SXSW 2016 Recap

Another SXSW has passed and left me with lots of memories way different from previous years. Funny thing is we didn’t focus on bands as much this go-around. In the early years, I attended solo and ran from venue to venue on my own schedule trying to pack in as much new music as possible. Each year since, more friends join us and it was more chill in general and still a great time as always! I saw 23 artists this year over 3 days compared to 53 artists last year over 4 days. Let’s see what next year will bring!

The STELLAR // Aloa Input at The Townsend!!! I haven’t put their 2015 album down yet and my mad crush on Marcus Grassl isn’t going away any time soon // Sets from Yung, Aurora, Mal Blum, Bye Bye BadmanDeclan McKenna // Whataburger + Topo Chico! // Meeting Matt Pinfield, my favorite MTV VJ of all time and former host of 120 Minutes // Sharing SXSW fun with lots of friends and family!

The BAD // A bunch of my top picks dropped out of the fest // Tasteless hot dogs and poopy service at Frank

The MEH // Jester King brewery was not at good as I thought it would be… perhaps the yeasties of the PNW are better than the south

SXSW Past: 2015 // 2014 // 2013 // 2012 // 2011 // 2010

SXSW 2016 Music Tips

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A few more weeks until my favorite music fest starts up! This year will be my 8th SXSW and the tools and tips floating around online can help any noob maneuver around town like a champ. Check out my updated tips below and previous year’s tips- 2015, 2014, 2011. See you in Austin!

1. Make a Twitter list of the artists you want to see. Create your list now so you’re prepared for on-the-go news and updates. Set times change A LOT during SX and the best place to get info is direct from the artists. If you tweet at a band, they are likely to respond. Before doing this, read through their feed first to see if the info you need is already posted.Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 10.10.45 AM

2. Go see an Austin Sofar Sounds show on the 16th or 19th. You have to RSVP and you *might* get chosen due to very limited space. It’s a great time but I might be bias cuz I run the Seattle Sofar Sounds group. Last year included Fantastic Negrito who won NPR Music’s 2015 Tiny Desk Contest (pictured).

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3. Don’t bother with RSVPs unless it’s for the annoying and overcrowded Fader Fart OR the awwwwsome Spotify House. Guest Pass gets you some minor perks (not sure what exactly) and I’m not sure about the SPIN parties as I never waste time standing in line for 5 hours.

4. If you do RSVP, create an alias email specifically for SXSW. Or else you’ll be hitting the unsubscribe button on all kinds of unwanted emails the months after the fest.

5. The Convention Center has cool stuff! Check out Flatstock 53 and you can meet the artists too. They also showcase free day shows on the Flatstock stage. We were thoroughly wow’d by Roger Sellers set last year. Flatstock hours:

Thursday, March 17 | 2:00pm – 6:00pm
Friday, March 18 | 11:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday, March 19 | 11:00am-6:00pm

6. One of my favorite spots when I lived in Austin was Continental Club. It’s a great little bar/music venue on Congress with so much charm (and country music) that you won’t want to leave.

7. Beer! Mmmmmm beer… I love me some Lone Star but there are lots of local breweries to check out between bands. I love Hops and Grain but we’ll likely take some time out to visit Jester King.

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8. Hydrate. Duh.

9. Eat as much BBQ and/or Mexican food as humanly possible.

10. Be safe! Take care of yourself and your friends. Austin PD does a good job but they can’t be everywhere.

 

 

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.

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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…

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

friday

i’m still slacking with the sxsw stuff (it’s nothing great, mind you). but here’s another video. it’s friday friday gotta get ready for the weekend weekend.