South By Southwest: A First-Timer’s Wish List

Inside Right Wrist at SXSW

Inside Right Wrist at SXSW

Natalie, one of IRW’s fantastic photographers, has been in the throes of life over the last couple weeks and one of the major things sucking up all her time is preparing for the South by Southwest music festival down in Austin, Texas. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular festival, it’s made up of a few different segments… music being only one of them.

It starts off with what they call “Interactive,” which is essentially a conference for people involved in tech start-ups. That’s putting a very narrow view on it, but sums it up pretty well. As those folks are headed home, the film and music nerds (like yours truly and Natalie) make their way in. What comes next for those music nerds is like nothing you’ve ever experienced… it’s a madhouse of 24-hours a day live music, showcases, talks, food carts, free food/drinks, street performances, partying, and more music, music, music! It’s hard to wrap your head around everything that’s happening and the worst part is not knowing how to choose where to go and what to listen to next. I headed down to Austin last year and it was so incredible I still have a hard time remembering everything that happened from one minute to the next. (Luckily I did a little writing and some shooting to keep track of it all.)

I asked Natalie what it was she was looking forward to the most when she hit the rush of craziness and I got back a pretty good list. My one piece of advice to her — and to you if you’re going to the lone star state this week — is plan to throw out any plans you may already have. Definitely have a loose agenda, but if you’ve got a rigid schedule, it won’t happen as you’ve planned it and you’ll get really frustrated. If you welcome the unexpected and go with the flow, you’ll have an incredible time and a lot of free booze along the way (if that’s your thing). Let’s hear what Natalie is looking forward to (my comments/wisecracks in italics):

1.  Eating BBQ from the place that makes the BBQ sauce that’s in my fridge — Stubb’s.
I can attest to the magic and majesty of this fabulous barbeque joint.

2.Frightened Rabbit, maybe 5 or 6 times.  Their new LP Pedestrian Verse has been stuck in my CD player. I’ve been following them since their first US tour in 2007 and they might just be my favorite band.
Hell yes, they just played in Seattle where Julia caught their magnificent performance. I agree whole-heartedly on this one too — take a listen and you’ll agree.

3. TYLER LYLE, as many times as he’ll have me. His new EP Expatriates on Bandcamp makes me feel so many of the feelings and howl like “a mother f*cking werewolf.”
I don’t know about you, but I’d certainly like to see Natalie howl like a werewolf. Let’s make this happen!

4. Shiner Bock and Lone Star from the source.
Tasty beer is always a good reason to go anywhere.

5. Pickwick because this and this and they have a showcase in a church.
I can see the headlines now “Local Boys Make Good in Austin.” We’ve been waiting for that for a long time.

6. If the universe grants me the magical ability to skip a 4 hour line… The Flaming Lips.
Who can blame you Natalie? Any stage at SX is pretty small in comparison to most TFL shows, so go for it lady!

7. THE LONE BELLOW because this.
I sense one of this year’s “bands you’ve never heard of but need to” in the works.

8. The Barton Springs swimming hole, if it’s open.

9. ALL OF THE SEATTLE BANDS outside of their natural habitat! Lemolo, Kithkin, Ravenna Woods, Ivan & Alyosha, The Local Strangers, Noah Gundersen, Hey Marseilles, Reignwolf, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Seeing all of them will likely be impossible but that’s what lists are for, right?
Indeed it is, good luck Natalie and we are excited to hear what happens!



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