You should know that it's 7 degrees short of a boy band in Austin right now. That's right. 91. 8 days ago when we arrived it was in the 30s and raining. What a difference. It's a muggy hot too which makes it feel even more sweltering.
I've been meaning to blog for a few days now but now that I'm waiting in a hotel lobby for my Super Shuttle to the airport, I can finally jot a few things down.
Tuesday. We did some stuff. Oh yeah, we shot a story about how popular it is to make movies in Texas right now. Then Amber (our pa/my new bff) and I partook in some free pre-awards show beverages. Post show I had 30 minutes to write our SXSW wrap before feedtime. Pressure. That night we caught a bit of Moby's DJ set at one of the parties. On Thursday when I talked to him even he admitted it was a weird vibe that night. Weird - in this case - not being good.
I was also able to pick up my wristband for the music portion of the fest on Tues which was super exciting.
Wednesday. Gerrad and Jon left. I switched hotels and meandered around a bit before catching a VAN MORRISON show. I evidently really like him because he sang neither Moondance or Brown-eyed Girl and I still enjoyed it. From there I went over to the venue REM was scheduled to play at midnight. I knew if I wanted in, I had to get there early. So I waited just under 5 hours to stand 15-20 feet away from Michael Stipe. Wouldn't you? It also meant I got to listen to - and enjoy - Jonathan Rice and Papercranes. I also got to hear Dead Confederates but didn't enjoy that show as much. It was pretty hardcore. I mean not as hard as it could have been, but music that vibrates my insides for consistent long periods of time isn't my cup of tea.
Then came REM. I've never been to an REM show. It was so much fun. He did a great job of mixing new and old songs and he's Michael Stipe and he talks and it's like this Bono feeling like "if you lead, we will follow." They didn't play Orange Crush or End of the World, but he DID push an elephant up the stairs.
Thursday was my day. I've often mentioned how I love the sentiment of Princess Anne in Roman Holiday and how she would like to do just anything she likes all day long. I had nowhere to go. Nobody to answer to. No one to have to agree with. At one point I was walking on this tree-lined sidewalk and their was a fountain and I just felt...free. And it was exhilerating. I couldn't come up with anything else but free. My feet hurt and I'm apparently coming down with a cold, but nothing mattered as I meandered around downtown. I'm not sure what it means, if it means anything at all. Does it mean it's time for me to move again? Does it mean I'm too stressed out? Or did it simply mean that, there I was, on a beautiful day, enjoying it, alone, my way? Whatever it was, I loved the feeling of that moment.
SO, what'd I do with my day you ask? Well I revisited the ginormous Whole Foods. And then I watched Sara Bareilles and then Ingrid Michaelson perform at Waterloo Records. It's very Vintage Vinyl and I liked it. I had never seen Ingrid live before and she really impressed me. She knocked my socks off with her version of "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You."
From the store I walked over to the venue where the Hotel Cafe Tour would be performing. It's called The Parish and several locals say it's the city's best venue. I had a little bit of a wait, but again, it was all worth it. I'll try and go down the list of performers: Buddy, Greg Laswell, Jessie Baylin, Kate Havenik, Priscilla Ahn, Joshua Radin, Jim Bianco, Cary Brothers, Meiko, Ingrid and Sara. I'm not entirely sure I'm not forgetting someone. It was 6 straight hours of music. There were a couple of join in singalongs like they always do (and I always enjoy). Ingrid continued to impress by covering "I'm a Creep" while playing the ukelele. Sara closed the show and disappointed me by playing the EXACT set list she had played at the store. Same order and everything. Wunh wunh. Priscilla's cd comes out June 10 and it's definitely worth a listen. Josh's will come out in June and July but from what I've heard I can't help but wonder if it will be a collection of songs about the end of he and Schuyler.
Oh also. Before the show, I stopped by this little quikstop across the street to get something to eat. I got a corndog, a banana and animal crackers for $2.42 or something ridiculous like that. I looked at the guy behind the counter and was like, no, I want all of it and he's like, that's what all of it costs. WHAT? Amazing prices here folks. Then I got to the middle of the street - and the line - and started eating. That's when I realized the phallic nature of my meal.
Ok so this morning I had to be up early for a junket. I've been feeling progressively worse over the last 24 hours and being in a smoky place all night last night didn't help, but I toughed through and interviewed Stop Loss director Kimberly Peirce and one of the movie's stars. Kim told me not once, but twice that I brought up a good point. The junket photogs even commented on how good my interview was. I didn't think it was award winning or anything but who knows.
My shuttle's about to get here, but I have to mention the fun Amber and I just had. We went down to SoCo, which is a shopping district here. We wandered into a toy store where we found these cool looking big wheel type things. I shrieked in glee when I saw that the recommended age was 3-103. Then we both got on them and rode around the store for about half an hour. I took some video of it so hopefully I'll be able to load that. It was hilarious and awesome. They're called Plasmacars. It would be awesome if like a roller rink would have a night dedicated to them or something because the only problem we had with buying them is we're not sure where to ride them. I considered the fact that I have hard wood floors and could just put all my furniture up against the walls and have a good track. The cars make great sharp turns and are fun to just spin around.
We hit up a few vintage shops before getting ice cream and calling it a day. a FUN day.
Overall feeling on Austin is a good one. It's got a great vibe. But boy is it HOT when it's HOT and COLD when it's COLD. weather, ugh!