No my friends, it is not too early to start talking about this year's SXSW, which will be upon us in right at 5 weeks. That's right, you're already behind if you haven't made plans yet, but lucky for you, a person doesn't really need a badge to see most bands anymore.
I'm starting out my preview for SXSW with one of Denver's great new bands, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel. This band is a side project (or maybe now main project?) of Rateliff's fairly well-known Denver band Born in the Flood. The Wheel are so new that they don't really have an official release that fully showcases the band's current sound. However, you can hear a great set of new recordings from them on their Daytrotter session. The current CD available from the band is good, but doesn't have the full sound that you can expect if you hear them at SXSW.
The Wheel hasn't officially announced any specific SXSW dates or times, but they have SXSW on their Web site as TBA, so I expect they'll be playing a Rounder Records showcase and a few other parties such as the Mile Hi Fidelity day party.
Update - Shows posted (subject to change like any other SXSW shows):
Wed., 3/17 - Lamberts (C3 Party) - 2:40 PM
Wed., 3/17 - The Ale House (official SXSW showcase) - 7 PM
Thur., 3/18 - Hotel San Jose (High Road Touring party) - 2 PM
Fri., 3/19 - Habana Calle 6 (Mile Hi Fidelity party) - 1:40 PM
Note: Be sure to check ahead of time on whether you need a badge, etc., for entry into shows.
This is a really cool video of Nathaniel Rateliff playing the song "Shroud" solo acoustic, and was done by Rod Blackhurst and James Minchin, who have been doing a series of field recordings in the style of Alan Lomax. In addition to their individual Web sites, they should have a full site up and running for the project soon. Also you can check out Rod's vimeo site for more of their videos. But check out this video first. Seriously.
(Note: For various video permissions reasons, this video will only play on this blog (or at the vimeo link), but not in Google reader or other RSS feeds).