@ZackTeibloom SXSW has come and passed and we lived to tell about it, somehow. Looking back, you people just wouldn’t quit your bitching no matter how many endless opportunities were there for you. I mean, this was a week of incredible entertainment of all kinds, endless free drinks and food and all you could manage to tell the world was how you were standing in a line. For fucks sake. The quote on the Statue of Liberty says,”Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Sounds a lot like SXSW tweeters. Tired masses, yearning to breathe free drinks and shows. Good lord did you have things to bitch about. The lines, the out-of-towners, how SX used to be cool, inanimate objects, the lines, how your phone is dying, Kanye, Fuck Vevo, and even whine-ing about the whine-ing. Let’s start with that. You whiney, shit heads, you. Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for March, 2011
@supercooleric While the world was literally falling apart for some, I awoke on the first Saturday of South by Southwest 2011 with nothing to do but nurse a mild hangover and contemplate a staggering list of free beer, barbecue and music options for the days ahead. Bathed in warm Texas sunlight, I stretched out in bed and skimmed over Twitter looking for the latest party RSVPs. What I found was a poignant reminder of my insanely great fortune from Carl Newman of the New Pornographers: “These are the days that put everything in perspective. Most of us are, by far, the luckiest people on earth.”
Funny how quickly that perspective can be discarded. A few hours later, I’d be complaining about standing in line for free alcohol at a free show.
Defining SXSW: Austin’s 25-year-long love-hate relationship
SXSW is a jack-of-all-trades festival with portions dedicated to film, technology, music and smaller subsets dedicated to fashion, concert posters and comedy. There’s also an overarching focus on getting as day-drunk as humanly possible.
SXSW is both a free-for-all party and networking/marketing industry event that somehow caters equally to both big-shot businessmen and unwashed college kids. It is possibly the only event where in a 10-day period you can both hear the founder of TOMS Shoes talk about his long-term vision to expand the buy-one-give-one model and watch the lead singer of a punk band punch a woman in the face. It is a city-swallowing event that dumps hundreds of thousands of people into Austin’s small downtown area and divides Austinites. Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom I couldn’t sleep Tuesday night. I spent god knows how long tossing and turning, imagining conversations I’d have with Jack White after narrowly missing having sushi with him*. I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from finding him on Wednesday. I put a message out on Facebook and Twitter that if anyone knew where Jack was and didn’t text me immediately with cross streets, we would no longer be friends. Once that was settled, I put on my red and white arm bands, a hat that said “keeping vinyl alive,” and my favorite record store t and headed downtown.
My phone started blowing up with messages, telling me something was happening at noon at 4th and Colorado, so I ran the mile over there and arrived at 11:30 to see the Third Man Records truck and a line. At that point, I figured Jack would introduce the shop and say a few words. I had no idea that I was about to have an unthinkably perfect hour. Last year when Third Man had a pop-up show, I left work on my lunch break, drove 25 minutes each way, and budged the entire line to get into the shop before anyone. This time, I wasn’t in as much of a rush, so I only budged 4/5ths of the line**. I made small talk in the line for a few minutes before, wait a minute, is that who I think it is?! Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom As they started counting down two minutes until showtime, we wondered where the band equipment was hiding, since the stage was empty. The screen lifted and there were The Foo Fighters, far enough back from the stage that it made what should have been a raucous performance feel sterile in person. Watch the tape. No one reacts for the first minute until the stage crew yells at us to put our arms up and go crazy. Dave Grohl storming out onto the catwalk to rip a solo sparked the only genuine reaction from the crowd. I’d been looking forward to a Foo Fighters live show since ACL ’08, but like the awards themselves, it was all bark and no bite. And Dave Grohl has the best bite.
As soon as the Foo Fighters finish, we hear a female voice say “welcome…” and stop. She’s way early. 17 seconds go by and she starts over. “Welcome to the 2001 MTVu Woodie Awards. The only college music awards show. Give it up for your host, Donald Glover!” Time out. The “only” college music awards show? 1) What makes this college related? 2) How can it be the only one? I don’t know the answer, so let’s give it up for DJ Scrillex and move on, because we’re being yelled at.
Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom I’ll admit it. I did have a printed ticket for The MTVu Woodies Awards show, but it took a crash to get in at all, let alone front row. story, I think you’ll agree a legitimate crash occurred here. A couple days before the awards show, @kibbe of @skoablog asked me if I wanted to help out on the red carpet. If that meant I could hang out with Dave Grohl, Matt and Kim and Sleigh Bells for a bit before the show, I was all for it. But on the afternoon of the show, I got caught up in day drinking at Ezra Furman and having a large glass of whiskey at home before checking out a couple bands at Liberty. I told her I’d be there a little after 8, but didn’t get out of the shower until 7:50. That was when she reminded me that press check-in closed at 8:30. My phone said I was 2.3 miles away, and my head said I was a little passed buzzed. Even if I was OK to drive, it would have been a traffic/parking disaster. I threw on a sportcoat and started jogging. My phone said it would take 38 minutes. I had 31 to spare.
