This past weekend my best friend Megan and I drove up to Austin to experience the music festival SXSW. We did this last year too, and when I say we went to SXSW, it isn’t really true. To go to the official events sponsored by SXSW you have to pay literally thousands of dollars for a badge. I looked it up. There will never be a time when I love music that much. Unless Jesus is starting a band with a resurrected John Lennon and Johnny Cash, I will never pay that much money to get into a concert. (By the way, wouldn’t that be a cool band? Since it’s 2013 they would play nothing but dubstep and call themselves “J to the 3rd power”…or “Jesus saves J”…or “Three Wise Men” OMG, that last one, let’s copyright it, quick!)
No, what Megan and I like to do is just arrive at 6th street and walk from bar to bar, listening to a certain band for a little while, and then moving on to the next one. Let me share with you some of the things we saw and experienced in Austin last Friday. Mostly through pictures, and several of them taken by Megan(twitter account: @mlovelady11). Why are several of them Megan’s? Because she had a real camera, and also because I don’t know how to frame things. Illustrated by these two photo’s we took of the same band.
Why get the whole band in the photo? That would be silly.
First things first, I drove to San Marcos, picked up Megan, and then we drove to Austin. We parked at my Uncle Dan’s house. He lives on 12th street, within walking distance of the Capital, and 6th street, where we wanted to go. He also lives across the street from a food truck village. It’s a pretty hip place.
Definitely in Austin now
After we got to Austin we walked down to the capital to meet our friend Birk. Birk is a friend of mine from college where we were both officers in the Young Democrats at UTSA
Birk is next to me. Funny story, Birk was the “Chairman” of the Young democrats, but everyone always accidentally called him “President”. Trying to put a stop to this confusion, we renamed the position “President” in the middle of the semester after we had all gotten used to the old name, whereupon we all continued to call him “Chairman” by mistake.
Unlike me, Birk used his Political Science degree to get a real job in Austin as a legislative aide.
Here is a picture of the beautiful capital dome.@mlovelady11
Here is another one, with a giant tree blocking the view of the dome. Can you tell which photo was taken by Megan?
Birk met us for lunch, and took us to a local Austin place for lunch called the Texas Chili Parlor. I was super excited. In the last few years I’ve made a real effort to go to local places when I’m out of town. I figure that I can go to Chili’s restaurant anywhere, but I can only go to local restaurants in the town that they are located. So we went to this place, and then our waiter was the most bored, vaguely angry looking waiter I have ever had. When we walked in the door he was literally like, “I guess you can sit here…whatever.” That’s not the point though, the food was delicious, and we had a good time seeing Birk.
Not a good enough time to take a photo with him evidently. Stupid of me. But as you can see I was too busy taking artsy photo’s of restaurant signs.
After that Birk took us back to the Capital and showed us the memorial for fallen Police officers, and told us where things were in the Capital, which was important because Megan had never been there before!
She’s lived in Texas her whole life, how did this happen!?
Finally though, after we had walked around the Capital a little bit, and Megan had gotten a sufficient amount of Texas history, we walked down to 6th street. Before I get into the bands that we actually heard and saw, let me share with you some of the very interesting people we saw. Because that’s absolutely part of SXSW, all of the interesting people watching that you can do.
Tight, tight leather pants and an exposed chest. Because why the hell not? After I took this picture some drunk girls in equally strange clothes ran up to him to take pictures with him.
I told you that we went last year. I didn’t hear a whisper about any of the same bands that we saw last year…except for this one random street performer. After posting a photo on my facebook page my friend Geoff excitedly commented, “OMG, YOU SAW THE VIOLIN MONSTER!!??” I looked. Violinmonster.com, it’s a real thing. I’m glad someone knew who he was.
Before anyone gets excited, No, I didn’t put a dollar in that garter belt. @mlovelady11
But enough of that, as you can see, there were lots of interesting people to look at. Lets talk about the bands we saw and the music we listened to. Before we begin though, lets play a game. Try to guess which of these are real band names, and which are just ones that I made up.
Great Peacock, Sudden Grudge, The Virgin Wolves, Pelican Murder, Bumpin Uglies, The Pin Up Girls, The Wilderness of Manitoba, and Trees on Fire.
Quick, no cheating, which ones are real?
Sudden Grudge, Pelican Murder, The Pin Up Girls, and Trees on Fire are ones that I invented They may or may not exist already. If they don’t exist though I think I might get copyrights and start my own indie alternative band. The other ones are real. I didn’t ever get to see Bumpin Uglies.
The bands that we did see are as follows
The Rise of the Broken:
We actually didn’t see much of them, but this was the first band and I was all like, “OMG, OMG, we’re here! We’re so cool, we’re watching an indie band at SXSW, I have to document our counter-culture hip-ness!!!” @mlovelady11
The Hindu Pirates:
Megan and I both really liked them, they were really skilled, but they didn’t have a microphone! I didn’t hear their vocals until I looked them up at home.
The Wilderness of Manitoba:
See, this is a real band! They totally had the kind of sound that I like, and not at all the kind of sound that Megan likes. I made her stay for a while though, sorry Megan.
This band was sort of a rock/country fusion. I bought a couple of their songs on itunes when I got home. They were good, but this music video of theirs is sort of hilariously terribly acted:
Sam Sliva and the Good
They sang a song specifically about San Marcos, which was exciting to Megan.
The Golden Ghosts:
Another good band. Their front man was really funny and charming. This was also one of the bands that I got free CD from.
Their bassist was wearing really skinny jeans though. Like I should have been enjoying the music, but instead of that I was just looking at him thinking, “Those just can’t be comfortable. Someone needs to find him some nice levi’s.”
Might have been my favorite band of the evening. You might notice that we are behind the band. The club had a cover, but large, open windows, so we just kinda hung out like a bunch of free loaders.@mlovelady11
After they finished their set Megan reached through the window and tapped the bassist on the shoulder and he sold us two CD’s. Since the club had a cover we were just hanging out by the window between sets. Then the bouncer saw us and asked if we knew the bands performing. Megan lied and said yes, and the bouncer told us to go around the block and through the back alley, and he would let us through the back door for free. I don’t know what inspired him to do this, but we followed instructions and went down the dangerous, creepy looking back alley. Then he led us down the dirtiest, most dimly lit set of stairs that I have ever seen. Seriously, I can only imagine how many shots of heroine have been given and received on that staircase. It was so shady that I wanted to stop and take a picture, but I thought that stopping the bouncer with, “hold on, I have to take pictures of this staircase for my blog” would have been trying the man’s patience. When we got in we saw another band!
The Cold Wars:
Megan liked this band, they had a real punk/alternative sound. They were also giving out cassette tapes instead of CD’s because apparently they forgot that it’s 2013, and not 1991.
And that was our SXSW adventure! We left 6th street at around 10pm because we’re as wild and crazy as two old ladies.
Instead of drinking we bought milk and cookies on the way home. We’re legit.
That’s all for today, have a good day readers!