I can’t think of anything worse than driving around Austin during SXSW
One of my favorite features introduced with iOS 7 is iTunes Radio. I’ve made a few stations, but I’ve also created the ultimate iTunes Radio station. It’s based on Allo Darlin’ – My Heart is a Drummer. My Heart is a Drummer is a righteous jam and it turns out it’s the ultimate seed.
I don’t think I’ve ever skipped a track.
This November, for the first time in decades, I went to church. Don’t worry, I didn’t catch religion or anything. I went for a show, Laura Marling at the Central Presbyterian Church.
Since I’ve been going to SXSW, I’ve heard about the Central Presbyterian Church as a venue. My very first SXSW, The XX played. Being SXSW, I wasn’t actually at the show, but I just read/heard about how amazing it was afterwards.
So I was looking forward to the show
- I’ve been a huge Laura Marling fan since I first heard of her from her guest spot on the Mystery Jets song, Young Love
- Church venue, means awesome sound
- Church venue, also means I get to sit down
As for the show, I was captivated. Laura Marling was deadly. She mentioned that her guitars were behaving funny, but I didn’t notice anything. And during tuning breaks, she would impart facts about hemp from a flyer she picked up a vegan restaurant in town. And to top it all off, she didn’t play an encore. She explained that she wouldn’t before she went off. She didn’t need to, at least not to me. I love it when bands don’t play an encore. It’s a statement that says: we gave it our all, nothing was held back. As a concert goer, that’s what I want in a show.
She started her set almost the same as in this video
29 was the year. I knew 29 was a year, but I had no idea going into it, it would be the year. 29 was perhaps the biggest year of my life so far. And it sort of kicked in right at the beginning.
I had graduated in Spring (technically Summer) of 2012 with my Masters in Computer Science & Engineering. The graduation sort of provided a nice opportunity to really change things up for the next section on the playlist that is my life. Basically, I wanted to get out of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. I didn’t care where. Just someplace that felt more like a city. I had been to Melbourne, and I wanted something approximating Melbourne. So I sent my resume out and at the very end of the year, I got an offer for a job in Austin. I put in my notice and gave myself 2 weeks to move to Austin.
On February 1st, I moved to Austin and had my first experience of renting from an owner. And it was the worst. I would never recommend it to anyone. When things go wrong, it is so much easier to deal with a business than a person. For nearly 6 months it was my home. After that, it was time to get my own home. I bought my first house and moved in mid July. Buying a house in Austin in 2013 was an experience. The real estate market moves too quickly and is horribly inflated. Somehow I found a house that I liked. There have been some eye opening and wallet opening moments in the first few months, but it’s working out.
Pretty, pretty, pretty good. The only thing I can really complain about is the traffic. But really, it’s my fault. I’m part of the problem, the migration to Austin overwhelming the city. So I can’t complain too much. There is always something to do. Actually, too many things to do. Too many festivals, not enough weekends.
What are the hard parts about moving?
Gravity. Not Gravity as in gravity, but Gravity as in the hit movie Gravity. The pull of the people and places in your life. I’m writing this from the guest room in my parent’s house on the weekend of Diwali. When I’m here, I don’t want to leave. But somewhere along 35, the direction of the force changes. And I can’t wait to get back to Austin.
So will 30 be a year or the new the year? I really don’t know. Honestly, I would be happy with just a year. No big feature changes, but lots of bug fixes.
Fun Fact: for the 3rd year in a row, I’ve had my birthday in a different city (LA-en-route-to-Melbourne, San Francisco, and now Austin). I’ve got to keep the chain going, right?
Today’s A-Side/B-Side is about British Bands with female singers singing sad songs with lyrics about lungs
A-Side: Daughter – Youth
And if you’re still breathing, you’re the lucky ones.
‘Cause most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs.
B-Side: Lanterns on the Lake – Lungs Quicken
lungs, please breathe
Lanterns on the Lake have a new album coming out, Until The Colours Run, and from what I’ve heard it’s going to be fantastic. Lungs Quicken is from their previous release.
