[ptsotl] I went to SXSW and all I got was this hatred of music

I went to Texas for SXSW and all I got was this intensified disinterest in /disdain for music. Someone make that a t-shirt. Then roll that t-shirt up into a ball around your fist and punch me in the face with it a thousand times. Then blog about it.

While my colleagues at the Phoenix did an admirable job catching as many buzz bands as they could and taking quality pictures and making quality words about the week long festival, I basically spent the whole time complaining and hating myself and everyone else. Doesn't sound like me, does it?  Something about seeing so many bands trying really, really hard to get noticed by so many taste-makers and bloggers and industry types just completely bummed me out.  Nothing matters, no one cares about any of this, but we're stuck going through the motions of the game. To paraphrase that Confucius saying, "pick a job you love, and you'll never feel like you're working." He left out the part about "until you do, and then you get to be the asshole who complains about his fun job all the time."

In protest I basically went to see all of my friends' bands from Boston so I could temper the crushing loneliness of the world through camaraderie and the feigned connection of geography.

AYO I'M INTERNETTING IN THE SKY ON THE JUST LIKE A REGULAR LAND IDIOT. Flying is an afront to human dignity. On the way back my flight was canceled at the last minute. We've got one tomorrow morning, they offered. FUUUCKKK YOUUUU. Somehow I  landed the huge score of only have to wait around the airport for six more hours to get the next flight on another airline. Thanks! 

At least I got to drink sad bloody marys at a sad little airport bar while the sad little bartender bro yammered at everyone who came in for a couple hours.  Nice guy though. PS, choosing the least disgusting airport toilet stall to poop in is a pretty apt metaphor for life in general.

Austin is super cute, I will admit that. Would love to go back during a normal, non-shit-show week. Everything here is so much cooler than Boston in terms of places you can see bands and hang out and drink and smoke outside but not really outside. At least there's that.


That's a metaphor for the music industry. 

This is what the entire city looks like basically. All the people. So many people. My camera wasn't acting shitty again by the way, it's just impossible to make out individal faces in a sea of humanity like this. Also my camera was sneaking sips of my beer when I wasn't looking, so I'm pretty sure it was drunk. Deadbeat.

Some band doing a band thing. Seemed like they were really having fun up there.

Austin was really KILLING IT with the boobs and such this week. Good for them. Attractive people being attractive. That must be nice.


SXSW is basically Mardi Gras for hipsters. Except when it seems like regular old Mardi Gras because of all the bros and basic ass bitches.

This is how it is pretty much. Hey, next year, all bands at SXSW should say your name way more times. As many times as you can fit it in actually. Just sing your band name for all your lyrics, otherwise who is ever going to know wtf you are? Seems like finding that out would take all sorts of, I dunno, reporting.

Best part of the trip was this siqq roof top hot tub and salt water pool at my hotel. 


This is the view from my hotel. There is all sorts of music going on down there!

Better stay inside and take photos of myself in the mirror instead. 

Some band. 

People waited in lines like this all day every day for free food from a food truck. I wouldn't wait in a line that long for a free cocaine blow job massage parlor. $2 worth of sandwich meat and shit? Guess people have different priorities. 

Speaking of which, THE FOOD IN AUSTIN IS SO GOOD. No it isn't.Oh shit, here's an idea: It's a food truck, except it's an actual truck made out of food. Also all the food comes shaped into smaller little food trucks.

This is a pretty good way to get around the city if you like being jostled while you're hungover and meandering routes and volunteering your money to a pedicab driver. I guess they're not allowed to technically charge people? That's weird. Pro tip: use one of the smoking hot chicks that drive these, not the guy with a rat tail and love handles like I did. No offense buddy, you did your thing. 

Boston’s own Bearstronaut are a good Boston band from Boston. I would've danced to their set  but a gentle-man never dances outside in the day time. Just the rules. I don’t like it any better than you guys.

Bad look on me right here, the sunburnt from the inside by alcohol look.  Also the regular face sunburn. That's Dan out of Viva Viva, super homeboy. We had a few laughs. 

Me and MIchael Marotta, Phoenix music editor. Holding it down at his Vanya Records showcase. This was the funnest thing I went to. Maybe because I knew people who would stand there and listen to me complain for a minute. 


Viva Viva in action. They are legit good. 

Never did figure out if anyone else could see this bro besides me. 

Bad Rabbits are so good at what they do it's almost weird. 


There are monsters everywhere you just can't see them until you peel back the veil. 

Some band I thought was going to be Wavves, but turned out it was Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, a band I've managed to not give a shit about this entire time and am not about to start caring about now. 

SXSW: twenty thousand marketing interns yawning into their 7th Lone Star. 


Been telling you guys that everyone is going to be trying to sound like Dinosaur Jr all year.
J Mascis play so loud cause he's mad old can't hear n shit.  He was on my flight back incidentally. As was, like, the dude from the Social Network. Saw Skrillex and Diplo and all sorts of people there while I did my time in purgatory. YO AM I IN MUSIC NERD HELL? I was.
Shit shit, I know tons of people on this flight home, I thought. I hope I don't have to sit next to one of them and bullshit the whole time.

Here's my supermarket at home for some reason. 

When I got back I had to go straight to this bartending competition thing at Storyville, where I was a judge because of my job as the Stuff Magazine cocktail asshole.  Ten bartenders from NYC and Boston making seven drinks each. It was like the SXSW of cocktails. 

We tried them all. I nearly died. The end.
This was originally posted today on Put That Shit On The List. In addition to that cash-cow blog, Luke O'Neil also writes about music for the Boston Phoenix.
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