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Bang to the Hype

At SXSW, it's all about the buzz, not the Buzz Band

But no one attends South by Southwest's music fest to be lectured to or to learn. They come instead to catch what Robertson called "the music fever"; they drive to Texas to play short showcases, to listen to bands from Japan and Sweden and Germany, to bask in the buzz and perhaps sneak away with a fistful of discs from bands heretofore unknown outside Aliceville, Alabama, or Dayton, Ohio, or Vienna, Austria. They come to discover the secrets and speak the secret language ("They're like Neu crossed with Wilco if they were fronted by Brian Eno or Neil Finn"), to one-up each other ("Dude, I just saw the best Japanese stoner-rock-free-jazz-Kraut-rock-hip-hop band, like, ever!") and make sure they don't miss The Best Band to Ever Play South by Southwest (that would have been Pleasant Grove ... or the Eels ... or the Gaza Strippers ... or ...). Like Robertson said, it's about finding that one thing that turns a flirtation into an obsession; on the drive back from Austin I realized I'd found mine, Dan Bryk.

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