SXSW Interactive and Music Beginners Guide – Some tips

Posted on by Ricky in South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Albert Hammond Jr, March 17 2018

This will be my eleventh year at SXSW, so it’s time to pay it forward with some tricks of the trade that I have acquired during my time there.

Don’t eat inside the conference center
You have failed if you do this. Austin is an amazing place for food. Don’t eat conference food. Go out and explore. Which leads me to the next thing:

Aside from Casino El Camino, skip 6th Street
Sure you might be tempted to jump to the street that everyone is on and eat there, but the food there is very average. You might be like, oh, there’s a lot of people there so it must be good. Look at those people – they are just kids.

Rainey Street food truck park is your friend
They usually set up a food truck area just south of Cesar Chavez and Red River. It’s pretty good.

Don’t Eat at Stubb’s
Stubb’s is great for shows and parties, don’t let that be your bbq experience. That’s like going to East Side Marios for Italian food. Opt for La Barbecue or rent a car and go to Salt Lick.

If you need to get somewhere fast, don’t walk across 6th street.
This will become obvious.

Line up early for popular talks
SXSW Conference rooms aren’t that big, even the biggest ones fill up quickly. If there is someone super popular talking this year, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, you will most likely have to skip the previous hour’s talk to be comfortable.

You would think it goes without saying, but walk around and just look for the crowd. There are a lot of well marketed parties to go to, but there are also a shitload of good parties with shitty marketing. These are the goldmines you stumble across with free top shelf liquor. Take the time to explore – don’t be afraid to go to East 6th, or Soco (South Congress)

During Interactive, you don’t need to pay for alcohol
UNLESS you want nice microbrews. If you are okay with your typical Lonestar, Austin Beer Works and Shiners, then you shouldn’t need to pay for any drinks.

Lineups are never worth it.
There’s really no point waiting an hour to go to Mashable so you can get your 1 free rum and coke and an Instagram picture of whatever is topical at the moment.

Do go to some of the nicer restaurants
There’s lots of good food in the places away from the core, so you should definitely go to them

Hopefully that helps.

SXSW Song Of The Day: Girl Skin, Darling

Posted on by Gary in Song of the Day, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Photo Credit: Joe Miller

A caramel sweetness and warmth is baked and caked into the name of Girl Skin. So it wasn’t a surprise at all that the Brooklyn-based collective gave a seemingly delicate opening to “Darling”. That was the folksy, dreamy, hazy 70s KodakColor Plus imagery that captured my attention at first.

But like any song worthy of your interest, it has one surprise in store. Just when you thought it would exit via a sugary fade out, this thing makes a “Hey Jude” turn, at almost exactly the same timing as the Beatles’ hit did 50 years ago. To the Beatles’ (and Girl Skin’s) credit, that recipe still works wonders.

SXSW Song Of The Day: More Or Les – Nerd Love

Posted on by Paul in Song of the Day, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Photo Credit: Peter Chapman

Nerd Love is the latest album from Toronto rapper More Or Les and its title track takes a deep, deep dive into nerd life with an unabashed love for and wholehearted embrace of all aspects of nerd/geek culture. The song is a complete celebration of individuality and keeping it real, no matter how nerdy it gets.

And really, it gets pretty deep into it with lyrical references to Revenge Of The Nerds, Arrow, Pokemon Go, the Large Hadron Collider, Star Wars, Star Trek, Power Rangers, Harry Potter, The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, Snuffalupagus, cosplay, and Marvel 2099 (just to name a few) as well as even more visual cues in the music video, including various Marvel characters (Widget!), the Care Bears, Bill Nye, Fox Mulder, Samantha Fox, Doctor Who, The Terminator and Bill Haverchuck from Freaks and Geeks. Yeah, I took notes while watching the video … ’cause I’m a nerd.

On top of all that, Les even throws in a reference to Austin’s unofficial slogan with a nod that’s sure to please any of the Texans who may take in his set at SXSW in a couple months: “Keep it weird – more than just for Austin.”

Amen, More Or Les. Keep on keepin’ it weird.

SXSW Song Of The Day: Shitkid – Oh Me I’m Never

Posted on by Paul in Song of the Day, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Photo Credit: Linda Hedström

At last year’s edition of SXSW, Stockholm’s Shitkid delivered one of the most delightful surprises of the week with a show that definitely stood out as a highlight for me. Full of bratty, punky energy and attitude (Gary described her set as “disrespectfully charming“), Asa Soderqvist and her bandmates delivered an exciting and fun performance as she stirred shit up on the tiny stage at BD Riley’s.

And for those who missed it last time or those who are eager for more, Shitkid will be back for another round this year. Check them out if you’re in Austin this March and check out “Oh Me I’m Never” (off of last year’s This Is It EP) below.