South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival (SXSW) is back in Austin. Musicians, ranging from country to pop and R&B, will be performing March 11-16. Actors and directors will be presenting and discussing their films March 7-15. Here are some previews for music, film and interactive dialogues at SXSW 2014.
This charismatic band creates a mixture of soul, pop, rock and indie sounds. Originally from Houston, the band has grown in popularity since 2007. Lead singer Asil Omar’s soulful vocals and bassist Tom Nguyen’s skilled work create alluring musicality; Guitarist Adam Martinez and drummer Justin Martinez form the steady dance beat. They will be playing at the Dirty Dog Bar (505 E. 6th Street) on Saturday, March 15 from 12:00 a.m. – 12:40 a.m.
Michigan artists Titanic Sinclair and Mars Argo create a fusion of 90s alternative rock with melodic pop hooks and straight to the heart lyrics called Mars Argo. They are currently writing their third full length album and producing a 22-minute television pilot that draws from the modern social commentary of Portlandia and spooky psychedelia of classic Tim Burton films. Mars Argo will be performing at Stephen F’s Bar (701 Congress Avenue) on Tuesday, March 11 at 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Cairn String Quartet
The elite four-woman string quartet comes together to create a unique and inspirational orchestral show with a twist.
The group performs all genres of music on classical instruments. Expect to hear Bach to Bowie, Ravel to Radiohead, Mozart to Muse, Lady Gaga to Guns ‘n’ Roses and many more. They will be performing Friday March 14 at The Hideout (617 Congress Avenue) from 8:00 p.m. – 8:40 p.m.
With “Wake Me Up,” the 2013 mega-hit Blacc sang and co-wrote for Swedish DJ Avicii, Aloe Blacc proved himself a new popular singer/songwriter. Now with his third solo album, “Lift Your Spirit,” the rapper-turned-singer pushes further into a folk/soul/pop fusion that is unique and catchy. Blacc will be performing at 1100 Warehouse (1100 E. 5th Street) on Thursday, March 13 from 12:15 a.m. – 1:15 a.m.
Jason Bateman (“Arrested Development”) directs and stars as Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old who manages to compete in The Golden Quill national spelling bee in order to steal the prize money. Guy clumsily forges an unlikely alliance with 10-year-old Chaitanya Chopra (“Homeland”), who is completely unfazed by Guy’s ruthless scheme. “Bad Words” will be screened on Friday March 7
Directed by Diego Luna, the film chronicles civil rights leader and labor organizer Cesar Chávez as he fights for the rights of farmworkers. The film also highlights Chávez’s personal battle between his duties as a husband and father while working to earn equality for others. “Cesar Chávez” will be screened on Monday March 10 at the Paramount Theatre (713 Congress Avenue) 6:00 p.m. – 7:41 p.m.
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
The film, directed by Wes Anderson, focuses on Gustave H, a legendary concierge, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his friend, during the World Wars. The other coinciding stories in the film are the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and a battle for a family fortune. An extended Q & A session with director Wes Anderson will follow the screening. The film will be screened Monday March 10 at the Paramount Theatre (713 Congress Avenue) 9:00 p.m. – 10:39 p.m.
In this adaptation of Larry Brown’s novel, the themes of friendship, violence and redemption are illustrated in the film’s contemporary setting. Directed by David Gordon Green (“Pineapple Express”), Nicolas Cage portrays the title role as the hot-tempered, ex-con Joe Ransom, as he meets a kid named Gary (Tye Sheridan), who forms an unlikely bond. When Gary is threatened, Joe assumes the role of Gary’s protector and sets in motion the inevitable tragedy. The film will be screened Sunday, March 9 at the Paramount Theatre (713 Congress Avenue) 2:45 p.m. – 4:42 p.m.
Keynote Speaker Chelsea Clinton
Chelsea Clinton will speak to an audience about healthcare and generational empowerment programs sponsored by the Clinton Foundation. Her topics include the Clinton Health Access Initiative, a program that helps people in developing countries access healthcare; the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which focuses on preventing childhood obesity in the United States and the Clinton Global Initiative University, a program headed by Clinton that works to teach the next generation how to solve modern social problems. This keynote will be located at the Austin Convention Center (500 E Cesar Chavez St) in Exhibit Hall 5 on Tuesday, March 11 at 2:00 p.m.
Portlandia: Behind the Scenes with the Creators
Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen will present in this interactive session about their award-winning TV series, “Portlandia”. Audience members will get a special look at the latest season, preview clips from the anticipated fourth season and discuss the series with Brownstein and Armisen. Brownstien and Armisen will also talk about their creative process and behind-the-scenes information. Matt Braunger (“Up All Night”) will moderate this event on Tuesday, March 11 from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the Austin Convention Center, Room 18ABCD (500 E Cesar Chavez St).
Getting the Most out of the Mentor-Mentee Relationship
Mentors provide the opportunity and make the necessary introductions to help mentees start a successful company. This panel offers suggestions on how to maintain this type of relationship. Hosted by DreamIt Ventures, audience members will interact with a panel and learn about the pros and cons of the mentor-mentee relationship and gain insight in how to partner with the right mentor. The panel is on Monday, March 10 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in the Hilton Austin Downtown Salon D (500 E. 4th Street).
Film Keynote Speaker—Marc Webb
Marc Webb is best known for directing music videos for Green Day, Weezer and My Chemical Romance. His most recent works include “The Amazing Spider Man” films that star Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Webb will be speaking about his career and film and possible new projects. The speech will be noted from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 8 in the Austin Convention Center, Vimeo Theatre (500 E Cesar Chavez Street).
For a comprehensive list of events, visit sxsw.com.