SXSW: The View from Austin

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SXSW 2009 was one of the high points of my life, so I was thrilled to be asked to be a panel moderator at this year’s SXSW. Based on the assumption that a picture’s worth a thousand words, I’m going to just give a final overview of this year’s event, and then post lots of pictures. HIGH POINTS-The Keeping It Real Hip-Hop Panel, the Where They At bounce music exhibit at the Birdland Gallery, the Louisiana Music tent performances, great food everywhere, but especially at the Omelettry, 24 Diner, Pappadeaux, Texas Land and Cattle, Kerbey Lane Cafe and the Hut Hamburgers, spending way too much money at Waterloo Records, getting to see Billy Bragg live at Prague, the Nappy Roots show at ND, the lakefront Texas NARAS reception, running into lots of friends, including Matt Sonzala, Michael “5000” Watts, Kazy D, Ms. Tee, DJ Jubilee, Big Sid, Quietus Khan, Pete Johnson from Select-O-Hits, Partners-N-Crime, Skipp Coon, Truth Universal and Cameron Mann from the Memphis Music Foundation, and the Austin Record Show in the convention center. LOW POINTS-The death of Alex Chilton (who was supposed to be the honoree at this year’s SXSW), parking and congestion problems, particularly in East Austin, the lack of shuttles to SXSW events, the unexpected cold snap Saturday morning which also ruined the Sunday softball event for me, extremely crowded venues everywhere, many standing room only, and some where you could not see the performers on stage for the crowds, and losing my leather iPhone case while running underneath I-35 toward the Music Gym. I spent way too much money, and wore myself out, but I had a great time, conducted some business, hopefully educated some young artists and can’t wait to go back next year, Lord willing.

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