GABF 2015 Recap

The 2015 Great American Beer Fest has come and gone and has left me thirsty for next year. Our second year in attendance was pretty rad and we learned a lot from 2014. This year, we attended both Saturday sessions and did it smartly. I tasted and rated 113 brews out of over 3,700+ beers. We focused on new breweries and brews we can’t get in Seattle (looking at you Texas) and hit up a few old faithfuls like Firestone Walker (XVIII) and Ska Brewing (20th Anniversary Beer).

We were semi-unorganized newbies for GABF 2014 and filled that night with high ABV beers. This year we partied with mostly Sours, Saisons, Grisettes with the occasional Bourbon Barrel-aged something to the unique CBD infused IPA (kudos Dads & Dudes!).

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A few of the most memorable beers of the weekend:

  • Lake Tahoe Brewing Co (Carson City NV) – Fossy Fussy: 100% Brett fermented farmhouse style dry-hopped and aged with fresh ginger, watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe and hibiscus. It was as tasty as it sounds!
  • Panther Island Brewing (Ft Worth TX) – Allergeez: We chatted with friendly Joe Chapa for a bit about this relatively new brewery and the booming brew bust of North Texas. This spiced delight won Silver in the ‘Herb & Spice’ category and a 4-star rating from me!
  • Ratio Beerworks (Denver CO) – Wicked Grin: We actually hit up this brewery on Friday night and they have a stellar line-up of saisons. My favorite being the plum saison. The lime gose is also great as we brought a bottle home with us. Still kicking myself for not buying two more.
  • Shorts Brewing (Bellaire MI) – Melt My Brain: One of my all-time favorite cocktails is a simple gin and tonic and this was on point with heavy juniper and slight gin.
  • Six Rivers Brewery (Mckinleyville CA) – Macadamia Nut Porter: This porter captured the essence of the macadamia beautifully! 4 STARS!
  • The Rare Barrel (Berkeley CA): We got back into this line 4 times to try them all, my favorites being the Home, Sour Home and Another World.
  • Zwanzigz Brewing (Columbus IN) – The Ticket Chocolate Beer: If it looks like a cow, but barks… is it really a cow? This is the lightest colored AND most chocolate-ly beer I ever tasted. I also love that the brewer named the Nvllivs In Verba brew after an episode of Cosmos.
  • 10 Barrel Brewing (Bend OR) – Cucumber Crush: Very refreshing Berliner Weisse with lots of cucumbers!

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A trip to Denver is never complete without a stop at Crooked Stave… Sunday’s tapping of the Nightmare on Brett in Port Barrels was excellent! A few tasties we brought home.


SXSW 2015 Recap

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Always late to the party and this post is no different. Finally posting the South by Southwest 2015 recap. The whole vibe was very different this year but in a good way. The festival felt safer this year with added security (Thanks Austin PD!) and the people attending shows seemed like they really wanted to be there. While at the same time, people acted way more guarded. Good year overall though.

Over the course of 6 days and nights, I saw a total of 53 bands live (the Mr seeing 54 total). My favorite performances of the week were Hikes, Yellerkin, LITE, Fantastic Negrito, Mansionair and the Icky Blossoms (although I’ve seen lots, I can’t pass ’em up).

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THE GOOD // Way less people then last year clogging the streets // Bar owner (Matt, I think) let us in badge-less and for free to check out Cloud Nothings // The Wild Honey Pie showcases the best artists // Chips & spicy cream dip at // Rad staff and solid drinks at Rio Rita // Stellar dinner at Swift’s Attic // The Pale Dog with Simcoe Hops at Hops & Grain Brewing // Attending an Austin Sofar show and meeting fellow city coordinators // Roger Sellers‘ mustache

THE BAD // Ryn Weaver at Spotify House – unprofessional, needs hand-holding to work her equipment, possibly drunk, 20 minutes late to the stage while band was waiting. Girl needs to grow-up. // No Tyson’s Tacos, Bill Miller BBQ, or Whataburger for me this time around // Walking 20 blocks in Friday’s downpour just to completely miss a band that went on one hour before scheduled // Late night Cheetos pizza creation // And as always, missing sets from Cold Mailman, Be Forest, Quiet Kids, The Lighthouse and the Whaler, VIMES, Until the Ribbon Breaks and the other 100+ selections, but hopefully will see them in Seattle in the future!

