. Also for the first time, the lineup is curated by the Red Room at Cafe 939, Berklee's all-ages nightclub that hosts national and local acts year-round.
The party features up-and-coming Berklee, Berkleemusic.com, and Heavy Rotation Records (HRR) alumni and students performing rock, pop, electronic, Americana, and folk, including No Rehearsal, acclaimed singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick, David Stewart Jr., Air Traffic Controller, Chloë Sunshine, Red Oblivion (HRR), Bear Language (HRR), Rebecca Loebe, the Lights Out, Holiday Mountain, and the Field Effect. In addition to performing with her band, Ferrick is co-hosting the event with alumna Sarah Sharp.
Listen to the show live at Presskit.to/sxsw starting at noon Central, 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. Presskit.to (by Indie Ambassador and alumnus Ben Maitland-Lewis '05) partnered with Backbone Radio Networks to create a SXSW pop-up radio station, live streaming some of the best showcases with interviews. The Presskit.to/sxsw station is a top featured channel on the TuneIn app and is being broadcasted around the world.
Check out Berklee’s SXSW Party Sampler with streaming and free downloads at BerkleeCollegeofMusic.bandcamp.com.
Berklee's SXSW Day Party is all-ages and open to SXSW badge holders. The public can email firstname.lastname@example.org to attend free of charge. Free copies of student-run HRR's Dorm Sessions 8, featuring Red Oblivion and Bear Language, will be given away. Listen at HeavyRotationRecords.bandcamp.com. Free oyster bar provided by Island Creek Oysters.
Artists, in order of appearance:
Blues-rock band No Rehearsal, from Humble, Texas, first formed to take part in a middle school talent show. Basketball, lacrosse, and homework made practicing together difficult. Not to be discouraged, the group “rehearsed” via cell phone, but didn’t have the opportunity to perform together in person until show time. They’ve been honing their talents ever since—now jamming together in person. The group is comprised of 16-year old guitarist/vocalist Matthew Cobb, a Berkleemusic online student, drummer Michael Morell, and bassist Zoltan “Zolo” Sindhu.
Melissa Ferrick’s 11th original album, the truth is (MPress Records, out June 4), is by far the most revealing, beautiful, and complete of her 16 albums. She signed to Atlantic in 1992 after opening for Morrissey, and launched Right On Records in 2000. Ferrick, a classically trained violinist and trumpeter, attended Berklee and is an assistant professor of songwriting at the college. Regarded as one of the most prolific, hardworking, honest writers and performers in the singer-songwriter world, she has toured with artists including Paul Westerberg, Dwight Yoakam, John Haitt, Weezer, Tegan and Sara, Ani DiFranco, and k.d. lang. Ferrick has won numerous awards and was recently named one of the most influential queer artists/activists by OUT magazine.
Guitarist David Stewart Jr. came to the U.S. from Lima, Peru and was raised in Pompano Beach, Florida. By 18, Stewart had already written over 80 original compositions in genres spanning rock, pop, jazz, R&B, soul, funk, reggae, and instrumental film scores. He recently released Red Lipstick, a self-produced EP on which he played all of the instruments. Stewart is the first recipient of the Berklee Lollapalooza Endowed Scholarship—a full-tuition award. He plans to major in performance and contemporary writing and production.
Air Traffic Controller was formed after singer-songwriter and guitarist Dave Munro served in the U.S. Navy as an air traffic controller. With a refreshing sound resembling the Decemberists, ATC infuses its compositions with pop sensibilities and well-crafted storytelling in the vein of Petty, McCartney, and Springsteen. The band also features multi-instrumentalist Steve Scott; drummer Richie Munro; and Berklee student Casey Sullivan on bass, banjo, and vocals. ATC’s second album, Nordo, has received acclaim from American Songwriter, Under the Radar, and The Boston Globe.
New York band Chloë Sunshine is the brainchild of Berklee alumna Kendall Chloë Eagan. After college, Eagan relocated to New York and joined forces with Jessica Louise Dye (of D.C.’s Lightfoot) and alumna guitarist Natasha Chitayat. Their debut, Indian Summer, was released in 2011 and gained attention with comparisons to Cults, Tegan and Sara, Dum Dum Girls, and Tennis, (danceyrselfclean.com). Themes of heartbreak and love lost are clothed in happy melodies and mixed with pop sensibilities to unite classic surf rock aesthetics with summer fun.