I jogged about five or six blocks before I was sweating enough to take off my jacket and keep running, while awkwardly draping it over my arm.. It’s really hot down here. I then ran into Bennett, a good college friend of Andy and I, and the first person I knew in Austin. “Teibloom? Why are you wet?” “In a rush. See you later.” That was the only time we saw each other during SXSW. I kept alternating running and walking quickly when I ran out of still kind of drunk breath, refreshing my google map until it was clear I’d beat the estimated arrival time. I arrived, dripping sweat, at 8:23 and found @kibbe just in time to check in. That was when it was revealed that her pass would let her into the venue and mine was only good for the red carpet. They gave me a purple, square MTV sticker that looked official. It would come in handy later. As cool as that could potentially be, I had to make sure I’d get into the show. I was told the ticket I had printed had to be retrieved in line in the garage. I figured I could just grab the ticket (since I had priority ticket seating) and come back for the red carpet. It was far, far more complicated than that. Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom Every year it seems there’s a show before SXSW music officially starts that sets the tone for the rest of the week. Last year it was Metric at Fader Fort. Now, @supercooleric would tell you this year’s hot pick was Sleigh Bells and TV on the Radio at the Zynga party, but for me and Meg, Yeasayer at Moody Theater was the pick Tuesday night. Much like the Conan crash, this was badge only. At least I had a fake badge this time around. I went through my drawer of old badges and realized none looked like the green badge everyone else would have. I found my old badge from Pitchfork ’08. The badge wasn’t the same color, but the lanyard/necklace part that goes around my neck was black, so I tucked it into my dress shirt and hoped I could pull off the “I’m trying to hide the badge, because it’s even cooler to not have one on” look. I didn’t think I had that look in me, but what do you know. Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom The world premiere of “Conan O’Brien: Can’t Stop” was as hot a ticket as they come at the SXSW film festival. The film events are exclusively badge only and I didn’t have any kind of fake badge on me. Just a full stomach from a two-plate breakfast buffet at Trudy’s and a head full of sandwiches. I approached the line 45 minutes before the screening and saw that it stretched for blocks. I had no intention of entering this line. I walked to the front of the theater to check it out and saw Conan himself being interviewed in front of the theater. Here’s a video someone shot of how ridiculous the line was. That had to be long before I got there, since Conan wasn’t even there yet.
I stood by and snapped the pictures of Conan I used in this post and tried to figure out how I would make my way into the theater. I started by getting right next to the entrance, standing behind Conan as he did his interview, pretending I was just taking pictures. I realized I would have to get through 7 or 8 guards lining the 20 feet entranceway. At one point in the film, Conan says he has to remind himself to “act as if this is completely normal” when doing things like interviewing President Obama. It’s a good thing to remind yourself when crashing as well.
By Eric Pulsifer (@supercooleric)
Zynga, the San Francisco company behind FarmVille, Mafia Wars and Words With Friends, knows how to throw one hell of a party. Setting the bar high for freebie-filled events in the days to come, the browser-based game developer’s shindig at SXSW Interactive last night is among the most impressive events I’ve attended in my six years of South by Southwest-ing.
Last year, Zynga’s music event was held at the Fader Fort in East Austin the Tuesday night before SXSW Music and featured Metric and The Constellations. This year, the party was moved to the Zynga Dog House, (a.k.a., Whitley Warehouse, where we saw Chromeo Sunday night). Though I’d just been in the space 24 hours prior, the transformation was remarkable. Zygna painted the blank concrete canvas with splashes of red light, photobooth flashes, and the the joyous glow of vintage arcade cabinets and skeeball scoreboards. There were multiple bars and a lounge area in the center of the main room offering guests a place to nibble on food while watching the main stage. Entry was difficult, to put it mildly, with the wait-list line stretching on for blocks.
The drinks and food
My rant against freebies yesterday? Forget what I said—I’m a changed man. If Zynga’s lineup would have been Courtney Love reading the Bible aloud and a Spin Doctors ska cover band, I would have waited in line an hour just to get in. Read the rest of this entry »
by Eric Pulsifer (@supercooleric)
The smartphone app RedLaser is used by many to seek out the best deals, but no app was needed to find the best ticket Sunday night in Austin. Chromeo played a free show for fans and SXSW Interactive attendees at the RedLaser party at Whitley Warehouse, the home of last year’s Perez Hilton party and tonight’s Zynga party featuring Sleigh Bells and TV on the Radio. Read the rest of this entry »