Daughter are about to start a US tour pretty soon. The first date is September 16th at The Kessler in Dallas. I would love to see that show. Instead I’m seeing them at the stinky Mohawk here in Austin the next day. The Kessler is such an amazing venue. With Daughter on the stage, the universe might end, having produced one perfect moment, fulfilling its need to exist.
Today’s A-Side/B-Side features songs by girls singing about being a boy
A-Side: Neko Case – Man
B-Side: Nadine Shah – To Be A Young Man
The Nadine Shah track is from her debut album, Love Your Dum and Mad, which is an amazing album and an amazing title. Neko Case’s track is from her new album, but it hasn’t been released yet. But if I were to wager, I’d say it’ll be a good ‘un.
Last night I saw The Octopus Project. I had first heard of them only a few weeks ago when I heard their single, Sharpteeth, on Tom Ravenscroft’s show. It was so good, I looked them up and saw they are a local band and were coincidentally having an album release party soon. Coincidence!
It was an amazing show. Probably the best I’ve seen this year. Basically, The Octopus Project hit harder than Mjölnir.
Anyways, what I like to do for every band I see, is take a photo for instagram. One day, I’ll get a poster printed and it’ll be amazing. Last night, the booking agent, Transmission Events, retweeted/reposted my pic
I feel special
…in order to float our massive cooler speaker system.
That’s what Roy Scheider’s character would say if he was floating the Guadalupe.
Yesterday, I floated the Guadalupe at the horseshoe. It was an amazing time, only tempered by me loosing some skin tissue on some rocks at the very end. Ouch
This was my second time floating, and my first time on the weekend. It’s a different crowd on the weekend and I realized something – I need to build my own cooler boom box for the river.
- Needs to be small It needs to be able to fit on a cooler tube and not take up the entire cooler tube. Because the primary purpose of tubing is to drink beer.
- Needs to be relatively lightweight You’ll be carrying this around along with your tube and cooler full of beer and ice
- Needs to be able to take a splashing You’re floating on the river, there is going to be some water
- Needs to run for about 6 hours A float trip usually lasts around 4 hours
- Needs to be loud enough to be heard a good distance away from it, but not loud enough so the whole river hears Unlike others, I’m not trying to entertain the whole river with my shitty taste in music
So this entire Sunday I’ve been researching. And here is what I envision
- Igloo 9qt cooler During grocery shopping today, I took a peak at the coolers. This one seems small enough, yet large enough to hold 2 5-5.25″ speakers. Also, this has smooth sides, no ridges. This will be important when mounting the speakers. I imagine I will mount the speakers on the short side – 1 on each side. That way the cooler can be placed at the bottom of the cooler tube and be covered up, but the speakers would still be “open” and firing from opposite sides. So the sound shouldn’t be too muffled by things.
- Lepai 2020A+ or Lepai 808 A car amp would draw too much power and I really I don’t need too much power. I saw a video on youtube where the guy using the LP-808 claimed 10 hours of battery life from a 12V 2Ah battery.
- 12V 5Ah Both amps take 2A.
- Boss 5.25″ Marine Speakers Or if I can find anything cheaper with decent reviews.
- B&D RTX Rotary cutter For cutting into the cooler
- Dremel Circle Cutter For cutting circles with the cutter
- 12V Battery Charger Or whatever
So yea, I’ll get right on that!
“South by Southwest 2013″, even just typing the name out fills me with joy.
South by Southwest 2013 was my first SXSW as a resident of Austin. What that means is that I now have the right to bitch about all of the crowds, lines, and lack of parking while enjoying 2 weeks of parties and free stuff. Basically, it’s the best of both worlds.
Previously, my SXSW experience was limited to the second of the two weekends, the music weekend. But since I’m now living here, this was my first time attending the first weekend, which is devoted to interactive and film. I took advantage of this and went out on the first Friday. There were no bands, but I got my free dranks and free snack on. I also saw a freakshow sponsored by a website that deals with your social media presence when you die – unfortunately the name of said website escapes me. I guess they shouldn’t have plied me with chips and Lone Star. I ended the night at the Bing house and got a free UT football, terrible cheaply made earbuds, and a delicious cookie. Thanks Bing!
