Category Archives: Music

SXSW 2013 Band Geography


The SXSW (South by Southwest) Music Festival 2013 lineup is up! Very exciting. There are 479 bands listed from all over the world for this amazing Austin, TX event. I got curious about how they are spread out. So I broke out and charted it for your enjoyment. It’s all in Google Drive, so you can click on the charts to get more details or you can see all the data here.

US vs Rest Of The World

As expected, almost two thirds of the bands are from the home country. I don’t know how this compares historically, but I would guess that the US share has been slowly declining as the event grows in size and notoriety.

SXSW 2013 – US vs Rest of the World
Click for interactive control

US bands by state

This one you definitely want to click on so you can see in more detail. To my surprise, there are nearly as many Californian acts as there are Texan!

SXSW 2013 – US bands by state
Click for interactive control


As expected, US-speaking Canada, UK, and Australia are the most represented. Southern neighbor Mexico is next. The biggest surprise in my opinion is that tiny Israel is next, with 10 bands! Good, since I like Israeli music. Saddest surprise: nothing from Colombia. Colombian bands are always a big draw. As circumstantial evidence, an old SXSW photo I posted with Bomba Estereo’s Colombian hottie lead singer Li Saumet is one of the top traffic referrers to The MKX®. Go ahead, look it up on Google Image.

SXSW 2013 – International bands
Click for interactive control

And only because I can and because it’s cool (Google Docs Drive FTW!), here’s a World Map showing the number of bands per country:

SXSW 2013 – Bands by country
Click for interactive control


Jovanotti at ACL 2012

Jovanotti at ACL 2012. Photo by Mark Gartenberg

When I was backpacking in Europe back in the summer of ’96, Jovanotti, one of my favorite musicians was touring his home country. Things didn’t work out back then – I had to “settle” for a Luciano Pavarotti.

Fast forward to 2012 and Lorenzo Cherubini comes Austin for ACL 2012. In Italy, I’d be standing behind 30,000 tall Italians. In the U.S. however… well, just look closely in the left bottom corner of the photo at the handsome guy with the hat.

Balkan Beat Box at Israel in the Gardens

Israel in the Gardens is a free event in San Francisco organized by the Jewish Community Federation every year. For 2012 it was two weeks ago. They brought Balkan Beat Box (seen before in The MKX®) as the main event!

Very good outdoors concert on a nice and sunny day!

Underage musicians

Notably, last week I randomly bumped into three different music shows by bands whose members are really, really young. All within 24 hours.

First one in the pub across the street from our house:

Children rock band at the Kensington Circus Pub

Second one at the Farmer’s Market, between my house and the aforementioned pub”

Violin playing kids at the Kensington Farmer's Market

Third one in San Francisco:

Haunted by Heroes "The World's Youngest Rock Band" at the Earth Day Festival in San Francisco

They were all notably good. But I recommend you look at videos from the third one.

Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau

We went last Saturday, also part of SF Jazz Festival. A great pianist and a great saxophonist playing Jazz for 2+ hours. Maybe it’s just me, but I think I prefer listening to Jazz while sitting at a table drinking beer.

Not the best seats in the house

India.Arie & Idan Raichel

As part of the San Francisco Jazz Festival, I went to see India.Arie & Idan Raichel. While not exactly my style (I would have hoped for more Idan Rachel, and a little less India.Arie) it was a great concert at a breathtaking the venue, Oakland’s Paramount Theater. Photos and video below.

“Rock en Español” classics

More as a mental exercise than anything else, I want to compile a list of, say, 30 Rock en Español classics. Not best, not my favorites… but classics.

I am going to get the list started with fifteen sixteen. I have music loving readers who are knowledgeable so please help in the comments. In no particular order:

  1. De Música Ligera – Soda Stereo (Argentina)
  2. Persiana Americana – Soda Stereo (Argentina)
  3. Entre Dos Tierras – Héroes del Silencio (Spain)
  4. Lobo hombre en París – La Unión (Chile)
  5. Afuera – Caifanes (Mexico)
  6. Florecita Rockera – Aterciopelados (Colombia)
  7. La Ingrata – Café Tacuba (Mexico)
  8. Cuando Seas Grande – Miguel Mateos (Argentina)
  9. Pobre de Ti – Tijuana No (Mexico)
  10. Pachuco – Maldita Vecindad (Mexico)
  11. El Matador – Los Fabulosos Cadillacs (Argentina)
  12. Sin Documentos – Los Rodriguez (Argentina)
  13. Amante Bandido – Miguel Bosé (Spain)
  14. No Hay Marcha en Nueva York – Mecano (Spain)
  15. Devuélveme a Mi Chica – Hombres G (Spain)
  16. Mariposa Tecknicolor – Fito Páez (Argentina)

Please, no Maná crap.

SXSW – Intimate Stranger and Gepe

On the last night of SXSW I headed over to Maggie Mae’s for some Chilean love music. First, Intimate Stranger – a band from Santiago, Chile with a British vocalist – but they all live in Austin now. Got it? Keep reading for more photos and video.

Continue reading SXSW – Intimate Stranger and Gepe

SXSW – HaDag Nahash

HaDag Nahash at SXSW

Top Israeli band HaDag Nachash (or Nahash – but the h is stronger) has been to Austin before. February 2008 to be precise.

Now they came back for SXSW all the way from the other side of the world. It’s very unfortunate that due to poor planning, the earlier shows at TenOak (formerly Cuba Libre) could not stick to their schedule apparently due to delays in setting up each show; so everything ran late and HaDag could not start playing until 1:45 AM, 15 minute before closing time.

When this happened last year at a different venue, they simply stopped serving alcohol and let the band finish their act… sure, after anti-Mubarak-like protests from the audience.

We were not so lucky this year. Shitheads. At least we got a good 15 minutes.