With yet another March upon us that means Spring is back and with warmer weather comes a plethora of things, both good and bad. The squirrels and chipmunks emerge from their slumbers to frolic and forage for nuts, birds return from their winter voyage and the flowers and trees begin to bloom causing the nasty green haze to engulf entire cities sending people into allergy and sinus hell. Folks who have been shackled by months of dressing sensibly free themselves from their warm clothed tombs to venture out in public wearing as little as possible to show off their pale sun deprived skin.
This time of year also means it is once again that time when musicians everywhere migrate to Austin, TX to participate in what very well may be the “Holy Grail” of music festivals, South By Southwest (SXSW). The multi-day and venue extravaganza is a showcase of all things music as every singer, songwriter and band ventures form all over the world to showcase their music. This week the music world is centered in Austin and many people will flock there for the chance to see old favorites, hear new music or just so they can buy a t-shirt to say they were there. With a variety of reasons for not attending; no money, can’t get off work, no transportation, kids, wife and/or husband said no, don’t like Texas, afraid of leaving the house, I could go on, many of us just can’t go. So while all the cool kids are enjoying their week at SXSW those of us trapped in our cubicles have Couch By Couchwest (CXCW).
CXCW has firmly established itself as the most comfortable music festival around. There are no high costs, no extensive traveling, no being packed into tight rooms with sweaty sometimes un-bathed people (well, I guess the sweaty un-bathed people part could still happen), just great music in comfort. To enjoy all that is CXCW you just need access to the interweb, then sit back on your couch, your office chair, your floor, your bed, your toilet or wherever you do your computing and click on www.couchbycouchwest.com then let the fun begin.
With a week of folks posting videos there is a wealth of great music to enjoy. Each and every day new songs are posted and you never know who is going to treat the viewers/listeners with a tune. Some belt out established songs or covers, some debut new tracks and others write new material just for CXCW. Through the years festival goers have been treated to established musicians such as Jimbo Mathus, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Cory Branan. Yes you can listen to some of your favorite singers but CXCW also offers up the best in up and coming bands. The District Attorneys, The Pollies, Great Peacock and Lee Bains III are just a few that take part in the week long juggernaut of music. Since anyone can submit a video, you also get to hear independent musicians that use CXCW to showcase their tunes and get them out there for a larger audience. In addition to the music people submit pictures, artwork, poems and just about anything else associated with couches, music, beer or food. One tip, be sure to check out Chris Porter. A mainstay of the festival, Porter records some of the best songs that show up online. He has made himself a permanent resident on the couch and has appeared each year by himself, with his band (Some Dark Holler) and usually after a few adult beverages. His songwriting acumen assures you there will be a damn fine song coming from him.
CXCW runs for one week each day brings something different, but unlike other festivals once the curtain comes to a close the music is still there to enjoy. Nobody at SXSW will be able to go replay a performance next week when they are back at home. Also, if you have to hit the bathroom due to multiple beverages go, you will not miss a single moment of music waiting in line or exposing yourself to god knows what in one of those port-a-pottys. It is time to get online and listen to some good music and watch some videos, so get your VIP passes and head over to Couch By Couchwest for “7 Days of Sloth + Music”.