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.
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