SXSW Keynotes: Albini, Cohen & Deal
Common and Shakey Graves also added as speakers
By Kevin Curtin,
10:00AM, Tue. Dec. 12, 2017
Lyor Cohen, the music industry veteran who headed up Def Jam Records and Warner Music Group before advancing the contemporary label model with his 300 Entertainment, will deliver a keynote speech at South by Southwest.
The 58-year-old executive, also the global head of music at YouTube and Google, has played a key role in hip-hop since the mid-Eighties when he tour managed Run DMC. He’s since worked with Tribe Called Quest, Jay Z, and Kanye West. Lyor’s a good fit for the conference given how many SXSW buzzwords vibrate in this description of his 300 label: “a music content company that leverages innovative tech to discover, cultivate and promote rising artists with a boutique focus.”
Also added to the speaker docket are Steve Albini and Kim Deal in the Music Culture & Stories. Albini, a member of landmark Chicago acts Big Black and Shellac, remains one of rock’s most storied producers, having tracked Jawbreaker’s 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, the Jesus Lizard’s Goat, PJ Harvey’s Rid of Me, and Nirvana’s In Utero. As an engineer, he also recorded the Pixies’ Surfer Rosa and the Breeders’ Pod, both bands featuring Deal, an icon of the alt-rock era.
Rapper/Academy Award-winner Common and homegrown breakout Shakey Graves have also been tapped for SXSW 2018 presentations. The conference runs March 9-18 throughout Austin.