The next day, Saturday, was my low point of SXSW. It was trying and definitely enough to destroy a lesser being. I went out in the evening with the intention of first going to the Gdgt party, to get some free electronics, and then to a screening of “Before Midnight”, the sequel to “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset”. Sounds like a fun evening right? I ended up spending close to 2 hours in line for the Gdgt party and actually had to leave before getting in because I needed to get in another line for “Before Midnight”. That evening, I made a promise to myself – No. More. “Really Long” Lines. The only upside to SXSW lines are the line friends. You end up meeting some pretty cool people standing in lines. While waiting in line for “Before Midnight” I ended up talking to a girl from Shanghai who is working in a startup! I think the startup was for teenage girls in China to network? I did end up seeing “Before Midnight”. So my Saturday evening wasn’t a complete waste. As for “Before Midnight”? I enjoyed it, but I don’t know if it was necessary. Also my view was kind of terrible, sitting in the upper upper upper upper balcony of the Paramount.
I headed out again on Sunday. That’s right, I went out on a Sunday night. SXSW is serious like that. I ended up at my new favorite venue in Austin, Holy Mountain. I was there to see “The Very Best”. A band I had heard about only because of Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend guested on one of their songs.
While at Holy Mountain, Jen texted me to see if I was out. They were at the British Music Embassy eating free food. No music was playing so they made their way over. That was my very first time seeing The Very Best, and they put on a hell of a show. I felt kinda bad for the band following them. They were the headliners and The Very Best were the support. Really it should’ve been the other way around, but this worked out great for me. Because I didn’t stick around to see the headliners. It was a Sunday, and I had to go to work the next morning.
The next night, Monday, I went out again. My goal was to see Tim Wheeler of Ash do a solo set at the British Music Embassy. The showcase that night was badge only. But, I figured that since SXSW Music hadn’t started, I could push my way past the door. Turns out, I figured wrong. The people at the door were jerks and didn’t let me in At this point, I had 2 more chances to see Ash during SXSW. The last time I saw Ash was at Trees in Dallas, years and years ago. Ash are an Irish band, and it’s not very often they stop in Texas. So I made one of my SXSW Goals that I had to see Ash.
SXSW Goals are important to have. They give you direction in an environment that is easy to get lost in. If you don’t have them, you basically get overwhelmed by choice. You may become paralyzed by options or try to run yourself ragged trying to see everything. So my suggestion, pick a few bands you must see. You’ll have a better SXSW, and at the end you’ll hopefully have met most of your goals – giving you a sense of accomplishment. It’s the little victories in SXSW.
Also, just a note about parking. During the first SXSW weekend, I found a nice place to park right by the capitol building. It wasn’t the closest, but I’ll take the exercise over a $30 parking garage.
Tuesday I didn’t go out. I needed to rest up. My Wednesday was going to be epic.
Wednesday, I had a plan of checking out The Crookes at an official showcase and then heading to a college party to see Palma Violets at 2am. Also, I would be working all day before going out. (I had only taken Thursday and Friday off for SXSW. Remember, I just started a new job.). So the first stop was The North Door to see The Crookes. I hadn’t heard of any of the bands on the lineup other than The Crookes, but that’s part of SXSW – just discovering new music by chance. Also, this was an official showcase. What does that mean? Wristbands and badges get free entry, and then if there’s room you can buy a ticket for $10. I had no issues getting in because it turns out this was a showcase for a Spanish label. The first band was a shoegaze band from Venezuela, Tan Frío el Verano. If you know me, you know that shoegaze is one of my weaknesses. Their gimmick was putting on masks.
