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WVUM does SXSW, comes home with a Woodie

By Amber Robertson posted Mar 22, 2011 at 04:41 PM



WVUM visited Austin from March 15-18 to receive our award for best college radio station in the country at the mtvU live airing of the 2011 Woodie Awards. The awards show was conveniently held during SXSW, one of the country's largest and most influential music festivals. Read about our experience after the jump and grab the playlist from our SXSW show we made.



The moment we arrived in Austin and got settled at our hotel, which was in a great location by 6th street (where all the SXSW action happens), we headed out in search of great BBQ--we found just that at Iron Works BBQ by the Convention Center. Dustin, our training director had this to say about the city: "ll I can say is that the people of Austin were so friendly.  It's not an easy city to maneuver around, but strangers are kind enough to give you advice on where to go and what not to do.  Every street has at least a couple bars or shops worth exploring."

Drew, comedic relief & host of WVUM's Jive-In Theater adds, "This was my fourth or fifth South by Southwest and certainly my favorite so far. While this is largely the byproduct of the sheer quality of the entertainment consumed, I also loved this sxsw due to being able to share it with so many people.It was a true pleasure getting to hang out with people in one of my favorite towns in my favorite state. SXSW holds a special place in my heart, attending it as a young teenager jumpstarted my obsessions with music and film and it is always a pleasure, if not a little wistful, when I return to Texas."

We spent the first night exploring around and got into the nitty-gritty of show-going the following day. We started our day off at the Terroribird Party and saw acts the likes of Rainbow Arabia, Pictureplane, Nite Jewel, Generationals, Braids and Cloud Nothings.


Amber's take on the Terrorbird party: "Cloud Nothings sound like the do in their recorded album, so I was happy because I enjoy the familiar. Pictureplane had a great performance and definitely got the crowd awkwardly dancing. I missed him perform at the WVUM show last Spring so I was glad I caught him. Laura and I agreed that while Rainbow Arabia is great, the lead singer tries to sound like Karin Andersson a bit much. When we were in the outside area, we didn't realize we were watching Braids perform--a nice unexpected surprise. Ending our stop at the Terrorbird Party was the Generationals, a sweaty, gritty performance that was very pure. They were resonating everything New Orleans, from their Top-Siders to their blue button-downs. Shout out to fellow Generationals lover & New Orleanian Johnny Kornman, who is in Barcelona as I write this!"

Rainbow Arabia:

After some 6th street Mexican food, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the Woodie Awards, held at the Austin Music Hall. We arrived at 10pm to meet the Vice President of MTV, who wanted to meet us.

Komal's take on the Woodies:

"SXSW in ATX is a time where all the indie kids come out to play.  Downtown Austin becomes a maze of people, pedicabs, bikers, and cars, all bustling to find a good concert.  Weaving my way through downtown was stressful enough, trying to avoid these numerous pedestrians and bikers who owned the road for the next few nights.  After a speedy pedicab ride to the Austin Convention Center down 4th St. (during which I had to uncomfortably hold down my short flowy dress, thanks a lot wind currents), I met up the rest of the crew (Amber Robertson, Drew Spears, Dustin Doing, Kathleen Elise, Mike Matthieson, Laura Sutnick, and Alexander Zinn)  at the MTVU Woodie Awards.  By the looks of us, you wouldn't know we were just some college radio kids.  Some of us were dressed to the nines with full on suits, formal dresses, and heels.  Man, did we look good! Unfortunately, we were inappropriately dressed for the crowded concert club feel of the Woodies, but hey, we were in it together. DJ Skrillex was getting the masses moving with some pretty cool dubstep beats, more than thoroughly enjoyed by Dusty and Zinn.  We stood together in the spot showed to us by the coordinator for our screen shot in the throngs of people waiting for the show to begin.  Performers included Foo Fighters, Sleigh Bells, Two Door Cinema Club, Wiz Khalifa, and Odd Future, with presenters including Chiddy Bang, Matt & Kim, Pete Wentz, and Zoe Kravitz, among others.  Danny Glover from Community did a wonderful job hosting with his upbeat commentary. The performances were absolutely amazing with my favorite being Two Door, I can't help it, their awkward british boy band attitudes makes me swoon.  Though the WVUMers moment in the spotlight was cut short, it did happen! For a brief 2 minute period, WVUM of Miami was known to the world. Ok, maybe not the world, but still, a good portion.  That was a fantastic moment, one that we had been campaigning nonstop for the past few months. For all of you who couldn't make it out, who were watching on TV, and who repeatedly voted for us until you got carpal tunnel, thanks so much for making us the #1 College Radio Station in the Nation and winners of the MTVU 2011 Woodie Awards!"

