SxSw - Austin Texas 2012 - Oh my!

Old Mar 17th, 2012, 08:38 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 16,658
SxSw - Austin Texas 2012 - Oh my!

This could be a while.. still catching up on major sleep depravation!

I have a family member who has been in the music industry for over 20 years and invited me to accompany her to SxSw this year as I now live in Dallas Texas. I helped her out with an industry event she hosts in San Diego in Feb. and the timing worked out for me to join her ...so off I went on Wed. after dropping off my almost 15 year old for a flight to the North East to visit family while Momma went south...

The ride from DFW area was pretty easy - but there is indeed nothing much between here and Austin. I waved to Baylor in Waco and continued south. The drive took about 3.5 hours and there was not too much traffic.

I was arriving before them and checking into the townhouse rental and going to the grocery store. I also had a room reserved at the Marriott Courtyard by the convention center - which I was able to get on points - on Sunday prior to arrival. I have NO idea how that worked out but was thankful it did..in the end it REALLY ended up helping out.

I arrived at the townhouse that she had rented early - check in was at 4:00 and I got there about 1 pm. The cleaning person was there and was super nice - the place was right 1rst street - and it was "okay" - it had 2 bedrooms,1.5 baths (the powder bath was in the galley kitchen area with the washer and dryer in the same space) - upon arrival the woman said that I could drop off my things, and that she would be done in a few hours - but that the people had left a HUGE mess for her to clean up - including BLOOD every where on one of the beds??? Okay. Did not need to know that ....and went onto be very graphic about the blood. Okay. :-?

I let her know that the rest of the party was not arriving until 7:00 so no worries on hurrying I was headed over to the store and to the Marriott Couryard to check into my room.

Austin was buzzing! It was very busy already and crowded. I was thankful that I had my GPS and got to the Marriott no issues - it is in interesting property as it is literally attached to a Residence Inn as well... We are Platinum Marriott reward members and have stayed at many properties but have never seen that - They were VERY nice at check in, they had given me a nice corner room on the 9th floor with two queens (not doubles) and the lobby was up to date - they gave me breakfast coupons for Champs which is attached - there is also a full service starbucks in the lobby.

I headed up to the room and chilled out and worked on homework (see; I know boring) for a few hours and then headed back out to get to the grocery store and back to the townhouse to met my traveling companions.

I could not get to Whole Foods - which is in downtown due to how the roads were blocked and gave up and ended up at HEB which was up the road from the condo. It was 7:00 pm by the time I arrived back at the town house the the cleaning woman was STILL there - the laundry (towels) were still not complete and I told her I would be happy to finish them up and off she went.

My traveling companions arrived and we headed straight out for a movie that a friend of her's was the executive producer for ... it got all jumbled up as it was the wrong address - we went to the address for the showing that was earlier in the week... this was the beginning of a very frustrating evening. We headed back into downtown and had to get over to see some of her contacts at a Warner brother's event - LP http://www.lprock.com/bio.html was someone she needed to see - we finally figured out where to go and were able to get in the VIP area - I felt pretty bad - the lines for people outside who had purchased badges and wristbands did NOT seem to be moving - this was a something I noticed most of the time I was there...and while I did not purchase a wrist band (open to only Austin residence) or a badge - as my companion put it - we were going rouge - I could not imagine my frustration if I had! They are NOT cheap...

We get escorted back stage - offered some cool goodies bags full of Tigi products (nice!) and free drinks - but guess what? We were too late...missed LP - .... we were both pretty hungry and wanted some place quiet (ha!) to eat and catch up before the next place we had to be .... we ended up at http://congressaustin.com/second/ which was decent - nothing great but good and it felt good to sit down - by now it was after 9:00 pm. There is a LOT of confusion that I will not get into but we were pretty unclear on where to go and where she was supposed to be et.

After dinner we ended up back at the Marriott for a bit to wait for our other two companions - they had a REALLY hard time getting to the hotel as the streets were very blocked off by this hour.

We walked up to 7th street to the next event she needed to be... it was getting pretty late and the people were getting very drunk/drugged up - we were at a club that I really would not darken the door of in normal circumstances - listening to a white rapper saying things that I could not repeat here or any place in a SMASHED room full of people - it was horrible - i went out back where there was some reprieve from the madness - it is getting later and later and I am more and more tired - my options were to walk back alone which was a little concerning to me based on the condition people had been when we arrived... and I learned new terms "rollin' on X" (yeah I had never heard that) Witnessed girls getting in a fist fight - just not my cup of tea.

I guess I should add - I am a suburban Mom, 44 years old, currently pursuing my bachelors degree in psychology with an emphasis in crisis counseling from a Christian U. This was NOT my scene.