During their performance a laptop crashed and restarted, but you wouldn’t have known. Overall, I enjoyed what they were doing. Up next were The Crookes, a band whom I’ve heard a lot about on 6 Music. I really enjoyed their set. It was a good sound and lots of energy. After they finished, I stuck around for a bit to catch The Allah-las since the college party was starting late and I paid $10 to get in. I really didn’t care for The Allah-las. But later in the week I was talking to one of The Crookes, and he really liked them. During this time, Ash were playing as a band at Buffalo Billiards. Buffalo Billiards is a bar/pool hall on 6th. I had tried to see The Joy Formidable there a few years ago during SXSW, and it was impossible to get in. So I didn’t bother trying this year. I was betting everything on seeing Ash on Friday.
So I made my way up to the college party not really knowing what to expect. What I found was beer pong, beer pong sign up sheet, $1 beer and $1 shots, a common area converted into a stage, and young people. So much young people. But I noticed a familiar face. The guy who runs the Music for Listeners day party was there. I’ve seen him over the years at SXSW but have never said anything to him. So I went over and introduced myself. Nice guy. He gave me the inside scoop that Lucy Rose would be playing a surprise spot at his Music For Listeners party on Friday.
The bands that played before Palma Violets were decent but no one stood out until Growl played. Growl were big league. They sounded legit. They were to be my first band crush of SXSW. And luckily they are a local band, so I can see them around Austin whenever I want. And then Palma Violets played and it was a beautiful mess.
Definitely one of my concert highlights. Just for the moment in time. When will I ever see a band as big as Palma Violets playing a house party? The sound was terrible. The crowd was amazing. And the mics were shocking the Violets. When it was over, I stole one of the bass player’s picks and walked out. Classic.
Thursday started early. I made my way over to Mellow Johnnys bike shop to see Billy Bragg play. I love seeing Billy Bragg. He makes you feel that you can change the world. And you know what? We’re gonna start right now, as soon as this song is over.
Afterwards, I grabbed lunch at Mama Fu’s noodle house because I could sit down and recharge my iPhone. I believe that this was a mistake, because shortly afterwards while walking down Red River, a feeling of “I really need to shit soon” came over me. This is not a good feeling to have when you’re out and about in a part of town where dirty bar restrooms are your only option. I went in a few dirty bars, but I just couldn’t do it. Some had no doors and others were just too gross. So I headed over to a restaurant nearby, Koriente, and got a boba tea and made my way to the toilet. All this detail is important, because while I was there taking care of business, someone knocked on the door. “Occupied”, I said. More knocking, more “Occupied”. Then after awhile I heard keys. I was finishing up at this point, but still I yelled – “Occupied”. It seems this stupid asshole at the door went and grabbed someone from the restaurant to open the door. Luckily, I was washing my hands when the door finally opened. I wish I had the foresight to get back on the toilet and pull down my pants. It’s always more embarrassing for the people walking in on someone using the restroom. But yea, I wanted to punch that guy. I would’ve felt better and he would’ve shit his pants alleviating his need of the toilet. Instead I just looked at him, shaked my head, and said “What’s wrong with you, didn’t you hear me?”. Ass.
After that, I went to a bar and had the most terrible free drink ever. Unfortunately I don’t remember what it was exactly, but it contained coconut water and some sort of flavored vodka. It was awful. I took a few sips and threw it away. I then made my way to Hype Hotel to watch CHVRCHES and eat a cool ranch locos tacos. One of those things were pretty great, the other was like eating paper. I’ll give you a hint, CHVRCHES were not like eating paper and I’ll hopefully be seeing them on their tour. Seeing CHVRCHES was one of my SXSW goals. Hooray me!
After CHVRCHES I made my way to the Liberty Tavern at the Hilton to see Lucy Rose. Lucy Rose is absolutely charming whenever she appears on 6Music’s Roundtable and her music is pretty good as well. During the set she got something stuck in her eye and asked the crowd for advice. Really, when that happens you should get someone to blow in your eye. That’s what my mom does. But how do you tell/do that to a rock star? She ended up getting eye drops from an audience member, but that didn’t work. And she tried to flush her eye in the restroom, but again that didn’t work. So she ended up playing the set with something in her eye. What a trooper! At the end, I bought a cd and got her to sign it. I may have said something embarassing about how she was really short. Hopeless.
