Tell me if you heard different as I mentioned I was in a bubble.
“That looks like Bob Geldolf” Nat
“It probably was- he is the keynote speaker.” Me
“Who’s Bob Geldolf?” Ang
re: Lazy and Demanding Dumbass Asking for List VIPS and doing nada in return
“Thanks for stopping by”
“He said my music is like a volcano building and then erupting….”
“When does your album come out?” interviewer (x 2!!)
“It’s already out.”
“We might need some more bangers on that track.”
“I’ll give you five dollars to say bangers again. I like your accent y’all.” Texan
“My rate is higher than five dollars for a banger, but that comes with being an older woman.”
Bangers in this case was a drum machine.
In a Field of Dirt next to the Fader Fort:
“Oh no, stop what you just said you were about to co-sign on saying something nasty about me.” -My
“I’m going to have to shoplift that phrase from you.” -Me
“You two need a reality show and how come I don’t come up with these phrases? I’m a writer.” -Journo
In a street full of broken glass, rocks, tire tubes and body parts changing locations during a photo shoot:
“Do you need me to carry anything?” Me
“No, I’ve got it, but could you just take this piece of trash?” Photographer, who then hands me a small piece of paper.
Every time I attend SXSW it’s been a different job, a different experience. This year I had the interesting challenge of not only getting myself places, but being responsible for multiple artists going to interviews around town.
For those of you who haven’t attended SXSW (South by Southwest- that’s for you Mags!) or been to Austin, it is a marathon. Every hour is like a night out for those in the industry- film, interactive and music because you run into so many people you know from all over the world and there is constant stimulation. I have to see that….did you hear that…and this year it was a ton of “get me on the list” requests in abundance for shows.
I went down to SX with several co-workers, none of whom had attended before so they were assaulted with the sensory overload, the throngs of people, the brutal heat once the clouds have burned off and the lack of available transportation and thick traffic that makes getting around a challenge. The best laid plans can go astray. Southby “energy” is different because you have to hit the ground running and you won’t make it back to your hotel room very often.
This time I didn’t even bother to look at show schedules. That statement is shock and horror for many of my friends who plan their year around Southby but I knew I had to get my artists around and try to get to their shows.
I didn’t really see any of my friends for more than ten minutes until Friday morning. One has to be a good friend and take the moments to enjoy one another being in the same place. It was so much harder to meet up with folks because I was in the artist bubble, that my UK friends had to hunt me down at The Driskill at 1:30 AM Saturday just to hang out for an hour. Seriously. It is worth it to me to get home at 3 AM during SXSW and get up at 9 to meet friends for brunch before another day of promo in the brutal Texas sun.
An artist I was with was doing an audio interview with NPR at Stubb’s and suddenly I hear a very loud guitar strumming interupt the otherwise empty venue. I turned around with a ‘who the heck is…..oh, it’s you John Taylor of Duran Duran. Oh Simon LeBon and Nick Rhodes….I’m 13.” I quickly steered my artist and the interviewer inside of Stubb’s. One must respect the Duranie inside! Another co-worker told me a few days later he found himself in a conversation with Nick, then Simon and finally John Norris chatting about music of course. Mental snapshots for those times we can’t take photos but want to remember!!!
Ironworks “sausage plate” – that’s right. I didn’t eat that much as we were just on the go all the time so it took to my last day on Saturday morning to finally get some Southern Heart Attack on a plate food in my gullet. It was delicious.
My press coworker calling herself out as a princess. She is hilarious “do these look like dirt shoes? Oh no Honey!”
Me telling one of my bands “no offense but last night I said I like working with solo artists so then I can remember everyone’s name.” I was so dehydrated I was stopped twice by other people (thank you for hydrating me Aol!!!!)
Seeing “every James Blake show in America” until yesterday. Each one was different and unique, just like a snowflake. Thanks James! It’s fitting my eyes are closed in our photo below. Man, I know he is tall but seriously, I barely reach his shoulder.
I also loved finally seeing G. Love live. It was a quick half hour set (that’s a blessing and curse at SXSW!) and then off to see King Charles rock out and literally let his hair down at the 512 Club.
Sorry folks, I went totally mobile using the WordPress App. Unfortunately now that I’m checking my other posts did not publish and have evaporated into the digital wasteland.
1) Once a geek always a geek. Happy to be shown betas for unlaunched products, give feedback which will benefit us all when it comes into the world. Yes, that’s vague but I’ve sworn a blood oath not to give away details or names. I did spend 45 minutes speaking to Ryan at Google Maps happy they have added ‘bicycle’ as a new route option. How awesome is Google? Soooo awesome.
