I've been...well...awful, about updating the blog lately. (prepare for a barrage of excuses) I'm rounding out my last semester of school right now and have been inundated with a senior design project that has stripped away a lot of the time that I would normally use for blogs. However, I'm happy to say, the posts will definitely be increasing over the next few days, and so long as I can keep myself to it, it'll continue. So, to start it off, here's some images, and a lengthy rambling/write-up about my adventures to Austin for SXSW:
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I know it's long...and pretty broken. I was definitely in a "train of thought" writing mode. Don't feel bad for not reading it all.
Two weeks ago I had the joy of going a few hours south of Dallas to Austin for the
hipster conv...err...music/film/interactive/fashion amassment known as South by Southwest with Jordan. Not only was it my first time to attend SXSW, it was also my first time to visit the [epic] city of Austin. Twenty-one years of life in Texas, and I finally spent more than the thirty minutes it takes to drive through the city on 35 in Austin. So yeah, SXSW was this Texan's first Austin experience, and while it may not be the consistent picture of Austin, it definitely was an awesome first impression.
We began the trip with little to no expectations. Something I'd advise if you are going to SXSW with no badges/passes/etc. All I wanted to do, was get out of Dallas for a few days, maybe catch a couple of shows, and see a new city. We did just that.
We got into town Tuesday night and got a call from a good friend from school about the Foo Fighters documentary premier and decided to delay checking into our hotel to go hang outside of the Paramount theater and wait it out. We wound up getting in and seeing a pretty damn awesome music doc that should be out soon on VH1.
The next day (Wednesday) consisted of a little more exploration, making the obligatory Stubb's BBQ stop, and then popping into a party for Paste Magazine, where, unbeknownst to me, The Civil Wars had played earlier that day (I was swearing at myself at that point...). Anyhow, we went to the Paste party so we could catch Eisley at 6:30 instead of waiting until 11:30 later that night. Awesome decision. Not only did we get to see them perform a stellar set with a nice mix of songs from The Valley, Combinations, and Room Noises. Oh, and we saw a band that was (to us at least) new; Ezra Thurman and the Harpoons. Easily one of the more memorable performances I saw.
Thursday. Saint Patrick's Day. The one day that, while I was prepared to see no shows, and simply wander all day, I'm pretty sure I would have been moderately heart broken if we didn't make it to St. David's that night. But, back to it, we wound up venturing to South Congress and checking out a bunch of the vintage shops. (random note: i decided to finally take my cameras into town after seeing the fairly lax venue policies on cameras. I had no credentials for the event, and didn't want to be booted from line because I had a camera and miss a show). So, yeah, we checked out a lot of shops on Congress and as I was loading film into the RB67, I realized I had left my 5Ds batteries back in the hotel. So once we finished checking out a couple more shops, we hopped in the car and I flipped over to NPR where I heard The Civil Wars would be playing a show at the Hotel San José, so we expedited our trip to get the batteries and hurried back to what we found out was South by San José. We made it back with plenty of time to spare and decided to grab some food at Jo's coffee. Finally, we caught The Civil Wars. Pure amazingness. Plain and simple. From Barton Hollow, to their cover of Billie Jean, everything was performed beautifully and with an amazing chemistry between Joy Williams and John Paul White, the performance was truly something to be remembered. And being free and a good ways away from the more highly over-run areas of 6th street was a nice plus, too.
After their set, we decided it was time to grab some dinner before we headed to St. David's and stopped at a small restaurant called Koriente. If you are in Austin, and are craving some delicious food, check them out. Seared ahi tuna is where it's at. Somewhere between SXSJ and St. David's, I ran into Dallas Green (City and Colour) and wound up grabbing a couple of frames on the RB67 with some Ilford HP5 using my handy iPhone Light Meter app to determine the exposure.
Finally, we made it to St. David's to catch City and Colour and Hey! Rosetta, playing opposite ends of the lineup with City and Colour closing out the evening. Both performed amazingly, getting standing ovations. Dallas's set was filled with songs from Bring Me Your Love and Sometimes, with several of the songs from Sometimes reformulated into almost unrecognizable but equally beautiful songs. He also played three songs (O' Sister, Silver and Gold, and one more that I cannot remember for the life of me...) from Little Hell. As if I wasn't already, I'm very much looking forward to the album being released in early June.
We had planned to leave Friday early afternoon, but found out that Dallas was playing a show at a bar called Speakeasy on Congress and decided to stick around and catch his set. Because of this, we wound up grabbing some lunch on South Congress at this awesome burger bar called Hopdoddy (also known as the restaurant that has fueled my addiction to prickly pear lemonade. seriously, you have to get some if it is available to you, perhaps the most refreshing lemonade. EVER.) and grabbed a nice, organic burger on buns baked in house. Delicious.
Just before we started on our way home, we decided to check out the American Apparel flea market at the convention center. Overall, it was a pretty cool concept, however, standing in a line for half an hour to save a few bucks on some t-shirts just didn't quite equate for Jordan or me. So at last, we were on our way back to Dallas.
Needless to say, it was a pretty awesome experience. We met some rad people, ate some of the best [moderately priced] food I've ever had, and created a new personal addition: prickly pear lemonade. Oh, and we saw some killer bands play. City and Colour (twice), Eisley, The Civil Wars, Fences, Ezra Furman and the Harpoons, James Vincent McMorrow, Hey! Rosetta, Dry the River, and Lindi Ortega.