SXSW: Diary of South-By virgin, Day Five … or Six

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Thanks to the world premiere of the delightful slasher musical “Stage Fright,” I got to cross another important Austin experience off my list: attending a screening at the Alamo Drafthouse. I may be spoiled now as far as movie theaters, since having whiskey delivered right to my seat during a film is an experience I’d happily have more often. When the midnight screening let out, the mounting, Mardi Gras-style chaos on Sixth Street reminded me that while the film part of SXSW is wrapping up, the main Music component is just getting going. Luckily for my feet and sleep debt, that’s Pat Healy‘s responsibility now.

I remembered I’m supposed to be keeping an eye on the Interactive side of things as well, so I checked in with some of the more eager startups angling for attention at the conference. Best I could tell, the tech industry’s love of the portmanteau has not abated, with words starting with “crowd” seeming to be the most popular. “Bitcoin” was a big one, too, and I’m not exactly sure what “gamification” is but there sure are a lot of folks up for gamifying just about anything.

On Monday evening I had the pleasure of tagging along with the team of British filmmakers behind the teen movie retrospective “Beyond Clueless” for their world premiere, and afterward a dinner request was made for “something really American.” Gus’s Fried Chicken seemed to do the trick, then it was off to a raucous party thrown by online video service Vimeo, by which time most of the SXSW film attendees had taken on a sort of exhaustion-fueled giddiness.

And I’m proud to report that before leaving Texas behind, I did finally track down some barbecue. We tried our luck with Franklin’s, aware that the wait could be ridiculous, but it turns out that wasn’t a problem — they were completely sold out of meat when we got there. Instead, we headed to Stubb’s, opting for takeout and devouring it by the banks of Waller Creek while random bands played at pop-up venues nearby. And oh my God, it was delicious. Plus, I felt that swell of satisfaction that maybe, just maybe, I’d managed to do SXSW right after all.



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