Counting Crows Headlining SXSW? Seriously?

Categories: SXSW, WTF Island

suckass crows feb16.jpg
Courtesy of BMI
No, thank you.
Rocks Off has long since made our peace with the massive inconvenience SXSW can be. Even after our recent medical difficulties, we're even looking forward to going next month. We had a good time last year, mostly because we finally got to see OMD and Men Without Hats live. The bucket list got a little shorter.

Also, we managed to stay out of the way of collapsing booms and fences, and no riots broke out at any shows we attended. So that was nice. Steering clear of the traveling maelstrom that was Odd Future and Tyler, the Creator also turned out to be a wise idea.

But now comes word that Counting Crows will headline one of SXSW's free shows at Auditorium Shores on Friday, March 16. Yes, the Counting Crows. Really?

Before this morning, Rocks Off had not spared a thought for Counting Crows in about the past 10 years, and we were perfectly fine with that. No part of this is OK, least of all the fact that the evening is sponsored by BMI. That means that one of the two major publishing houses in the music business is firmly backing one of the worst bands we've ever heard.

satellites feb16.JPG
Now on sale for $4.99 at a Half Price Books near you.
We don't care if T-Bone Burnett produced their breakthrough album, the Crows' faux-Bohemian, folk-rock-lite sound wasn't that interesting the first time around. Rocks Off cannot think of a single reason for SXSW and BMI to be celebrating it today.

The Crows were "one of the most beloved band of the decade," says the email Rocks Off got this morning. Seriously? Rocks Off might agree with that statement if you substituted "heinous" or, at the very least, "boring" for "beloved."

Even worse, the Crows' success opened the door to radio and MTV for other bands whose "organic" neo-hippie attitude was even more annoying. (A friend of ours' brother was once in Blind Melon, so they get a pass, plus they actually turned out to be a decent Southern jam band.)

To each his own, of course. Just because the Crows aren't to our personal taste doesn't mean we have to go watch them. It doesn't mean that that thousands of other people won't go see them. No doubt Rocks Off will be far, far away, perhaps watching another 120 Minutes holdover like whoever comes instead of OMD this year.

But the fact that a band so mediocre is being showcased at SXSW's very highest levels - right up there with Bruce Springsteen, pretty much - makes us sad.

Does anyone know if Adam Duritz still has the dreads? Because even if he doesn't, that still wouldn't help.



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37 comments
amazingrobie
amazingrobie

For someone who has not listened to the Counting Crows for 10 years you sure have a lot to say, still, I'd rather have a guy like you say that they're no good so no one would mistakenly take an interest in you thinking that you had any depth at all. I can't believe someone gave you an award for any thing you've ever written. Now that's the really sad thing.

Brian Jansen
Brian Jansen

i was so mad, after walking about 2 miles to the Shores, to discover the Counting Crows were coming up.  what a buzzkill.  i wanted to strangle the singer so badly that my head hurt, or maybe that was the music.soooooo bad - and i like all sorts of weird, unconventional singers/genres, but that band has no soul.

plan your sxsw well!

jwillmo
jwillmo

I'm not going to get into the merits of CC with you, I love em but that's just personal preference. But I don't believe you've ever actually attended sxsw if a) You think there even is such thing as a "headliner" at sxsw, and b) if there even was a "headliner" you think that headliner is whoever playing freaking Auditorium Shores for freaking free on freaking Friday. I don't think you could have picked a more arbitrary slot. Why not the band that's playing 8:00 on Thursday at ACL Live? Or the last band playing Rachael Ray's day party? Any random band at any random time would make about as much sense. The great thing about sxsw is all the options. I call bs that you were even at Men Without Hats and OMD last year. Were they the headliners? They played Club de Ville and Stubbs at the same time on a Friday in the last slot. Oh wait, I'm sorry, by your logic, Blue Freaking October was the Headliner of sxsw last year. Were you up in arms over that?

Brockmett12
Brockmett12

You, sir, are an idiot! The Counting Crows are one of the best ever assembled. SXSW is lucky to have them. Not to mention, they put on one of the best live shows you will every see.

