Well, my phone ate this last time, but I've got a free moment so I guess I'll type it all over again. [ Shakes angry fist. ]
It's fairly easy to become informed of the official SXSW events due to the main site's descriptions, mp3s, and the torrents. But that's only stuff after 7pm: finding out about the unofficial events, which are easily 2/3rds of it, is much harder because there is no centralized repository.
It seems like most of those events are label showcases, and I've had decent luck by showing up for one band that I've heard of and then staying for the later bands who turn out to be good.
This surprises me, though, because I tend to assume that these days, labels are as irrelevant as tastemakers as radio, or as which plant pressed your CD.
And yet evidence suggests (slightly) to the contrary here...