SXSW 2021: Virtual Music Festival Lessons : All Songs Considered The South by Southwest 2021 music festival was held entirely online, but that didn’t stop Bob Boylen from seeing dozens of shows. This year’s South by Southwest music festival, held every spring in Austin, Texas, was online. On the other hand, I could quickly leave a show if I didn’t like a song, or go back from a South Korean show to a British show and then back again. Some personal observations about the virtual music festival: I didn’t like listening to loud music while sitting on the couch, like I was in a crowded, noisy club, so I chose more contemplative music. NPR Music has also partnered with SXSW on the Tiny Desk Showcase project, and starting April 5, all four sets will be available for streaming on NPR. org. and on NPR Music’s YouTube channel. Bob Boylen “looks on” from home at the South by Southwest Music Festival. The South Korean duo combines a type of Korean vocal music, usually performed by men, with melodies and lyrics reinterpreted from the music of the royal shrines of the Joseon Dynasty. Lei Line, with four singers, including “her” twin sister, draws inspiration from the music of Latin America, West Africa and Europe in addition to the music of North America. The 2021 event, usually held in Austin, Texas, took place entirely online this year. The couple’s son participates in this performance of “Achim,” playing the role of an ornithologist and making moves that add a supernatural dimension to the music. Couch By Couchwest, as I like to call it, was a festival w 289 artists performed pre-recorded sets of about 15 minutes each over five days in March. T were the usual rockn’ roll elements-drums, electric guitar and bass-as well as the traditional two-string fiddle, a two-string horn that looks like a small trumpet, a plucked instrument called a geomungo about a foot long, etc. This is different from walking a few miles to the show, and I found myself a little less absorbed by the music in general. Because of the way the festival selects entries, this year was more international than usual: out of 289 bands, 199 were from outside the US, and my list below reflects that.
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