This was probably my 12th time or so rolling to Austin, TX during SXSW, but my first time in a non-performing capacity. Honestly, my expecations were a little lower because in recent years it became kind of an indie music flea market, with any and everyone slinging demo CDs at whoever was unfortunate to cross their paths. At one point I was pretty excited about going because the Rappers I Know showcase was supposed to happen. For reasons that i won’t go ito detail about, it didn’t. But I was still determined to go so that I could, at the very least, support some of the folks that i’ve put in work with (i.e. – H.I.S.D.). I also wanted to see Awkquarius perform, along with Tanya Morgan and a host of other breaking acts that I would probably not see otherwise. I was less interested in seeing the bigger acts who already get a bit of coverage, but was open to it if I had the energy to do so. Spoiler alert – I didn’t. I have to honestly say that SXSW 2009 was actually one of the more enjoyable industry experiences that i’ve had in a while. I rolled into town on Thursday, and immediately hit the ground running at about 4pm. My first stop, as always, was at Jim Jim’s Water Ice on 6th Street. Anyone that’s been there knows the Jim Jim’s is THE CRACK.
I spent the next couple of hours absorbing it all, and checking out a few of the small showcases that were taking place during the day. Ran into folks that I knew on every corner, and generally enjoyed being out and about. I can honestly say that having Twitter, among a host of other social networks, makes events like this more enjoyable because you seem like you’re everywhere at once. I ran into a few dozen people that i’d only known online. Later that evening, I kept alternating between shows at Gruv, in which I caught a quick performance by old friends Zion I, and Back Alley Social, where I saw Pacific Division for the first time. Lot of promise in these young guys. They turned in a very strong performance. Later, I got the chance to see Awkquarius (of “Fat Albert In The Hood” fame) perform for the first time in years. Good people.
I did so much walking on Thursday that I literally wore the soles off my shoes (see picture at top of post). Friday started off with a trip to the mall for new kicks (Stan Smith Adidas, a tried classic), followed by a power lunch with Savvi of H.I.S.D. After that, it was back to the streets to conduct some more informal meet and greets. I capped my evening off by catching H.I.S.D. at the Waxpoetics showcase:
HISD Live in Austin, SXSW 2009 (Partial) from Ethos Music Group on Vimeo.
I planned to stick around long enough on Saturday to catch the Erykah Badu / Cannabinoids show and / or the GOOD Music showcase. After a short trek through downtown again early in the day, my legs told me otherwise. I met up with a couple of folks and bounced. According to almost everyone in attendance, SXSW was off the charts. Tell us about your experiences below: