SXSW 2011 recap

This year was my 3rd trip down to Austin, TX for the big South By Southwest music festival. I went as part of the Boston Phoenix crew, flying down with Design Director, Kristen Goodfriend and staying a few days past the festival to recover, and fly back cheaply!

Before we even got into Austin, KG and I ran into friends at the airport! Mike, Sophia, and Glenn. Glen was filming them the entire week while they pretended to think they were at Stamp by Stampwest, a stamp collecting confering in another state's Austin.


We got right into the drinking and the music (even though the music portion of the festival didn't start until the next day, Wednesday). We went to Emo's (ran into Kevin Hoskins, formerly the booker for the Middle East Club in Cambridge) and saw some music. Here's a shot of the crowd:

I think the most exciting thing about Tuesday night in Austin was the realization that for the next week I would be wearing tshirts, and not 8 layers of hoodies and jackets and gloves and scarves. Summer weather in March...that's what SXSW is all about!

We ended the night locating the RVIP Lounge (the RV that drives around Austin during the festival with karaoke and snacks and drinks.) It wasn't too crowded and Kristen got to sing One Night In Bangkok for everyone!

All the pics from Day 1 can be seen here:

Day 2: Wednesday, March 16

The Boston Phoenix threw an unofficial showcase party at Klub Krucial from noon to 6... with bands like DOM, Hooray For Earth, Girlfriends, The Seedy Seeds... and a mid-show break with the great Eugene Mirman.

My friend Kathy was in town from Boston visiting family and stopped by the party:

One of my highlights of SX... Eugene introduced me to Carrie Brownstein of Wild Flag (more importantly to me, of Sleater-Kinney, a band I have been a huge fan of since Dig Me Out was released in 1997!) Of course, standing next to Eugene with my billion pounds of camera gear, it looks like I'm following him around as the press or papparazzi, but we shook hands and I might have swooned a little. "Nice to meet you, Kelly." Um... nice to meet YOU!

I missed the Wild Flag show in Boston before the trip to Austin, so I made sure to see them as much as possible during the week. I think they played 6 times. Maybe more. I caught 3 shows! (one at a bike shop, one opening up for Wu-Tang Clan and Fishbone, and one great outdoor one at the awesome Mokawk venue). Check them out, it's Mary Timony from Helium and Carrie and Janet Weiss from Sleater-Kinney, and Rebecca Cole from The Minders.

Day 2 ended with Emo's again where some of the Phoenix peeps and I saw OFF! and Bad Brains. I scooted when they started playing reggae.

All the pics from day 2 are here:

Day 3: Thursday, March 17

St. Patrick's Day!

More Wild Flag!

And Ghostface Killah from Wu-Tang!

All the pics from day 3 are here:

Day 4: Friday, March 18

Berklee College of Music had a showcase that I was hired to photograph which included the bands Stereo Telescope

and Aloud

who I was SUPER psyched to finally see! And, I met the cutest pup in the whole world (Besides Sasha, and Ghillighan, and Fiona, and a few others....)

This is Monkey who belongs to the nice girls of Black Kettle.
After the Berklee party, I got to see a few bands at the Sub Pop showcase and then made my way over to the hottest place on earth (seriously, the hottest room at sxsw was the IFC House) and see Liz Phair!

Then back down 6th to see Eugene perform again.

And ended the night with Matt flying in to town and us all going to catch Peter Buck playing bass on a small stage with some other notables in the group The Baseball Project. (unpictured, Mike Mills who was in the audience).

This is the moment I realized that all celebrities pretty much know each other. Somehow. Mike Mills' cell number is in Eugene's phone. That. Is. Awesome.

All the pics from day 4 are here:

Day 5: Saturday, March 19

I got to judge brisket in a BBQ-off! It was for real, sanctioned and overseen by the LoneStar Barbeque Society.
Here are the chefs!

Admittedly, I have only had brisket once in my life prior to judging, but I still think I did a good job! :)

Eugene's friend Chet (who's parents own the ranch where the BBQ was) took us on a tour of the land and we saw awesome animals and finally I got to see a part of texas other than 6th street. Hill Country.

Here's my favorite cowboys, well, BBQers, really.

When I got back into town after a full day of BBQ and shooting the Berklee part of the party, I met back up with Matt and Eugene and saw Sean Lennon perform with the drummer from Deerhoof and then eventually Yoko Ono.

We didn't stay too long past the first song (when I had to stop taking pictures anyway). It was fun to see her close up. Scary trying to manuever out through the overpacked bodies in the small room.

All the pics from day 5 are here:

Sunday was the last day of the festival. I didn't shoot any music. Can you blame me? (My ears are still recovering from the week of music!) I took some portraits, walked around town, had the most amazing sushi dinner ever, went shopping for cowboy boots, checked out Waterloo Records.

Monday was more walking around and random food adventures. Hot tub lounging and margaritas.

Tuesday was actual boot purchasing and the flight home!

The entire trip is here: