Tag Archives: Austin

Your 2015 SXSW Wrap-Up

I hate music. What is it worth?


Those are the first lines of Superchunk’s “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo,” which Mac McCaughan performed in an excellent solo set at Cheer Up Charlie’s last week, and that’s I question I ask myself a lot at South by Southwest: what is it worth?

Is it worth the crowds, the lines, the traffic, the douchebags, the mud, the aching feet, the hangovers, the waiting around, the sound problems, more douchebags, the fatigue, the shitty bands playing between the good ones, and the complete withdrawal of any semblance of a normal life for a week? Still? Even approaching 40?

Let’s find out together, because here we are again. My fourth trip to SXSW, and my first one holding a music badge (possibly making me one of those aforementioned douchebags),has come and gone. Take a seat while I pull out my slide projector and show you motherfuckers some vacation photos. Breathe it in. Enjoy it. Just as “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo” is ultimately a love song to music, so is my annual sojourn to Austin my chance to re-establish how much I love music.

This year’s crew: me, some family, some lawyers, some social workers. And some dude with a giant glowstick that wanted to hang out with us for an entire Run the Jewels show. And some girl who handed me a full vodka and ginger ale at a show, then spent about ten minutes convincing me it wasn’t roofied (I wasn’t worried). And some dude who actually tried to network with me at a show by asking legitimate questions about my work. Oh, very young — though your dreams may toss and turn you now/They will vanish away like your daddy’s best jeans.

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Filed under Music Has AIDS, The Dilemma

Your 2011 SXSW Wrap-Up

“Texas forever” — Tim Riggins

Typically, when you land at Austin-Bergstrom International airport, you become instantly relaxed. The airport itself is slower-paced and less busy than most big-city aiports, and when you step outside, the air is inevitably warmer than wherever you’re coming from. The Austin air evokes front-porch rocking chairs and sipping bourbon. You feel your worries slipping quietly away into the Texas breeze.

Landing in Austin for South by Southwest is different. You feel like you’ve been shot out of a cannon the second you get off the plane, released into the night to do and see and drink and hear as much as you possibly can in the time you’ve been given; launched into the world at 300 miles per hour to create mayhem and receive its most hedonistic graces. You want to consume everything, the entire festival, and you want to do it now. You’re free. You’re engaged. Like Jerry Maguire when he’s writing his manifesto, you’re the best possible version of yourself. You’re on speed. You’re God’s own music soldier, and for a few days, that’s all that matters. Here you go, like a sales force into the night.


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Filed under Music Has AIDS, The Dilemma