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Todd P Goes to Austin - documentary DVD / sxsw festival DVD / musical performance DVD review
TODD P GOES TO AUSTIN Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating: 4 stars
Featuring: Todd Patrick, Mika Miko, The DeathSet, Matt and Kim, Dan Deacon
Director: Jason Buim   Distributor: Microcinema
DVD release: 28 September 2010   Runtime: 79 min. (1 disc)
Format: Color, DVD, NTSC
DVD Features: Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English), Commentary by Matt and Kim and director Buim, Trailer, Promotional video, Photo gallery

*Todd P Goes to Austin*Brooklyn-based concert promoter Todd P. hates the star-making machinery of the big labels and the big festivals. He wants the raw, unmediated truth of music that hasn't been marketed into a niche and over-produced by hit men. What to do? DIY, that's what.

In particular, one thing to do is to descend upon Austin (the only surviving city in the atomic crater of Texas) in a shitty green van crammed with people and sound gear. Austin is the site of the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival where everything hip, new and cool is, if we believe the industry hype, showcased and signed to lucrative record contracts. It's statements like that that make Todd P. blow beer out his nose in a fountain of froth that fumes at fraudulence.

So Todd and his merry bands of gangstas, emo-grrls, electronistas and raving lunatics stage their own, alternative festival just down the street from one of SXSW's main venues. The goal? One hundred acts in three days. There's something so very right about that because, once upon a time, SXSW was itself a truly alternative scene. Not unlike the Burning Man Festival, SXSW was soon co-opted by the major (indie and otherwise) labels and pre-packaged, overcooked acts were thrust before us in the way jeans and torn T-shirts were sold to us as a pre-condition to being seen in (the always-striving-to-catch-up suburban) public.

The story here, such as it is, is of the journey from Brooklyn and other corners of the earth down to Austin and the subsequent set of shows. The camerawork is fun, excruciating, enlightening - much like the music, which ranges from the sublimely beautiful to the sort of thing you'd expect to be the soundtrack to little boys torturing small animals.

I liked only a small percentage of the music I heard in this film but I loved the entire flick for its intensity and undisguised joy at the act of making music. If you've been wondering who those poseurs on your iPod are and what they did to the real music, you'd do well to check out Todd P Goes to Austin.
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reviewed by Brian Charles Clark
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