Monday, March 17, 2008

SXSW: You Win!


So, I finally got home from Austin on Saturday and was already feeling the effects - sniffly nose, little bit of a cough, tired. By that evening I was feeling pretty whooped and went to bed early. Sunday - oh, Sunday. A full-blown cold laid into me all day as my yet-to-be-unpacked bags lay in the corner of the room and I catch up on the last few weeks of SNL via Tivo.

It's Monday now, and I am only feeling slightly better than yesterday. Posting to the SXSW blog here didn't even cross my mind. Sorry. It was a hell of a week, and I'm apparently paying the price for it now. At least I gave it may all, eh?

Maybe more about all that later. Nyquil is calling me...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Thanks, WOXY!

Film School
The big highlight of today was once again hangin' with the WOXY crew during their live Lounge Acts during SXSW. Today I got to catch the Shout Out Louds and a personal favorite, Film School (above).

Shout Out Lounds put on a great session. I did see them for a few songs earlier in the day at a free show and hearing them again was a treat.

I've been a fan of Film School for a while and it was great finally seeing them yesterday at Beauty Bar during a free day show. Getting to meet them today and shoot the shit for a while was awesome. They're a really nice bunch of folks. They had already played 2 shows earlier that day and were in great spirits - now signs of fatigue. The WOXY Lounge Act podcast should sound great for these guys. I was lucky enough to get to take some photos during the recording.

I can't thank the guys at WOXY (Mike, Shivvy, Bryan, etc) for letting me crash for a few sessions. They are great people and run probably one of the best radio stations in the country. Top notch all the way around. Thank you, thank you - I feel so lucky.

Though it was my last night in Austin, I made it an early one. The lines to get into any venue were pretty long and I was really winding down. I've pretty much been able to see all the bands I set out to see this week. I think I have racked up enough indie music fan points this week to get me by for a while. More on today and the entire week tomorrow. I'll have some time to post things at the airport tomorrow. Good night!

Film School

During the WOXY Lounge Act - Live in Austin.

It's just a blur now

My Morning Jacket
Yesterday is pretty much a blur right now. After getting delayed this morning waiting for a cab to get me to downtown Austin, I had a great, great day.

Missed Nada Surf because of the cab delay. Once I got into downtown, I hit Flatstock at the convention center. I didn't end up seeing my first band until 3:30ish - a band called Loquat from San Fran. Film School, who I really dig, was up after that and did not disappoint.

After Film School, I hustled over to Emo's for The Onion Party. I caught the last few tunes from Tokyo Police Club then got a great spot to catch Tapes N Tapes. Tapes brought the noise - great set. Got to hear a lot of their new stuff too. They have an album coming out real soon.

Got dinner with The Shiv and plotted out the rest of the night then.

The Shiv and I headed to see Martha Wainwright, but the showcase was $20 to get in, so a balked and made different plans. Just too much to spend considering that I was going to pay at a couple of other venues that night too. So, I headed for some coffee and watched a band playing outside Seattle's Best Coffee on 4th street. I headed up to 6th street after that to catch Cincinnati's Wussy play their showcase. They were not my kinda band, but good none-the-less.

After Wussy, The Shiv and I head out to Austin Music Hall to see if I can get in to see Yo La Tango and My Morning Jacket. I have no badge or wristband, so I have to pay cash to get into most of the shows at night. We took a bike taxi over and I ended up getting in! Yo La Tengo was just coming on when we walked in the door. They rocked out, then MMJ blew the doors off the place. The Shiv and I got a decent view up on in the balcony seating. As the set (2 hours!!) wore on, folks headed out for other shows and I moved to center and had a great view. MMJ played a lot of stuff off their new album for the first time live and NPR was broadcasting it.

I figured my night was done at that point, but as I got a text message from Kevin saying he was heading downtown to see Holy Fuck. I said "what the hell?" and got there on the double. There was a good line going into the place they were playing and it was small. I still ended up getting in paying cash and caught most of their set - great stuff.

Headed back to the hotel after that - probably around 2am. There were still plenty of people still out on the town even then.

So, tons of photos went up last night from yesterday.