Thursday evening I went to another SXSW showcase – Kanine Records and Fat Cat Records at Valhalla. At this showcase, I didn’t know any of the bands playing. But I knew Fat Cat Records. Fat Cat is a pretty solid label, so I paid my $10 and hoped. I needn’t have worried, because I found the best band of SXSW 2013 there – Fear of Men.
Time for a little history lesson. My first SXSW was in 2010. Long, Nadine, and I had went down to Austin as a day trip for Long’s birthday. I convinced him to go to the Red House Pizzeria for the Music for Listeners day party because this French model/singer he loved called Soko was playing. But my actions weren’t exactly pure. I really wanted to see a band called Stricken City play, and conveniently they were playing before Soko. I had heard of Stricken City because they were opening for Maxïmo Park on some tour. And, at that time I was all about Maxïmo Park. So I gave them a listen, and I really liked what I heard. But when I saw them play that day at Red House Pizzeria, I fell in love. Hard. They became one of my “favorite bands ever”. It was a really magical moment for me. They broke up in February 10, 2011. I consider myself lucky for having seen them live, especially considering they’re a UK band. Since their breakup I’ve been searching for a band like them, but haven’t really found anything comparable. Then I heard Fear of Men. They don’t quite have the same sound, but the feeling is similar. The way the guitars, vocals, and lyrics come together gives me this sensation that is reminiscent of what it feels to listen to Stricken City.
Back to SXSW 2013. So after Fear of Men, I hung around. I didn’t have any other place to go, and Surfer Blood were playing at 1am. It was while I was killing time that I ended up talking to an older (think grey hair) couple. Turns out they were hosting one of the bands playing that night, PAWS. PAWS were from Scotland and on Fat Cat. “Scotland” and “Fat Cat” – things that convince me to give a band a first listen. I’m glad I stuck around and gave them a fair shake because they were quite good. I ended up buying 2 tapes from them (only after checking if they had mp3 download codes). There were some other bands between PAWS and Surfer Blood. They were okay but nothing really stood out. Surfer Blood would be coming on at 1am. I should’ve been more excited, but I was tired. So tired. I contemplated just going home, but “just going home” is not what SXSW is about. After Surfer Blood, I went home.
Friday was the day Surren was coming down. He was taking the Megabus from Dallas. But his bus wouldn’t be arriving till around 6, so I had to find some things to do during the afternoon. Or did I? Cause when I woke up I didn’t feel all that great. Was I coming down with a Sick by Southwest Sickness? This wouldn’t be good at all. Surren would be coming down to have a good time, not to hang out at my apartment and watch me ingest liquids and get plenty of bed rest. The sensible thing would’ve been to stay in and hope that I feel better by the time his bus arrives. But today was my last chance to see Ash. I had to see Ash. So I headed out the door and went to Music for Listeners at Flat Top Burger Shop in the east side. I would be seeing bands that I’ve already seen before, The Cookes and Lucy Rose. But that’s okay, they were pretty good the first time around. And I was really going for a burger and a sit down. After The Crookes finished, I ended up talking to one of the members and got a sampler cd. Score! I left during Lucy Rose because her set felt off. It definitely wasn’t as good as before. Plus, I had to get downtown to see Ash. Unfortunately, I still wasn’t feeling great.
Ash were playing at an Irish pub on 6th, on possibly the smallest stage I’ve seen during all my SXSW’s. But the good news was that the stage was open to the street, so even if I couldn’t get in, I would still be able to see the show from the street. But before standing in line, I made my way to the American Airlines tent to grab some juice. I then took a breather inside the British Music Embassy to get out of the sun for a bit. Some shitty DJ was playing, so I didn’t stay for too long. I then headed back out to stand in line for Ash. My timing was impeccable. I got inside the pub right before Ash were scheduled to go on. And since the place was packed, the only area that I could stand was immediately in front of the stage.
I saw Ash.
