Let me report that SoFla was well represented at SXSW 2011 with a large variety of acts playing around Austin: ANR, Dreaming in Stereo, Locos Por Juana, Panic Bomber, and Surfer Blood all played official showcases that made major press.
In fact, Austin360.com picked Dreaming in Stereo's showcases as one of the shows to watch while ANR played a late-night set at the Ghost Room showcasing for BMI execs from all over the country and Surfer Blood drew a huge crowd for its set.
Unofficial shows also had a strong showing of Miami music. Like Rachel Goodrich playing two unusually loud, rocking sets with not a ukulele in sight. Her new song "Monster Mash" might be the next "Fuck You" with its "Oh, Shit!" chorus that got the crowd dancing.
A bunch of other SoFla locals -- Arboles Libres, Space Between Words, Tristan Clopet, Bachaco, and Taylor Locke & the Roughs (featuring Miami expatriate Chris Price) -- rocked Austin with Miami sunshine, many of them playing the All Together Now festival benefiting the Red Cross. Hands down, though, Hialeah's Pretty Please owns the most inspiring Miami story of this year's South by Southwest.
The band was not officially selected. But its four members were informed that they'd made the short list. It was just that SXSW officials did not have a showcase available for them ... yet.
So, Pretty Please packed up without having a single gig or place to stay and drove from Miami to Austin. Once there, the foursome stalked the streets of Austin all day, looking for gigs and opportunities to promote themselves. And at night, they found parking at a campground and crashed in the van, awaiting confirmation from SXSW.
By Saturday, they were about to call it quits and head home when SXSW called around 8:30 p.m. to say that there was finally an official showcase at Mi Casa on Sixth Street in an hour and 15 minutes! This was an inspiring story of perseverance and balls.
Pretty Please hit the stage and played an enthusiastic set of "scary pop," complete with masks and projections. "We haven't showered in days. We now know the importance of handy wipes," bassist Ana Farina Mackliff told the crowd. And drummer Juan Oña yelled out, "We're from Miami, bitches!"
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The Austin audience roared.
-- Fernando Perdomo