Great weather, free food and drinks, and so much music EVERYWHERE! This is a very unhelpful statement about the greatest place in the world but if you’ve never been it’s hard to put into words the energy and excitement surrounding South by Southwest.

A few of us from WUD were lucky enough to go down this year and I did have an amazing time; I  saw great music and not-so-great music, experienced the power of the badge, and oh yeah, those sound guys. So enjoy some pics from my time in Austin!

( I also stuck a great Shit People at SXSW Don’t Say video in by The Spinto Band just for kicks at the end)

Hooray For Earth, such a kewl venue

Random water balloon fight broke out on 6th StPurity Ring at the Pitchfork ShowcaseAlabama Shakes at the Yours Truly house!Chickens in the backyard at the YT house! What up, Zola JesusThe Spin Showcase at Stubb’sTennis at the Hype Hotel. Free drinks AND Taco Bell!Oh hey, Guards. Love ya.GIVERS, my favorite show these guys are so great!

Maladies of SXSW, pt 1

If there is one common thread everyone can agree on about SXSW, it’s that your body takes a BEATING. So rather than tell you about the trip by band, I’m doing it by malady. If anyone can point me to a first aid station in Austin… let me know.

1. Scab on finger

I have no idea when I got this scab, but on Tuesday night, I picked at it on my way to Emo’s. I had just arrived in Austin and was so excited to get downtown that I didn’t realize I was bleeding for a really long time. I was that bus person. By the time I arrived downtown it was staunched – luckily did not put a kink in my plan to see P.S. I Love You and Beach Fossils. Both were very fun, though very different: P.S. I Love you playing two-piece rock, and Beach Fossils keeping it jangly and upbeat.

2. Exhaustion

Most common SX malady. It hit me hard on Wednesday afternoon (post-Generationals, Braids, and Rainbow Arabia), and I found myself looking for a quiet lounge to recharge in at the Convention Center. I happened upon a haven of dim light, paper lanterns, and giant beanbags to chill out in, and it happened to be the Radio Day Stage. After a twenty minute power nap in a huge beanbag, I woke up to Jessica Lea Mayfield playing live. So that was pretty awesome, too.

3. Dead phone

This one will get you every time. I was desperate to charge my phone, so I went somewhere I knew I could finagle my way to an outlet. Former music committee director Patrick Tilley has been on the road with Seattle band Ivan and Alyosha, so I stopped in before their show to say hi and plug in my phone (twitter is a drain on the battery but I’ve been oversharing nonetheless: #wudsxsw). While my phone was charging, I got to see Ivan and Alyosha. I knew they’d be all right but they were great. I was seriously surprised and blown away. A treat to see and also really nice to have a full phone battery.

4. Gashed arm

This was a bad one. I was hanging out with our promotions associate director, Emily Roehl, after catching Sun Airway and Cave Singers. We sat down to await Okkervil River and get off our feet, but I had leaned on a cupboard that apparently was not secure. Because I am awesome, I stood up and it fell open on me, slicing my arm. It still looks nasssstyyy. Luckily, I survived to see Okkervil River and tell people how great Sun Airway and Cave Singers were. I saw Cave Singers at SXSW last year with a very small group and seeing them outside in a large, full venue was crazy.

5. Mild sunburn

It’s not bad at all (I SWEAR, MOM) because I was responsible and put on sunscreen, but I picked up a little color at the SXWI showcase this morning while seeing Cedarwell and Pioneer with a ton of friends from around the country. I got some more welcome sun while enjoying another Midwestern band at the French Legation Museum – sadcore staples Low of Duluth, MN.

6. Sore tailbone

In a strange, strange turn from the usual South By habit, I went to a seated showcase tonight at Central Presbyterian Church. Hosted by Pitchfork and featuring Cults, Glasser, tUnE-YarDs, Twin Shadow, and James Blake, I was getting my dance on from my seat. All the bands were absolutely amazing, though, and I do not regret my sore butt – it goes along with my sore feet anyway. It was great to see Twin Shadow again along with bands I hadn’t seen previously, including the super-hyped James Blake, who lived up to the potential his great album set for him.

This post will be copy-edited and prettied up at some point, I promise. But for now – this will do.

Party on, spring breakers –


If you happen to be at SXSW this weekend… Darwin Deez!

Ever since I went to see S. Carey (drummer for Bon Iver), in Schubas Tavern for Tomorrow Never Knows 2011, I haven’t been able to put down Darwin Deez.  I admit at first I was skeptical when the band jumped on stage sporting the most outrageous attire, but they proved to be the highlight of the evening.  Darwin sported his signature ringlets and a head band around his forehead.  He and his band pumped out his poppy tunes and put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.  They stopped between songs to perform dances to remixes, and even did some freestyle rap.

The self titled debut album Darwin Deez is a quirky indie pop album you will to dance to, but don’t be fooled.  That fun upbeat tune hides a slew of sad lyrics such as “I won’t cry. I will just pretend. I’m still the one and that we are in love again.” and even some angry ones: “everyday ought to be a bad day for you.”  Darwin Deez is upbeat, and mad.  Joyous and sad.  You won’t be able to put down this record, and you won’t be able to stop dancing.

Further Readings:

Darwin Deez: Lovesick and Playful

Darwin Deez: Evolution of a Popstar

SXSW 2010: We Made It!

After about 20 hours in the car and several 5 hour energies for John Ash later, the UW Fleet Vehicle (now known as The Chariot) has reached its destination at the Holiday Inn (Formerly the Radisson North) in Austin, TX.  We actually made such great time that we’re too early to check into our hotel, so I am updating you all from the hotel lobby as we wait for our room.

We drove past a really freakin’ big wind farm in Illinois, and I thought it was cool.

Ethan Berlin took the wheel for the majority of the trip, taking us all the way into (Bro)klahoma!

1 Box of 5 Hour Energy (The #Wudswsw sponsor) = 60 hours of good times

The Chariot.

John Ash introduced as all to Pickle – O’s at Sonic (fried pickle slices). We had a super friendly waitress to send us off to our final 2 hours into ATX. After a Gabe and Ethan, Weezer/Rubber Soul sing-along we finally arrived, and are ready to get downtown to our first day of music and shenanigans.

Gabriel Herrera doesn’t have anything to add to this post.

A happy Paddys day to all of you,