SXSW 2014 Recap

This post is dedicated to those lives lost: DeAndre Tatum, Sandy Le, Jamie West, Steven Craenmehr. I didn’t know you, but consider you kindred SXSW spirits. May your souls rest in peace.

IMG_3258Another South by Southwest has come and gone and as always, it was different from years past. The streets of Austin were definitely more chill this year and especially after the sad incident that occurred on Red River. It only felt right to back off the twitters, take less photos, hug the ones you love and enjoy life. This year Michael joined me for his first SXSW, and the first year I’ve attended non-solo. Together we teamed up and listened to all of the showcasing artists in hopes of uncovering some hidden gems. In years past, I’ve tried to tackle the massive list myself but it’s tough so it was nice to make and share discoveries with a fellow music junkie. I will be featuring some of our selections in the coming weeks on the returning Music Monday posts.

Over the course of 5 days, we saw a total of 43 bands live. My favorite performances of the week were Team Me, Mutual Benefit, Black Violin, Public Service Broadcasting, Jungle, Mire Kay, Sun Club, Cleanup, Boyfrndz.

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THE GOOD :: Spotify House :: The Wild Honey Pie Showcases ::  :: Tyson’s Tacos :: Bill Miller BBQ :: Enjoying a drink and chat with Julien Maury, French horror film Director & Writer :: my secret venue to chill and regroup on 6th was not crowded

THE BAD :: A tad bit chilly, so no skirts for me :: Seeing less bands due to the horrendous lines this year :: SXSW has gotten too corporate :: Debating if I will attend SXSW in the future (it’s been a good 6 years, but geezus with the large acts) :: missing our other 100+ top selections, but hopefully will see them at a Seattle venue soon!

THE MEH :: Torchy’s Tacos :: Waylayers played one rad song then quit because they weren’t pleased with the sound :: Brooklyn Vegan Showcases (I blame the venue choice)

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All photos by Annie Cuce

except my family took a few… pi in the sky by Davey and the red roses at Mohawk by Jannette (she also made the pretty flower arrangement)

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SXSW 2013

SXSW 2012

SXSW 2011

SXSW 2010

2014 SXSW Music Tips

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Each year, I learn more about SXSW…what you can get away with, secret spots, best venues, parties to avoid, etc. The main goal being to be exposed to as much new music as possible while having a damn fine time. So far, I’m to be on the right track. Each year gets better than the last, which is difficult to believe since the previous was a fucking blast. The key is to be prepared. I spend months planning for my absolute favorite week of the year. I am giddy and the best feeling is walking down 6th Street on the first day with the warm sun on my skin and feeling the energy in the air. And I hate the sun, so this says a lot. Also, Mr Wackdelly will be joining me for his first SXSW so we have both been listening, planning together, scheduling and I’ve been filling his head with tips and tricks.

Check out my 2011 tips too, but you’ll notice that some tips are outdated (RIP Leslie).

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1 :: Do not see the big acts (also on the 2011 list). Seriously, you spend all your time standing in line for hours to see a popular band that tours in your city multiple times a year, when you could be experiencing what SXSW is really about… fresh new music. The undiscovered gems are where it’s at! Over the years some of my favorite SXSW discoveries before they blew up were Baths, Cloud Nothings, Beirut, Warpaint, Of Monsters and Men and Grouplove.

Seryn

2 :: Check out the free shows at night. My friend at Blue Sky + Hard Rock (along with Music Saves Lives) put on a fantastic showcase last year with free music all day AND night (including free delicious sushi). Be on the lookout for unofficial night parties for they do exist. I believe there will be even more free night stuff this year. (photo: Seryn at Firehouse Lounge & Hostel, 2013)

3 :: There is a new addition to the wrist bands you will be collecting during the week, the Guest Pass wristband. It is a free credential and allows you to get in certain venues/areas (that use to not require any credentials). More info here.

4 :: Be sure to check out Waterloo Records’ free shows from 3/12-3/15, but plan to get there hella early if you want to get in the door. Also, it’s a hike from the main 6th Street music festivities so plan for that and no RSVP necessary! Lineup here and more info here.

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5 :: While the beers of the Pacific Northwest are pretty boss, I do miss old Texas favorites like Firemans #4 from Real Ale Brewing and the always refreshing Lone Star. I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it. Also, be sure to tip those great people slinging drinks behind the bar. They are working hard so you can enjoy yourself.

6 :: If you can find a rad band playing a tiny venue off the beaten path, pay the cab fare to check em out. The best shows are the smallest. This is easier said than done. I have skipped seeing some top picks due to location and later found out what I missed out on and that just plain sucks.

