The Texas exodus is already under way for many Central Oklahoma bands, performers, filmmakers and entertainment industry insiders who are among the thousands that make the annual pilgrimage to Austin for South by Southwest, which has become one of the most important and influential conferences, festivals and media showcases around.
Several Oklahoma-area acts and performers have been invited to perform this year at SXSW, including:
" Norman's Evangelicals,
" Stillwater's Colourmusic and
" Grady County roots-country singer/songwriter JD Thompson.
"It's so crazy down there, it's like a frenzy of everything going on," said Ryan Hendrix, who sings in the experimental art-pop band Colourmusic. "You get to share the stage with some really exciting bands from just about everywhere."
Hendrix said the band was excited about its Saturday-night slot, which puts the Okie band on stage right after acclaimed Nineties group Nada Surf, best known for its 1996 song and music video "Popular."
The Evangelicals are set to play tomorrow night on the same stage that will host Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis the next evening.
The festival has also attracted dozens of associated parties and showcase performances not "officially" associated with SXSW, but which have become influential to fervent fans and potential industry connections. Among metro bands playing unofficial events in Austin this week include:
" El Paso Hot Button,
" Rainbows Are Free,
" Cheyenne and
" Asleep, Audience "¦ Dream! "Joe Wertz