Editor’s Note: On the heels of her first SXSW as both an attendee and performer, Monica Arrington (AKA Nerdkween) provides this first-hand account of her sojourn to Austin with Nick Black. This continues our series of artist-written Op-Ed’s that bring you the undiluted voice of the artist the best way possible: directly from the source
by Monica Arrington
We were super excited about making our first trip to Austin and to make an appearance at SXSW. For a few weeks before hand, we talked about it like kids would about Christmas day. Our journey would begin with a drive of almost 17 hours.
The trip started off well enough, even though we drove through thunderstorms, all night, in the mountains, and at times, on one-lane highways. Yet several hours later and within a hundred miles of Austin, neither one of us could keep our eyes open or speak coherently. But we reached the Austin city limits and made a mad rush to find the convention center.
Luckily it was right off the highway, we were able get our wristbands and badges because we planned on going out that night to catch some bands. However, our fatigue lead us to get lost between the convention center and our hotel only six miles away for nearly two hours. That night we had no choice but the stay in and recharge ourselves for the start of the festival.
The first show was with local and traveling bands at a lovely coffeehouse away from the frenzy of the festival. We were able to meet and reacquaint with some creative and interesting characters living in town. However even before I hit the stage, I fell off a curb while unloading my equipment.
I was all right and a couple of Austin folk were kind enough to come pick me up off the street. I played my set and watched one of my friends perform afterward. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon. Later that night we hit the convention center to pick up another wristband and “claim” posters we liked from the columns.
Then we went to see a couple of recommended acts, which were mind-blowing. Came in around 2AM.
We spent this day going to panels and attending one day show. Not very eventful, just the heat and tired feet taking hold of our bodies. We got a second wind to join up with our friends again to attend an early showcase. It was beautiful music, which was a great way to start off the evening. We parted with our friends to go catch different showcases. We decided to turn in after that. Came in around 12am.
Got an early start to catch more panels, some we were almost turned away from because the rooms were full. But we also spent some time promoting my showcase and looking for free food and drinks. I think I was starting to feel over whelmed with the music and hung over people everywhere and worried that my showcase wouldn’t be well attended. We turned in WAY early around 11pm.
We had another early start as we headed toward the convention center for last minute promotions. Then we met up with other friends for lunch on Lake Austin. Next, we went to a day show on the river. It was a great time, spending a few hours there but we had to race toward my showcase. The showcase was in a small but really nice hotel. I had nothing to worry about; the showcase was well attended however it was mostly people having dinner at the restaurant we were performing in.
Nonetheless, the audience was nice. I ended up speaking with a few people afterward, finally meeting an Internet buddy and leaving to find some food. Ironically, we could not afford to eat there! We found our dinner and went back to the hotel. Came in around 10pm.
We last performance to make at an intimate gallery opening. Again, ran into our local friends and had a lovely afternoon. I played my set in the “backyard” and I loved it.
And stayed long enough to see my friend perform another amazing set. I enjoyed the fact that we spent our last hours in Austin amongst good friends who live there and love that town year round. We are definitely coming back, if not for SXSW, but for seeing our friends again.
Comments are closed.
- NEW! All music and music video posts are now exclusively on the DeadJournalist Tumblr site! Follow DeadJournalist on Tumblr
- Don’t Forget about Tumblr
- Music, To Me
- Guest Writers Coming In May
- Exclusive Interview: Jamaican Queens
- Exclusive Interview: Psychic Twin
- Editorial: “Accidental Racist” – Good Intent, Poor Execution
- Exclusive Interview: Vague-à-bonde
- Exclusive Interview: Cloud Cult
- DeadJournalist’s 7-11 Anniversary
- Exclusive Interview: The History of Apple Pie
- Music! Music Videos! They Are Back! (Because of Tumblr)
- Why So Few DeadJournalist Posts? Let Me Explain
- Exclusive Interview: Hayden
- Retro Album Review: The Pleased – Don’t Make Things
- Exclusive Interview: Ivan & Alyosha
- Exclusive Interview: Wang Chung
- Exclusive Interview: Cayucas
- Exclusive Interview: Fonda
Archives: August 2006 to Current
- "Keep a clear eye. Don't ever be steered by what others may be writing. Write what you feel, and tell everybody else to go f--- themselves." - Furman Bisher