SXSW 2011 Day Four

Here’s what I want to do –  I want to remember this trip forever. I’m going to give it my all (of as much all is left) and give you my in detail play-by-play, and also some thoughts on the SXSW Music Festival over all. I couldn’t have met better people, seen better shows, and enjoyed thinking about the past years and how the event – and my experience of it – has evolved.

PS – as always you can click on pictures to enlarge.


And then it was Saturday. KD and I took our time getting downtown and ate before catching just the last song by Oh Land at the BV showcase, which made me wish I’d seen more Oh Land. Outside was free drinks, shades, and the band !!! (chk chk chk) which I thought was new but actually got together in 1996. Nic Offer is a super fun party in and of himself, dancing around in his hot shorts. Loved it.

!!! (taken with my phone)

Today was the day of super great photos, that made me wish I had taken a lot more photos. I finally have a nice camera and got the settings worked out. I should have been given a press badge on the spot, even my phone camera was doing better than the dudes with 1,000 lbs. of equipment that they kept bumping into people with (I mean, come on, really, there were people outside at this show with SATCHELS and LEATHER BRIEFCASES, what do you HAVE in there?!?!).

We moved over to the East Side but Mess with Texas was a hot mess, so we went back to Shangri la and happened to catch the Black Lips before eating dinner and heading to the Polyvinyl Showcase. The band Yip Deceiver is a side project for of Montreal’s Davey Pierce. Loved loved loved them. Good stuff. The next band was the worst band I’d ever seen at any SXSW ever, then there was Casiokids, a favorite from last year, that somehow was less engaging than I remember.

Yip Deciever


We headed over to Emo’s and saw FM Belfast, which turned in to a crazy party of the super fun-nest times. I also caught the tail end of Neon Trees, which most people at SXSW wouldn’t be impressed with much, but seeing as they are Mormons from Utah it was cute to check them off the list!

FM Belfast

BEST OF TIMES: FM Belfast and Yip Deciever

WORST OF TIMES: We went to bed before 4am! 😉

Tweet(s) from that day:

Just saw !!! and now I’ll be picturing you all in short shorts all day#sxsw

Defying description: The Polyvinyl Showcase is on #sxsw

Comments: Sitting in the road arguing with JS about the merits of Mumford and Sons and Kanye West is something I will always remember. It is the people you share the SXSW experience that make it perfect, and seeing my old friends and meeting KD’s new friends every year are the best part of the festival to me. I am so lucky to be able to go back for this each year. Look at this post. I mean, it must SUCK to be this bad at something where the whole idea is standing around drinking, having fun, and finding out about new music. We used to do the wait in line big deal parties, now we do the showcases. It’s been so neat to evolve into someone with a semblance of what to do (in my case more like who to follow). Thanks to everyone that each year makes this trip the highlight of my spring!


SXSW 2011 Day Three

Here’s what I want to do –  I want to remember this trip forever. I’m going to give it my all (of as much all is left) and give you my in detail play-by-play, and also some thoughts on the SXSW Music Festival over all. I couldn’t have met better people, seen better shows, and enjoyed thinking about the past years and how the event – and my experience of it – has evolved.

PS – as always you can click on pictures to enlarge.


Friday comes in such a sneak attack and you realize SXSW is going by too quickly. I need more free stuff! Beer! Music! Fun! Dancing time! Friday was also the morning of the UT basketball game. My trip to Austin is short and I try to fit a little of everything in – the game was a perfect way to kick off the day. A little BBQ and a Bloody Mary with WB, and we were ready to head back in to the madness.

We walked through 6th again, which every time just set me off and got me all excited. Talk about quality people watching. We popped in Brooklyn Vegan for a quick drink, not even able to make it to the back showcase, so then we headed to Club Deville for the rhapsody music showcase. WB and I met up with AC and some friends to take in Glasser, Deerhunter, Kurt Vile, Small Black, and Ty Segall.