Dlrooster
Dlrooster

joe mama you sound like another nickelback fan.

joe mama
joe mama

Please don't insinuate that Blind Melon are appropriately lumped together with Counting Crows.  Blind Melon certainly weren't the greatest band ever and they did have some mildly annoying hippie tendencies/connections to the jamband thing, but they were far better than most people seem to realize (indeed, most don't seem to know anything about them beyond No Rain), and certainly much better than CC (the latter of which admittedly doesn't say much).  In hindsight I'd contend that Blind Melon fit in better with Pearl Jam and the Black Crowes, for whatever that's worth.

CC are much more appropriately lumped together with Dave Matthews Band...however you want to label them or their sound...both are simply punchless, boring, and emotionally overwrought to the point of embarrassment.

yo
yo

It takes seven dudes to make that crap?

Dlrooster
Dlrooster

chris grays picture kind of sums it all up. he looks like a total tool bag, you know a big nickelback fan.

PISSED
PISSED

GAWD.

another Austin elitist hipster music snob

try appreciating music just because it's darn good and not because it will give you indie cred

Anon
Anon

Wow. Did one of the guys in this band defile your mom or sister?

Ashley_hand23
Ashley_hand23

I adore Counting Crows and cant wait to see them. They are 100 times better than a lot of the shitty bands that are going to be at SXSW this year.

Manny Others
Manny Others

There is nothing worse than a music journalist criticizing a band like this. It is okay to state your opinion, and it is okay to hate the band.. but this is just unprofessional. I will bet you that you've only heard the singles, like "Mr. Jones" and "Big Yellow Taxi." Maybe if you actually looked into some of their other stuff or actually looked at the lyrics you wouldn't be like this. They are probably one of the best live band out there today, if not the best. 

Quit being an asshole and picking on bands YOU hate and show some respect. They have a HUGE following, which is obviously why they are playing at this gig. Just because they may not be all over "mainstream" radio these days doesn't mean people don't like them.

David Beebe
David Beebe

BMI/ASCAP says it all- trying to milk the most out of a one-time cash cow

Jonathan
Jonathan

Chris,

 

Obviouslyas a “journalist” (I use that term loosely for you) you haven’t done yourresearch on the Counting Crows. They happen to be one of the most talentedgroups of musicians that are active in today’s music scene. You refer to themas one of the “worst bands you have heard.” Have you ever been to a liveCounting Crows show? How could one of the “worst” bands be invited to tour withthe likes of Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and The Who, just to name a few.All of these “mega” bands didn’t select them by accident. The Crows haveremained and continue to be a relevant band for music fans around the world.They have been making music since 1991 and there aren’t many bands from 1991that are still together, making music, and touring. You should care that T-Bone Burnett produced August and Everything After, as it was a defining part ofhis career as a successful music producer.

 

Yournegative comments about the Counting Crows are unfounded and unnecessary. Youhave every right to not to like them but judging by your comments you probablyhave never seen them live. Had you seen them live you would have known thatthey are probably one of the best improvisational bands ever. You couldn’tpossible have time to have seen them live because you are too busy posing as ahipster squeezing into extra tight skinny jeans, pretending to write aboutmusic.

 

Hadyou done any journalistic research you would have known that the one of largestsocial media conferences, Pivot, had Adam Duritz as one of their keynotespeakers on music in social media or that several current members of theCounting Crows have a highly acclaimed side project called Tender Mercies. TheCounting Crows are pioneers of the music industry leaving their major label(Crows choice) as they felt the business model was not conducive to makinggreat music and connecting with their fan base. As a “journalist” you shouldshow respect, as the Counting Crows are paving they way for up-and-comingartists to utilize alternative methods as viable mediums for promoting theirmusic while retaining creative control. I have never known of a band morewilling to help up-and-coming musicians flourish in an industry that can becolder than a Siberian winter. You would have known that if you actuallyattended one of their shows throughout the years.