My Morning Jacket

My Morning Jacket
I was able to get into see My Morning Jacket at Austin Music Hall. It was an absolute EPIC show 2, yes 2 hours! They played a lot of cuts off their new album and NPR was recording/broadcasting the show live. I've been able to see a lot of really great show this weekend - this one may be the tops.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Posters by Rob Jones

I stopped by Flatstock today and took in the sights. I was able to actually see some Rob Jones' White Stripes posters in the flesh. They are beautiful. There were no prices on anything, and I didn't ask. I'm sure they were a pretty penny. There were several collectors talking to him at his booth when I was there.

Caught up with my friends from Vahalla Studios in St. Louis. Rob Warnick shared a booth with them at Flatstock 13 in Chicago. Got to know them pretty well over that weekend. Good guys and great work.

Obstructed Views

That seemed to be a theme yesterday. Nothing too bad, but for a while it seemed that all the shows I went too, I had an obstructed view - whether it was a pole, a tree, a really tall person. You know how it is. The photo above was from The Raveonettes show. Pole! But, still enjoyed it.

Yesterday was pretty much a blur. Hard to keep track of all that went on. Here are a few highlights:

- Saw these bands: Catfish Heaven, Yatch, The Raveonettes, Jason Collett, The Chocolate Horse, Madaline, Bad Viens, and some others that I didn't catch the name.

- Got ice cream from The Ice Cream Man.

- Bad Veins killed it. Too bad they had to cut their set short due to time. There were a couple of film crews there. Hopefully they will get some love. It was great meeting everyone.

- I ate at this restaurant that was used for MTV's Real World: Austin. It was the place where they live. It's a Rio Grande Restaurant now. i realized this when I walked out. I knew I recognized it. I feel like I may have cooties now.

- It's nuts down here at night. People everywhere. Interviews with bands and folks in the streets going on at all times. Craziness. Tonight will probably be turned up a notch too.

- Perry Ferrel and his wife walked past me last night as I was waiting to catch the shuttle to my hotel. No one else seemed to notice. It was him for sure though.

I'm sure there is more, but it's all too much to remember. I'm now off to Downtown Austin to do it all over again. Bands to see today? Nada Surf, Vampire Weekend, maybe Film School, The Cool Kids. Probably more. I'll be heading to the Burlesque of North America party tonight. Flatstock is on the agenda today as well. Busy, busy.

Bad Veins!

Bad Veins
Ben and Sebastian tore it up and probably won over a few new fans. Unfortunately, their set got cut short and they had to abruptly end their showcase.

The Chocolate Horse

The Chocolate Horse
Cincinnati's very own.

Big pizza!

Big Pizza
Saw this fella while waiting in line for the chance to buy tickets to the R.E.M. showcase at Stubb's. Since I didn't have a wristband or badge, paying cash for a ticket was my only hope. Though I had a great spot in line, it was no dice. No tickets were sold for this show. Oh well.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Meh, not all that great.

The Raveonettes

This set killed. Short and sweet at Emo's. I'm really glad I got to catch them - and for free too!

It's on!

Crazy Lego Chief
Last night was my first (albeit small) taste of what's to come for the rest of my SXSW trip. After a few panels in the morning and a good lunch at Hickory Street over by the Austin Museum of Art, Julie and I explored downtown Austin a little bit. We checked out the AMoA for a little bit and walked up by the capitol building.

We gave a call to our friends at WOXY and headed over the the studio sessions they are recording live for SXSW. We ended up sitting in on The Kills' session - which was fantastic. All the songs where off their new album - can't wait to get it now.

Best Soy Latte in Austin, TxAfter enjoying that, meeting and catching up with everyone involved we headed to Thunderbird coffee for what was apparently Austin's best soy latte. Julie's friend, Ryan gave us the hook up and what was a GREAT soy latte.

Funny story of the day: As bands have started coming into Austin, Julie and I would make guess as to where they were from based on clothing, hairstyles, general presence. Kinda funny, whatever. So, we are driving with our friend, Kevin, and we tell him all about it. So, we spot what looks to be a band on the corner of the street at the light we were stopped at. Julie launches into the guess... Midwest, possibly Ohio even... Kevin goes... I KNOW THEM! I saw them play a show in Clifton last week... That's Southeast Engine... and they are from Athens, Ohio. We are all dumbfounded by the luck of it all. So, Kevin rolls down the window and yells "Southeast Engine!!!!" as Julie honks the horn. All the guys in the band have this stunned look on their face as we drive off. It was pretty damn hilarious. Well, I guess you had to be there. So, hopefully we made their SXSW week before even playing a show.

