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SXSW Day Two: How to Get Lost and Accomplish Nothing at SXSW

The Total Imbecile’s Guide to SXSW.

After two nights in Austin and one full day of SXSW, I’m not sure I understand the purpose of it. Is it to find new bands? Is it to see the bands you could see in Brooklyn in a new context? Is it to give the smell test to buzzbands who you’ve been listening to so you can tell if they suck or nah? Is it to network? Is it to find relevant places to charge your phone? There seem to be two types of people at SXSW: Those who know, and those who have no idea. I am firmly lodged in the latter category. If you’ve actually been to SXSW before, you should probably just not read this entire thing because it’s going to be a lot of shit you already know that will make me sound like an idiot. The main lesson I learned from my first actual day of SXSW is that if you have no idea what you’re doing, you’re kind of fucked. And, uh, I had no idea what I was doing. So I was fuckeder than fucked. SXSW has panels, and it has showcases, and other nebulous shit where brands show up and give away free shit in an attempt to make you like them. The panels all take place in the Austin Convention Center, and the showcases take place nearby, and the nebulous shit is interspliced all around it. Also, there are bars. Lots and lots of bars. Bars as far as the eye can see, more bars than rakes Sideshow Bob stepped on in that one Simpsons episode. All of this is centered around 6th Street, which is essentially the Bourbon Street of Austin, except everyone has tighter pants. It is hell. You will never feel more alone than when you watch a mass of people who you do not know and do not wish to ever know carry on in their bacchanalian pursuits, bumping into you, talking too loud, and acting with no regard for your humanity while you stand there helpless, confused, waiting for a friend you will never find. On 6th Street, you are scum. A worm. Human detritus. It is a very confusing place, and I am not very good at navigating it. The hullaballoo of 6th Street distracts from the fact that there are bands to be seen, which is a thing that yesterday I failed at. I walked around aimlessly, sometimes with my friends, sometimes with my girlfriend, sometimes alone, looking for shit to do and coming up empty, finally finding a showcase at 11:00 by accident, watching the aggressively fun Brenmar DJ at the Do Androids Dance/Karmaloop party. In the back yard of the bar there was another showcase, where Protex, an extremely good, extremely old, extremely Irish punk band was playing. Maybe a hundred people cared about Protex, and maybe seventy more cared about Brenmar. Instead, people were crowded in the bar’s middle region, fucking around and drinking beer, content to be in the vicinity of music both live and recorded. Best Band I Saw: Protex, by virtue of them being the only band I saw. Despite having no idea who they were, they actually sort of totally blew my mind. They’re awesome, and if you are in Noisey’s hilariously young age demographic you should listen to their records for the first time. Arbitrary Weird Story: I ended up hanging out with a bunch of Canadians for a while, and one of them told us how their friend fucked Justin Bieber on New Years and then he kicked her out of his hotel because she refused to twerk on his dick. Sorry I blew up your spot, random Canadian girl! Million Dollar Idea I Just Thought Of: Indie Rock Pornos. How fucking HUGE must the audience for that? Just think: Neutral Milf Hotel. Uh, that’s actually all I got. Anyways. Neutral Milf Hotel. There’s gold in that banana stand. Is Mercury In Retrograde? Probably. How Long Have These People Been Trill? Night Selfie: Morning Selfie:


Wanna take a selfie with Drew at SXSW? Find him on Twitter - @drewmillard

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