SXSW: Minimal Recommendations from a Local

March 7, 2014

Now that SXSW is truly the main stage of the hipster marketing slacker expert, I’m just gonna say, from what I can see, it takes a whole lot of work to be that laid back. In fact, it’s become so much work to watch, that this year, I’m mainly just happily happy to experience it all from right here in my kitchen, 10 miles from the mothership.

It’s true that in years past I’ve done a variety of parties there, low-key parties, parking lot parties, charity parties, large rainy Saturday night Stubbs parties, small old school parties. But this year, there are no parties.  I’m really not even venturing over there much…but for all of you braving the world’s largest collection of ironic sunglasses, I salute you. And I wish you the best, most delightful time.

A few friends have asked what to expect from SXSW this year, what to do, who to see. And I say you’ll for sure see these people.  You should also go see The Tontons. They’re playing here.

Beyond that, I sort of have no idea. But while you’re here, I would suggest that you look into a few, more localized activities. Things like this:

1. Get Some of The Best Queso in Austin. Here are my suggestions. I could talk more about this and I’m happy to. But you can’t really go wrong with most places in town so you’re probably fine no matter what. You’ll be especially pleased if you get your cheese from somewhere where there are no lines and whose name you can’t really pronounce.

2. Go See My Cousin’s Band. I’m not even kidding. That’s him right in the middle there. They are called Chasca, they are local, and they are awesome + beyond entertaining. Trust me. You won’t be sure what you are watching, but you won’t be disappointed.

Photo of (from left) Keith Schmidt, Susie Schmidt-Franks, Chad Franks and John Fullilove courtesy of Rodolfo Gonzalez/American-Statesman.

3. Go To The Best New BBQ Spot In Town.  Schmidt Family Barbecue  is the cousin child of the legendary Kreuz Market and Smitty’s BBQ in Lockhart. Here’s more. To sum up, the new joint is from the next generation of cousins from the ultimate BBQ family of Texas. It’s closer to town, in Bee Cave. And it’s worth the drive from downtown. Go. (Also, PS, I’m not sure what you’ve heard, but The Salt Lick is in no way the best BBQ in town. Not even close. And Franklin’s is really not worth the wait…especially not the wait this week.)

4. Go Outside. This is especially important if you are from anywhere north of Waco. But wherever you come from, get away from downtown. Go to Barton Springs. Or Deep Eddy. Or the Kite Festival. Or Mount Bonnell. Or just really anywhere that’s not a line flowing into a parking lot.

5. Come To Jo’s on Sunday Morning at 10 AM for Coffee. I will be there.  Not the real Jo’s by Hotel San Jose on South Congress. That place will be a nightmare. I’ll be at the new Jo’s on Second Street (242 West Second Street). Drinking coffee. Welcoming Daylight Savings Time. Because that’s how I’m partying this year. Quietly. See you then, maybe.

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  • Reply Knighton March 8, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    OMG. We saw Chasca in San Marcos for Halloween 2012. Had no idea you were related.

    And you’re right – they are an absolute blast!

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  • Reply Yellowish Canary March 13, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Thanks. Heard so many good things and it’s on my list of places to visit. And I die for good queso.

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