So, that night Julie and I hit the Interactive wrap up party at Union Park. It's a really nice bar with a great upstairs patio and super view of Austin. The drinks were free, so it was good times, of course.

After a few gin & tonics there we head back downtown. Julie gets the rental car and heads back to the hotel. I meet up with CiN Weekly's Rich Shivner for music drinks and catching up. It ended up not being a terribly late night out... which was totally fine. I need to re-charge a bit before I take on the rest of the week anyways. It's going to be crazy.

Oh, so I guess Moby was playing the party at Stubb's that Rich was at? Rich showed me the photos of him that he had taken with his iPhone... looked like him to me. A couple of guys the Rich talked to confirmed it. Cool stuff. Rich also said he heard that the Flamming Lips were in town as well. They (like Moby) were not on the official SXSW schedule. I'm going to keep my eyes peeled and ears to the ground. I would love to see The Lips. UPDATE: Moby is here for sure. He speaking at a SXSW Music panel. Ice Cube is here too. Shit yeah.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It Killed

Alizon of The KillsJulie and I were able to sit in on a live studio session at a recording studio in east Austin. The Kills were playing tracks off their new album and were fantastic. Really nice folks as well. A big thanks to WOXY for letting us crash. We just did our best to stay out of the way and enjoy the music.

The photo to the right is Alison "VV" Mosshart of The Kills during an interview with Again, just staying out of the way.

Aisle seats - what's the deal?

Jerry SeinfeldSo, one trend we've noticed here at the Interactive Conference is folks sitting in the seat at the end of the aisle when there are many other open seats inward. I have a few ideas on why folks do this, but I'm not sure about any of them, really. Is this a well-known tactic of the festival and jumping around panels? These folks seem pretty serious about it. I'm pretty much over having to step over them to get a damn seat. Alright, here are some ideas. Any thoughts?

1) These peeps are super-networkers and need to get back out into the general areas to meet up with other peeps, make contacts, etc. They are mega-Twitters.

2) These peeps want the option to bail on a panel they end up not finding interesting. They grab a seat at the end of the aisle, right next to the door so they can jet with a quickness.

3) These peeps are setting themselves up to quickly get to the mic to ask the panelist questions - and challenge them on whatever subject they are talking about. Smugly, of course.

4) These peeps want to pounce on the panelists right after the talk to tell them how much they love their work and basically goo all over them.

Those are just a few that I thought of. One for sure reason is so they are close to a power outlet and can keep their MacBook Pro running all day. Of course, all the rest of us have to step over their damn cord since it's draped across the aisle.

Anyways, anyone out there have thoughts on all of this? I really do want to know.

Monday: Another Day at SXSW

Free Beer - Good Beer
Just got back to the hotel after another great, but long day at SXSW. I'm a little tired now, so just some bullet points from today:

- Attended a lot more marketing panels today. Some good, some okay.

- Twitter is like, the biggest thing ever. It's fun to use for an event like this (see to right), but I really don't think I will use it much beyond this. I guess I just don't have enough friends that use it.

- Didn't get to score My Morning Jackets tickets to the in-store at The Underground. That would have been sweet. The show is Wednesday night with Yo La Tengo.

- Got caught in the rain walking to The Underground. Totally drenched.

- Had dinner at a French cafe place. Had a chicken crepe. Pretty good!

- Did parties tonight at Club DeVille, Dirty Dog, The Mohawk. Saw a few decent bands. Didn't catch ANY of their names.

- More photos posted on Flickr from today. I'll get to titles and captions later.

- Free beer rulz. Especially GOOD free beer.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hello CiN Weekly!

For any of you out there that got to my SXSW via Rich Shivner's Soundcheck blog on CiN Weekly: Hello! I'm down in Austin right now at SXSW taking in the Interactive Conference. I'll be staying a few days after to catch some music and Flatstock as well. Looking forward to seeing Bad Veins for sure.

