Arts Desk

Festival Watch: Does South by Southwest Ignore Mexican-American Music?

sxswSXSW Music 2010: We here at Festival Watch have, from time to time, strapped on the ole press badge in order to piece together a reported effort. We were serving in that capacity this past Thursday when we found ourselves stumbling onto a bit of SXSW-related news.

Each week, the Austin City Council offers its citizens an opportunity to address it on any topic that might be nagging at their conscious. A week ago, Leonard Davila got up to speak about the lack of support for Mexican musicians during SXSW. “The city of Austin is about to extend open arms to the world…it will mean millions of dollars to the local economy where many business and individuals will profit. Some ethnic communities will also be rewarded, and their culture celebrated. But one group in particular will be ignored, that being the Mexican-American community.”

Davila went on to ask his government to support his community by, in the future, reserving a park for SXSW Mexican-American-centric musical events. As is the norm, no one on the dais responded to his request.

As for this year’s festival (happening March 17-21), organizers this week announced a host of additions to the official line-up. Included were !!!, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Broken Social Scene, Fucked Up, and the xx. Though badges are still available, they are plenty expensive—so we suggest signing up for one of the Facebook pages that promises to keep you up to date on all of the free stuff that’ll go down. You know, if you don’t have hundreds of dollars to blow on the official gigs.

Pitchfork Music Festival 2010: Your FW pals saw Pavement twice: Once, at the 9:30 Club, where the band was excellent, and once at the Recher Theater, where it was unforgivably awful. We hear that this is how it goes with that band.

By our count, Pavement fans will now have eight chances to see the band on its stateside reunion not-tour: Five dates in Central Park, one at the Sasquatch Festival, one at Coachella, and now one at Pitchfork’s festival-circuit entry. We’d try and figure out the shreds/eats-it ratio, but there’s far too much in the way of variable factors. We’ll just say you’ve got a 50-50 shot of being totally disappointed.

Joining the reformed, breathing definition of musical hit-or-miss, will be LCD Soundsystem, Lightening Bolt, and Modest Mouse. Other acts will be announced in the coming weeks, but, if you don’t mind waiting to see who you’re paying for, you can buy tickets…right now! It’ll happen from July 16-18 in Chicago’s Union Park.

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