I finally decide that walking back to the hotel is better than being where I am but at this time the others said no way to letting me walk back alone - it was now a pure fallin' down drunk feast with people passing out in the streets, vomit, someone urinated in front of us... (see: about 2 am)...

I am toast and ready to drive back to Dallas in the morning - Austin had not impressed... I slept at the hotel alone and the others headed back to the townhouse

Day two... the sun will come out tomorrow... we hope :-? Ghosts, Willie Nelson and Grammy party ...
MomDDTravel is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2012, 09:12 PM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 16,658
Day Two - here we go....

I did not sleep too great - and was up unfortunately by I think 8 am - which might not seem early but I think it was well after 3 before I got to sleep.

I had breakfast at Champs in the hotel lobby - which they gave me for free as a Platinum member (they usually do NOT do this at courtyards) the interesting part was the breakfast area was shared with the Residence Inn - and it was a regular restaurant unlike the other Resident Inns where I have stayed. They had the buffet as well as a menu - the food was fine - I was more interested in coffee....

I headed up to the room - and decided to work out - the gym is over in the Residence Inn area - but the Lobbies/driveway/valet are all connected. The gym was fine - there was a small pool area (indoor) as well and a whirlpool and enough equipment to get in a decent work out.

My companions were waking up and our day was coming together - We had a band to see called Vintage Trouble http://vintagetrouble.com/ - at 1:00 - we headed over and it was REALLY great - they were so full of energy - the vibe in the bar was great - and we did not have to wait or have badges - we got to hang right on the inside of the stage and the band even did a really cool shout out to my companion - after the show we had some time to kill and decided to grab some lunch prior to heading over to another club area that my friend needed to met up another business associate - he had warned us that the music might not be our "thing" but she needed to connect with him. I cannot begin to explain what I saw - there were campers lined up on the street- locals had been camping out since 3:00 am to get into this venue - I was afraid we were going to get stoned walking in - and I mean in the sense of people throwing stones at us - as we got to walk in.

It was INSANE - I do not even know how to explain the screaming music - I do not even know what the genre was - I will ask my son - but it is all SCREAMING, the F word every other word,mosh pit, there were two bloody faces I saw - people jumping off the stage into the crowd... CRaZy! I think we were both in a state of SHOCK. We were there for a while - and then he walked us over to another venue to hear someone else - whatever badge he had? Got him and us in every place But he DID have a coveted green wrist band on..with the words "Springstein" on it...Bruce was playing and there were very limited ways to see him. Wow. Lucky dude!

We hung out for a while longer - the company was good and needed to get back to the hotel to clean up for the Record Academy Party (see: Grammies) at the Four Seasons...oh that sounded more up my alley!
MomDDTravel is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 01:58 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
Wow! This is a lot different from most trip reports on here!

Keep it up
Ackislander is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 04:38 AM
  #4  
OO
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 9,006
Yowzer! I've never been to SxS,W but seein Austin during that sounds akin to seeing New Orleans at Mardi Gras, or Savannah at St Patricks Day!! Ie....awful!!
OO is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 05:49 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 16,658
Thanks for reading Yes, OO my companion asked me if I had ever been to NO in Mardi Gras and I said nope - not my scene~ I would never - get hives thinking about it!

... Day 2 continued...

We were walking about into the Marriott (which btw, did an incredible job the entire time in all aspects) and I heard my name being called?... then SHOUTED! I was very confused as I don't know anyone in Austin It turns out it was a man from a record label that I had helped out a ton during the event I worked in Feb. We talked for a while and he shared that the band I really wanted to see and had helped out - was having a VERY small radio interview in the morning and playing 3 songs live - would I want to go with him? He would come and get me at 7:00 am. ?? While the thought of 7 am did not sound great - they were the one band I really wanted to see while I was in Austin - and since we were going "rouge" and our schedule was ebbing and flowing every 30 minutes - I said YES! ...

We chilled for a little while and headed over to the Four Seasons - oh yes. Now we are talking, lovely from the moment you walk in... ahhhhh this is good.

Down stairs to head outdoors to the grammy party - it was beautiful - if you have the $$$ and go to Austin - stay here! Right on Lady Bird Lake - http://www.fourseasons.com/austin/?s...g0oyUm%7Cpcrid It was stunning, good glass of wine, the music was very cool, we mingled and enjoyed the beauty! I did not want to leave! The food was very good as well.

Unfortunately we had to leave as we had a dinner planned with the band - http://www.theparlotones.net/ This band sells out stadiums in South Africa... crazy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd3VS0rpOmA

The reason they rented the townhouse was to make them dinner and hang out with them. We were to head out to Willie Nelsons Ranch after the dinner - for a party that was going on there - it is located 45 minutes outside of Austin. The day was getting long again...

