I knew it was going to rain yesterday but that obviously wasn’t going to stop the pursuit of smoked chicken, open bars, and low vibrations. And there I was, two blackberry somethings deep, telling my stomach “we’re not done here” as I worked on a plate from BBQ Heaven when the rain started bouncing. I threw on what I thought was a rain jacket to find I had apparently packed a wind breaker. Super. Sopping wet, I had to take it back to HQ and regroup. With the Mass Appeal BBQ and Spotify House now out of the question, I looked to my compass that is the SXSW pocket guide. I missed Pell’s spot at Spotify because of the rain but saw he’d be at Peter Rosenberg’s ICM Showcase at Highland, so I highlighted a few shows in the area and took it downtown.
I was pretty bummed about missing the big parties, but reminded myself of the SXSW I use to think of a few years ago – a place where artists, whether buzzing or trying to make a splash, are given the opportunity to do their thing and share it with an audience who’s looking for that scratch to an itch they haven’t reached before. Now I won’t play it off like I haven’t heard of Pell or Boogie – Pell’s “Eleven:11” and Boogie’s “Bitter Raps” both see heavy rotation when I’ve got the aux chord – but the opportunity to see an artist on the rise in a intimate setting is invaluable to someone who frequents shows.
If you find yourself at SXSW, I highly recommend getting out to the smaller showcases. Go places you’ve never been. See the artists you’ve heard of but never seen, and stick around for a couple acts. Support the people doing what they love. Seriously check your cool at the door, let loose and have some fun.