Although I could still use two Advil and at least five cappuccinos to stay awake today, it’s time to recap my crazy week as a neophyte SXSW attendee. Hearing so much about this music conference/festival through artists and fellow music writers, it was surprising I, who’s luckily been to hundreds of concerts in my lifetime, didn’t make the Austin SX trip to the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the world” before. Determined to go in ’14, I boarded my flight (on which the pilot wished everyone on the plane a good SXSW) full of music industry folks and headed to ATX last Monday.
Somewhat organized (as I tried to comb through the free and sponsored showcase schedule) and mixing face-to-face artist interviews with panels and showcases, my tentative schedule got shot to hell each day as what I wanted to do and what I could actually get into, varied. My access fell somewhere in the middle because #SXLines plagued, even with press wristbands, but I still managed to see a lot of dope acts including some secret shows anyway. With 2,000 acts performing, good music rattled windows and blared from dark bars, convention centers, halls and theaters for at least 12 hours a day. Apart from the horrible incident on Thursday night, where a drunk driver plowed into a filled blocked off street, thousands of people partied peacefully.
Seeking a blend of different artists, I ultimately caught Blondie, Little Dragon (props to
The Fader + Converse Fort for being the place to be at SXSW), YG who brought out surprise guest Snoop Dogg, Betunizer( at the Sounds of Spain showcase), Mobb Deep, Jojo, Soundgarden (back with a new album), Bands of Skulls, The Beat Junkies, Maseo of De La Soul, J. Period, Chromeo, Erykah Badu, Peanut Butter Wolf, Jonwayne, Talib Kweli (who rocked until 3 AM on Saturday night) and artists I interviewed in 2013- Allen Stone and Aloe Blacc (who dueted with each other beautifully) at the GrammyU showcase which also featured Grammy Center Stage winners Jessica Faith and Guillaume Eyango , Daley, Mack Wilds, Sabriel and Ekoh. Even new artists I didn’t see piqued my curiosity. I could barely open my eyes each morning but it was so much fun. Visit the Music Emissions site again for my interview features with the artists and bands I connected with at SXSW soon!