Got a nice little email yesterday wondering why I wasn't posting RSVPs to SXSW parties and such. It's a very good question and before I answer it, let me say that if you have an RSVP shaped hole in your life, Austin Is Burning and The Peen Scene are great resources to take advantage of. Obvious fact: if you plan on actually going to an event with an RSVP, RSVPing is always a good idea. I am doing plenty of it myself.
Anyway, the reason why I'm not posting RSVPs yet is that I'm being deliberate. Overly so. Call it choosy, if you want. Call it choosing a niche, definitely.
If you've ever missed the band you want to see because you're stuck in the 30 minute + long free beer/restroom/free burrito that tastes like cat food/"wait what line is this, again?" line, then you know exactly what I'm trying to avoid pointing you towards. To that end, I'm going to dedicate myself to telling you about the shows and parties I think will be worth your time either musically, experientially, free booze-ally, or all 3. From the largest Perez Hilton blowout to the smallest DIY house show, each event will be evaluated by those 3 criteria before being posted on. Heck, I may even do something real fun and arbitrary like giving them letter or # grades.
Doesn't that sound great? A SXSW that doesn't damage your soul and leave you a bitter person? Dear reader, THAT IS MY DREAM FOR YOU.
If you think your event is actually really awesome, TELL ME ABOUT IT NOW. Yes, RIGHT NOW. Odds are, I will, too.
And for all of you who are not fortunate enough to live in Austin, which I guess is most of you now, or will otherwise find yourself unable to attend SXSW or MtyMx this year, I will be doing event wrap ups and live tweeting. Prepare yourself accordingly.
Anyway, now that I've informed you of my intentions, let me hit you with a few things I have realized growing up in and around SXSW. These facts are consequences of the realities of how the festival is organized and purposed. This is NOT meant to be mean spirited or keep you from doing things however you know you work best.
- MtyMx is going to be awesome! That was unrelated, sorry. More on MtyMx later.
- This is a no-brainer, but non-official SXSW events are awesome, too. That show in South Austin that might seem a little out of the way, but has that one DJ, band, or DJ that is kind of like a band sometimes you want to see could be the best thing that happens to you all week.
- Popular DJs will play SXSW parties and after parties under fake names. Happens alot. Once saw MSTRKRFT play to 5 people in a backyard. It was quite educational.
- Don't drive drunk. You will die. Or go to jail. Or die in jail. Contrary to all that stuff you've read, none of those things will necessarily make your band more popular.
- If you know what you're looking for, SXSW is actually a great way to find new music. Ever listened to a band for a year and a half and finally seen their live show felt a let down, betrayed even? Well SXSW lets you avoid all that hype and heartbreak cycle by putting you there at the show right off the bat.
- SXSW is a music festival in Austin, not a music festival for Austin. The festival is for the benefit of the press, the industry, and theoretically the bands playing as well. That being said, the great thing about SXSW is that if you DO miss this year's Vampire Lazer 4 Cutie, they will probably be back in ATX before the next SX rolls around. Not that many places Austin's size can say that, so rejoice! If you live in Austin and don't take advantage of seeing the great bands that come though/live as your neighbors any other time of the year, shame shame shaaaaaame on you.
- RSVPing to everything will probably make it harder for you to decide what to actually do. Pick and choose. Calm down. It's fine. See #6.