Tuesday night at SXSW in Austin, Texas. (Getty Images)
The lines are long, parking's a nightmare and every venue is thick with schmoozy tastemakers. So why actually attend SXSW when you can enjoy the shows from your Chicago couch?
In the 21st century, you don't have to be in Austin to sample some of the wares on display during this annual music showcase. Here are some of the streaming options available Wednesday-Saturday from the "live music capital of the world" ...
-- The official SXSW streams include live casts from the day stage at the Austin Convention Center, starting each day at noon (including Devendra Barnhart at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Vampire Weekend at 5 p.m. Friday and the always great Ozomatli at 2 p.m. Saturday), as well as streams from other sponsored showcases and the 11 a.m. Thursday keynote speech by Dave Grohl.
-- Grohl's keynote also will be streamed -- and live-blogged by critic Ann Powers -- at NPR Music's SXSW page.
-- Warner Music is streaming its showcases live from the Belmont club each evening starting at 8 p.m. Thursday night's lineup there is great: Atlas Genius (9:20 p.m.), Frightened Rabbit (10:05 p.m.), the Joy Formidable (10:15 p.m.), Alt-J (11:10 p.m.) and the Flaming Lips (12:15 a.m.).
-- The Spotify House will be streaming its Wednesday night shows, including Kendrick Lamar, Cazzette, Youngblood Hawke and DJ Hesta Prynn, starting at 7 p.m.
-- The folks at Fader magazine curate the Fader Fort concerts, which stream beginning Wednesday afternoon and running through Saturday night. The lineup has 40 bands (Ra Ra Riot, Afghan Whigs, Parquet Courts, Earl Sweatshirt and more) and a dozen DJs. Full schedule here.
-- The good folks at Daytrotter have a nice long schedule of live sessions and interviews with artists ranging from Josh Rouse and Josh Ritter to Billy Bragg and the Zombies.
-- Slacker Radio is in a truck on a downtown Austin street corner, snagging bands for interviews and playing music on their online station.
-- The Boiler Room broadcast on Saturday night includes one Internet music smash after another -- including "Harlem Shake" fad DJ Baauer and Chicago's own Chief Keef.
-- For a taste of where hip-hop unfortunately can lead you, legacy acts from LL Cool J to Public Enemy will be on TV (the Fuse cable network) and online (here) at 10:30 p.m. Thursday from the (I can't believe I'm typing this) Doritos Facebook stage.
-- SXSWfm is basically a radio station playing not-live music from all the artists featured in official showcases.
-- Taste some tech, too: SXSW's Music Accelerator stream will spotlight some music-related technology demos Thursday afternoon.
To that end, in fact, I'll be checking out a demo later of Evntlive -- an intriguing tablet/mobile app that streams live concerts with user-controlled camera angles.