I'll keep up the blogging during the music festival too... just not sure about photos. I've had a hard time uploading on the SXSW WiFi. Not sure what's up.

Rich, thanks for the link! I'll see you down here tomorrow? Rock on.

Back at it!

Julie and I are sitting in the Ikea Lounge which we dubbed "Ikeaville". Panels don't get started for a bit, but we needed the coffee. It's raining pretty hard here in Austin. So, after a really nice day yesterday, it's all gloomy today. Hopefully that will clear up - there's still a ton of exploring to here in downtown.

On the right, there are a few photos from last night. Dinner at Stubbs and an after-party at Emo's. We caught up with our good friend from the flight over here - Randy Moss! Also met a pretty cool Austrian dude, Michael. Lots of good folks here.

I can't see to post any photos to Blogger. Not why. Photos from my phone are not going up and I can't upload directly, either. Odd.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Great stuff

From Jump Associates website:

"'Free Agent Nation' is a myth. Great work doesn’t just come from methods and connections. It comes from culture. Ordinary folks in an extraordinary team will always run rings around loosely connected prima donnas."

Could this by hyperQUAKE?

Just sat in on a panel from one of the guys at Jump. You can find the quote here.

South by so Far

Wow, this is more than I really expected. I expected a lot, too.

Julie and I have been to just a couple of panels so far today and we are blown away by the quality of speakers, the expertise, the thought and follow-thru that each of these panels has had. I've learned a lot already... hopefully some of it will sink in.

A few highlights:

- The first session we attended this morning was "Everyone's a Design Critic" which deals with client situations that Julie and I face on a regular basis. It was room full of designers that all share the same experiences, conflicts, fights and strife when dealing with clients at challenging times in the design process. One of the speakers, Jason Santa Maria, was tops on my list of folks to hear this weekend, and it was even better than expected. not only is he a really talented designer, but a great speaker and thoughtful presenter. His partner in crime during the panel was Rob Weychert, a classmate of his in college and also a talented designer. He had a totally bitchin' beard too. They had a great chemistry on stage - it was a pretty funny panel. Designer geekness for sure. Love it.

- "Everything I learned about Accessibility I learned from Star Wars" was a pretty dorky panel, but the speaker, Derek Featherstone made it pretty entertaining. He was dressed in a Jedi-style Obi Won robe and had a pretty good slideshow/presentation to go along with his discussion. Can't say I got too much out of the whole thing, but it was entertaining.

- Logos: Why They're Irrelevant and Can Actually Hurt Your Business. Yeah... a designer fight is on! This was a great discussion on how the logo seems to becoming less and less important in the interactive world and beyond. This panel ended up being pretty interesting and evoked quite a reaction form the crowd. The logo fight was on. Is the logo still relevant? How relevant? How much time should be spent in the processes - especially for a start up. What about a start-up whose goal is just to be bought up. Throwaway logos are springing up everywhere. Logo soup, too much out there, does it still have meaning? Are they just wasting time on design iterations instead of working on the core of their business when the logo may not matter anyway. No answers here... just good discussion.

Other random stuff:

- Walked past Morgan Spurlock in the lobby. He's obviously here for the film festival
- Interviews going on everywhere. Julie and I were interviewed on computer chips. Awesome? sure.
- Everyone is one Twitter. EVERYONE. It's amazing
- Most folks have laptops and iPhones. Blogging going on all the time. I fit right in.


We are finally here! At a panel! In a seat... ready to go!

For some reason, I am unable to upload a photo. Maybe the SXSW network doesn't like uploads? Odd.

Moving Sidewalk

Moving Sidewalk from nuthead25 on Vimeo.

We had a few hours to kill while waiting for our flight to Austin today, so I shot a little movie about the moving sidewalk. This particular one is in CVG's terminal A. It wasn't too busy at all.

The track for the movie is Vampire Weekend's cover of Radiohead's "Exit Music (For a Film)" off of Sterogum's "OKX: A Tribute To OK Computer" covers compilation. Nice. I actually hope to see Vampire Weekend at SXSW this week.

I shot the video in the terminal (obviously) and edited the piece on the plane en route to Austin. A nice way to pass the time.