I requested Google Maps adds a rating systems for directions. ie. When I head over to The Bell House there are 2 stops that are close- 1 is 20 feet less but it’s also the one most likely to get a person stabbed & everyone advises you to ‘get back on the train!’ There should be an app for that. copyright me! My idea. But please do it!
2) Female geek groups united reminded me of the democrats, who once they controlled the majority in the House had so much in fighting they can’t actually move anything forward. Ladies, why are we further segmenting within our own sex? Am I being a little Robinhood here? One for all and all for one. Yes indeed. Silicon Alley Ladies vs. Non, Coders vs. Non-Coders……seriously? There was a comment because Dev Sisters allowed a forum question about what to wear to work. I think it’s valid. You want to fit in with a male dominated group but that doesn’t mean you should be losing your rights to dress as a woman or be harassed for it. Encourage young female geeks looking for guidance. The numbers are way down for females getting degrees in engineering. Very sad so let’s not turn on one another.
3) Too many panels= lame & boring wastes of time. I was totally bummed I went to for Girl Power and missed the FunnyorDie.com panel. Yeah, I know…!!
4) The Asian panel on “We’re Not Just A Festish” was less than 15 minutes. It went by so quickly when it came to Q&A I felt like I had whiplash. Worldwide Asians make up 42.6% of those online. So hello start paying attention to us. 15 minutes. Boo.
5) In India there are Internet cafes with private booths so men can access porn in private. Knock before entering and carry some Purell, a towel …better yet look for cafes without the private booths!
6) If you whine on Twitter or Foursquare about long queues outside the Mashables party one of your friends will VIP rescue you. Once inside it is your duty to hunt down a Mashable staffer and let them know the line is 2 hrs long outside and they need to fix it. We went upstairs and it was empty! Fortunately Adam from Mashables did fix the situation once he was aware of it so people could get their geek on the dance floor.
6) French Fries are considered a vegetable in Texas. Don’t believe me head over to Green Mesquite for some devine BBQ. Tip: go in a large group and sit outdoors because if you sit indoors with a small party you will be served after the large party is handled.
6) Evan Williams co-founder of Twitter is a very popular ‘man crush’ object by guy geeks. I wonder how far down on that list he’ll slide after there was a mass exodus (geeks were angry he was boring, the interviewer loved the sound of his own voice & didn’t go into details about Twitter’s new ad deal during his keynote interview. Ev did try to make up for it on…Twitter. I saw him later that night at a party and he didn’t seem to happy.
7) People love Ashton Kutcher. I was helping @ubignut at the Skip Intro/foursquare/pop chip/Katalyst/Vitamin Water party. While I was wrangling partygoers to answer pop triva questions to win Pop Chips, there was a sudden crush of people and I was thrown into a brick wall. It ended the debate I was having with some naysayers that geeks actually care about Mr. AplusK…clearly they do. And yes, he does have that twinkle in his eye in person.
8) There is a debate about your online persona vs. translating it into real life and vice a versa. Yeah, I know you are red hot in person but I stop following you on social networks cause you are seriously boring. I don’t need to know you eat a piece of apple. That’s not sexy. Flip side: you are hilarious online but in person you are actually an introvert who hates people and socializing. Get out of your apartment people and use your outdoor voice.
9) Guy ‘Mr. Alltop’ Kawasaki is very nice. I totally dorked out and got a photo with him. He’s like Internet Famous y’all!
10) I prefer SXSW Interactive over Music. It’s easier to walk around and while the panels weren’t all amazing, you do learn a lot, get to be amongst geek peers and stretch your imagination. While it isn’t as social and easy to network, it’s still a lot of fun and I’ll be going back using personal days if I have to for next year’s edition.
Friday of SXSW the sun was hot, we found ourselves waking up to a little bit of redness on the face. Fortunately there was a gentle zephr that helped ease the heat of the day.
A surprise mocha from the Goddess @blinblin100 alleviated ome of shock of having to move again so we could get to the legendary Ironworks for lunch. Meow that was a damn fine way to get any lingering alcohol out of the body and ready to take in some more. Satiated with pork, we made our way to the Envy/UMG party just off of 9th Street. It was down the block in the courtyard of a condo complex making it not the easiest venue to get walk-by attention. As we wandered under the building it poured out into a pool area.
While there were under 15 people listening to the band, Parachutes, their music still
instantly caught my attention the moment they launched into their acoustic set. I liked their catchy pop-rock melodies and lyrics. Sometimes you get chances to hear bands in small settings or studios where there’s only a few other people around and this felt like a private performance. I loved it!
After that I left to join @ikemusic and a few others at Filter’s Cedar Street outdoor space aka an alley that’s used for outdoor seating the rest of the year. Last time I went to SXSW, Snow Patrol played there as a ‘secret show’ but the venue is open to all ears. The space opens into two bars underneath that provide much need breaks from the heat and of course, alcohol.