The dinner was a kick - they guys were awesome - they are the biggest selling rock band in SA and trying to break the American market. The manager and I talked for a long time - I do not think he clearly understood I am not in the industry. I kept saying that... :-? Okay.. now it is almost 10:30 and the band is ready to hit SXSW and party it up - and I am not going to Willie's ranch. I want to get up at 6:00 am to see the band FUN. http://ournameisfun.com/ in the am - and have zero desire to drive 45 minutes in the dark...

Oh I forgot to ad - there were a lot of issues at the townhouse - I did not sleep there but the lights kept coming on in both bedrooms all nights - on and off - and the wifi did not work (that was exceptionally important as the people staying there needed to access the internet for work purposes through out the stay) the property manager came over and explained that the townhouse had a GHOST and there was nothing she could do - just ASK the ghost to be nice??? Hahahahahhahah I wish I was making this up

They decide after the dinner to pass on Willie Nelson (Sorry buddy!) and pack up the townhouse and head to the Marriott. So we cleaned up, packed up and headed back to the Marriott. They were able to get a room - and checked in. One slept in my room and two in the other. And for what it is worth, I know of another person, (a band member) got a room at the Hilton that day too...and another one got a room at the W for the next night. There were rooms here and there - people checking out, cancelations I imagine.

I try to go to sleep by about midnight - but it is super loud outside with bands till about 2 am - and get up at 6 am to met up with the record label friend to go and see FUN. No one else in my party wanted to get up...

They missed out... Big time

Turned out to be the highlight of my trip...will share why....
MomDDTravel is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 06:09 AM
  #6  
OO
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 9,006
Wow Mom, I really am enjoying reading this. I would have been such a fish out of water there!! Got excited when I read you were going to Willie's ranch, then disappointed to hear you were not going after all. I most surely understand not wanting to make the 45 minute drive by yourself at night...and it would be over very narrow winding roads undoubtedly, and roads populated by a bajillion deer!

You certainly are a good sport about all this!
OO is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 06:14 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 16,658
Day 3 Friday - SXSW -

Yawn.... 6 am came REALLY early... and I REALLY thought about NOT getting up. I might have slept 3 or 4 hours tops at this point. I had red wine at the dinner as there was no white - had a little headache and really wanted to SLEEP...but I rallied on...and man and I glad I did!!!

I was also worried that perhaps said record label guy might forget suburban Mom ??? I could hardly be at the top of the list in his mind of what he had going on? I went to Starbucks in the lobby got coffee - and waited...and waited...and bam! my phone rings at about 7:00 am saying that he is running a few minute late..coolio - he did not forget .

We head to the W to the 93.3 interview - which we both thought was going to be a chill event - you know us, and the band sort of? Ahhhh we show up and there is a line WRAPPED around the building at 7:15 am?? H E L L O??? Where did all these people come from?? http://sxsw.kgsr.com/?page_id=40 We get ushered in again after the men with the mikes in their ears talk to a few people - this going rouge thing isn't so bad after all ...

FUN. looks a little confused too - as it turns out...they thought they were going to be in a room with a few people too - not the 500 plus... it was 7:30 am they had been NONE stop - already had several shows at SXSW and as Nate the lead singer put it "If he had known there were going to be people there he would not have shown up looking like Michael Phelps ;-) (He had on long nikey shorts and a white hoody). They were amazing! If I knew how to upload videos here I would show you - it was wonderful. After their 3 songs, short interview live on air - we were hanging out helping them and the lead singer Nate says to me "Nice to see you again" Ha! I turned around as I assumed he was talking to someone behind me..and he laughs and says "No you" - he remembered me helping them out at the event in Feb.

These guys are so chill and nice and have been working so hard in the industry for a long time and are really "breaking" now - and you can see and feel it in them - their arms have not wrapped around it yet I think... They asked us if we wanted to go to breakfast with them?

Let's... see.... YES

So we helped them to the car and headed to our car and went to the Driskill http://www.driskillhotel.com/ another lovely Austin property and had breakfast and hung out for 2 hours. Okay... my soon to be 15 year old was texting me about something else and I told her what I was doing and she was like "GO MOM!!" Wow! ;-)
MomDDTravel is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 06:23 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 16,658
OO sorry about Willie's ranch, my husband, my friend and a few others were pretty bummed I did not go. The days were very jam packed and in the dark I just imagined getting all the way out there, and the drive back - I had a few glasses of wine, was worried about driving with all the police - I was not intoxicated but you never know!

