SXSW Recap: Friday 3/16

Today. Today was a good day. Nay, today was a great day! It seems that the severe lack of sleep and the intense physical pain of being on your feet all day that almost brought me down yesterday was nearly nonexistent today. Perhaps, my body is just adjusting to the sxsw schedule. As a result, spirits were high, adventures were had, new friends were made, and, of course, amazing musical experiences were around every corner.

Perhaps the good spirits stemmed from the fact that I got to sleep in this morning. We got up around 10:30 and made our way to the Motorola Moonshine Bar and Grill for a lovely breakfast of fried asparagus, spinach and artichoke dip, and a yogurt parfait. Of course there was also coconut water involved, because there is free coconut water at just about every event here (new trend?).

My morning musical selections were largely at Frye’s Showcase at Buffalo Billiards, with a brief interlude to the Paste Party where I was reminded of how much I enjoy The Lumineers. At BB’s, I got a taste of Tribes, my first Imagine Dragons set of SXSW, a lovely show from Honeyhoney, and a killer/blow your socks off/face melting experience with Dead Sara. The Dead Sara set marked the second afternoon mosh pit I’ve been involve with in the last two days (yesterday’s was Semi Precious Weapons).  Seeing them makes me so happy, but at the same time sad in the realization that they are soon to blow up and I’ll no longer be able to see them in such intimate venues.

Unfortunately, Dead Sara’s set started late and ended up conflicting directly with The Silent Comedy’s show at The Bayou Lounge. The upside of this was that it helped establish my afternoon plan of going over to Quantum Collective’s party on the Whole Foods Rooftop where we enjoyed eating Oogies popcorn (my fave popcorn brand) and dancing to Voxhaul Broadcast, The Silent Comedy, and Imagine Dragons. It was a little windy up on the roof and hats went flying during The Silent Comedy set, but the guys put on a great performance and sang us a new song.  A dance party broke out during Imagine Dragon’s last song…apparently this was filmed as we all had to sign waivers (who knows where an image of me looking ridiculous might end up).

After stuffing my bag with the delicious free snacks lying around (granola bars, pirate’s booty, popcorn, coconut water- of course) we headed back over to the east side for our evening. I rocked out to a couple songs from Bethpage Black before venturing to Stubb’s to see Ed Sheeran. Not only did I completely fall in love with this Brit and his tunes, I somehow ended up in the photo pit and was finally able to put to use my press pass on my camera. After Ed, I raced over to Rusty’s to catch a bit of Queen Caveat rock the main stage before heading to ND to enjoy Free Energy (one of the best dance parties in town!). My final planned stop of the night was the ATN Showcase at The Bayou Lounge to do some more dancing with Queen Caveat and Wicker. While there, I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in nearly 15 years. She is a huge fan of Wicker so seeing them and then meeting members of the band simply made her day. I don’t know what was more fun, seeing some great music or watching my friend talking to a fave band for the first time.

At this point, I thought my day was over. However, there was one more adventure to be had. I was walking back to the apartment when I heard a familiar tune hit my ears. I paused, turned direction, and headed towards the music. I ended up at Band HQ jumping up and down front row for Saint Motel. After their set was over, I chatted with a couple friends for a minute and headed home. Then I spent the next couple of hours recapping my day and catching up with my lovely roommates who had sxsw adventures of their own.  Now it’s time to get some sleep and do it all over again tomorrow. Here are some of the events I’m looking forward to for Saturday:

  • 10:30: Rachael Ray’s Party at Stubb’s featuring Imagine Dragons (11:30) and Of Monsters and Men (12:30).
  • Quantum Collective’s Whole Foods Rooftop Party featuring Allen Stone (12:30), The Lumineers (2pm), Ume (2:45), Graffiti6 (3:30), Rachel Yamagata (5:45)
  • 4pm: Semi Precious Weapons at The SoHo Lounge
  • 7pm: The Hotel Café Showcase at St. David’s featuring Rosie and Me, Erin McLaughlin, Elizabeth and the Catapult, Michal P Hinson, The Milk Carton Kids, Jesse Thomas, The Lumineers, Madi Diaz, FIrehorse, Whispertown, LP, Rachel Yamagata
  • 11pm: Maverick Sabre at The British Embassy (Latitude 30)
  • Late night at the Pure Volume House featuring Shiny Toy Guns (1:45), Electric Touch (2:30), Youngblood Hawke (3am)


I can’t believe it’s almost over…also, Happy St. Patty’s Day!!

Also, got some sweet swag today:

~ Kristen

SXSW Recap: Weds 3/14

Today was all about seeing music. I saw a lot of bands today. Last I counted it was 14 (two I saw twice). Too many band highlights to include them all. Free BBQ for breakfast, The double dose of both Tournament of Hearts and Queen Caveat, a shot of Free Energy, the Buzzband showcase with Dead Sara, Vanaprasta, and NO, seeing Marcus Foster for the first time, that casual run in with Eve 6…

Instead of detailing all the greatness, I’m just going to share a couple very important lessons I took from today.