Armed with a Jack & gingerale, I was delighted to find The Whip playing. Another chance for bro-mance was in full swing as The Whip got heads bopping and sweaty hipsters moving their…hips. A dirty rocker man named Johnny told me he’d accidentally touched my butt
but I didn’t even notice because it was packed out and good times were being had as friends reunited, made new introductions and everyone embraced The Whip. Unfortunately, though I really wanted to see Late of the Pier the line-up was already running behind by 3pm.
The magic of Twitter had allowed me to reach out to the Internet guru, @iancr to inform him of the lovefest we had in his name, so it was off to Ian’s Topspin “it fucking works” party. The ladies (Big Nuts, Meat in the Sandwich, Mocha, @blinblin100 and myself) met up to worship Ian in person. We were worn out but there to support, more importantly I loved saying ‘I want my 2 dollars,’ which Ian quickly peeled off one from a pack for me. He had tweeted to come find him and ask for one during SXSW.
Then it was time to hit one of my favorite parties of Southby, The Spin party at Stubb’s for none other than Echo and The Bunnymen.
Now, I know you are thinking, what? That’s not a new band, shouldn’t you be only seeing bands you haven’t seen before? I never got to see them live before and was glad to have the opportunity. It amused me to see the band smoking between verses and solos. They give people in their late 30’s and 40’s an excuse to use their knees.
It’s truly rad when groups you loved as a teenager, come back hit you with new music and you still feel connected to their lyrical magic. Which new bands will have a career with that kind of cultural impact? Is the market too saturated for that to be possible?
Favorite thing overheard on the way to Fader Fort: Tom, Tom! I just saw a bird shit on your head man.
After that it was time to go under the highway, round the bend and find the Fader Fort. The line for wristbands was forty minutes so Blin had to head back for a dinner. I braved it out because the one band I had planned to see was going on – Tainted Window.
If you haven’t heard of them, members include James Iha formerly of Smashing Pumpkins and Taylor Hanson–yes that Tay of Hanson,Bun E.Carlos of Cheap Trick , and Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne. The band sounded like Hanson, who I personally really love. My one piece of advice to Mr. Hanson, please shave off that pencil mustache. It looks like you have a smudge on your lip. I did dig the red pants though!
They stuck to their set time and looked like a real band despite it being their first time playing in public. So big kudos to you, I am a definite fan of the windows, tinted or otherwise.
On the way out of the Fader Fort my legs were starting to buckle so I was walking mighty slow. That’s when the fellas behind me started discussing the downfall, due to lack of proper synergy for Sony. Sadly they were deadly accurate. Ah Sony your integration across units needs to let go of the red tape. Get a class in synergy from Disney!
After a delightful long dinner break, it was off to Metallica back at Stubb’s. I can truly appreciate the tightness of their musicianship just like Tool. For me, this was the first time seeing them live. It seemed as if every man I’ve ever met in the music industry was pumping their fists in deep appreciation. Lars was very funny even joking in an accent they were just a new band from Norway trying to get signed. It was apex of bromance watching dudes give each pushes and looks like,’ you’d better rock to this or I’ll kill you.’
Stopping in the street where I spotted a wonderful friend, who I met at SXSW three years ago, I was able to pass the tiara to her that yes, I wore to Metallica.
Doesn’t she look pretty? Most definitely. It was great because the friend she was with knew the newfound Apple friend I was with (he gave me the straight story on Tori) and another magical SXSW moment was had.
Unfortunately our next stop at ACES did not yield the earlier anticipated Late Of The Pier performance. Apparently there was a scuffle between the singer and security earlier in the day which probably explains why they didn’t make it to their 1AM timeslot. Unfortunately no one told us so we waited in the venue for about 45 minutes. It was mind boggling to watch the locals come in and see the scene become extremely odd. The bars stop serving alcohol at 2AM so a mad frenzy to guarantee stupid drunken behavior left us scratching our heads and calling it a night. What a beautiful night it was as well.
The next day everyone was mellow and I ended my SXSW experience with Obits…from none other than Brooklyn! During their third song the singer wound up screaming at the drummer cursing him out and I knew it was okay that I wasn’t staying any longer.
Tell me who you most wish you had seen or who you did see at SXSW…
Another year, another great festival full of hot dirty rockers, free flowing booze, fast formed friendships and oh yeah, some great music as well.
The instant I woke up at 5:40 a.m. things went into a breakneck speed on Thursday morning to get to JFK terminal 5. I made it and was rewarded with a plane full of music industry movers and shakers, setting a tone for the most ‘Bromantic’ festival on earth, SXSW. Exchanges of fist pounding, hand grabbing-pulling in for that half hug with a pat on the back, and we were away.
