New music, films, app emerge from South by Southwest 2015

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This year’s annual South by Southwest film, music and interactive festival in Austin, Tex. came to a close Sunday. Here are some of the festival’s highlights.


Thousands of musicians from a multitude of genres and styles flocked to the South to overrun Austin with six days of unrelenting concerting like they do every year. Always most anticipated about SXSW’s music lineup are the featured unknown bands and musicians with the opportunity to showcase their unique sounds and talents.

One of these obscure artists included Brooklyn-based baroque pop group, San Fermin, which is comprised of a crowd of musicians that each contribute to their incredibly full, dulcet sound. The lead singer of the band is originally from the Milwaukee area. The rising band will be releasing its second album next month, entitled Jackrabbit, and have likely gained considerable publicity and promotional worth at the festival.

Another relatively unknown artist featured at SXSW was the multi-talented Kate Tempest. Aside from being a musician, Tempest is also warmly known as a spoken word artist and a playwright from southeast London. In 2013, Tempest received the Ted Hughes Award for her innovative work in poetry and is known for using her tremendous eloquence in her song writing. In particular, Tempest’s music does an exceptional job of portraying the poetic aspect of music.

Last on the list of obscure musicians featured at the South By Southwest festival is Courtney Barnett. Similarly to Kate Tempest, Barnett is renowned for her articulate music style. While she isn’t yet among the most prevalent and popular musicians, the Australian singer-songwriter has been recognized by Rolling Stone and the New York Times as a noteworthy artist, which not only paved the way for her career in the United States, but also serves as indication for future success.


As for the film portion of the festival, a number of outstanding screenings were featured this year. Here are a few that proved to be the most eye-catching.

  • Train wreck

Starring Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow, this candid yet ridiculous comedy has all the makings of a hit movie. Schumer’s characteristically deadpan humor, along with a number of celebrity cameos, are sure to make this a droll and hilarious picture.

  • Spy

Melissa McCarthy playing a spy is funny in itself for obvious reasons, but what makes this movie so extraordinary is director Paul Feig’s effort to work past the overtly humorous set of circumstances and instead make a legitimate action movie. A film where well-renowned comedian Melissa McCarthy is not only a spy, but a good one, makes for an interesting plot to say the least.


  • Angie Tribeca

Aside from upcoming comedy films, SXSW also featured some promising comedy series including Steve Carell’s “Angie Tribeca.” Angie Tribeca is a slapstick comedy cop show that lacks a dull moment. Everything from its physical stunts to the sheer speaking volume of the previewed characters just seem to contribute to this upcoming show’s comedic intensity.


Because it would have been impossible for a single person to visit every concert, screening and conference that South by Southwest had to offer, audience members experienced a new streaming app for iOS, called “Meerkat.” The app links to the user’s Twitter account, allowing people to live stream every one of their followers on Twitter.

It is no surprise why this particular app saw such a tremendous growth in popularity over the course of SXSW, as it basically allowed the events of this already massive music, film and interactive festival to be viewed by virtually everyone anywhere. Considering its utilization during one of the largest and most popular music and film festivals in the country, in addition to the collaboration with arguably the most prevalent social networking service online, it’s clear to see how “Meerkat” according to Fortune, was able to reach the “Top 100 social networking apps in the U.S.” in a mere two weeks after its initial launch.

To depict the magnitude of the app’s overnight success, Twitter deemed it necessary to constrain Meerkat’s intensifying popularity by eliminating the crucial ability for users to directly import followers from Twitter. This meant that Meerkat users would have to take the time to manually add each friend to receive notifications of their live streams, as opposed to receiving them automatically upon downloading the app.

While Twitter’s unpopular move was no doubt a hindrance to Meerkat’s potential success, it doesn’t take away what the fledgling app was able to achieve in such a short amount of time. Considering the apps practicality during this year’s SXSW festival, “Meerkat” is sure to be utilized in future concerts and events of a similar sort.