of the Cult during the band's Saturday night concert at SXSW. (AP)
AUSTIN, Texas -- The headlines that began appearing throughout media during 2012's South by Southwest told the story: "SXSW: The soul revival continues," "At SXSW, real rock and roll lives," "Hip-hop's SXSW invasion." Bruce Springsteen in his keynote amused a rapt audience by reeling off a list of dozens and dozens of music genres, subgenres and sub-subgenres.
"This is all going on in this town right now," he said.
Indeed, it was. SXSW began 25 years ago as a showcase for aspiring and mid-level music talent. Since then, it's grown to a behemoth event, incorporating film and digital ventures, and the music portion now features big-name acts, as well. Last week at the annual conference in the Texas capital, Springsteen played, Lionel Richie debuted his new country songs, and hip-hop moguls like Lil Wayne, Eminem, 50 Cent and Kanye West made appearances.
As usual, I'm one guy with two feet -- can't see it all. But here's the index of the music I experienced during SXSW 2012:
-- Tom Morello's Occupy SXSW street showcase
-- Don Cornelius and "Soul Train" celebrated
-- Bruce Springsteen keynote, plus the Woody Guthrie centennial
-- Interview with Little Steven Van Zandt
-- Alabama Shakes deserves the hype
-- Fiona Apple's splendid case of nerves
-- Singer-songwriter John Fullbright comes of age
-- Ezra Furman, Sharon Van Etten, Mr. Muthaf---in' eXquire, R. Stevie Moore
-- Buzz bands: Hospitality, Ava Luna, Joe Pug
-- Power pop: Big Star tribute, dB's reunion, Brendan Benson
-- Hip-hop fusion: K. Flay, Idle Warship, Robert Glasper
-- SXSW global: K-pop, Juanes, Bensh, Noa Margalit
-- Homeless people turned into wi-fi hotspots