Good Times

We enjoyed free Red Stripe, Jeremiah Weed, and Batter Blasters, pancakes out of a Cheez Wiz looking container. It was hot and sunny, so we ate in the shade of a portapotty. SXSW gets silly sometimes.

Too much Red Stripe?

We went our separate ways, me walking back to Congress to meet KD, eat, and see what the W Hotel was all about – it’s gorgeous but there was no way we were getting in to the party, so we enjoyed the most expensive cocktails of the week in the lobby.

The W Hotel

KD and I inside the Swank

We regrouped and moved over to the East Side – which has more and more venues popping up every year. We spent a lot of time in the ND Studios Windish parties, and they kept getting better.

Chain Gang of 74

and teach that lead singer how to dance a little less contrived. We also saw French Horn Rebellion and Miami Horror but my camera was too blurry and I was just a dancing fool.

We ran back to 6th to end the night at the world’s worst venue, since it isn’t a venue, Friends. But we did get to see Data Rock so it’s all good. I wasn’t in the mood for all the drunkies going nutters but thankfully the music was good and we all just enjoyed the show. What a night!

Data Rock and someone's insane tattoos

BEST OF TIMES: All the boogie dancing.

WORST OF TIMES: Sticky feet covered in everyone’s drinks at Data Rock.

Tweet(s) from that day:

Beer, bbq, bball. It’s all about balance. See you soon music #sxsw

Club default was good yest and is good again today. Free beer, free tans. #sxsw
Eating batter blasters in the shade of a portapotty. New low? #sxsw

Comments: The bigger SXSW Interactive gets, the more I want to spend longer in Austin. When KD started taking me out, it’d be us 5 chicks on a Tuesday seeing a good band, drinking free drinks, and no one else was there. There more I visit with locals that have been going hard the whole week, the more tired they are on Friday, looking forward to wrapping things up on Saturday. That makes me want to be there all week! 4 days doesn’t seem like enough.

SXSW 2011 Day Two

Here’s what I want to do –  I want to remember this trip forever. I’m going to give it my all (of as much all is left) and give you my in detail play-by-play, and also some thoughts on the SXSW Music Festival over all. I couldn’t have met better people, seen better shows, and enjoyed thinking about the past years and how the event – and my experience of it – has evolved.

PS – as always you can click on pictures to enlarge.


Wandering into downtown Austin was a blast Thursday morning. My VIP accommodations provide me a bus stop that takes me right into the heart of the event. I hadn’t been down there during the day yet. It was also St. Patrick’s which is some fun and some extra pain – I feel like the holiday crowd (local…) gets more crazy (wasted…) than the music crowd.

I wandered into the NPR showcase at the Parish and heard Colin Stetson – holy continuous breathing  and tUnE yArDs. It was two completely different things and two things I might not normally have seen, and I enjoyed it. I got a free tote and beers too! I was able to be a bit more objective when I’m alone just thinking about what I think about the music and not when I’m wondering if everyone else is having fun etc.

I wandered around the Paste, Brooklyn Vegan, and insound parties with JC and friends. I have no idea who I saw other than the last band at insound at Club Deville – Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

Rural Alberta Advantage

Pains of Being Pure at Heart

After a delicious lunch at Brick Oven, KD and I checked out Mohawk and then the big party at Stubbs. Noah and the Whale and Portugal the Man were not grabbing my attention enough to make me stay all night to see TV on the Radio.

Portugal the Man at Stubbs

I actually am not a big fan of a big venue. No one at Stubbs was paying freaking attention. I get that everyone talks and visits, so do I. But it got really annoying that NO ONE was listening. I am not 21 and going to stand in the front with shrieking girls, but I did go to see MUSIC.

So we left and checked out Kids of 88 at a venue that I’m going to remember as #Tigerblood, which was great after a small sound snafu. Wish they’d had more time. Like all night.

Kids of 88

From there we rode the high of loud fun music and followed a friend to the Lose Control party, which was funny mostly due to its location (Vice) and the fact that half the crowd was there looking for something completely different. It was fun to end the night with a big dance party!