Thursday we attended Moby's Vegan BBQ, a fundraising event hosted by Moby (yes, Moby) including acts such as RAC Djs, Egyptrixx, Database, Skrillex, Class Actress & Jeffrey Jerusalem. But I'll let Zinn tell you about that:

"The day started off with a nice walk from our hotel to the BBQ. A good 20 minute hike that allowed me to compose myself from the previous evening’s debauchery and enjoy some of the cool sights and sounds that SxSW had brought to Austin. Got there rather early, around 2pm, to run into the first DJ set up I had seen all week. Laura and I were ecstatic to see a DJ and hear some 4/4 rhythms, a nice break from all the live music we had been enjoying. 

The venue (called Cheer-Up Charlie's) was a cool little shack, just on the other side of the highway with lots of cool little things for people to play with; including a gigantic mustache that doubled as seesaw (Amber’s favorite).  The weather was amazing, sun was shining and everyone was enjoying the chill vibes being put on by Egyptrixx; who was throwing down a nice mixture of minimal beats infused with disco elements. Perfect music for recovery!


After Egyptrixx, the Brazilian duo Database took over the decks and got things going. The music was a perfect mixture of energetic “car alarms” and groovy beats and bass lines. These guys really knew how to read a crowd and get them going. Their sound was a bit more on the glitchy, some what electro sound. Was kinda funny one the guys looked just like one of the members of local duo Team Rojas.

Things really started to get out of hand when Skrillex took to the decks. Now if you know me personally you’ll know that I am not a big fan of dubstep. But in all honesty the man who calls himself Skrillex is a very talented DJ who impressed me with his ability to take the crowd and mold them into a big rowdy mess! Side note: the security crew had to put up more caution tape to hold the crowd back from jumping on stage. Amidst speakers cutting out and people throwing themselves onto the stage, Skrillex held the fort down and literally caused a dust storm.

It was during that dust storm that I realized that the skinny, balled man standing next to me for about 10 min was Moby himself, in person! A real quiet and chill person, you’d never expect the energy and madness behind those glasses. His set was a mixture of new music I’d never heard and special edits of some of his original works. All in all a very fun and energetic set for 5pm! His ending track was epic! A re-edit using a vocal clip from one of his original tracks (unfortunately I cant remember the name of the original). 

“All this talk about the music, and not a single word about the BBQ?” is probably what your asking yourself at this point. I’ll be honest, I’m not personally a vegan. Nor do I have anything against being a vegan. But I was not a fan of the food. I tried out a few of the options there and everything, **insert disclaimer: this is my personal and über biased opinion**, tasted rather bland. 

To wrap things up: the Moby BBQ was a ton of fun and was exactly what I was looking for after three nights of guitars, drums and singing!"





Laura on John Maus :

One of the SXSW shows I was most adamant about catching was John Maus at Emo's on Wednesday night. Some of you might recognize him from his work with Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and some of you might not recognize him at all. If you don't know who he is and like lo-fi goth style electonic stuff CHECK HIM OUT! This was by far the strangest, darkest,  and most passionate performance I saw all week. The guy got up on stage dressed as preppy as possible, imediately poured a bottle of water on his face and started screaming, all of Maus' songs ended abruptly and in the midst of his tracks he yelled out things like "this is so stupid". All 15 people watching him seemed to be either in awe or loving life. He was so into his music that at one point he struggled to fit his mic inside his eye socket. The show lasted about 30 minutes and definitely made me happily uncomfortable when I walked out. 

Drew on everything else:

Ted Leo- Ted Leo and the Pharmacists have been a personal favorite of mine with their brand of infectious pop punk since I was fourteen years old. Through eight years of fandom, several albums and multiple tours, Ted Leo’s solo show at the AV Club Mohawk Party was the first time I had seen the man live. Armed with only a guitar and an amplifier, Leo tore through an hours worth of selections from his 15 plus year discography to an adoring crowd who appreciated the deep cuts every bit as much as favorites.

Odd Future- Much has been made about the polarizing teenage California Rap collective.  Their impressive online following amassed through tumblr and twitter hails them as a phenomenon on scale of Eminem in 1998, while their detractors claim the group nothing more than overhyped, immature and hateful. Seeing their Fader Fort performance only solidified my opinion. They rambunctiously leaped onto amps, stage diving, and starting a water bottle war with the crowd, viciously spitting their anti social rhymes. Odd Future is clearly embracing their newfound fame and having a ball.


[img credit: The Fader]

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti- I was acquainted with Ariel Pink through his album ‘Before Today’ becoming a fixture on WVUM airwaves. And while I was a fan, his showcase at Kiss and Fly finally showed me exactly why he had such a dedicated fan base. Drawing from his gigantic discography, Ariel Pink hid behind his sunglasses, periodically flicking a lighter as he drove the crowd into a dance frenzy with his lo fi psych folk.

Toro y Moi- Toro Y Moi kicked off the Fader Fort with style, working through the new Underneath the Pine tracks. Unfortunately, the crowd was sparse, many attendees still waiting outside in the monolithic line for the elusive Fader Fort wristband or indulging in the obscene amount of free alcohol flowing from the fort. It would be the last time the fort wouldn’t be packed to the brim, and thus I will always associate Toro Y Moi with seeing live music and not being shoved into someone’s armpit.

