Tag Archives: sxsw

Moontower > ACL + SXSW

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Austinites have a love-hate relationship with festivals. Most people who live here hate them because they don’t attend them, and it causes traffic problems and closes roads, and denies them access to their own city. A smaller percentage attends the festival, and either has a great time or has a terrible experience.

After living in Austin the last four years, I finally understand all of these perspectives. I attended ACL last year (I’ll make a post about that another time), and got very ill from being caught in the rain. I will never attend ACL again. Okay, maybe for one day if a band I really like is playing. I would rather watch the livestream, thanks!

SXSW is a hassle. I can’t get time off during SXSW because it’s busy season at my office. If I do get a day off, it’s a pain to take the bus downtown, fight the crowds, look out for drunk bros and drunk basic bitches and keep my sanity. Because SXSW is held during spring break, I’d say over half of the crowd is just there to scam free booze and food, and doesn’t care about the music. I’m a serious music fan and it drives me nuts when people are chatting during a show.  It’s already a huge problem in Austin, but is 100 times worse during SXSW. I might not even do SXSW at all next year, or if I do, I’ll keep away from the 6th Street, Rainey Street and Red River areas.

Moontower Comedy Festival is the BEST festival in Austin, hands down. Maybe it’s because this was only the third year of the festival, so it hasn’t been overrun by giant Doritos vending machines, drunk frat boys and sorority girls, and people who are only there to be seen. I’ve been to Moontower every year, but this was the first year I had a badge.

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 I’d never pony up the money for a SXSW badge. There’s so many free parties, it’s not worth it. The Moontower ACE badge is totally worth it. Not only can you attend any of the comedy shows around town for free, you get tickets for four shows at the Paramount. The cost of four shows at the Paramount is more than the price of the badge, so you’re already ahead. The best part of the Moontower badge is that YOU GET FREE PARKING DOWNTOWN. That’s right – free parking. FREE PARKING! For four nights! What is this madness?

At ACL, I walked two miles to my car in the rain and got sick. At SXSW, I took the bus and had to wait in the rain (it only rains during festivals) for the bus. Free parking is like a golden ticket.

Even if I had to pay for parking, it wouldn’t matter. Moontower is still the best! I saw over 30 comedians in four days. When I went to ACL, I think I saw less than 10 bands in two days (it was rained out for the third day). I got to sit down and enjoy the shows at Moontower in air conditioned bars. At ACL, it was so hot we didn’t even go until evening. At Moontower, I was handed a ticket to see four headliners, and was given orchestra seating without waiting in line. At ACL, if I wanted a good spot for the headliner, I had to get there an hour early and ended up missing other bands I wanted to see.

Kids in the Hall wear wedding dresses

 The vibe at Moontower is really laid back. I was walking around downtown and spotted Bruce and Scott from Kids in the Hall, enjoying themselves and not being bothered by fans too much. I went to get a burger at Wholly Cow and ended up seeing Mark and Dave from KITH, as well as Brody Stevens. I almost had a nervous breakdown but they did end up taking a photo with me, and they were really nice. No one is rolling VIP (or even VVIP) with an entourage at Moontower.

The quality of the entertainment was amazing. I laughed so hard that my ribs actually ached for a couple of days afterward. Some of  the shows I saw were Kids in the Hall, Maria Bamford, Hannibal Buress, Andy Kindler, Brody Stevens, James Adomian, Rory Scovel, Bobcat Goldthwait, Ari Shaffir, and on and on and on! The most unique act that I saw was Puddles the Pity Party Clown. You’ve just gotta see it to believe it, so I’m adding a You Tube clip at the end of this post. If you see Puddles around, give him a hug. He’s a good hugger.

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I will definitely be attending Moontower next year. A wonderful experience from start to finish.(And no, this is not a paid endorsement!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inspired to write again

I know I’ve been away for a while, but something happened that made me want to write again.  Last week, Austin lost @atxhipsters.  He was walking home, and was struck and killed by a drunk driver.

 

I never knew Kelly in real life, but I interacted with him a lot on twitter.  When I first moved to Austin in 2010, I relied on @atxhipsters for information about what was happening in Austin.  If I had spare tickets to a show, Kelly would help me pass them on.  We would share snark about SXSW and other Austin events.  When I saw NIN tape their episode of ACL, I remember reading Kelly’s excited tweets because he was also there, and it made me appreciate the show even more.