During the show, my SXSW enemy tried to push his way past me. I wanted to punch him in the throat. But I didn’t. I stood my ground and he backed off. My SXSW enemy is this guy who I always seem to see during SXSW at the British Music Embassy. I just hate him indiscriminately. We’ve never had any interaction at all. But you know what? After Ash played, I started feeling better. No joke. It was like my soul was energized. Maybe the setlist I grabbed was imbued with magical Tim Wheeler healing properties? I made my way out of downtown and back to my car. It was time to pick up Surren.
Or it would’ve been time to pick up Surren if the Megabus was on time. They were an hour and a half late. It was a weird situation where I couldn’t really do anything because it would take too much time to go somewhere, find parking, and then return. So I took it easy. When Surren arrived we went and ate some Mediterranean because I was on the mend. I doubt I could’ve stomached anything heavy/greasy. And then we headed back downtown. I had big plans. Big, big, big plans for the evening. We would head down to Lustre Pearl to catch The Joy Formidable and some other bands and then close out the night at the Evil Dead Mansion Party. When we got to Lustre Pearl, turns out they were only letting in wristbands. Which was not cool because I had RSVP’d and the RSVP didn’t mention wristbands. This night was quickly coming to a stop before it got rolling. Luckily Surren was fine with it, and we headed to the last bastion of hope during SXSW, Canada House. Canada House is like the British Music Embassy in that it’s a venue devoted to the music of one country, but way friendlier. They will always let you in (provided you pay cover). Also, Canada House puts on a good show. You know you’re getting music from Canada, but you’re also getting an interesting mix of genres. While we were there we got a multi-instrumental duo, a punk band, and a rock band. My favorite was the punk band – Single Mothers. I enjoyed them musically and as a joke. Let me explain – they are a Canadian punk band. I hate to play to stereotypes, but that’s what happened. So much hate and anger from Canadians can be funny.
Nearly 1am, we left to go see about this Evil Dead Mansion Party. To get to the mansion, we would have to leave downtown. There was essentially no turning back – if it was lame, there was nothing else to do. When we got to the location, things seemed suspicious. There was no Evil Dead branding anywhere. And also the crowd didn’t seem like fans of Evil Dead. But then, this was SXSW. The word Mansion Party carries more weight than Evil Dead in this town during this time. So I parked illegally and we headed to the entrance. Talking to a security guard, it turns out there was a “miscommunication”. There was no Evil Dead Mansion Party. The venue and the staff didn’t even know about it. Here is a screenshot from the RSVP site proving that the people who put on the Evil Dead Mansion Party are scum Ended a pretty nice day on a downer
Saturday morning snuck up on us. No time to wait in line for Tacodeli, had to get downtown fast. The first stop was a late lunch/breakfast at Hickory Street. At Hickory Street I learned how to pronounce “Duck Confit” and also learned to never order it in a taco. I was so disappointed by how disappointing duck confit tacos are. After lunch, we headed to the Mohawk to check out The AV Club party. Fear of Men were playing later and I wanted to see them again. To see if they were truly worthy of my devotion and maybe get Surren hooked on to them. While we were upstairs at Mohawk, Surren noticed that the line to get into Stubb’s was short. This was important, because Frightened Rabbit was playing at Rachel Ray’s day party at Stubb’s next.
Why is Frightened Rabbit important? The previous 6 times I have tried to see Frightened Rabbit, I’ve failed. Something always happens that prevents me from seeing them. Would I be able to finally see Frightened Rabbit live?
We left the Mohawk, leaving behind a sure thing, on the chance I might get in to see Frightened Rabbit. Again, there was no going back, because as we exited, we realized the line to get back into Mohawk was longer than the line to get into Stubb’s. This was a critical moment. Would Rachel Ray help me break the Frightened Rabbit curse?
After so many failures, I finally saw* Frightened Rabbit. Why the *? Because the universe knows a thing or two about comedy. Before Frightened Rabbit took the stage, those mega assholes Eagles of Death Metal played an extra long set that ended up cutting into Frightened Rabbit’s set time. I tried to get a good “boo” going to get them to shut the hell up, but no one joined in. So I got an abbreviated Frightened Rabbit set. And hilariously, I was too close to the stage and the sound was terrible. I moved back, but still the sound wasn’t that great. I’m still gonna count it as a win. Mission Accomplished.
