(Update: our thoughts are with the families of the victims of last night's tragic hit-and-run in Austin.)
Every year my SXSW advice is the same – drink so much water (to balance out all the free beer), for God’s sake don’t eat tacos for every meal, and if you’re waiting in line for more than ten minutes, just leave and try something else. This year I’m sticking to my guns, but I’m also going to add, try eating fruit once in a while! It feels amazing! Last year I figured this out while holding an amazing, delicious, absolutely heaven-sent plum in one hand, a whiskey ginger in the other, and watching a band I’d never heard before who are now among my favorites, just because I’d come to the venue to sit down. I guess that just goes to show that sometimes the best thing to do at SXSW is heed the demands of your increasingly exhausted body above those of your increasingly frazzled mind. It also just goes to show that it’s probably a good idea to have a backup plan and be willing to improvise, because that’s often how you catch the best stuff. Here’s my plan A, but don’t hold me to it, because 1) I have no patience for lines, and There Will Be Lines, and 2) I might just see Destruction Unit twelve times.
THURSDAY MARCH 13
Thursday afternoon presents you with three equally amazing party opportunities and, thus, a choice that’ll break your heart – Stereogum’s showcase at the Mohawk (Cloud Nothings, EMA, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Speedy Ortiz, Chloë Howl, Big Ups and Perfect Pussy are playing!), round two of Pitchfork’s French Legation day shows (with the amazing Viet Cong, Eagulls, Future Islands, and Mutual Benefit), and Thrasher Magazine’s party at Scoot Inn, where Ratking, Fucked Up, Destruction Unit, and Together Pangea will melt your face off (Tyler the Creator and Ryan Hemsworth also show up!). Choose wisely, because those three venues are scattered all over town. And look at me giving you this advice, knowing full well that I will attempt somehow to do all three.
There are way too many choices at night, too, but 4AD’s official showcase at Cheer Up Charlie’s looks like the winner, with sets from Empress Of, Merchandise, Future Islands, S O H N and Kirin J Callinan. Or, you could try Gorilla vs. Bear’s party at Hype Hotel, which boasts sets from SOPHIE, BANKS, Pure Bathing Culture and London Grammar, or brave the crowds at Doc Martens’ party at Bar 96, which might present your only opportunity to see Parquet Courts and Real Estate.