On Thursday morning of this year's SXSW Music and Media Conference we paid tribute to our friend and colleague, Creative Director Brent Grulke, who passed away last August. It was a lovely celebration, thanks in part to Alan Berg and our pals at Arts + Labor, who produced this video that aired before Dave Grohl's keynote.
Managing Director Roland Swenson talked about the inaugural Grulke Prize, an award given to three acts playing the festival. Winners will be announced next Tuesday at SXSW.com.
Brent was the first person I ever met in Austin. I don't want to get maudlin around these parts so here's a link to the post I wrote about him last fall. Suffice it to say his was a personality larger than life and he always found a way to make you feel valued. Executive Director Mike Shea said it so well, "Forward was his mantra."
Jeff Smith, of the famed and fabulous Hickoids, has put Bands on the Block on iTunes with all proceeds going to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. BOTB, a seminal recording of Austin in the 80s, was produced by Brent and featured artists like True Believers, Doctors Mob, Glass Eye and Zeitgeist.
We lost a lot of good people between October 2011 and August 2012. We're so fortunate to have known Brent, Biff Parker, Gregory "Tope" Ruiz, Brenda Hutchison and Richard Dorsett. Their generous spirits, wit and dedication live on through the festival.