I apologize for the typos above

This is the bands breakout hit - it has been number one on Itunes and they are getting the most "spins" in radio - (as I am now in the music industry -spew!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv6dMFF_yts

So we hung out for a few hours - and they had another interview to do about 10:30 am and so we parted ways ...I hugged my new bff's (ha!) and parted ways with my friend from the label and walked back to the hotel on cloud Nine.
MomDDTravel is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 06:35 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,661
This is so much fun to read. As you know, this experience (minus the hardcore music & pointless running around) is on my bucket list. GO MOM!
Suki is online now  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 06:59 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 16,658
Suki - the breakfast was so FUN. (no pun intended of course!)

We have had tickets to see them this Wed. @ the house of Blues in Dallas - frankly the guys were more interested in the Mav's game on Wed that they get to go to then their set!

Even the hardcore music turns out to be a part of the "experience" if that makes sense? I sure have told stories to my 24 year old as he use to go to those "shows".

My DIL loves Death Cab for Cuties - and I said "Oh yeah, their manager joined us for a while at breakfast at the Driscoll" she was dying laughing. Like OO said, this is so out of my comfort zone and I am a fish out of water. I am about as "uncool" as you can get if you look up that word in the dictionary - there is my photo

Day 3 continues....

I head back to the hotel grinning ear to ear and make a choice to drive home. I want to end on a high note - and while there is an opportunity to hear Jimmy Cliff - rock and roll hall of fame - (He played at the event I was helping at in Feb and was amazing!) and there might be an outside chance of seeing FUN. again in the evening - I have a ton of homework in my new semester and know I am going to need a few days of recovery!

So I pack it up...and head out of Austin about 2:00 pm. Still grinning from my morning!

My companions DID see the Parlotones, Jimmy Cliff and I think someone else on Friday after I left - but I was home by 6:00 pm and back to reality from my taste in the music industry.

I REALLY want to go back to Austin when it is not crazy and enjoy some other aspects to the city.

It seemed like the higher up you got in the streets (7th was pretty bad) it was pretty gross - the streets were VERY dirty by Thursday - stepping over trash but down by the four seasons and even on 4th it was not as bad.

I heard Bruce was amazing - killing it - we did not get to see him - those were very coveted wrist bands!
MomDDTravel is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 07:59 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,661
I also heard the Bruce show was amazing (the wrist bands were by lottery) and that his almost one hour keynote speech was great too. You can listen to it, or read about it here:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2...aning-of-music

I went with Fodor's poster, Hershey, to the Austin City Limits festival a few years ago. Austin is only 1/10 as crazy during that weekend and it was a lot of fun. I've been wanting to go back to Austin ever since.
Suki is online now  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 08:20 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,661
PS - If you looked around at your hardcore show, you might have seen Bruce! That article I linked said, "His parting revelation that he planned to go see some "black death metal" was likely just a quip, but the insistence that important, meaningful music comes from all cultural corners was deeply serious."
Suki is online now  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 08:21 AM
  #13  
P_M
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,885
Hey Mom, sounds like you had a crazy time here in Austin. Next time you are in town please drop me a line and we will have a GTG and I will play tour guide. My tour guide fees are very reasonable and I do not expect a tip.
P_M is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 08:53 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 16,658
Suki - that is classic and is sort of funny (about Bruce) because the person that got us in to the dark black death metal (glad I know the name of the genre now!) was the label owner - and lives in Manhattan - 52 years old...

P-M - I really would love that! I am sure it will be a far more "Lovely" time
MomDDTravel is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 08:55 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 16,658
oppsss... still in recovery mode. Did not finish my thought Suki - anyway - the guy said pretty much the same thing. about the dark black death metal show. Crazy I tell you though - crazy. I was in pretty much shock afterward.
MomDDTravel is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 09:18 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,595
Thanks for taking us along on your wild experience! Who knew that a trip to Austin would be classified as "adventure travel"?
lcuy is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 09:39 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 16,658
. I've been wanting to go back to Austin ever since.>

Suki- SxSw 2014??
MomDDTravel is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 10:23 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,763
Wow, that is wild! I would have been so uncomfortable - not even sure I would have enjoyed the parts you did enjoy (I admit I get very intimidated being around the "rich and famous"). I think I'll go back to JazzFest next year (even though SXSW has been on the bucket list for years) which is about as mellow as SXSW was crazy!
sf7307 is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 11:05 AM
  #19  
cd
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,981
Mom, our son was a presenter at SXSW. He had a great time.
cd is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2012, 11:19 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,661
SXSW 2014 is exactly what I was thinking because my friend goes every other year, and his next trip is 2014. Badges next time though, right?

cd, that's very cool. Was he part of the music event or the interactive one?
Suki is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO