Sharon Van Etten, "Serpents"

>> Monday, February 13, 2012

Well I don't even think I realized Van Etten had a new album out last week. Guess that's one more for the wishlist. Looks like it's an indie-all-star affair, with contributions from Julianna Barwick and members of The National, Walkmen, Wye Oak, and Beiruit. Which I think it's safe to say is either really cool or completely meaningless depending on what radio station and/or streaming Internet feed you listen to.

It was a real joy to see Van Etten play at SXSW last year. I'm still a little bummed about not getting out to Austin this year, but there's just no doubt in my mind that 2013 is going to be a repeat year for me. It's just the greatest thing ever if you have a really hardcore love of music--it's not just the concentration of acts, but that there are days full of seminars and panels and the gear tradeshows and everything else; it's like a sausage festival for people who actually do want to know how the sausage gets made, not to mention possessing an interest in the history of sausage, what innovations can be expected in the grinding and stuffing of sausages, etc. And, okay, maybe that metaphor just went off the rails because of the particular cliché that seemed apt when I started writing it. Who knew it would inadvertently stumble into some kind of unfortunate Freudian territory within a mere few words of the starting point? Aside from the seventh graders in the back row who started snickering at the words "sausage festival," I mean?


SXSW 2012 is next month, which pretty much means it's probably too late for you to get a hotel room. Not sure what your chances would be of getting a badge, if you thought you needed one; it's often easy enough to get in to see an act if the place isn't already full. The beauty of the badge is being able to waltz past everybody who's trying to get in without one and getting waved in as a VIP, basically. I guess what I'm getting at is, it's probably not too late for you to crash on someone's couch if you have friends in Austin. (Me? I've been spoiled.)


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