Red Oblivion (HRR) is comprised of Sarah Chaffee (cello) and Berklee alumni Emma Torres (guitar), Zach Adams (lead vocals/bass), and Carson Groenewold (drums). The Boston-based band made a splash at Lollapalooza Chicago in 2012, and will perform at Lollapalooza Chile in April. With backgrounds in classical, metal, pop, electronic, and world music, it blends a rock band lineup with amplified cello. Red Oblivion recorded with producer Paul Kolderie (Radiohead, Portugal. The Man, Pixies) for HRR’s Dorm Sessions 8 CD.
Bear Language—guitarist/vocalist Luca Buccellati, bassist Archi Denis, and drummer Ian Barnett—combine Beatles-influenced rock like the Strokes and Tame Impala with the funky grooves of Two Door Cinema Club. The new single “Mary Go Round” is a preview to its upcoming debut album, mastered by Joe Lambert (Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors). The band continues to charm with energetic live performances, and was named in the Deli Magazine's Top 10 New England Artists of 2012. Bear Language also appears on HRR’s Dorm Sessions 8 CD.
Award winning singer-songwriter Rebecca Loebe is both candid and self-deprecating, attributes that shine through in her songwriting and laugh-out-loud storytelling. In 2011, Loebe took a break from her 200-show-per-year schedule to appear on Season 1 of NBC’s The Voice. Her performance of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” inspired Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine to offer her mentorship and charted on iTunes worldwide. Loebe, a Berklee alumna from Atlanta who now lives in Austin, is touring nationally in support of her third album, Circus Heart.
The future looks bright for Boston rock quartet The Lights Out—composed of Berklee grad Rishava Green, Matt King, Jesse James, and Adam Ritchie. Since 2005, the band has showcased at music conferences from CMJ Music Marathon to MidPoint, released three albums and three EPs, placed songs on MTV, appeared in Billboard and sweated out enough High Life to fill the Carrier Dome. “It’s astounding [they] haven’t been signed yet,” said Music Connection. “Their technical prowess coupled with memorable lyrics…makes them ideal Spin cover boys.”
Boston-based electro-dub-pop dance workout Holiday Mountain released its debut, Become Who You Are, in 2012. Songwriter Laura Patiño formed the group with drummer Zander Kagle and alumnus bassist/synth player Bradley Will while attending Berklee. The band is named for Billie Holiday and the Rocky Mountains where Patiño grew up. Holiday Mountain shines in performance, creating an atmosphere for freakiness, an experience they dubbed “anti-shame.” Sweat, glitter, grooves, and color are a part of every show. They are in the process of moving to Austin, Texas.
The Field Effect packs a collective punch, spiked with introspective lyrics, infectious melodies, and ferocious rhythms. An antidote to aloof, lo-fi indie music, the Field Effect reclaims the genre with its passion, musical ability, and aims to make music for “the many” and not just “the few.” The Field Effect has received rave reviews for its energetic live show and debut release. “They’re young, they’re exciting, they’re incredibly talented…they’ve got the potential to lead a new wave of Boston rock,” said Richard Bouchard in The Boston Phoenix.
Heavy Rotation Records (HRR) gives music business/management majors at Berklee hands-on experience running a record company. The students oversee all label functions, including A&R, marketing, sales, touring, web development, media, and accounting. HRR's releases since 1995 include Shekinah: 13 Artists, distributed by Epic; Apollo Sunshine's second album, coreleased with spinART; Dorm Sessions 1–8; and Under the Influence. Many up-and-coming artists have appeared on HRR compilations, including Annie Clark (St. Vincent); members of Passion Pit (as the Peasantry); Christopher Barnes (Gem Club); Madi Diaz; Elizabeth and the Catapult; and Big D and the Kids Table. The label also serves as a springboard for careers in the industry. Alumni have gone on to work at Interscope, Capitol, DreamWorks, BMG, Universal, Live Nation, AEG Live, and RightsFlow, among other companies.
Berkleemusic.com is the continuing education division of Berklee College of Music, delivering online access to Berklee's acclaimed curriculum from anywhere in the world. Berkleemusic's award-winning online courses and certificate programs are accredited and taught by the college's world-renowned faculty, providing lifelong learning opportunities to people interested in music and working in the music industry. As the business of music continues to move online, Berkleemusic is taking a leadership role in educating the next generation of producers, performers, and entrepreneurs on this evolving industry landscape. Berkleemusic's students come from over 130 countries around the world, and include Grammy Award–winners, managers, artists, publishers, music business entrepreneurs, and major international touring acts.