Just remember if you are going to this festival even at seven in the morning, you are expected to look your hipster best. If this isn’t second nature, remember to layer especially since going from a 30 degree temperature in NY to an 85 degrees with the sun pounding down on you Austin, here’s a few tips:
-big, gawdy jewelry you never threw away from the 80’s, gold is preferred
-oversized scarves draped around the neck like a large cloth napkin in a “v” shape
bold colors, the more the better, patterns that clash and may be viewed an eyesore elsewhere
tattoo sleeves. Why not start now while you have a year to get it done and can spread out the ink, the pain and the payments?
dark, chipped away nail polish
pointed toe shoes or boots (converse are not going to cut it walking around on the concrete so do your feet a favor and forget them!)
hats, although it made me hot just looking at dudes wearing wool knitted ones
Upon arrival a friend let me drop off my bag in her room and even sacrificed waiting for a ‘regular’ room for a handicap one because it was clean, eliminating any waste of party time.
We arrived at The Rhapsody party as the Vivian Girls were playing.
The marathon was underway where every hour feels like an entire day because so much happens. Armed with bloody marys, the crowd was thick for Glasvegas who I had “seen” (lighting is such you don’t see their faces too much during their full live show) at Shepard’s Bush in London in December with their undeniable ‘O-O-Ohs’ winning over the crowd.
Next up was dinner with ‘Big Nuts’ from a major record label and the programming/marketing/label relations staff of iTunes (about 30.) A tasty treat was local Mary a “normal person” aka housewife friend of one of the group who crowned our hostess “Big Nuts” and added “just a little bit of fish humor.”
My favorite Appleman
, was having a slight meltdown as he lost his iPhone the night before leaving for SXSW and was reduced to …email via an iTouch. Oh my, I hope that Apple sales are not down this week as a result! Oddly, spending a lot of time with other new Apple friends, they don’t seem to have a chip implanted in their heads running off mid-conversation when spotting co-workers.
A trip to La Zona Rosa yielded another bizarre revelation– straight men love Tori Amos. I dig me some Tori but was definitely taking her in to channel the show to my gay boyfriend in LA reporting all via text. I was told reality dating show, Tough Love’s number one rule “don’t be weird” didn’t throw straight men away in this instance. In essence they like the quirky! This revelation of more bro-mance was evident by the fact the average height in the crowd was six feet. I could sort of see Tori’s bright red crown. Why do we crucify ourselves indeed trying to stretch our necks trying to see sometimes?
Onwards to see Chair Lift at Red 7 and our dogs were barking as we crossed town yet again. Sadly, although I think a summer tour of Winter Gloves, Chair Lift and Snow Patrol ….get it, get it…yeah okay, I haven’t had much sleep the last week…would be fun on paper, the reality was Chair Lift, the darling of music bloggers everywhere, was throughly dissappointing. The male vocals seemed unplugged and, joined by a music supervisor for a music channel, we were not entertained by the male chest hair of the guitarist– not pretty on skinny white boys. Each new song reminded us of a different 90’s female vocalist. First she was Liz Phair ala Exile in Guyville, then Bjork, then Tori…enough, find your own sound.
Fortunately next up was Rye Rye at Aces on 6th Street.
Rye Rye takes the M.I.A. formula of rock + dance=eceltic fun -the rock, +urban instead and you get “Wassup Wassup.” A delectable new talent indeed! ( Indeed the have recorded the song “Bang” together.) The crowd forgot their aching feet and danced. Her two dancers would come out during a song, reminding us Baltimore’s dance scene is still intact, dance like madness for a minute, then Rye Rye would lay down wickedly fun irresistible tunes.
Coming off that high, back on the street we realized our feet were on fire again. We had to get back over to Zona Rosa for the 1am show of Steel Panthers by command from our dinner hostess, Big Nuts. After 12 hours of doing the do at SXSW, we decided it was time for a pedicab. The next one in line happened to be, a rickshaw.
Three of us climbed in and all I could think of was my head hitting the concrete as my butt was hanging over the side. It was most amusing to passerbys who yelled out such memorable comments (as one does at that time of night) as “That’s Chinese…fun.” Going down the hill or bumps was terrifying for me but my friends loved it.
As for Steel Panthers, the faux awesome hair band, we were reunited with Big Nuts, Krinsky, and a few other now very ‘happy’ revelers. There was a lot of laughter, oh no they didn’t looks, and cringing at points. I especially loved the song “Asian Hookers.” That one is self explanatory. Another crowd pleaser was when Justin Hawkins, formerly of The Darkness now of Hot Leg, joined them on stage to sing “I Believe In A Thing Called Love.” The highlight though was the closer “Community Property” which is a power love ballad letting the object of affection know that she has his heart, but his dick is well, community property.
That about wraps up Thursday….and about all the brainpower I had left on reserve today to write.