7 :: Don’t invest all your time and planning into one showcase or party… the venue will be at capacity, there was a schedule change, the distance is too far, gotta follow the friends, etc. Just have lots of backup music options. I usually plan 10-15 backup options, and that’s just for the day parties.

8 :: Twitter is one of the best on-the-go tools. Ask questions about line status, tweet a band to confirm times, or just see what’s blowing up at the moment in Austin (Prince, Bill Murray sighting, etc). Be sure to use the proper #sxsw or #sxsw2014 hashtags and someone is bound to respond to your inquiries. Secondary tools that work well are the SXSW app and a spreadsheet via the Google Drive app. I’m at @wackdelly if you have any questions.

9 :: Earplugs are a necessity. I wish someone (anyone) would have told me the importance of earplugs at a younger age. Anyhoo, I took 3 pairs of earplugs last year and managed to lose them all. My backpacked savior, Bruce, came to the rescue with a whole bag of earplugs. I might pay it forward and stock-up, then proceed to shove them in the ear holes of all the clueless youth.

10 :: Don’t be a stuck up asshole. Talk to people. If they are friendly and you are friendly, then keep talking. Buy them a Lone Star and chat about your favorites of the fest or suggest bands to check out. I was chatting and giving some suggestions to a lady and it turned out to be Ann Powers of NPR. I’ve met some really great people over the years at SXSW that I still keep in touch with.

All photos by Annie Cuce

I love Seattle: Bicycling to Redhook Brewery

Bicycling to Redhook Brewery in Woodinville from Seattle is one of those rites of passages to becoming a Seattleite. The trip is anywhere from 20-30 miles round trip, depending where you start and end on the Burke Gilman Trail. It is an enjoyable ride with people watching and pretty landscapes along the way. We have gone the last two summers and had a good day riding, eating, taking part in the $2 brewery tour, and riding back home. This is a must do in the summertime so grab a bicycle and go! Here are some photos from our last two trips.

  

 

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Check out a few other reasons why  I love Seattle:

Trips to Leavenworth

Mount Rainier

Scarecrow Video

i love seattle: trips to leavenworth

oktoberfest in leavenworth, wa

while i am a bit tardy with the oktoberfest post, it has definitely not been forgotten! we crammed six people in a cadillac and drove 2.5 hours east to leavenworth washington. we parked in some random person’s backyard (w/ a trampoline that we partook in later that evening) and hung out in an adorable town drinking beer, eating brats with sauerkraut, chatting with friends, photo-bombing, taking in the scenery, and listening to tunes like johnny cash and neil diamond played by a bavarian band. we stopped at a 1950’s diner halfway back home to seattle to break up the trip and play some cards. i have no clue of the diner name but the gravy was delicious and they sell a crap-ton of shakes (also delish). all in all, it was a fun day…and i need to sport those beer socks for next year!

eating my way through october

when the leaves start falling from the trees and the nights grow colder, it is time for pumpkin everything! i have been indulging in some of my favorites like pumpkin spice bubble tea, coffees, and beer. i had so many incredible fall beers in the last month and the best one is pumpking by southern tier brewing. currently, i am drooling over today’s design sponge post all about pumpkin dishes. check out the recipe for jennie love’s pumpkin risotto…yum! next week i plan to attempt making pumpkin ravioli with butter and sage from scratch.

pumpkin pie italian water ice at rita’s

pumpkin pie tastykake from philadelphia

everyone’s fave :: the pumpkin spice latte

i love seattle: elysian’s great pumpkin beer fest

elysian’s great pumpkin beer festival

it doesn’t feel like fall until the pumpkin beers start hitting the shelves! so when we heard about this event at the elysian brewery i knew it was an absolute must since pumpkin beer is my favorite! the wait in line to get in was incredibly long and next year i am purchasing pre-sale tickets for sure. the wait was worth it as we tasted a lot of fall-time brews and got to take home festive tasters. we tried a little bit from each of seattle’s best food trucks present: skillet, where ya at matt, snout & co, and bought a dozen of mini pumpkin spice donuts from mighty-o. yum!! the pièce de résistance was of course the tapping of the giant pumpkin. the extremely friendly men in orange jumpsuits tapped some delicious beer (unknown elysian brew?) and filled up glasses until the giant pumpkin was empty. they had too much fun destroying it and it was funny to watch. my favorites were big time hop goblin, schooner exact gutter punk’n and southern tier pumking (my favorite beer currently).

annie’s week in photos 7.24.11

la jolla, california

stone brewery – escondido, california

green flash brewing co – vista, california

the lost abbey – san marcos, california

ballast point brewing co – san diego, california

seattle sounders vs manchester united – a “friendly match”

gaius stole my carrot!

