"What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area."
You don't have to spend much time at South By Southwest to know that all of the above buildings can and do get used as music venues during the annual music festival. And starting Thursday, writers and photographers from the music blogs of the Village Voice Media empire plan to go to as many of them as we possibly can.
Those of us who were there last year - and saw collapsing fences, singers brawling with audience members, the Austin Police Department riot squad on constant standby, Odd Future all over the place - are wondering what else could possibly happen. We're about to find out.
As part of our coverage, we'll provide a daily rundown of the previous day's best at SXSW Thursday through Saturday mornings -- and still more festival fodder after it's all over and we've had a chance to rest.
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In the meantime, marquee acts keep piling up: Norah Jones, Jack White (performing in as well as hosting his own Third Man Records showcase), the Shins, Fiona Apple, Santigold, T.I., Nas, GZA, Jimmy Cliff, Lionel Richie, The Cult, Skrillex, Lou Barlow's Supreme Dicks, Band of Skulls, Knife Party, the Dwellers, the Raffle, and of course keynote speaker Bruce Springsteen. And about 2,000 more.
One act that's already been scratched is John Mayer (and his groovy hat), who announced he had to cancel his SXSW show scheduled for March 17 due to upcoming throat surgery.
But SXSW giveth and SXSW taketh away. Late last week, SXSW announced that 50 Cent will perform his 2003 breakthrough album Get Rich or Die Tryin' in its entirety alongside Slaughterhouse, Big K.R.I.T., Yelawolf and many others at the Austin Music Hall Friday, March 16. Village Voice Media -- yes, that's us -- is a co-sponsor of the showcase, along with Shady Records, FUSE, Beats by Dr. Dre headphones and Brisk.
So are you really going to want to miss that? In case you do, watch this space for a full report. -- Chris Gray