After Frightened Rabbit, we made our way out of Stubb’s. We had to return back to my apartment to pick up Stephen who was driving down that day. After picking up Stephen we went to Music for Listeners at Flat Top Burger Shop again. It was dinner time, and there were a few bands playing I haven’t heard before.
One of the bands playing was Tall Ships. I had heard the name before but I didn’t know what they sounded like. All I knew was that they were from England, so I expected great things. And you know what, they delivered said great things. Stephen asked me if they would have any CDs. So after the set, I went over and asked one of the guys. He said they had some, and someone from the band was grabbing them from the house they were staying at. So we hung out and talked a bit. When the other guy returned with the CDs, I figured I would just buy one and rip it for Surren and Stephen. But surprisingly Surren and Stephen wanted a CD as well. Stephen made a comment about getting them signed. And then Surren made a joke about drawing a penis on them. That’s when we found out that Jamie, the drummer draws an excellent cock. Well you know what that means? I just had to get my CD boned. And I did. And here’s the video.
Saturday night, we made our way downtown. We were headed to the British Music Embassy. I pretty much convinced Surren and Stephen to end their SXSW 2013 by seeing some bands that I wanted to see – Eagulls, Toy, and Peace. Eagulls were first up and boy were they magnificent. The singer just gave of so much hate rays. I loved it. His disdain for the audience was enjoyable. And I empathized cause there was a drunken jackass in the crowd harshing everyone’s vibe. He was stumbling into people. And at one point he moved behind me and started his crazy shuffling. I moved aside to give him space and he started mimicking me. Super annoying. I actually laid hands on him and moved him in front of me. Eventually a bouncer came and got his ass out of there.
Next up were Toy. I had heard Toy before and really enjoyed their sound. During Toy’s set, I took the best photo of SXSW. The best.
I wish I had capture it on my NEX so I could blow it up and make a poster of it. Around this time, something amazing started happening. Surren started making friends. One guy overheard us talking and really hyped up Peace to us, saying we were in for a treat. Turned out he was right, Peace were fantastic. I think during this time, I pointed out Lucy Rose to Surren. She was in the crowd with her band. And at some point Surren started talking to her and had an in joke with her about being from the streets (in reference to something the band after Peace said?). Also around this time, I guess Surren suggested to the drummer from Lucy Rose’s band to get a Blue Moon. And if I remember correctly, that was the first Blue Moon the drummer had ever tried. He came over and we started talking for a bit. Anyways, towards the end of the night, I snapped this amazing picture of Surren and Lucy Rose
We hung around till the end and saw the last band play. They were a pretty shitty band who happened to be from the US. I couldn’t believe that the British Music Embassy would allow an American band to close out the night, and a shitty one at that. They ended on a cover of Iggy Pop’s Search and Destroy. A fucking cover! Ending a set on a cover is what shitty bar bands do. I may have been alone in the sentiment they were a shitty band, because everyone else seemed to enjoy them. Including the couple who had started buying drinks for Surren after he had bought a round. Anyways, time for late night eats.
This was my first time being out late in Austin and requiring late night food. In Dallas, we have Cafe Brazil and Buzzbrews. I didn’t know what was available in Austin. All I knew is that we didn’t want to sit on the curb and eat street pizza. Surren had been to Kerby Lane cafe near UT before, and that seemed to be the only place open around 2am. So Kerby Lane it was. You know what to get at Kerby Lane? The Kerby Queso. Just try to limit yourself to one order. After that, it was nap time.
Sunday marked the end of SXSW. It was also St Patrick’s Day, but who had the energy for that. Before Surren and Stephen returned to the Great White North, we had ramen at Komé. It was my first time having “ramén”. It was good, but not great. I was so full, I didn’t eat dinner that day.
So that was SXSW 2013.
What made this SXSW great? What was the differentiator? What did I learn? This SXSW, I was talking to bands. If you know me, talking is very unlike me.