 

Iexpect more out of a music “journalist” then to insult a group of talentedartists that have been relevant more than half the years you have been alive.Chris, you almost died last of heart attack last year at age 36. One wouldthink that an experience like that would humble an individual and put things inperspective. I guess it didn’t humble you. I find it ironic that a musicbenefit was put together to help pay for your medical bills. Chances are manyof the bands that played your benefit concert have been positively affected insome way by choices the Counting Crows, as artists, have made over theircareer. So in a weird way the Counting Crows helped pay your medical bills! Toquote a lyric from a Counting Crows song, Omaha,“Get right to the heart of matters, It’s the heart that matters more”

You are smug, uninformed and need to keep your opinions toyourself!Jonathan

Chris
Chris

Counting Crows were doing small college tours a few years ago to try to hang on.

Anon
Anon

Bummer!!!!!!

Guess they wanted to solve the issue of overcrowding from last years concert - PROBLEM SOLVED

Jim Bricker
Jim Bricker

While I don't dislike the Counting Crows as much as Chris, I have to agree with him on this one.  That same slot has been encompassed by the likes of The Strokes, Erykah Badu, Explosions In The Sky, Public Enemy, Spoon, Bright Eyes and a host of bigger bands over the past few years, all being much better than CC.  Hopefully, Auditorium Shores will step up its game for the other nights.

Dog in a Bathtub
Dog in a Bathtub

Whatever. In 2010 I saw Justin Townes Earle, Lucero, Deer Tick, and Dawes in one night at Auditorium Shores and it was awesome. Freezing fucking cold, but awesome. They usually book good acts there and I make it to at least one night. Shins and M.Ward (will have played Aud Shores 3 of last 4 years) and CC (seen twice, good shows but that's enough for now) are ok but I'm hopeful for something cool on Saturday.

<_><_>
<_><_>

nice fox news piece to use a small piece of info to support your narrative "we hate Austin"

Ronnie
Ronnie

SXSW and Austin TX is all corporate $$$ now.  There is nothing "fresh"  about that city anymore.  #douchecrew

luke
luke

harsh, bro-chacho. seems unnecessary to go after these guys. 

JMilltx
JMilltx

I think Adam could kick Bonny Bear's ass any day.

Tzu Breeze
Tzu Breeze

I have to agree with Jake...If anything as far as you could say is Counting Crows are headling the Free Auditorium Shores show on Friday. and thats about it. And anyone who has ever been to SXSW knows the Auditorium shows have always had  mass apealing crowd pleasing artists. Ie Cheap Trick 2 years ago, Spoon , Los Lonely Boys, etc.....i didnt know badge holders even bothered with the Auditorium Shores Shows.

Wewillrockyou
Wewillrockyou

Wow, Counting Crows are one of the most lyrically innovative and, as you've proven, underrated bands on the planet. No wonder I never read this shitty blog.

Dillinger
Dillinger

Didn't they have Metallica one year? Same difference. 

Jake Patoski
Jake Patoski

Can you really say that anyone 'headlines' SXSW? Sure there are big time bands but it's not really like that nor has it ever been.

Anon
Anon

Opinions can technically never be wrong.. but somehow yours is

Dianed
Dianed

Oh and by the way - in the UK we stopped listening to OMD in the 80's!

Dianed
Dianed

last year I travelled from the UK to see Counting Crows in Washington state and Oregon.  years before that I saw them in Texas - thousands of miles and thousands of pounds spent - it was totally worth it - they are awesome!

yo
yo

If this says anything about the mindset/taste one must have to be a Counting Crows fan I really don't think that much else needs to be said.

Anon
Anon

Are you actually in the band or what?

99%
99%

 Let's not get to personal here.  He expressed an opinion on a blog about a band that most people who know anything about music loathe.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Herp derp Austin, derp Fox News.

Crows girl
Crows girl

Totally agree with you. Counting Crows are the best live show you will see!

Craig Hlavaty
Craig Hlavaty

Metallica played a promo party for a videogame, and it wasn't really part of SXSW in the traditional sense. It did end up taking up a big part of festival coverage away from smaller bands that year.

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