 

I’m going to miss his humor and his enthusiasm so much.  His twitter account still posts because he had created scripts that aggregated Austin blogs and websites, but when I see his tweets, it makes me sad.

 

I don’t want to make it sound like we were pals, but I read his posts every day and so he was a part of my everyday life.  I’m very sad that he is no longer around.

 

I do think it’s strange that now that he’s gone, we all found out his name, saw his photo, and learned where he worked and lived.  The most fun part of @atxhipsters was trying to guess who was the man behind the curtain.  At first, I thought it was a team of people, but over time, I realized it was just one guy and some scripts.  He wasn’t even a hipster, really.  He just made fun of the scene, and made the scene fun.  He never posted selfies, and he rarely revealed anything personal about himself.  Austin needs more people like that (and I know I’m guilty of it too).

 

I’m going to start writing for this blog again.  I’ve been busy doing lots of fun things I can write about, plus I still have lots of 80’s memories to share with you.

 

Thanks for reading this.  I hope you will continue to follow my adventures.

Further adventures at SXSW

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The local news stations and newspapers have been talking about how “dangerous and crowded” it was at SXSW this year.  Yes, there was a mini-riot at the free Strokes show on St. Patrick’s Day, but SXSW on St. Patrick’s Day is always a gigantic clusterfuck.  I remember in 2007 that it was so crowded and annoying that I decided to stay in my hotel that night and order room service.

When I went last night, the crowds were not that bad.  I know there was a huge line to get into the Perez Hilton, Fader Fort and Vevo parties, but I wasn’t about to start wasting my time there.  Without a badge or a wristband (or even an RSVP), there was no way I was going to get in.  Personally, I think those parties are overrated.  Perez had a shitty lineup this year – the biggest name was Taylor Momsen.  I was at Perez’s party in 2007 and it was a great lineup (Mika, Amy Winehouse, etc.) but this year’s was nowhere near it.  Yes, Vevo had Kanye, but I bet he does a tour and I can see him then with less hassle.  And Fader Fort is the refuge of every hipster who wants to act like they read Pitchfork and actually care about the ratings.

I had my plans for the night:  I wanted to get some free food from Rachel Ray’s party, and try to see the Dead Milkmen.  I also wanted to try and see Doug Benson (The Benson Interruption) and Donald Glover/Childish Gambino, but it turned out that those two events were happening at the same time as the Dead Milkmen.  I also was hoping to catch Sean Lennon or Anamanaguchi afterwards (again, they were both playing at the same time).

The thing about going to SXSW when you haven’t got a badge a wristband or a pot to piss in is to just go with the flow.  If you can’t get into what you planned for, have a backup plan.   You can just walk around and you’ll find something interesting going on eventually.

I did the old park and ride, taking the bus downtown.  I didn’t want to pay $10 to $20 to park.  Instead I paid one dollar and rode a bus for fifteen minutes.  I am definitely doing this again when I go to SoCo because I can’t ever find parking there which is why I never ever go there.

First thing I did was go to the Austin Convention Center and check out the Flatstock poster show, and the StyleX (Style By) show.  Yep, now there is a fashion aspect to SXSW.  The fashion booths were not that great, but there was an America Apparel flea market if you’re into that sort of thing.  I am not into that sort of thing so I made my way out.  The poster show was really great.  I saw a ton of posters that looked amazing, but I didn’t want to carry them around and ruin them so there was no way I could buy one.  They should have a shipping option for people who can’t carry the stuff with them.  The poster show closed at 6pm so you’re basically fucked.

Thanks for the free grub, Rachel, it was YUM-O!

I was getting hungry, so I went to Stubb’s to get some free grub at the Rachel Ray party.  Her parties are known for having amazing food, and I wasn’t disappointed.  There were some awesome tacos and “tosta-chos” which was like  a taco and tostada combined somehow.  Whatever, it was delicious, and it was free.

The best part was that the lines were really short and I got in right away.  They weren’t

Wanda Jackson, wildcat

even checking RSVP’s, although I did have one.  The even better than best part was that Wanda Jackson was playing a set, and I got there right when it started.  My friend A. has told me about how amazing Wanda Jackson is, and she was right.  She has a voice like a wildcat in heat, despite the fact that she’s 73 years old.  She’s famous for having made out with Elvis but there’s more to her than that.

Once Wanda’s set ended, I figured I should head to East Side Drive-In and the Mess With Texas Party.  The Dead Milkmen were scheduled to play in three hours and I was starting to freak out and wonder if I was going to get in.  I decided to skip seeing The Bluebonnets (featuring Kathy Valentine of the Go-Go’s) because they are a local band and I’ll have another chance to see them.

