Here’s the version of my wrap up that didn’t make onto The Line Of Best Fit. Photos by Tonje Thilesen.
A trip to Austin’s infamous South By Southwest festival is not complete without experiencing a set of extreme emotions - from the disappointment at missing a set or not getting into your party of choice, catching surprise guest performances, free swag you actually want and the IRL hangs with online pals. SXSW has become about much more than just music, it’s become a showcase of your culture. What your outlet, be it a label, booking agency, clothing brand, or Taco Bell represents on a larger scale. Where you choose to sit says a lot about where you stand. The below wrap up includes a mix of music, parties and showcases in an attempt to summarize the best moments of a seriously intense week.
For reasons still unknown to modern man, Wednesday’s party itinerary happens to be the most stacked day of SXSW this year. With amazing line-ups and events spanning Austin’s dusty concrete plains, I manage to take in a good mix of it all without feeling like I’ve just run a marathon without proper training (not recommended).
Music website Pretty Much Amazing - along with Danger Village PR - host a free day-party that includes green Danger Village tote-bag survival kits, packed with boxes of delicious Vita Coco Cafe Latte drinks (they tasted like coffee and the milk after you eat Cocoa Pebbles), chapstick and more.
While I down as many coconut waters as I can to avoid the impending hangover, I’m treated to a performance by Brooklyn’s Empress Of. Recently signed to Double Demin and having played their first show ever only last October, singer Lorely Rodriguez garners a sweetly earnest performance that’s captivating in such a pleasantly surprising way. Delicate harmonies looped on-the-fly dance across wailing synths and sexy guitar riffs, as the crowd sways along to her words. In any other circumstance this setup might come across as lackluster but Lorely’s innocent charm and earthly vocals marry all of the pieces of this live set together wonderfully.
The highly anticipated Megablaag event, hosted by blogs Ears of the Beholder and Yvynyl - along with music discovery site Exfm - kick off on Wednesday with a private two-hour open bar, music/tech mixer. The party flows from the inner bar and DJ area of Lipstick 24 to the back patio where guests groove to DJ sets by San Francisco producer Giraffage, and producer/drummer/singer, Jeremy Malvin aka Chrome Sparks.
Though just a DJ set, the rising producer-to-watch plays a smokin’ upbeat mix of new and old tunes, as well as tracks from his fantastic, recently released Sparks EP that has the crowd buzzing off more than just the free alcohol.
As the open bar comes to a close and the larger part of the venue opens up for acts Autre Nu Veut, High Highs, Alex Bleeker and the Freaks and more, the party overflows with music fans and industry folks alike looking to catch some great acts while mingling with the people writing about them for your favourite sites.