Something Mustard 🙂

BEST OF TIMES: A day in the sun with JC and friends at Deville, and Kids of 88.

WORST OF TIMES: Not keeping track of what I saw.

Tweet(s) from that day:

Wanna see where I am? RT @allsongs STARTING NOW! Our @nprmusic concert live stream from The Parish
The Brick Oven is one of the best places to eat in Austin! #sxsw
People. They are getting carried out. Good party. Lose Control III.#sxsw

Comments: I really chickened out this year about Tweeting and live blogging everything I was doing, because:

  • I didn’t want to be that guy.
  • Everyone else was doing it.
  • Most of the people that care that I’m at SXSW are standing right next to me.
  • My hands were frequently too full of beer.
  • Needed my phone battery to check basketball scores.

SXSW 2011 Day One

Here’s what I want to do –  I want to remember this trip forever. I’m going to give it my all (of as much all is left) and give you my in detail play-by-play, and also some thoughts on the SXSW Music Festival over all. I couldn’t have met better people, seen better shows, and enjoyed thinking about the past years and how the event – and my experience of it – has evolved.

PS – as always you can click on pictures to enlarge.


Nothing is better than getting picked up from the airport and heading straight to a show. I arrived Wednesday and did just that. I also love how easy the Austin airport is, and how music greets you as soon as you arrive in the city.

We met up with some of KDs coolest, smartest, most music savvy friends and saw The Friendly Fires and Foster the People, both some big buzz bands this year. They were great! The party was hosted by (aka there was free) Sailor Jerry’s at Shangri la, it was my first time at the venue.

The Shangri La venue

Mount Kimbie came on before Theophilus London but it was just too odd listening to dubstep/techno/band that early in the day (would have prolly been a blast later at night) and we moved on.

The thing for me has always been happily following the crowd and checking out new acts. I saw a little bit of music that I wasn’t all that interested in, but at least now I know! I also know my taste is hardly anyone else’s – and that other people are way better at the observing/comparing method of explaining music. I’d really rather name the bands and let you look them up and decide for yourself.

The band Bikini at the ND Studios party was great, if there was a mute button for the lead singer. We all agreed. Someone should call him and let him know. Gently of course.

After grabbing some delicious Tex Mex – food and a minute to rehab is so important – we went back out and picked up our wristbands. I love how that gets easier every year, the official arm of SXSW does a great job getting everyone organized and on top of things for that one part of the experience.

Wristband Pick Up Took 5 Minutes

We then saw an official showcase of bands I happen to really like but not know anyone that also likes these bands: A Place to Bury Strangers and She Wants Revenge. The band Black Cherry opened. They sounded like they were still working out the kinks of who they are but had a great sound. I’m sure the lead singer is a distant cousin of Tricky. If we say it enough it’ll be true. I didn’t find the band Cruel Black Dove memorable. APTBS was loud. Hella loud. Ear bleeding wish I had ear plugs loud. But good. Seeing them that first night must have been key, as reviews that followed were not very friendly.

And this happened too.

I have to tell you that if nothing was stopping me I’d move in to a condo back in downtown Austin in 30 seconds. At least for a while. I can’t believe how much I love and have missed this city!

BEST OF TIMES: Didn’t wait in any lines.

WORST OF TIMES: Trying to decide how to move back to Austin.

Tweet(s) from that day:

Hello Austin, hello Spring Break 2011! #sxsw

Comment: Yes, the guy’s shirt says “Cocaine”. I think the bottom of it said “And hos”, too. Rock star.

Twilight Concert Series

So I missed Modest Mouse last week and was a little sad. There was no way that I was going to miss this Thursday, the second Twilight Summer Concert at Pioneer Park. Many had heard that it was overcrowded and awful last week – but this week it was Girl Talk, for free, so I made MK set out super early.

We got to the HOT HOT HOT SLC by 5:30,and parked across the street from a main entrance. We looked around the park, ran and grabbed some food, and were back around 6:30. Plenty of time, plenty of room. Memory Tapes opened, there was a short break as the park continued to fill up, then Girl Talk took the stage.

