Greetings dear friends!
While I’ve been neglecting my poor site for so long, I am planning a major overhaul and renewed enthusiasm for it. I’m in the process of recovering and catching up from my annual visit to Austin for SXSW. Not only must I recover myself, but I’ve a ton of things to capture and recover from an aging iMac. I’ve a couple years of SXSW and more to post!
It amazes me how I manage to take on a week in Austin every March, running on little more than 4 hours sleep each night, on the go, on my feet, going going going. It’s a constant challenge, especially as I’ve been a medical mystery for quite some time. Having been diagnosed with two auto immune diseases and tested for a myriad of others, I think the entire time I’m in Austin, I’m running on pure adrenaline. I joke about music being my drug but it surely is!
Since I’ve been home, the aches, pains, migraines and general feeling of being ill returned and I’m working on trying to get through it. Despite all of this, I forge ahead, reminding myself that I managed to walk all over Austin, seeing bands all day and night for 6 days. To quote a song that’s been getting loads of spins in my world:
“The doctors don’t know anything. It’s not right, not right. Well my belly sure does hurt me, but it’s O.K. ’cause I feel damn alive.”
I take my music addiction seriously and in preparation for SXSW each year, I go through all the showcasing bands who have mp3s on the site (1200 this year) and narrow it down to the genres I like. From there I listen to pretty much all of them by using an old college radio trick, listening to the first bit of the song, scrub through to middle, bring up SXSW bio or facebook or website and research each band that catches my ear. If your band doesn’t have a SXSW bio or link to any outside site, and your song is just ok, I’m probably gonna skip it. It’s not that hard to put some basic PR materials together! If it is, perhaps you’re not ready for SXSW.
I combine my time at SXSW with bands I already know and love, including friend bands and try to mix in as many new or new to me bands. I do tend to have an emphasis on the UK bands and bands from outside North America. Sometimes there’s a chance those bands may never make it back to the US again.
This year, I narrowed the 1200 bands to 240 and created a playlist to share.
Did I get to see all 240 bands? no, but I used it as a guide to create a reference schedule for my time in Austin. I don’t adhere to a strict schedule, but I make note of about 5 bands who are MUST SEE bands, the rest of the bands listed come down to “game time” decisions. I could easily walk up 6th or Red River at any given point and find friends along the way, sometimes I go along with them, sometimes I move on and meet up later. It’s all rather fluid. I am a firm believer in the sage & commonly adopted advice of SXSW: Don’t think about what you’re missing, revel in what you’re experiencing.
I’m putting the memory puzzle pieces together and hope to have photos & reviews up soon! I’m working as fast as I can, and there’s tons of rock shows to attend. And a little thing called work! (and I’m still unpacking from moving to a new place in February)