The Memories of SXSW ’16 continue to flood in, and we have six more for your reading pleasure. Each story reveals the magic that exists in Austin for five days, where the unexpected happens. It’s a display rarely seen in this world – that so many different people can come together and celebrate one common thing – a love for music.
Dead Stars (USA)
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1. Walking about a mile from where we were staying into the heart of downtown Austin to play our third show of the day at 1 AM. The streets were packed as we navigated our way to the venue. It was very surreal, as we had just been sitting quietly at our friend’s apartment. To be thrown into the mayhem like that was a bit of a shock. We arrived about 5 minutes before we were supposed to go on, plugged in our guitars, played the show. Then we immediately left, walked back to the apartment and went to sleep. It was perfect!
2. Finding a vegan, BBQ food truck!
3. Playing the Austin Town Hall / Welcome To The Jangle showcase at The Spider House. There were so many good bands on the bill, it was pretty insane. We were honored to be a part of it and won’t soon forget the experience.
Future Elevators (USA)
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1. We got to see Mother Falcon play at Spider House, where we played. They killed it! It’s a tight orchestra of beautiful songs pulled off excellently live. They were also kind enough to let us crash at their house.
2. We survived on nothing but tacos and beer for a day. That was a treat. It’s good for the soul to try that at least once.
3. We saw a band called Night Drive play right after Octopus Project downtown. They had some really good melodies and synth tones. Check them out if you get a chance.
Kill J (Denmark)
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Highlight #1 for me at SXSW was definitely when this sweet girl came up to me after a show all teary-eyed. She told me how one of my songs really is helping her through some hard times – how she felt understood. It made me feel so humble and grateful.
Highlight #2 – Playing at the Hype Hotel – just a perfect night. The best audience!
Highlight #3 – All the incredible people I’ve met. I’ve made so many new friends – interesting, quirky, artistic, funny, creative, smart people. They really made my trip to SXSW more than I’ve ever could have imagined. I’ll never forget!
The Main Squeeze (USA)
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This was our very first SXSW, and it’s safe to say it won’t come close to being our last. We’ve played many music festivals in our career as a band, but when we say we had no idea what to expect, we mean it. SXSW isn’t really a music FESTIVAL; it’s a gathering of an international community – A Summit. And what it really felt like was a celebration of all of the things that we live for and love in this crazy, fucking business. To come into an amazing city and see it totally overrun by music freaks was something we couldn’t understand until we saw it and became part of it. To see every corner of the music community represented in reverence was something we didn’t know could exist to such a degree. To be able to see Anderson Paak play a 15-minute set and still feel like it was one of the best shows we’ve seen this year was something we couldn’t have expected, but we really came to love the showcase vibe. In contrast to a full show, this made it more about everyone coming together to share a little piece of their soul and what they have going on, then keep it moving to check out someone else’s story. Then check out another one, and another one…
We played three sets, all hovering around 45 minutes, and each one was amazing and special in its own right. A standout was the daytime show we did, Thursday upstairs at 512. Keeping in tow with a theme, we had no idea what to expect when it came to our crowd, the vibe. As always, you keep your expectations low but come correct regardless. When we were setting up there were about 5 people in the audience. By the end, there were over 100 people going absolutely nuts. All out dance party! It was a flashback to our roots, starting out playing day parties and house shows at Indiana University in Bloomington. This show had the same energy, that utopia, half-drunk freedom; music heaven! We have no better way to sum things up then this – SXSW is completely one of a kind and a totally necessary experience if you reside in the music world. It’s about diversity, community, and freedom, and that’s kind of why we do what we do anyway, isn’t it? Thanks Austin, see ya next year!
My Gold Mask (USA)
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1. Our official showcase at Iron Bear with some of our favorite synth artists like Mr. Kitty and Pastel Ghost, which led to a massive dance party and a baller group photo afterwards. It was an enthusiastic, fun-as-shit crowd at Iron Bear with good vibes all around. Definitely a night to remember.
2. Our unofficial set at Sidewinder was super rad too. It was presented by a trifecta of Midwest venues (METRO, First Ave and Majestic). Good times with plenty of Lone Star and lots of friends old and new. Har Mar Superstar was on directly after us. Such a great band and cool dude. He actually said hi and remembered us from the one time we opened for him back in 2010!
3. Meeting up randomly with Chicago friends as we passed by a bar where Noise FM was playing a show. Also, meeting up with our good friend Amy Lombardi who got us into the Tunecore showcase, where we got to catch YUCK (with an open bar)! Doesn’t get much better than that. Random meet ups with friends while in the SXSW Austin atmosphere takes on a whole new level of excitement.
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We woke up in a stupor to play a show at 10:30 am and found ourselves backstage at Rachael Ray’s BBQ several hours later. We have this game we started playing, which consists of us standing frozen in a circle, taking turns to make swift motions to hit each other’s hands and get each other “out” until there is only one person standing.
After a couple rounds, we were joined by a few people, including Jenny Lewis and Brandi from P-Funk, who gave us the most sincere advice on nurturing your inner baby. Bill Murray then came over to investigate what we were all up to, as we were standing around in a big circle, and began to remove the bandage around his pinky to join the game. He listened to the rules for about five seconds before he said that the game was going to take too long and disappeared into the desert.
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