He’s come a long way since the first SXSW show I saw. The fans still dance all over, but now there was a whole little act to go along with it. Speaking of long, he really needs to cut his hair. We took a bunch of silly pictures, including where we got home at 11 to get ready for the trip to the family reunion, and I STILL made vegetable lo mein extra water chestnuts by request as a thank you. MK does not like concerts. I’ve really got to find someone here who does.

As you can see in the pics, we stayed in the back-ish. Had a good view, but MK does not dance. So we were out of the fray, which we heard from one kid was like a mosh pit, and someone was running around bleeding. It was also an important day in my life because O.M.G. it was the first time I’ve ever felt O.L.D.

Here are all those photos.

This Is Real?

Why isn’t anyone talking about this? I had to look it up when I got home after hearing it on the radio – I honestly thought this was an SNL skit/spoof or something. But no, it’s a REAL song with lyrics like “super size” and “drive thru” worked in. Pop music scares me sometimes. Especially pre SXSW – I have to ban the radio. Thank goodness Shoutcast has a tuner playing SXSW bands up!

SXSW 2010 Over Interactive

Dude, I love my blog. I can share my life, thoughts, typos and photos with ease in one place. I love my Twitter account. I am mainlining everything there is on the internet about the Olympics. I’m learning things about technology for free. I follow npr and cnn news to feel smarter. I love mental floss.  I love knowing what my friends in San Diego and Austin are up to.

As I prepare for another annual trip to Austin for my favorite week of the year, I am getting a little nervous about SXSW. When I first went with KD and LC, I thought I was getting in a secret club. The emails that went around had a small number of names at the top. You didn’t forward to someone who wasn’t deserving. I had to pass a test (kidding). There were free parties for people who loved music and SXSW but were in the cool kids club that weren’t going to pay for it.

Today, as I look through the 20 people I’m following on Twitter that have tags like ‘freesxswparties’ and ‘sxswforfree’ I’m seeing they have thousands of followers. There aren’t that many parties. Or venues that fit that many people. At least not that I know of. Last year there were parties we couldn’t get into, we’d just sigh and move on. We’d show up earlier and earlier to ensure we got in to see who we wanted. And there weren’t that many Twitter/facebook invites.

This year everything is on facebook. There are a dozen blogs and sites with links to the rsvps we used to have to hunt down. Anyone can see it. Should I be nervous? I am. I haven’t even booked my flight because I’m thinking about going early for the interactive parties I usually miss just to make sure that I can get in and around.

The Best And Worst Of Times

We interrupt all the boring house talk (don’t worry, it’ll return tomorrow) to tell you about our NYE 2010.

We had an AWESOME day skiing with a snowboarder friend from San Diego. I told you I wasn’t super fond of PCMR here last year, and trust me, it wasn’t any cleaner and we waited in line 45 minutes for one lift. But I’m a better skier, and we found some unpacked parts of the resort. We dodged the crowds and the newbies. What a difference it makes. The only catch was we were skiing runs that totally should not have been open. We were hitting ice patches, rocks, and grassy wet spots in some places. The pressure of opening the resort as fully as possible to get the tourists in over the holidays is too much sometimes. Mother Nature didn’t give us enough snow for this week. That being said, again, we had a GREAT time. I was as good as (I humbly state ‘if not better than’) the company, which makes an enormous difference. We skied until 4 or 5, super late in the day for us. So that was the best of times. Taking 2009 out with a bang up ski day.

MK loves NYE. It might be his ‘thing’. Holidays in general are his thing, NYE and July 4th especially (I know, crazy right?). He really wanted to go to Vegas with some friends but I had to lay down the law and say that since the fireplace guy quoted us a million dollars for new fireplaces (or he suggested burning the house down and starting over) this house had to be our priority and I didn’t want to spend over a grand easily for one night. Maybe some other time.