THE MEH // Missing our reservation at Qui. Twice. // Flying back home on Saturday night, BUT it was nice to recoup all day Sunday!

Until next year SXSW…


SXSW Past: 2014 // 2013 // 2012 // 2011 // 2010

SXSW 2015 Music Tips

It’s SXSW time and the months of preparing are now coming together oh so nicely! There are many friendly people sharing tips on twitter and music blogs that definitely should not be ignored. While I’m going on my 7th SXSW, it would have been nice to have tips at the very beginning. I’ve learned lots over the years, through trial and error and watching others mistakes. Here are a few more tips that I haven’t seen floating around.

Check out my 2011 and 2014 tips for the SXSW music portion too. See you there!

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1 :: Eat a hearty breakfast (or lunch depending on your wake-up time) to start the day. More days than not, breakfast is the only meal consumed as running around doesn’t lend much time to stop and eat. Also, a good breakfast base is key for the day and night of drinking ahead. I do carry almonds in my bag to get me through until a random taco truck appears.

2 :: Be prepared with stuff you foresee needing. A jacket for the bipolar Texas weather, sunscreen to keep those tattoos bright, and travel Kleenex for the ladies. I don’t think toilet paper exists at SXSW.

3 :: Watch your drinks. You don’t want to be slipped something unpleasant. It happened to me once (not at SXSW) and sucks big time.

4 :: Earplugs! EarPLUGS! EARPLUGS! I’ve been into live music for over half my existence and just started wearing earplugs in my early 30’s. Protect your hearing now, kids! [end of PSA]

5 :: I state this a lot, but here goes again… do not see the huge acts! This is one of the reasons why I avoid Fader Fort and stages shaped like vending machines like the plague.

6 :: Be weird and have fun. Follow Bill Murray into that elevator. Hang out with those DJs in the park at 3am. Flirt with that door guy to get into a badge only showcase. Make forever friends. Whatever.


All photos by Annie ~ more photos here

SXSW 2015 Music Selections, part 3 :: Seattle

I love seeing Seattle bands make the trek down to Austin for SXSW. Here are a handful of my local favorites that you should check out!

Hey Marseilles, La Luz, Manatee Commune, Motopony, Odesza, THEESatisfaction




SXSW 2015 Music Selections, part 2

While checking out almost all of the showcasing artists, sometimes you stumble on a great 80’s glam-metal band from South Korea that you put on your SXSW list purely just to see to believe… Victim Mentality.

SXSW 2015 Music Selections, part 1

It’s that time of year! We have been listening and enjoying fresh new bands since the first lineup announcements last Fall. This is only a handful of the bands in our ‘yes’ column. If you enjoy the artists, be sure to check em out at SXSW or touring in your town soon. Adding more artists daily, or when I remember!



SXSW 2014 :: SXSW 2012 :: SXSW 2011

Wackdelly’s 14 Favorite Live Shows of 2014

Another year, another reflection on the past year of exploring new bands and artists.

2014 Breakdown :: at least 232 live bands :: est annual cost of $936 :: March was the loudest month (48) :: December was the most quiet month (3)

