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SXSW Music: Day 3 Recap

Boy, it gets HOT in Texas in March. In today’s 93 degree heat, with shows to see on the far sides of downtown, I learned to love the pedicab!

Today was about quality, not quantity. Many of my friends have “bands-i’ve-seen” lists as long as their arms. Not I — mostly because I was working on interviews today — but I did thoroughly enjoy every part of the day. It went something like this:

*) Chatted with some folks from Spin Magazine and Chronicle books at the hotel, and scored a coveted invite to the SPIN party.
*) Stopped by the IHeartComix party at a parking garage, too early to see any bands, unfortunately.
*) Caught The Soundtrack of Our Lives put on a typically amazing set at La Zona Rosa. Ran into my old friend Lars from Columbia Records.
*) Pedicabbed to Stubbs where I caught Vampire Weekend and X (stood right up front and center, so awesome!)
*) Tried to connect with Working for a Nuclear Free City, but the line was too long and I missed them. Did get to spend some time in line with Daniel Gill of Forcefield PR, however, which was fun in itself.
*) A little dinner with founders of the Attacked by Jackets music blog
*) Interviewed Martin Hederos, keyboard player for Soundtrack, who is a complete foodie. Love him.
*) Caught old friends, The Submarines, playing at Momo’s. Ran into another old friend, Joe, who plays with the Submarines and has also been in a myriad of Boston bands.
*) Saw White Rabbits perform and chatted with them afterward. Turns out they were pretty drunk for our interview… and I thought they were just silly!
*) Saw White Denim play at 1am.

And that wrapped up the festival for me. All in all, a big success with four interviews and many more contacts. Plus SO much music and good food. You can bet I’ll be back next year.

SXSW Music: Day 2 Recap

Another rockin’ day in Austin. No interviews conducted, but I did get to chat with Daniel from Nada Surf and Khaela of The Blow to set up interviews in the future when things are less chaotic. The great news is that Daniel is actually going to do some cooking on the show. I can’t wait.

My day went something like this:

  • Nada Surf acoustic set and nice chat with Daniel
  • Lunch with my friend Alison from the Chicago band Le Concorde. Ran into Tapes ‘n Tapes at the restaurant!
  • A performance by The Blow at the convention center

And the line-up for the night:

  • Phosphorescent with my San Francisco friends
  • The Cowsills (from the ’60s), completely by accident
  • Luke Temple
  • Ran into Britt Daniel eating a piece of pizza after his big show
  • Le Concorde
  • The English Beat (got to use all my ’80s dance moves), ran into Britt again
  • Old 97s (hadn’t seen them in years, and they always put on a great show)

That brought me right up to 2am, and time to recharge for another day.

SXSW Music: Day 1 Recap

Hello from Austin! The music festival is in full swing here, which means I’ve already walked at least 10 miles in the name of music.

Wednesday was a great success; I saw eight bands (a pretty modest number compared to some die-hards):

  • These New Puritans
  • The Mae Shi
  • WHY?
  • The Blow
  • Wedding Present
  • Okkervil River featuring Roky Erikson
  • Naked Raygun

and did three(!) interviews:

  • These United States‘ Jesse who is into eating well and consciously (organically and locally)
  • YACHT — Jona and Claire are strict vegans
  • Wedding Present — David Gredge can make two things: poached eggs, and salad dressing (although not necessarily together)

Five hours of sleep later, I’m off for Day 2!

I'm Headin' to Austin!

It’s that time of year again when I make my pilgrimage to South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas for a week of non-stop socializing, networking, learning, walking, and of course, eating!

I’ll be arriving Saturday for the Interactive Festival, which I’ve been attending since 2000. I’m looking forward to seeing all my genious internet friends and spending time with my fellow podcasters.

Then I’ll be sticking around for the Music Festival where I hope to round up a few interviews with some awesome bands for the show.

After that, I’m sure I’ll be collapsin’.

If you’re at SXSW and spot me, please stop by to say hello, and get one of the snazzy new Cooking with Rockstars stickers.

Introducing.... the Jenville LIMO!

This week’s interview with Brooklyn duo, Matt and Kim, is the first to take place in the stylin’ Jenville limousine. I’m very excited about this new development in the Cooking with Rockstars show, for a slew of reasons.

First of all, limos are fun! And funny. And kind of rockstar. So it’s a good fit.

But the real reason I adore the limo is that it solves a lot of practical problems. Rock clubs at sound check are notoriously dark and loud— two highly undesirable qualities if you’re trying to shoot video. You may have noticed that many of my early episodes were shot on street corners (Rilo Kiley, Ben Kweller), stairwells (Beulah), and broom closets (Enon)... all in an effort to find a place bright and quiet enough to shoot.

One night while walking with my cameraman and editor, James Holland, he spotted a limo on the street and said “You should shoot the show in one of those!” We had a chuckle then it immediately dawned on us… that would be perfect!

We could get the limo early and get the lights, cameras, and mics set up in advance, then invite the artist in for the interview, ply them with champagne, shoot the show in our predictable and controlled environment, then send them on their way and take our time cleaning up. James is a genious!

So far, it’s working out pretty much just like that. Sure, there have been some snags… like finding a place to park it, and how loud a good rain is when it’s pounding the roof. But everything considered, the Jenville Limo is a very Good Thing and is likely to be sticking around a while.

Just look at how much fun Matt and Kim are having!