Okkervil River- One of the last performance I saw at sxsw was a homecoming of sorts for the Austin-bred folk rockers at the Dickies’ show at Lustre Peal. Underneath the unfortunately blistering Texas sun, frontman Will Sheff wailed largely melancholy tunes to a loyal, yet exhausted crowd beaming at pride at the local boys and girls done right. And when he sang the homesick lyrics of “John Allyn Smith Sails”, the crowd too realized that fun festival as sxsw was, it was time to go home.

Drew: And since I also went to the film festival portion (and host WVUM’s Jive In Theater) I figures I would give thoughts on my favorite films of the festival.

Bellflower- The crew behind Bellflower has taken DIY to new extremes with their feature film debut, a story of two aimless LA hipsters obsessed with preparing for the upcoming apocalypse through building cars that shoot fireballs and pour whiskey to playing with flamethrowers and sawed off shotguns, made more impressive due to the various contraptions being invented by the filmmakers. Beautifully shot, the film devolves into a tale of romance gone awry, arriving as a Black Swan for the masculine set. This is a film certainly to be beloved and imitated by future filmmakers.

The FP- One of the biggest tenants of comedy is Commitment to a Conceit. Nothing kills humor quicker than to acknowledge that a concept is absurd or silly or dumb. The FP follows this tenant religiously, never wavering from it’s dedication to faithfully parody 80’s action classics nor it’s dedication to making its characters revel in their own stupidity. In a nutshell, The FP is the story of warring groups of suburban wannabe gangsters who solve disputes with Dance Dance Revolution. It is destined to become a cult classic.

Sound of My Voice/ Another Earth- Newcomer Writer/actress Brit Marling’s debut films both premiered at Sundance this January, a feat formerly unheard of.  And while they are two strikingly different films, they share common threads of superb ideas and writing, expertly stretching every last dollar of their tiny budget. Marling is interested in the humanity and pathos at the core of the fantastic, Sound of My Voice detailing a cult who worships a woman purporting to be from the future, while Another Earth deals with one girl’s spiraling life upon the discovery of, well, Another Earth.  Thoughtful, Marling’s films introduce an exciting new mind in independent film.

Bridesmaids- Good news everybody, Hollywood has discovered that women can be funny too! Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig plays a wonderfully desperate maid of honor who must deal with losing control of planning her best friend’s wedding. If that description sounds like a subpar romance comedy, we understand. In actuality, it is a wonderfully raunchy, yet grounded, film, whose supporting cast from Maya Rudolph to Jon Hamm hit all of the right notes. Hopefully audience will take a chance and Bridesmaids joins movies like The Hangover and Wedding Crashers in the Cannon of modern film comedy.

The Future- Writer/Director/Actress/Author/Performance Artist Miranda July hits a homerun with her sophomore film. The Future starts as a seemingly too cute for its own good tale of a couple embracing freedom for a month when they decide to adopt a stray cat. However, it fearlessly delves into darker territory of artistic fulfillment and temptation. July strikes at something truly profound with what eventually proves to be a heartbreaking film.

The Innkeepers- Ti West has earned his reputation in horror circles with suspenseful, scare filled fare such as House of the Devil and Trigger Man. The Innkeepers is West at his most playful, having crafted a gleefully creepy story of slacker hotel clerks who must get to the bottom of whether the historic Inn they work at is haunted before it is demolished. The film is often giggle inducing, making the genuinely scary second half all the more effective and fun.


Woodie press via Gio :


SXSW show playlist:

Rainbow Arabia | Blind
Generationals | Greenleaf
Surfer Blood | Take It Easy (RAC Maury Mix)
John Maus | Pure Rockets
Cloud Nothings | Turning On
Braids | Lemonade (cleaned)
Nite Jewel | Another Horizon (Secret Circuit's Another Remix)
Millionyoung | Weak Ends (ANR Remix)
Evan Voytas | Tomorrow Night We'll Go Anywhere
Moby | Shot In Back Of The Head (Nico Pusch Bootleg Remix)
James Blake | Footnotes
Mount Kimbie | Mayor
Sleigh Bells | Rill Rill ( George Lenton remix )
Two Door Cinema Club | Undercover Martyn (Whatever-Whatever Remix)
LexiconDon | December Sunset (U-Tern Remix)
Jeffrey Jerusalem | I'm Just A Balloon
Friendly Fires | Paris
Miami Horror | Holidays
Family of the Year  | The Barn (Panic Bomber's Memory Remix)
Skrillex | Cat Rats
Egyptrixx | Reconnect  CLEAN
Foo Fighters | Everlong (DiscoTech Remix)













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WVUM, Inc., the licensee of station WVUM-FM, is operated as a non-commercial educational radio station at the University of Miami. The unit has no full-time employees and is not required to have an EEO recruitment program due to its size.