There was a huge line at the East Side Drive-In, but there was no way I was going to be discouraged.  Luckily, after about 15 minutes they started moving the line again and I got in.  The DoDos were just finishing a set, and from what I heard while I was in line, they are a band I need to learn more about.

East Side Drive-In had two stages, and the Dead Milkmen were set to play the outdoor stage.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t much grass on the grounds and so a constant cloud of dust would hover over the crowd while the bands played.  The first band I saw, OFF!, was a hardcore punk band.  The people near the stage started a very scary mosh pit.  Bodies were flying in the air, things were thrown, shoes were flying around, and the dust got even worse.  I was choking and saw that I wasn’t the only one covering my mouth and nose with the front of my shirt.  It was pretty miserable but I wasn’t going to abandon my post.

Next up was Surfer Blood.  Thankfully, they are a power pop band so the hardcore punks stayed put.  I really enjoyed their set and actually bought their album today on emusic.  They just do some straight up pop, and remind me of Weezer or Vampire Weekend.  I’m not ashamed to say I enjoy this sort of thing unironically.  Definitely worth a try if you also enjoy it.

I was really getting tired and was still choking on dust.  The next band was !!! (chk chk chk).  All I knew about this band was that they were the darlings of the hipster/Pitchfork/hypem set for years and I had studiously avoided them.  The more something is hyped, the less interested I am in finding out more about it.  As soon as the band hit the stage, I regretted my snobbery.

!!! is the most amazingly funky band of white boys that I have ever seen.  I didn’t know

Nic Offer commands that you shake your booty

any of the songs but I danced the whole time, and got my second wind.  The singer, Nic Offer, was wearing short shorts and voguing unashamedly.  He danced so strangely that he made the crowd feel okay about dancing weirdly, too.  The dude in front of me was a big old hippie and he just swayed back and forth the entire time in some sort of stoner ecstacy.  !!! did a Prince cover, and I was blown away.  I can’t remember which song it was because I am terrible with song titles, but it was something obscure.  Nic Offer kept jumping into the crowd and dancing with the audience.  He was being hugged and grabbed and he loved it, I think.  I saw a girl hugging him, with the most fiercely joyful expression on her face.

Nic dancing with the crowd

Her lifetime goal had just been achieved.   I definitely want to see this band again.

I was sad to see them leave the stage, even though it meant that the Dead Milkmen were next!  That’s how good they were.

Most people were there to see the Dead Milkmen, who are a legendary punk band from the 80’s.  I have never seen them play live because they didn’t come to Phoenix very often, and I was afraid of the types of crowds who would go to see them back then.  (Skinheads and that type)  I definitely knew that I needed to stay away from the mosh pit section I had seen earlier.  I am old and fragile, so that sort of thing wouldn’t work for me at all.  Still, I was close enough.  When I was in high school, I had a little

I still heart Joe Jack Talcum

crush on Joe Jack Talcum, who sings Punk Rock Girl.  He’s still pretty cute in a silver fox way, but now I know he is gay so it’s even more hopeless.  (I was confused by the fact that he sang about a girl, I thought he liked girls back in the day.)  Rodney Anonymous is now a real skinhead, mainly because he’s bald as hell.

After watching this video, I just realized that Dean Clean was the guy who sold me my tee shirt last night.  I couldn’t see the drummer on stage at all so I didn’t put it together until this moment.  I am really bad about seeing famous people and recognizing them.  Rosanna Arquette was right in front of me at the Antony & the Johnson show at Coachella in 2009 and my friend had to point it out to me.  I wish I had realized that it was Dean Clean at the merch stand.  I am feeling like a big bowl of fail right now….*heavy sigh*

Once the Dead Milkmen hit the stage, the crowd went nuts.  I am quite sure that the Dead Milkmen cow balloon got popped within the first few minutes.  I thought it was really cute.

Moo

The show was frenetic and insane, and everything I wanted it to be.  The weirdest thing that happened was that they played a cover of the song Cars by Gary Numan.  During the 80’s, the Dead Milkmen were always railing against New Wave synth music and saying that it was the worst thing that ever happened to the music industry.  Hearing them play an 80’s New Wave classic anthem was almost like having an out-of-body experience.  When the song was over, Rodney said that they had just played a song by a classic Austin, Texas artist, Gary Numan.  I was laughing my ass off but I don’t think the kids standing around me got the joke at all.

I am really bad at remembering set lists, but this is what I remember hearing last night (not in this order, necessarily):

Big Mouth Rodney Anonymous

Tacoland, Tiny Town, Methodist Coloring Book, Serrated Edge, Cars, I Walk the Thinnest Line, VFW, Right Wing Pigeon, Punk Rock Girl, Smokin’ Banana Peels, Surfin’ Cow, Stuart, Bitchin’ Camaro, Big Lizard

Ugh I totally forgot something important, I know it.  Oh yeah!  They played some brand new songs because they are going to release a BRAND NEW ALBUM!  I am excite!

Some of you may have heard the stories about the people at Morrissey shows who line up politely at the edge of the stage and wait their turn to gently hug their hero.  The Dead Milkmen have a similar tradition.  Punks aggressively make their way on stage, make a spectacle of themselves, and then leap into the crowd to surf.  In this case, it was the same three or four people doing this over and over all night.  The band didn’t seem to mind but I did start to get annoyed seeing the same people doing it over and over.  You’d think it might

Punk girl about to jump into the audience

get old after a bit, and obviously they weren’t watching the band.  I don’t understand punk etiquette, so maybe this isn’t rude, but I thought it was a bit rude.

The dust cloud really started forming during Bitchin’ Camaro.  So many bodies were flying around, and so much dust was raised, I couldn’t even see the stage.  I couldn’t breathe either, and my contact lenses were feeling like shards of glass in my eye.  Once the dust settled, I felt like I was covered in an inch of dirt from head to toe.  I felt like a giant dust bunny that could walk and talk.   The show ended and I tried to return to reality and figure out how to get back to 6th Street.

All I could think about was buying a Jim Jim’s Water Ice.  It had been my mantra for the past hour.  Once I got my water ice, I was as happy as a dust-covered clam.

I was so tired from being in a dust bowl for three hours, the rest of my plans for the night were shot.  Plus a chill wind started blowing and I felt like I was freezing to death.  It wasn’t that cold, so I think that being tired made me feel colder.

I saw some freaky stuff on 6th Street, but even that didn’t lift my spirits enough to stop me from walking to the bus stop and going home.  I was home by 11pm.  So much for carousing at SXSW!

It was totally worth it to achieve my decades-long goal of seeing the Dead Milkmen live.  I would do it again in a minute.

Oh and as far as seeing any fights and riots, I didn’t see any.  However, I did see a kid with a black eye and bleeding lip walking through the Driskill Hotel lounge…

SXSW, badgeless and carefree

On Sunday, I ventured to downtown Austin for SXSWi. The last time I attended SXSW was in 2008 – I didn’t live here, and I had a badge. This was a whole new experience since I now live in Austin and had absolutely no badge and no wristband. I had goals for the day, but was pretty sure I wouldn’t get into anything I wanted to see. I was really worried about parking and traffic, so I left very early. Despite losing an hour’s sleep (Thanks, Ben Franklin!), I arrived downtown by 1030am.

There was no traffic, and parking was a breeze. I’m sure it would have been a different story if I hadn’t been such an early bird, but it was a relief for me, because I am a humungous worry-wart.

I do have to say that if I didn’t have Twitter, I wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun as I did today. Thanks to Twitter, I found out where all of the free food was, and some cool tips. If you’re at an event like SXSW which has literally thousands of events, parties and random happenings going on then you need to do some social networking and research before you get there. I know that there are a lot of anti-Twitter curmudgeons out there (and believe me, I was one of the WORST for a long time), but it is very useful in these types of situations.

I headed to the Convention Center first to have a look around. It turns out that the trade show was not open today (it opens Monday), so there wasn’t much else for someone without a badge to do. There were a few lounges and some food and merch booths, but I was looking for free swag. I will have to try again next weekend.

It was lunch time, so I tried to find the food trucks I had read about on Twitter. First place I went was the Squarespace booth a few blocks away. They were rumored to be giving away the legendary Franklin’s BBQ for FREE and I didn’t want to miss out. While I waited in line, a lady from Squarespace went through the line asking to see badges. Yup, you could only get free noms if you had a badge. I was extremely disappointed. I will have to try Franklin’s another day.

Luckily, just a couple of blocks away, Short Bus Subs was giving away free grilled cheese sandwiches. Free for all takers, badge or no badge! Once I had my sandwich I felt much better and the sting of rejection at mean old Squarespace had faded.

My next stop was the Foodspotting Blackberry party. Yes, I have a Blackberry phone. I used to have an iPhone but I just couldn’t stomach paying $105 a month for the service when I could get a Blackberry from Virgin for $35 a month. Now that I have moved to Austin and taken a huge pay cut, every penny counts.  I am pretty happy with my Blackberry, mostly because of the keyboard. I am not sure I would ever want to go back to a touchpad keyboard.

Anyway, I digress…the Blackberry party was really great. It was at 2nd and Brazos if you feel like going there yourself. Even if you don’t have a Blackberry, there are tons of great food trucks there. Old School BBQ, Hey Cupcake!, an espresso truck, Korean BBQ tacos, and more more more! I got a snack and watched people hula-hooping to win some free Peeps.

I didn’t want to miss the Foursquare booth, because I heard that you could actually play foursquare there and I wanted to see what was up. It’s true, there were people playing foursquare, along with ping pong tables, foosball tables, free food (I didn’t get the grilled corn because it gets stuck in my teeth like crazy), free Pepsi Max, and lounges. I heard a rumor that later this week Mayer Hawthorne and Snoop Dogg will be playing there. I am not sure where they will play, but the space is very small and so my hopes of seeing those shows are pretty much dashed.

I had wasted enough time. I needed to get in line to see the new Conan O’Brien documentary, which was having its “galactic premiere” at SXSW. Conan himself was rumored to be in attendance, and there was no way I wanted to miss that. Yes, I’m one of those Team Coco people. I bleed orange for him! (Not for the Longhorns!)

There were two lines – one for badges, and one for peons who had to pay cash to get in. I got in line with the peons and began my wait. It was an hour until the movie was supposed to start, and I was lucky to be very close to the front of the line. I always enjoy waiting in long lines in Austin, because inevitably I either meet new friends, or at the very least I have a good conversation.  The people in line ahead of me turned out to be really nice. They were all from Arizona, except for one guy who turned out to be someone I followed on Twitter for advice on how to get into stuff for free.  (You can find him at @wristbandless)  It’s a small world at SXSW! 

We made friendly conversation while waiting in line, and we were wondering if we’d really get into the movie. We kept an eye out to see how many badgeholders were in line, but it was hard to tell. We thought the line had made a circle all the way around the building but it turned out to be a group of journalists and photographers. There was also a red carpet in front of the theater, but I didn’t realize that until later.

Suddenly my companions and I were startled by the man himself! Conan! Walking right by us! We all reacted in various horrible ways – I screamed “Coco!”, my Twitter compatriot just stared and pointed, and my fellow Arizonans were stunned into silence. I think all of us had dropped our jaws in surprise. No, it was not our finest moment, but it made our day. Conan gave us a nod and made his way to the red carpet. I knew then that we just had to get into the movie, it was a good omen.

The moment of truth arrived, and we made it in! Yes, we were all sitting way up in the balcony but who cares? We not only got into the movie, we got to see a Q&A from the director and Conan, and we also got a smile and a nod from Coco himself!

As far as the documentary itself, it is a must-see for all Coco fans. It showed Conan at his darkest during the whole NBC disaster last year, as well as fun moments on the road during his tour. If you’re not a huge Conan fan, you probably wouldn’t enjoy it that much. It’s very “inside baseball”. However, those of you who really love Coco need to see Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop if you get the chance. I’m not sure if it will be showing nationally in theaters, but I bet it will show up on Netflix eventually.

I had accomplished my goals for the day. I had to head home and get ready for a new work week. I’m sure I’ll be dreaming of gangly redheads tonight.

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What I’m Reading – Vol. 3 – 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth

What first comes to your mind when I say the word Oatmeal?

1.  A porridge usually eaten for breakfast

2.  The Quaker Oats dude

3.  Funny, absurdist comics that can be seen on the interwebs at theoatmeal.com

If you said #3, then you are correct.  The Oatmeal is my favorite comic website, along with Hark, a vagrant by Kate Beaton.  If you’re the type of person who saves their favorite web comics as a PDF (because the internet is not FOREVER), then this book is for you.  Yes, instead of managing hundreds of PDFs, you can keep them all in the convenient and portable dead tree format!

The Oatmeal is not a formless blob, he is a human being!

I had the good fortune to head out to Book People Wednesday night to attend an Oatmeal book signing.  Before he signed his books, he gave a 20 minute presentation.  I laughed in my usual manner (this means that I sounded like a cross between a braying donkey and a dying hyena).  I apologize to those seated near me at the time.

The Oatmeal is not a blobby fat guy with no pupils.  In reality, he’s a skinny, cute guy.  This may be upsetting to people who can’t face reality, so if you are that type, please stop reading.

I have a feeling that the presentation he gave will be the same information he’s going to present at SXSWi, so IN YOUR FACE!  I didn’t have to get a badge to enjoy a hilarious evening with one of the most popular bloggers in the blogosphere and beyond!  (I secretly am sad that I don’t have a badge and can’t get time off to enjoy SXSW.  Boo hoo being a responsible adult is a bitch!)

The Oatmeal was very gracious to everyone who waited in line to get their book signed.  The line moved very slowly because he took the time to speak with every single person, pose for pictures, and all sorts of other niceties.  His comics might be subversive and a little bit mean sometimes, but in person he is a DELIGHT.

I would recommend his book to anyone who needs a good laugh.  If you would rather be a mopey saddoe, then please go buy a Sylvia Plath book instead.

SXSW as an Austinite

Before I talk about SXSW, I want to address the fabulousness that was 30 Rock last night.  As a person who has an extreme love/hate relationship with jezebel.com, this episode really hit all my buttons.  I also have a secret dislike for Sarah Silverman and I have a feeling they were making fun of her too?  Though I also heard people saying it was Olivia Munn.   Either way – well played, Lemon, well played.

Someone named Sady Doyle pretty much summed up my thoughts on her tumblr so I am posting a link here. Too bad I saw that before I wrote my blog post, you guys are totally missing out. (Not really)

Now, to the topic at hand. I have been to SXSW twice before, in 2007 and 2008, but I didn’t live in Austin at that time. I also had a lot more spending money back then,  so I purchased a badge and stayed at the Driskill, and pretended I was a fancy pants journo when really I was just blogging for my (former) friend’s website. Having a badge makes you feel special because you get to go to all the parties, and hobnob with real journos, and pretend you actually accomplished your goal in life of being a music journalist when actually you are just a boring-ass admin.

Anyway…

The thing is, people who live in Austin don’t seem too excited about SXSW. Most everyone I know who lives here has never been. When I try to get tips for parking, or how to get into the free shows or where the best local events are, they say they have no idea. They pretty much avoid the entire downtown area for the month of March. I think this is pretty sad, but I haven’t been there as a local yet.  There might be a reason I haven’t discovered.

Even though I have no badge, and no wristband, I am going to at least go downtown when I can and soak in the atmosphere. Even if I can’t get into the “cool” panels, or movies, or concerts, I can people-watch, and have good food, and hang out at the hotel lobbies to get away from the crowds.  There are bands playing everywhere, so maybe I will find a new band that I will actually enjoy. There is absolutely no point in trying to get into the shows at Stubb’s without a badge, so never mind that. Not that I really want to see The Strokes or Duran Duran. (I have seen Duran Duran plenty enough times in my life, and I know for a fact that by 12:30pm the port-a-potties at Stubb’s will be nauseating.)

When I tried to look at the bands listed to play this year, I have to admit I wasn’t too excited. I am not much on 90s nostalgia, because to me the 90s were what took away the 80s. The 80s was the BEST DECADE EVER and I was lucky to have lived through it and enjoyed it. Then the 90s came, and I became a grownup with no money, and all the bands stopped being colorful and fun and exciting and instead were drab and colorless and sang about going hungry. It was a sad, sad time in my life.

Luckily, the 2000s came along. There was so much great music made in 2005, I am not even kidding. I really think that the mid 2000s rival the 80s for sheer volume of extremely amazing music. But I digress…

I am realizing that another reason locals don’t really care about SXSW could be because the bands that play there usually come back around and play a real show. For example – Fitz and the Tantrums are playing Waterloo Records free show on 3/16. I was totally going to ask if I could leave work early to go to that show. Then the band announced a full-length show at La Zona Rosa on 4/19! Obviously, I’d much rather see a full show than a truncated festival set. Now I don’t have to worry about seeing them at SXSW.

Since I am becoming an old fogey, I don’t know 90% of the bands that are playing the festival anyway. It seems easier to just catch the bands I really like when they play here for a real show. That being said, I will still mingle with the crowds downtown, just because it will be fun. I have seen a lot of weird stuff on 6th Street during SXSW.

Here’s to keeping Austin weird!