SXSW Music Conference: Wednesday

A look at a few of today’s SXSW panels.

From Songs to Scores: Can Songwriters Score Films?

Writing and composing music for film and television poses a unique set of challenges for artists and bands, often requiring the songwriter to work fully in the service of the film’s producers and directors.

“You’re not writing this music for yourself,” said Michael James, frontman for the Austin-based band Explosions In The Sky. “You are writing in service to the vision of the director. You’re coming in at a late stage to sweeten or enhance the things that are already there.”

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"And Scott, he’s my best friend. His influence on my life is immeasurable. I respect what he says; I respect how he lives. He’s reciprocated the same thing to me, which is pretty much the highest accomplishment that I can get in my life. The man that anyone dreams of him being or guessing that he is – he’s a better man than that."

~ Seth Avett (American Songwriter, The Avett Brothers - Together through life)

Lazaretto Is The Biggest Selling Vinyl LP Since 1994

Music’s favorite Luddite has a new accomplishment to notch on a belt that’s already nearly notched to pieces. Jack White's Lazaretto has sold 62,000 vinyl units to become the top vinyl LP of 2014, and the best selling since Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy in 1994.

Vinyl sales accounted for 25 percent of Lazaretto‘s total sales, according to Billboard. In addition, the album broke first-week vinyl sales records by selling 40,000 units, the most since SoundScan started keeping track in 1991.

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Video Premiere: Amy Lynn & The Gunshow, “Don’t Trip On The Glitter”

The Video: “Don’t Trip On The Glitter”
The Artist: Sassy New York brass band Amy Lynn & The Gunshow
The Album: Don’t Trip On The Glitter, out April 29th.
Songwriter Says: ”We shot the video in one day last November,” Lynn tells us. “We were in the middle of nowhere, in a barn. Our previous video included guests ripping apart a wedding cake and we had so much fun getting messy, we knew we wanted to do something messy in this one. 35 gallons of paint later, the space was transformed from four blank white walls to four panels ready to be displayed at the nearest art gallery. This mess was inspired by Jackson Pollock with a little glitter thrown in as a nod to the title of the song. I wrote the song after a bad relationship ended. He was not ready to be supportive of my career in music and so I had to make sure he didn’t trip on my success as he was leaving.” Zing!

It’s a bizarre relationship that you have with your songs,” Seth says. “You write a heartbreaking song, it was a terrible time, you really hit that moment, you just really encapsulated that really lonely feeling, or whatever. And then maybe it’s two years later and things have changed, and you’ve got a lot of joy in your life. And then you get onstage and you play this really sad song and you’re just not that person. That’s a weird thing because, in effect, you have somehow put yourself logistically into a situation where you have torn one page out of 150 of your journal from 2002 and shared it, and so now you just keep sharing that one page of your journal over and over and over again.
— 

Seth Avett (American Songwriter, The Avett Brothers - Together through life)

Pink Floyd Announce New Album

While it’s certainly not something we expected to report in 2014, it’s now definitely happening.Pink Floyd made an announcement Monday morning detailing their new studio album, The Endless River. That’s the cover artwork up above.

The songs on this album were first conceived over two decades ago during the 1993 sessions for their last album, Division Bell. It’s to be a mostly instrumental album, but closing track “Louder Than Words” features a lead vocal from guitarist and singer David Gilmour and lyrics penned by his wife, author Polly Samson.

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"On the first album, “Janglin’,” “Home,” “Desert Song,” and “Kisses Over Babylon.” All these songs had this sense of wonder and adventure in open land. As a kid, I would go on vacation a lot—my dad would take us through the desert, the Four Corners area with all that red sand and open land and severe mountains—that imagery was very much in my mind, and with regard to “Home,” I had written a lot of the music and was writing and recording it in my room in this little apartment, hanging out with Jade a lot. She was over one day—I don’t believe I had written any lyrics yet. I think I was just starting to fumble around with putting vocals on the song when she jumped up. She literally jumped up, ran over and said, “Give me the mic!” She just started going, “Alabama, Arkansas, I do love my Ma and Pa.” And then I came up with the next line, and on and on.

So that was a real moment of inspiration from her to just get up and shout out those lines. And same with the story in the middle—that was totally on the fly. That spontaneity was there. One of the parts I remember the most about writing the song was the bridge and the timing of this thing. I wrote it on the guitar, and it was interesting. The rhythm and the cadence of each bar—it’s an odd, like a six-bar, four-bar, an odd timing, not just a four-bar loop. And I remember winding my way through this cavern and seeing the cracks in the light. It was just a fun piece to write because I had in mind this horn melody at the same time—or at least I imagine I must have. Otherwise I can’t imagine why I would have played the guitar like that. I had probably played the melody on kazoo.”- Alex Ebert

That’s a weird thing because, in effect, you have somehow put yourself logistically into a situation where you have torn one page out of 150 of your journal from 2002 and shared it, and so now you just keep sharing that one page of your journal over and over and over again… […] I haven’t played ‘January Wedding’ a whole lot recently. But I will, I will. And it will be a lot of fun.
— 

Seth Avett (American Songwriter, The Avett Brothers - Together through life)

Photocredit: Bluegrass Black by Sean Molin on flickr

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