Lesson 1: Always plan to change the plan

I would be completely useless without a plan. I have an 11 page detailed list of bands to see with times, places, and access levels. I live by my SXSW schedule. However, part of that plan is knowing that what you end up doing will probably vary from your first option.  Plan A this evening was to head to 1100 Warehouse to see fun. and my top pick Scottish rockers, Twin Atlantic. After getting in to the crowded sauna and waiting around for over 40min. we realized that this was just not going to happen. In addition, a couple of my favorite bands booked last minute shows at Rusty’s so we left and went there. I ended up having an amazing evening filled with many friends and a couple of my favorite bands. If I were set on sticking to the original agenda, my night might not have gone so well.


Lesson 2: It’s good to stick with your friends/high fives make everything feel better

I realized at the end of the day today that of the many bands I caught, only a small handful were ones I didn’t know or hadn’t seen before. I also spent most of the day in a group of people which is unusual for me when it comes to music-festival situations. However, I ended up having a blast! I love all the bands I got to see and the people I saw them with. We started high-fiving each other every time something worked out and I realized that high fives really do make you feel better. So many friendly faces up on stage or dancing with you in the audience just makes me happy and happy seems a very good thing. Side note: I cannot believe just how many people I know here in Austin. Seriously, every time I turn around, there’s another familiar face! I love it!!

I know all that isn’t very band or music specific, but hey, it’s nearly 5am and my free breakfast with Ben Kweller starts in just a few hours.

Speaking of tomorrow, there are several events I’m really looking forward to. Here are few of my musical suggestions:

  • 12pm: Tournament of Hearts at the ATN Showcase (Bayou Lounge 500 E 6th St)- yes, I just saw them twice today, but honestly, that makes me want to see them even more tomorrow
  • 1:15: The Chevin at Maggie Mae’s (323 E 6th St)- loved this Brits when I saw them in LA. Don’t want to miss any opportunity to see a great band that isn’t based in the US. They also play at 8pm at The British Embassy (512 San Jacinto)
  • 2pm: Twin Atlantic at The Cedar Door (201 Brazos St)- I missed them today. I hope this doesn’t happen again tomorrow. They are also playing 11pm at The British Embassy (512 San Jacinto)
  • 2:45: We Are Augustines (612 W 4th St at Rio Grande)
  • 3:30: Glen Hansard at Antone’s (213 W 5th St)- another must see SXSW artist
  • 4:45: Ben Howard at 715 Red River
  • 5:15: Semi Precious Weapons at The Cedar Door (201 Brazos St)- SPW invades Austin…YES!
  • 6pm: Adam Arcuragi at Second Stage Showcase/Hotel Piano (3401 S I-25). – Adam also plays at 1am at The Whiskey Room (503 E 6th St)
  • 8pm: The Roxy Showcase at Empire Automotive (604 E 7th St)- featuring Filligar, Nico Vega, and Imagine Dragons…of course I’m there!
  • 1am: The Silent Comedy at Velveeta Room (521 E 6th St) – I will end the day with a TSC dance party!

Happy SXSW!!


~ Kristen

SXSW Recap: 3/13

It’s 3:30 am (again) and despite having droopy eyes, I’m somehow awake (again). I’m not complaining mind you. I’m just making a statement about life during SXSW. Today was the unofficial start of the festival if you will. This is a day filled with long lines, wristband and badge pick up, hustling, waiting, and all kinds of running around. It isn’t till the evening time that the music really starts. And that, is magic.

Somehow I’ve already amassed 4 wristbands, 3 badges, and a bag of swag. Also managed to score a wonderful free veggie dog from the Hot Dog King cart courtesy of @girlshbo. And this is only day 1. Tomorrow promises to be even crazier but tonight was an excellent start.

Our musical night started with He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister playing as Rain Bro at Bayou Lounge as part of the ATN showcase. Following that was Viva City at Chuggin Monkey (dance party!), and was topped off with a healthy dose of Saint Motel at Treasure Island. It was great to finally see He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister and what better time than at SXSW?! And I must say, it was lovely to have that dance party with Viva City. A year is far too long to wait. And what can I say about Saint Motel other than what a great way to finish off the night. It made my night complete. Also, they have a free download if you head to their site!

Fierce Creatures Redux

Fierce Creatures is back and fiercer than ever. Not that they ever really left us, but the fact that this 7 piece band lives up in Fresno makes it all the harder to see them play.

I was delighted to hear from the band in mid-February that not only were they going to be at SXSW, they would be playing a show in San Diego with Kevin Martin the week after. Excitement? I think that’s obvious.

While I don’t have any pictures of them from SXSW (I was too busy dancing) it was a lovely and memorable experience. The guys from The Silent Comedy hopped on stage for their closing song, Satan is a Vampire, and rocked out! If you don’t have Satan is an Vampire and/or you are (*gasp*), unfamiliar with who they are, you should check out this older post I did of them.

Even better news is that the band is recording some “b-side” singles to be released for our delight…

“Our idea is to release a new single with a B-side every few months. We’re hoping that at the end of this year we’ll have about 8 or 10 tracks total, at that point we’ll release a deluxe digital version on iTunes featuring all of the tracks and some extras. The BIG plan is to release all the singles and B-sides on 7″ Vinyl in a box set, made to order essentially.”

How cool would that be? To wet your appetite even more, I happen to have a link to stream their first release, Ships to Shore which is available for download from their Soundcloud website. If you just feel like a listen, check this.

Ships to Shore by fiercecreaturesband

Also, if you haven’t been to their website yet, go check out their cool little creature. I promise he will make you smile.