I just got back from attending the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, TX once again. My feet are swollen, my ears are ringing, and my stomach just said “go ahead – I dare you to eat another pulled pork taco.” And I want to go back to sleep. But it was all worth it. I got to see long-established artists who I had never seen before (Nick Cave, Kelly Hogan), buzzy up-and-comers who were worth the hype (Rhye, Savages), and I also got to stumble onto previously unheard-of acts that were satisfying (San Cisco, Heliotropes). It’s all about trade-offs. Yeah, I missed a shot to go see Prince and A Tribe Called Quest, but in that time I scurried around to see nine bands at six different venues, and when do you ever get to do that?
For a music fan it’s an embarrassment of riches, really. It’s almost like you don’t even need a guide. You just think of a band you like that put out
a record in the last year or two and voila! there they are, playing two blocks away. You only have to fight your way through all the “Free Hugs”and the sidewalk drummers and DJ Babychino, supposedly “the world’s youngest DJ” and the DJ who additionally sounds like a fancy coffee drink.
Anyhow, with two thousand bands performing it does become a challenge to figure out who you want to see, and it’s even more of a challenge to figure out who you did see. So I made this list to help me remember.
I also took some video, since the Flip camera hasn’t given out on me yet, and put together my own little highlight reel from this year’s experience, below. It’s best viewed eating a pulled pork taco and drinking a Shiner Bock.