the head and the heart at capitol hill block party – seattle

campfire ok at capitol hill block party – seattle

explosions in the sky closing out the capitol hill block party – seattle

4th of july

after a stellar weekend camping in the olympic mountains, we enjoyed fireworks and patio chats at theresa’s place on south lake union. the fireworks in seattle are supposed to be top 10 in the nation. I am not sure if this is actually true, but they were quite amazing.

a refreshing and delicious watermelon wheat beer for the 4th of july! …and incredibly appropriate. i am currently smitten with the beers at 21st amendment brewery and the can designs. oh, and i just love the craft beer can movement.

going camping …kinda

today is national camp in your backyard day (according to my bro-in-law, john, and this site). so be it! oh, and while i wholeheartedly believe that dale’s pale ale is the best camping beer, simpler times comes in at a close second for both taste and cheapness.

j & m campsite

keeping warm

s’mores nachos (half choc half hazelnut). yum!

addicted

every so often i get absolutely hooked on something. this week, i’ve had a few addictions…

after seeing backyard at siff, i can’t stop listening to icelandic electro-dance-pop band, fm belfast.

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ginger mints! you can buy them in bulk from amazon!!

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taking too many photos of my dogs.

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the editing of my drunk kitchen is genius. hannah hart is hilarious!

sxsw 2011 – part uno

it was a crazy fun sxsw this year! while i could fill up a whole page on everything i did while in austin, it would take a while and probably not be that interesting to anyone but me. sadly the number of beers drank was more than then number of bands seen. but that’s ok. i had a rad time with friends as well as running around on my own and meeting new people.

it is not the greatest video quality and i was dancing a bit while filming. enjoy!

yuck: the wall. sharp set but not much stage presence.

baths: aminals. amazing live! i have a crush on will wiesenfeld… so adorable.

grouplove: gold coast. incredible energy on stage. best performance imo.

grouplove: colours. this person was standing next to me at the same show filming. you can prob hear me screaming. again, best sxsw performance overall!

a night of pi(e)

i love theme nights and this particular one was all about pie. we started at pies & pints just down the street. they serve delicious little pot pies, but don’t be fooled by the size because they are quite filling. the mini ruebens (corned beef, sauerkraut, and swiss cheese in a puff pastry) are to die for and my fave pie at this point is the spinach and feta. the beer selection is good too although we skipped the beer to save some room for dessert.

the next stop was high 5 pies in the capitol hill neighborhood. i fell in love with the place instantly with the classic 1950’s seafoam green accents on the chairs, espresso machine and even the telephone. i ordered a mini apple crisp with some scrumptious molly moon vanilla ice cream. it was a bit dry but the ice cream helped. we took our sweet pies and coffee to-go to continue our themed night at home.

our movie selection was none other than darren aronofsky’s 1998 film, pi. i had never seen it and it is one of michael’s favorites so it seemed fitting to cap off our evening with such a stellar film.

a very annie christmas

happy holidaze ya’ll! may your days be big and bright and your nights be dark and mysterious! merry christmas, happy hanukkah and all that jazz…

happy captain crunch!

merry frakkin’ christmas!

orange lantern cookies made by geekboy, @fatskamike

the elves: josh and helo

bungee cord glass markers by @musicjunkeeee

aunt pina’s sour cream cookies, an italian tradition

gloria’s sausage balls, a mexi-tradition

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mrs jena j.

may the force be with your holiday glow and watch a plenty.

my version of seafood salad minus the conch (i threw in two, and only two pieces of tentacle in honor of rissa).

charles say relax!

cozy sweater, never fear!

this guy likes last minute wrapping.

a very merry, merry christmas to you!

chocolate salty balls

chocolate. beer. love.

i received a delicious treat in the mail from a sweet friend back home (thanks ASH!). and omg, yummmm! chocolate truffles from dude, sweet chocolate made with rahr ugly pug black lager (which is so good on its own)! i was waiting for michael to get back in town to share them but that didn’t work out. i noshed on a few and they were pretty damn good. i would have eaten more but that would mean more time spent at the boring gym. don’t worry, i saved enough for the boy to get a taste, minus that last one i just snacked on…

go. order. chocolate. now! but i think the rahr truffles are no longer available. although fungus amongus and crack in a box will be going on my wishpot list! i’m craving a tasty rahr brew now to wash down that truffle and am missing texas a little bit.

my october symphony

october is my favorite month and this year it has crept up incredibly fast. so before this month is completely gone, i’d like to throw some love to my favorite month (and season).

adorable glass pumpkins

zombies & ZomBcon

seasonal lattes… no whip

dressing up pets

cheesy horror flicks

comfort food: apple cider donuts. smitten kitchen rocks!

pumpkin beer

fall colors!