The Road to SXSW: Austin (Pt 1)

so, is sxsw everything i thought it would be and more? well, yes and no. I didn’t have any accreditation due to my last minute decision to go so everything i did was free/i talked my way into/random so this ended in my seeing a lot of friends, which is fine: i have great friends who play in great bands. i would try to do it differently if i go back next year, maybe, but there is definitely a summercamp/field trip vibe to hanging out with a bunch of canucks in sunny texas that i was digging.

20120323-020949.jpg on our first night in town, simon took us out on the town and we played texas shuffle board with some local austinites. I was amaaaaazing, even if there’s no photo evidence to support it.

20120323-021012.jpg bumped into a million buds, because that’s the sxsw way

20120323-021045.jpg We hit it kind of hard for the first night, and the evening was a blur of food trucks, weird myspace zombie parties, pickle backs (consecutive shots of whisky and pickle juice – actually so delicious, like drinking a boozy sandwich), cumbia dance parties, intense ontario vs. quebec music debates, and pitchforky garage parties with buzzy bands. party party party. i wasn’t feeling awesome next day, fer sure.

20120323-021118.jpg the next day was all business. we headed down to the swank omni hotel for a sirius xm acoustic session, which you can check out here, and imagine me beaming in the background and snapping away:

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20120323-021241.jpg i took some time off from the boys to do some exploring and reunited with my iceland crew, Frank and Lauren. I love these guys so much! If only I could just hop around music festivals with them all year. Lauren lives in London, and seeing each other was this awesome semi-surprise that practically has us in tears. I know we pierced at least one eardrum with our shrieks of joy.

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20120323-021310.jpg we checked out Alabama Shakes in the backyard of Stubb’s…

20120323-021347.jpg and Frank showed off his Springsteen pass, because he likes to rub his importance in our faces.

20120323-021527.jpg I also caught the end of Savoir Adore’s set and dug what I heard. Love the Stars-ey boy/girl vocals, and the crowd was eating them up.

20120323-021417.jpg Then it was over to the Canada House for another Elwin’s acoustic session, this time with CBC Radio 3, where I got to enjoy some sunshine on the balcony with Craig Norris and Andrea Gin and Connie Tsang, some of my fav CBC peeps. There are some additional snaps here; no recordings I can find yet though.

20120323-021601.jpg Best thing about Canada House? The bands, of course! But the free food is a pretty close second.

20120323-021645.jpg No wifi at Canada House though, so there were more than a few campout work sessions at good ol’ Starbucks.

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I ran around a bit with the guys at night, but while they went off to see their heroes, Deerhoof and Of Montreal, I was lucky enough to be welcomed to St. David’s for the Secret City showcase, where I took in beautiful sets by the Barr Brothers, Plants and Animals and of course, Patrick Watson. All three were just amazing, and served to remind just how world-class the Canadian (Montreal) music scene is.
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