Monday, March 18th

SXSW 2013

Sorry to have ignored you, blog. South by Southwest is an all-consuming time and energy suck. I will do my best to recap. Apologies for the crap cell photos. I only took my camera out one night and it was too annoying to consider doing again.

SXSW Gauge

SXSW Wristbands

How did the Betty’s fare? Pretty well, I’d say. We drank lots of free vodka and beer, ate free tacos, sushi, and all kinds of other great stuff. We visited the Paul Qui curated South Bites on several occasions.

South Bites

Paul Qui

An early highlight was heading home late one night and hearing the telltale wah wah guitar of Grupo Fantasma coming out of the Trophy Club on Sixth Street. Have you ever been to that bar? Me neither. But there’s a mechanical bull and a guy was riding on it standing up. And there’s a disco saddle hanging from the ceiling, so…I will definitely be back.

Mechanical Bull

Disco Saddle

Grupo Fantasma

We spent the wee hours of the night dancing like fools and talking to the band, where we got the hot tip that Johnny Depp would be the special guest for Wednesday night’s Austin Music Awards. So, naturally, we spent Wednesday night at Austin Music Hall waiting for Edward Scissorhands to show up. He never did, but Gary Clark, Jr., ended up being the surprise guest and gave a great performance. It was a long night of great music punctuated by a really boring awards ceremony.

Gary Clark, Jr.

We spent another night at The Belmont, where there was a great lineup. We were there for hot acts Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Action Bronson. It was a good crowd and the music was great. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Macklemore is exploding right now. He and his crew were clearly having the time of their lives and it’s nice to see hip hop come back around to a light-hearted, whimsical side. It’s been a while since rap has been fun.

Action Bronson

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

We chose to do another night of hip hop at Empire Control Room, which might have the grossest bathrooms in Austin. But the rhymes were right and I’m a sucker for some good scratching. With the exception of one, all the acts were from NYC. I guess I’m looking to fill the hole in my heart left by the Beastie Boys. Most notable was Soul Khan from Brown Bag Allstars, who had the smooth flow that you just don’t hear outside the east coast. I also enjoyed the antics of Doppelgangaz, who had a huge doll on stage with them at one point.

Soul Khan


SXSW is not for the weak. The parking, the crowds, the secret parties, the RSVP-juggling, the constant checking of Twitter for can’t-miss events. The walking. The traffic. The smell of beer everywhere. The people! Note: the Interactive attendees are nerdy cool, the Music attendees are dressed cooler and better for people-watching.

Some Mad Betty SXSW fun facts

Total paid for parking (over ten days): $21. My parking spots may not all have been 100% legal. But I parked free most days and not too far from the action. No, I cannot share my secrets with you.

Places I charged my cell phone: Trophy Club, ACL Theater, Empire Control Room, The Belmont, The Sheraton, Tap Room. The takeaway here is that it’s time to get a new phone. Farewell Droid, welcome iPhone. I give in.

Freebies included: Shampoo and Conditioner, Obama tattoo, tee-shirts, giant Post-its, Kind Bars, a Whole Foods gift bag full of goodies, a color-reactive cup, snap bracelets and other chotchky crap. I tried to minimize the free stuff I took, as I usually don’t want it. But I could have filled my apartment.

Some of the bands I saw: 

  • Action Bronson
  • Alejandro Escovedo
  • Ben Kweller
  • Bill Carter and The Blame
  • Blondfire
  • Brownout
  • Budos Band
  • Charles Bradley
  • Charli XCX
  • Como Mamas
  • Doppelgangaz
  • Gary Clark, Jr.
  • Grupo Fantasma
  • Icona Pop
  • JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound
  • The Lone Bellow
  • Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
  • Menahan Street Band
  • Mister Loveless
  • Open Mike Eagle
  • Rockie Fresh
  • Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
  • Soul Khan
  • Sugarman 3
  • Talib Kweli
  • The 4onthefloor
  • The Tontons
  • The Trishas

The Tontons

JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings


Charles Bradley

Eco Light Garden

Did you go to SXSW? What were your favorite parts?

6 Responses

  1. […] it? In Austin we just live in the time between South by Southwests. I had a great time at SXSW 2013 and am hoping to get more involved in next year’s […]

  2. Meredith says:

    hey! Nice pic of the Tontons. I met them on Wednesday– my sister-in-law is also from Houston.

  3. Hey we actually saw 2 of the same bands. 🙂 I, of course, was a boring day-time SXSW’ers so didn’t have the ick bathroom situation to deal with.

    Did you like The Trishas by the way?? I’ve listened to them some, but never seen them live yet….but they are local, so should I check them out?

  4. Holy wowza! I guess you didn’t sleep much. That list of concerts alone is a bit mind-blowing. Kudos! You really know how to soak up the fun. My favorite part was the palpable change in energy when it shifted from interactive to music. You could feel it in the air. Least favorite part was always wondering what I was missing since there was SO much going on.

  5. Dave says:

    Well doesn’t that just look like the most awesome week ever. If you continue to post about all the great times and free food and drink (as you may recall, my greatest weakness) you experience, I will be forced to stop reading your blog due to both my overwhelming jealousy, and the way it makes me question my own life decisions.

    In seriousness, great post.

  6. Senor Betty says:

    I would have included worst area for cell reception: Red River, Money spent on pedicabs: $12, and Grossest area of SXSW, again Red River. Great post!

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