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    SXSW Tech Talk: How Ra Ra Riot Stays Connected

    With SXSW having wrapped up, hundreds of bands gathered here in Austin get ready to head back on the road, dispersing across the country on tour. One of those bands is Ra Ra Riot, who headlined SXSW's Barsuk/Merge showcase Saturday night at the Parish. They've been in Austin for three days, seeing old friends and meeting tons of new people. Next, they're driving up to Bloomington, IN, and once you get outside of a major city like Austin, it becomes a lot harder to stay in touch with people. "I don't have an iPhone or anything because 90% of the time, when you're on the road, you can barely get enough service to send a text, let alone surf the web on a phone," says guitarist Milo Bonacci. Instead, his lifeline is his laptop, even when it's not connected to the internet.

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    SXSW Tech Talk: Thousands of Photogs, Not Many Pros

    As Beach House took the stage Friday night at the Cedar Street Courtyard for Blackberry's SXSW showcase, they were met with a sea of cameras, ranging from cellphone cameras to multi-thousand dollar DSLRs and everything in between. But few belonged to professional photographers. Sure, the guy up front recording the show with a Blackberry in each hand was obviously paid by the sponsor, but he was in the minority. It's a common occurrence at shows here: a band hits the stage, and for most of the first song you can barely see them through the dozens of cameras held in the air. Seeing so many people recording these shows for their own personal use, one can't help but wonder just why they're doing it. After all, there are enough people being paid to capture all these shows that it's safe to assume you'll be able to find great pictures online once you get home.

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    Twitter Is All That Matters at SXSW

    Last night at the Windish Agency showcase at Emo's Annex, where bands like Dirty Projectors and Datarock were playing to a packed group of sweaty fans, there was a huge screen showing incoming tweets from anyone who felt like sending a message to Twitter directed at Emo's account.It was a clear sign of just how prevalent Twitter is here at SXSW. Twitter is the de facto way that people are getting in touch and sharing their experiences at the festival. Assuming one is able to send tweets from their phone (which is a challenge with the completely overloaded cell networks in Austin), it seems like everyone is sending out little nuggets of what's going on around them. From promoting shows and blog posts to random commentary to posting photos, scanning the #sxsw feed feels like reading some mind-melded current of the festival's subconscious.

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