Sometimes it's who, not what you do

I know I'm meant to be constantly blogging about my preparations for SXSW, but it turns out that much of my time has been taken up by preparations for SXSW. Oh, the irony!

There are day parties, there are evening showcases, there are free shows and house parties and they all want you to RSVP. If you have cruise director tendencies like I do, it can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, I'll be heading to Austin a mere two weeks from tomorrow so the planning has to end sometime.

As I finish my planning, I'm trying to keep a few pointers in mind:

  • Have a lot of options - With dozens of bands playing shows at any one moment, you shouldn't waste your time waiting in line for a show. Bands often play more than one showcase so unless you just absolutely have to see them, move along and catch something else. Who know, maybe you'll find something new.
  • SXSW is for new bands - It's tempting for me to want to see The Strokes or Bright Eyes who are both playing shows this year. I've seen both of them in concert before so I'll try to use that time to see a new band instead. It'll be hard to pass on Bright Eyes, though, so that might be a game-day decision.
  • Wear comfortable shoes - I've been told there is a lot of walking. A lot.
  • There is never free food - Most of the parties advertise free food, but like the mysterious sasquatch, no one has ever seen it. Food goes early and I'm pretty sure it's just one guy with a burrito. Go find a food cart and keep your blood sugar up. This is a marathon not a sprint.
I'll have a list of the top 10 bands I hope to see at this year's SXSW later this week. That is unless I'm busy RSVPing for stuff.


mcnees said...

You may find yourself wondering what to do in the mornings. One morning you will wake up and head down to a restaurant called "El Sol y la Luna" on South Congress. You will have a great cup of coffee and wonder how in the world a life could be built on any foundation other than daily Mexican breakfast. Eventually you'll settle on something called "Migas con Hongos" -- eggs scrambled with salsa, strips of tortilla, mushrooms, and cheese -- served with frijoles negros and tortillas de maiz on the side. The wait will seem interminable. You will wonder if it is a real thing, this idea that you could somehow just expire in the middle of the restaurant because everyone else's food looks so good. WELL, IT IS A REAL THING, but it won't happen to you. Not today, at least. Because the wait isn't interminable; it's just a regular wait in a restaurant with especially good food. And now the migas are in front of you anyway, and you will think that maybe it wasn't so bad when Bob wrote that whole, long blog comment in the second person because hey: he has steered you in the right direction. So you will forgive a stylistic experiment that, ultimately, lacked enough sympathy on the author's part to really be effective. And why, you will wonder, are you even thinking about this when the migas are right there in front of you and all signs point to something right about to go down in stomach town?

Focused on the present, on the food that doesn't live in some two-week old blog comment but is sitting in front of you right now, you grab one of the corn tortillas and slap it between your hands a few times (muy caliente!) before rolling it across your palm into a tight cigarillo. This is, after all, the way a serious person eats her breakfast: with a weapons-grade black bean delivery vector in one hand, and a fork clutched in the other. Welcome to Austin.

Eileen said...

And breakfast tacos. I can't even tell you how excited I am about breakfast tacos. I spent a summer in San Antonio and developed a serious addiction.

Thanks for the tip about El Sol y La Luna. I loves some Mexican breakfast in almost any form.

Tony said...

What are your top 10 bands that you hope to see?

Eileen said...

Hopefully, I'll post my Top 10 tonight.