Jungle @ Spotify House (Austin – SXSW) 3/11/14



Mutual Benefit @ Spotify House (Austin – SXSW) 3/12/14


Team Me @ Cheers Shot Bar Rooftop (Austin – SXSW) 3/12/14


Public Service Broadcasting @ Latitude 30 (Austin – SXSW) 3/13/14

Coldair @ Sunset Tavern – Seattle 4/1/14


The Melodic @ Sunset Tavern – Seattle 4/14/14


Washed Out @ Sasquatch – Quincy WA 5/24/14

The Notwist @ Neumos – Seattle 7/5/14


Brothertiger @ Sunset Tavern – Seattle 7/17/14


Manatee Commune @ Neumos (Seattle – CHBP) 7/27/14


Valley Maker @ Neumos (Seattle – CHBP) 7/27/14


Jacco Gardner @ Bumbershoot – Seattle 9/1/14


Tomo Nakayama @ Hairstream – Seattle 11/4/14


Nils Frahm @ Mississippi Studios – Portland 11/9/14



2014 Bands

Air Traffic Controller, American Football, Bad Things, BADBADNOTSOGOOD, Barcelona, Bearcubbin’ (x2), Bellamaine, Beverly, Big Phony, Black Violin, Boyfrndz (x2), Brothertiger, Cabana, Capital Cities, Cataldo (x2), Chance the Rapper, Chet Faker, Chris Brokaw, Chris Staples, Christopher Paul Stelling, Chromeo, City and Colour, Classixx, Cleanup, Cloud Control, COHO, Cold Specks, Coldair, Craft Spells, Crystal Fighters, Cumulus, Cymbals, Dads, Damien Jurado, Dana Buoy, Dark Rooms, DEMS, Douglas Dare, Dresses, The Drums, Dub FX, Dude York, Each & All, Edmund Wayne, Emery, Emma Ruth Rundle, Falls, Fenster, First Aid Kit, Fly Moon Royalty (x2), Foster the People, Foy Vance, Gentlemen Hall, Gold & Youth, Golden Gardens, Goodbye Heart, Great Good Fine Ok, Haim, Hand of the Hills, Hermigervill, Hey Marseilles, Highdrops, Hip Hatchet, Holychild, How Sad, Hozier (x2), Hundred Waters, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Iska Dhaaf, Jacco Gardner, Jel, Jesse Morrow, Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas, Julianna Barwick, Julie Byrne, Jungle, Junius Meyvant, Kins, Kishi Bashi (x2), La Luz, Lemolo, Liiight, Lonesome Shack, M.I.A., Manatee Commune (x2), Marmalakes, Matt & Kim, mewithoutYou (x2), Mission of Burma, MØ, Mogwai, Mr Little Jeans, Mutual Benefit (x2), Mylets, Nada Surf (x2), Neon Trees, Neutral Milk Hotel, Night Beats, Nils Frahm (x2), Oberhofer, Odesza, Of the City, Owl Eyes, Panda Bear, Papa, Parquet Courts, Phosphorescent, Plume Giant, Polka, Poolside, Portugal. The Man, Public Service Broadcasting, Pure Bathing Culture, Queens of the Stone Age, RA Scion, RAC, Rainbow Wolves, Ravenna Woods, Real Estate, Rhett Miller, Robert DeLong, Rodriguez, Rose Windows, Rufus Du Sol, San Fermin (x2), Sandrider, Say Hi, Scarves, Seattle Rock Orchestra (String Quintet), Seekae, Shakey Graves (x2), Shannon Stephens, Sin Fang, Sir Sly, Sisters, Slow Bird, Slow Magic, Small Black (x2), Smokey Brights, SOHN (x2), SOL, Soley, Son Lux, Sondre Lerche, Sour Notes, Spoon, Spring Standards, St Paul De Vence, Star Slinger, Streets of Laredo, Sun Club, Syd Arthur, Sylvan Esso (x2), Tangerine, Tanlines, Team Me, Tei Shi, Telekinesis, The Both, The Cave Singers, The Chain Gang of 1974, The Classic Crime, The Colourist, The Comettes, The Dismemberment Plan, The Domestics, The Flavr Blue, The Griswolds, The Hoot Hoots, The Lonely Forest (x2), The Melodic, The Notwist, The Replacements, The Waylayers, The World is a Dark Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die, The Wytches, Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra, Tiny Moving Parts, Tokimonsta, Tomo Nakayama (x3), Tomten, Torres, Touche Amore, Tourist, Tove Lo, TTNG, TV Girl, Twin Shadow, Tyler the Creator, USF, Valerie June, Valley Maker (x3), Violent Femmes, Walk The Moon, Washed Out, Watsky, Waxahatchee, We Are Scientists, Western Haunts, Wet (x2), White Lightning, Wild Ones (x2), Wrinkles, X Suns, xxyyxx, Yellow Ostrich, Zachary Meyers


Previous years

2013 :: 2012 :: 2011 :: 2010