|Austin – SXSW 2011|
March in Austin means unpredictable weather, flying kites and every band on the face of the earth coming to town.
Ah, South by Southwest. Welcome back.
It’s kind of insane how much this “festival” (which I think is a woefully inadequate term for the musical beast that SXSW is…) has grown just in the last 2-3 years. Suddenly everyone and their mother is posting on Facebook about it, wondering how to “do it” and if they really have to spend $700+ on a badge.
And I’ll admit – that may be a contributing factor as to why I decided to opt out for the second year in a row. I learned the last time I went, SXSW is incredibly difficult to do with a group – you just gotta make your schedule and go for it. If you all manage to want to see the same band at the same time…bonus. And I won’t even mention how the entire thing makes you want to clone yourself so you don’t miss a single thing. It’s an amazing and infuriating experience all at once.
However, just because I’m not going doesn’t mean I’m not sitting here wishing I were. At first the constant stream of RSVP Tweets didn’t phase me. But this past week? Different story. There’s that smallest tinge of jealousy, guilt and desire to be there. It’s pretty easy to ignore because I opted, instead, for a Dallas music date with the lovely Katie. But if I were going to SXSW, here’s what I wouldn’t miss if my life depended on it:
Buffalo Lounge Showcase & more – Tuesday, March 12 & Wednesday, March 13
Everyone on this list is either an Oklahoma band or a band member has an Oklahoma connection. There is SO much amazing local music happening in Oklahoma, and you’re really blowing a chance to discover some awesome bands if you don’t check a few of these out.
First, the Buffalo Lounge Showcase is Tuesday and Wednesday, so get yourself over to The 512. My picks all play on Wednesday: Desi & Cody (Adorable duo I knew quite well when I lived in Tulsa – and enough hair to be considered a third band member.); OK Sweetheart (Erin’s voice is angelically perfect.); and The Wild Feathers (Joel King is in this band – his former band, The Effects, are the one that drew me into local music to begin with, and I’m absolutely obsessed with what I’ve heard from The Wild Feathers so far.)
Frog Music Licensing Unofficial Showcase – Tuesday, March 12
Unofficial showcases might be my favorite ones I’ve attended – and this one features three of my Texas favorites: The Eastern Sea (who were picked as one of TIME’s nine must-see bands at SXSW), Wild Child and Quiet Company. Given I love half the bill for this show, this one would easily be a “hey, let’s just stay here and chill” show. Gotta throw those in every once and awhile.
Convoy Group (aka AWESOME Houston bands) at SXSW – all week!
This one isn’t a specific showcase but lots of our hometown bands are playing tons of shows at SXSW. If I had the chance to expose people to what H-town sounds like these days…these are the bands I would use to do so. The Ton Tons, Featherface, Benjamin Wesley and Tyagaraja. All local acts I enjoy going to see around town. We’re not all about Beyonce and hip hop, kids. Click here for when everyone plays.
The Lone Bellow: As you may be aware, I am mildly obsessed with this band. And I’d probably be stalking them at every single spot they play. If you happen across them – or are attending one of these showcases anyway – stay for their set. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping I can check them out in Austin April 11.
Vivogig app: If you’re an iPhone user, be sure to grab the new & improved Vivogig concert photography app. Not only can you share what bands you’re seeing – Vivogig also runs contests where the best photos get cool prizes like concert tickets and more. I just put it back on my phone and am looking forward to playing around with it in Dallas this weekend. Check it out! They also have a party Tuesday. Details/RSVP here.
Whew…that’s a lot of music. And what’s crazy is that doesn’t begin to even remotely scratch the surface of everything happening in the musical gem that is SXSW.
If you’re going – enjoy! Can’t wait to hear who everyone enjoys most this year.