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Prelude...

For some 17 years now I have made this trek to Austin, live music capital of the world, to experience the sights and sounds of South By Southwest... This year would be an entirely new experience for me as a journalist, as I would not only be covering the festival for Hybrid Magazine, but I would be playing a couple of solo shows while I was in town. I have had some yearly traditions that I was not able to fulfill this year, whether because bands no longer existed or attended, or because a venue was closed or overly crowded. Overall, it was a beautiful week in Austin, the weather was perfect, the friends were plentiful and lovely. And the beer was cold.

Before the festival really got into full swing I made my way over to Franklin's BBQ on East 11th Street for the world's greatest beef brisket. Franklin's has been in business since 2009 and last March, just prior to SXSW, they moved into the storefront previously occupied by Ben's Longbranch BBQ... I always loved Ben's, but am very, very happy that Franklin's is in the space now. I waited my requisite 2.5 hours in line (I was quoted 3 hours) in the company of some new friends from L.A. and enjoyed the double helping of brisket immensely, as well as the friendly welcome of the owner and employees. While waiting in line for food is not everyone's bag, this is more than worthy of any wait on any day in any city in the world.

Also, to start my week off right I normally have the chance to catch Michael Booher play in one of his bands... the bad news to start the festival off was that Booher had no band this year and I wouldn't get to see him play... a sad state of affairs for me, indeed. I believe my very first SXSW experience was seeing his then-new band Zykos play their debut show at Hickory Street and it's been a tradition since that one of the first bands I see has always been his current project.

-David DeVoe


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Mike Doughty



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