March 14, 2014

"It sometimes feels like we’ve gotten too much of what we wished for with South by Southwest."

"South by Southwest has upped the ante of what Austin is, and Austin is trying to play this game with itself, to try to compete with itself, to see if it can succeed in pulling this off."


The Crack Emcee said...

I almost moved there and he's right: There's kind of a wannabe country San Francisco thing that's, in many ways, more annoying than magical.

Mostly though, as I was leaving, I was just happy to escape the humidity. (Wake up, take a shower, go outside, want another shower.)

It IS nice to know there's somewhere to go where everyone knows music intimately. You can chat people up on the street about Rock, Rap, Jazz, Roots, African music - anything.

A great music town.

David said...


My favorite part is the bats that come out from under the bridge at dusk.

SteveR said...

The whole place is overrated, bigger's not better.

jacksonjay said...

SXSW has really exploded in the last 5 years. My kids were in Austin for 5 years in the mid aughts. It was big, but not like it is now. I wouldn't go near the thing now!

jazzizhep said...

You can almost picture the hipsters chomping at the bit, struggling to refrain from saying the most hip of all hipster words because it has become un-hipster in its ubiquitousness--corporate.

If you want neo-hippies to dreamily describe the days of yore, lush with turquoise and sterling silver jewelery and hemp clothing, just mention how successful a former "secret amongst the in-crowd" has become.

If they would speak honestly, they would say they don't want their little festival to be popular with everybody, but they do want to be known far and wide for being unpopular, for doing the unpopular thing, the new counter-culture, the un-corporate.

They want to be applauded for sitting through bull shit cinema complaining of a sterile world while texting on a $400 phone and sipping boutique coffee with free-range soy milk. They most certainly don't want those who should be applauding them, applauding with them. The new comers are much too corporate with $500 iPads sipping boutique coffees with Splenda and low fat dairy products.

Perhaps, and this is just a suggestion, if you want to keep your self-adoration fests small and intimate, don't advertise the wonderfulness of not doing the same thing as everybody else, and don't invite the media to praise your uniqueness--it sounds too much like Apple Corp.

jazzizhep said...

How about the pretentiousness of this d-bag

"“South by Southwest has upped the ante of what Austin is, and Austin is trying to play this game with itself, to try to compete with itself, to see if it can succeed in pulling this off.”

Yeah, that's the whole quote. He wanted to offer a one sentence exposition on some sort of dichotomy between Austin and SXSW.

This guy would probably try to commit suicide by driving his Tesla into the garage and shutting all the doors, waiting for his battery to run down.

mesquito said...

My five years in Austin were miserable. I was grateful and relieved to return to Texas .

MathMom said...

I used to live in San Antonio, and drove through Austin on I-35 on my way north. Austin's traffic was intolerable in 1988. It is worse now.

Tank said...

Going to visit in Sept. Made sure NOT to be there when any large festivals were going on.

I might enjoy them if I was going there for them, but not on a "regular" vacation.

Ah, let's face it. I'm too old for that crap. I just want to pregame, go see the Allmans at the Beacon, and go home for half a nights sleep.

On the other hand, while we're there, I'm sure I'll be out listening to music every night.

Tank said...

Oh, yeah, one of the handful of advantages of getting old is that you care less and less about being "cool."

mesquito said...

"Cool" is paying $500 per night for a room at Motel 8.

Oso Negro said...

Moved to Austin in 1976 and lived nine of the next 11 years there. Some of the finest of those were my years as a club musician. There were always three things you could get - another beer, another girl, and another guitar. Somewhere along the way I outgrew the town, while the town was outgrowing itself. (Pretentious sentence alert, Jazz!)

There is a hell of a lot more to Texas than Austin, but no Texas town is more full of itself.

jazzizhep said...

Not so Oso, your statement made perfect sense. Sounds like you grew up and chose a career other than a perpetual student, politician, or professor (not that there is anything wrong with the first or third).

As far as Austin being full of itself, it really can't help itself. 50,000+ know it all students, and full of politicians and lobbyist, it ranks third behind D.C. and L.A. in the "we know how everybody else should lead their lives" category.

Being a transplanted lifelong Dallasite living in Central Texas, I would much rather go north to catch the jazz scene surrounding UNT than the angst-riddled indie crap emanating from my intellectual betters to the south.

EDH said...

I'm waiting for the first asshole to declare it "this generation's Altamont".

Lyle said...

Houston is cooler than Austin. And bigger.

James said...

I was born here in the 50's. I can agree with just about everything written above. To be honest philosophically this is what South By was from the first. What is funny is watching over the years all these people flocking to Austin to be part of something that never was.

furious_a said...

...but no Texas town is more full of itself.

Dallas comes close, in a new-money-town-wanting-to-look-like-old-money way vs. Austin's hipster way.

The sad thing about Austin is that it is being loved to death. It doesn't have the footprint (or the freeway capacity) to absorb the inhabitants and you can barely see the Capitol from I35 anymore. That is, if one wants to risk driving through instead of around the city.

West of the city the growth will encroach on US 281, ruining one of the great North-South drives in the country. Burnet-Marble Falls on weekends and holidays is getting to be a chokepoint.

Bill Reeves said...

Californication is horrifying To Behold when you see it happen to something you love.