A couple weeks ago myself and many of my blogger and music industry compatriots traveled to Austin, TX for the South By Southwest Film, Music and Interactive Festival (or, SXSW as those “in the know” call it), a week of parties, panels, speeches, showcases and other various related events.

This year was my first time at the conference. In the days leading up to it my emotions and expectations were all over the place. I was nervous, excited and generally feeling the “SXSW anxiety” that Ann Powers so elegantly explains in her first NPR article. Trying to listen to all the advice thrown my way, concerned I was not planning enough – or maybe I was planning too much? – I made a promise I would walk away without any regrets, regardless of how it all turned out.  I’m one of those people who has a constant fear of missing out on something great (or just something that everyone talks about after), so I knew holding to that would not be easy.

Now that I’ve had a week to sit with my experiences (and the nagging head cold Austin gifted to me on my way out) I can say with confidence that I kept my promise. Of course there are things I intend to do slightly differently next year, like actually attend some of the panels and keep track of where the free food is at all times – but considering the amount of amazing people I met and great music I saw I would say I did exactly what I set out to do: have one hell of an adventure.


You can read about my voyage on QRO Magazine:

SXSW 2011 Day 1: Amanda’s Recap

SXSW 2011 Day 2: Amanda’s Recap

SXSW 2011 Day 3: Amanda’s Recap

SXSW 2011 Day 4: Amanda’s Recap

When all was said and done, I had seen 19 bands in essentially 3 days (having arrived late on Wednesday and departed mid-afternoon on Saturday). Of course, that’s not counting the fact that I was present for GOBBLE GOBBLE twice, plus bits and pieces of DOM, Hooray For Earth, Moondoggies, Superhumanoids, and Young Man, that I didn’t feel qualified to write about.

My favorites of the fest in no particular order were: TV on the Radio, The Head and The Heart, GOBBLE GOBBLE, Lord Huron, Owen Pallett, and AgesandAges.

To get a taste of my time in Texas, check out the collection of tunes below!

Ben Sollee “How To See The Sun Rise”

Grouplove “Getaway”

Young The Giant “My Body”

The Dodos “Don’t Try and Hide It”

AgesandAges “Alright You Restless”

Walk The Moon “Anna Sun”

GOBBLE GOBBLE “Alabaster Bodyworlds”

Foster The People “Houdini”

Owen Pallett “Lewis Takes Action”

High Highs “Flowers Bloom”

Polock “Fireworks”

The Head and The Heart “Sounds Like Hallelujah”

The Kills “DNA”

TV on the Radio “DLZ”


Walking is so 2011. Next year I'm only traveling via bar on wheels.