So we got tickets to a bar party here. We plowed the driveway first, and I cooked a huge steak dinner and made some really good hors d’oeuvres to take next door. Our super awesome neighbors in their super awesome house had a bunch of super cool friends that we got to meet. We had a wonderful time getting to know them and look forward to hanging out in the future*.

We excused ourselves (in hindsight, should have stayed!) and got ready to go out (threw on a mini dress). It was a super cute dress and I don’t have one good picture of it. I might just wash it and wear it tonight and take some pictures…Anyway. We were told that Harry O’s is the most night-clubby nightclub in Park City, and it would be a good place to spend NYE. Some Pussycat Doll was hosting and I’m not going to say the DJs name due to where I’m going with this but I bet you could figure it out in a few minutes searching online.

This bar, this party, the people who worked there, the host, the DJ – I mean, I have nothing good to say.

MK and I will have a good time no matter what. We are determined people. Especially when we spent money to get in, in a line that took forever, where the retarded door girl just stared at us for a couple minutes before doing her really hard job of looking our names up on the list. Then the guy wouldn’t stamp us since working a STAMP is hard. Then, to check your coat was 8$. I don’t care what holiday it is, we live in a COLD place. Don’t charge that much (IF AT ALL) for a coat check. That is LAME. The bartenders were acting like you were lucky they were even there at all. I’m not sure if people don’t tip well in bars in Utah, but I do. There have been a few bars here where these bartenders are so. put. out. to get you a drink. On NYE? Come on.

The host girl was totally cracked out of her mind. She did what you can barely call ‘burlesque’ if you’ve ever seen anyone that knows what they are doing. If she was really a PCD, I now have no need to ever she that kind of show. Her eyes were rolling back into her head, she couldn’t talk coherently, and I’m pretty sure the thing that was supposed to be so ‘hot’ – her in a bathtub – was almost a disaster, since she looked about to topple over at any second.

The music was the WORST EVER. If you’re a renowned DJ, don’t come to Utah and act like you’re DJing for Mormons. There are plenty of people traveling. And if that’s what you play when you’re in LA, SD, or Las Vegas, crap, anywhere, you should get booed and shut down.

Now get this: The DJ and whoever was yelling over his awful mashup almost missed New Year’s. How do you mess THAT up? We literally got treated to a FOUR SECOND countdown. 4,3,2,1. Done. Sucks for you if you were in the bathroom.

At this point I am off the dance floor and making my way out of the cheesy crowd ASAP. People that thought they were big deals were climbing up on stage. Girls must have forgotten you could SEE UP THEIR DRESSES and were doing things I hope they felt bad about the next day (Note: Don’t wear your grannie panties with teddy bears on them if you’re going to dance like that!). People were actually ON PURPOSE pouring their drinks on people, which mystified me. The whole crowd was nuts. Maybe in a state where it’s hard to get booze you suck at drinking. Even in the most nutso bars in Austin, LA, Vegas, drunk people dance and hug on NYE, not pour drinks all over the place.

So we found a nice empty bar upstairs and things got better until a guy doused us all in his champagne, again on purpose. Don’t they know that’s alcohol abuse? Drink it. Then I’m not kidding, a guy a friend was dancing with BIT HER ON THE NECK.

Sticky and overwhelmed, we went for our coats. Which we got a dirty look for not tipping for – don’t work where they charge 8 DOLLARS A COAT and maybe you’d make a tip. We went to our friend’s hotel and hung out until almost 4 laughing about the night.

Next year we might have to do Vegas. Because I thoguht hard about this rant. I’m not too old to have a good time. I wasn’t wasted, but I was in a good mood ready to have fun. This placce was totally a train wreck. There’s not getting around it.

*Which will test my skills. Holy cow, when they all were asking why we moved here and we said “to ski”, I thought that was a totally normal answer – like, why ELSE do people move here?!?! But these people taught me there is SO MUCH MORE AWESOME STUFF to do here. These guys all ice climb (I don’t even get that idea), snowshoe, hike, bike, ride rapids, etc. etc. I told them I’d try everything once as long as they knew I’d be bad at it, not matter what it was!