LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR
BY L KENT WOLGAMOTI'
Lincoln Journal Star
AUSTIN, Texas — Pete Townshend was a
busy man at South by Southwest last week,
giving the conference’s keynote interview,
then popping up for a couple of perform—
ances as an unbilled “special guest."
So why would The Who guitarist come to
talk at a new music festival well after his
band’s latest album was released and well
into its North American tour?
He has another project he calls The
Method and it will involve the creation of
songs for individual listeners. It's based in
concepts he explored in 1971 and then again
on his 2000 album "Lifehouse Elements" but
were too technologically advanced at that
He plans to announce the details of The
Method, which will operate on the Internet,
in late April.
During his interview, Townshend talked
about what fueled The Who's early music,
providing some insight into one of rock's
“The unique view we had allowed us, the
post—Beatles Brits -— The Stones, The Who
and many others — to look at American mu-
sic and see it as a three-legged chair of
country, blues and pop and draw them to-
"What we also brought to the music was
the post-war condition. I don't think you
guys went through that. In England, it was
absolute denial. What we brought to that
three-legged chair was not anger, but frus-
tration to be denied answers to questions,
which, to this day, we have not had. The key
to The Who's music is to keep screaming:
‘What is this about?”
That kind of screaming, Townshend said.
may no longer be appropriate today.
His biggest piece of advice for new
bands: Forget about record labels and CD5
and do your work on the Web.
“It’s a very different time." he said. “If
you're not a baby boomer band, don't mess
with it (the traditional music industry)."
Regardless of whether the music is made
by a band that appeals to boomers or to
teens, Townshend said, great songs have
something in common. 2
“A great rock song, in the way] deﬁne it,
must Speak for those who listen to it, not
those who sing it,” he said. “lf 1 love an early
Elvis song, it's what I feel that's important,
not what he felt when he sang it.”
later that evening, Townshend joined lan
McLagan and the Bump Band at the Austin
Music Awards for a tribute to Ronnie Lane,
L'I UJ I_.
Townshend uses SXSW to promote, perform
— Pete Townshend
JACK PLUNKETT/T he Associated Press
The Who's Pete Townshend performs onstage at the Austin Music Awards in Austin. Texas, on
the late leader of the Small Faces and Faces,
highlighted by his frenetic guitar work on
“What You Gonna Do About It?" He also
turned up on stage with the Fratellis at a
Spin magazine party and joined his partner
Rachel Fuller at her ofﬁcial showcase.
Roach L Kant Wolgamm at 413-7244 at