South by Southwests ability to make or break the fledgling artists who descend upon Austin in hopes of hooking up a piece of that fame pie rivals no other music festival in the country. It stands alone as a testing ground for the entire music industry, the place where popular hometown bands take their first significant stab at going national, pulling out all the stops in hopes of making the right impression on the multitudes of music critics and A&R reps in the audience. Unfortunately, because its geared toward industry folks, SXSW is just as well-known for its steep entry cost; for a lot of us, that golden ticket costs as much as a months rent. So if SXSW isnt in the cards for you this year, the Seattle SXSW send-off show is kinda like an abridged version of the South by Seattle day party. You may not get to stumble around Austin, drunk on free beer for five solid days, but at least you can get drunk at the Tractor and show some love for some of the Seattle music scenes Most Likely To Succeed. Though all the bands on this bill happen to be excellent, Id bet money that of the fourHey Marseilles, Champagne Champagne, Battle Hymns and New FacesNew Faces youthful, approachable pop will be the sound that charms the socks off of the music industry establishment. Hey, maybe I should start a betting poolthen at least the lucky winner can spend the cash on a ticket to SXSW next year.
Fri., March 6, 9 p.m., 2009