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Friday, March 18, 2011

Helpful Advice: How To Survive NOT Going To SXSW

Posted By on Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 8:48 AM

This week, thousands of music lovers, wayward drunks, and music industry folk have descended upon Austin, Texas, for the 2011 South By Southwest music "conference" (yeah, right). If you're still here at home in the Bay Area, the reality that you're missing five days of non-stop free music/beer/barbecue, as well as showcases featuring some of the most interesting new talent in the world, is no doubt grating on you already. So we've devised some helpful advice to get through these trying times, while you wait for everyone else's fun to end.


• Avoid social media for the entire week
It's not that we begrudge our friends and associates having an amazing time over there, but... actually, we begrudge our friends and associates having an amazing time over there. Sorry, guys, but it's hard to not feel a twinge of hatred every time we see a Tweet about "getting wasted at the Black Lips show" or "having mind blown by ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead right now" (does that even fit in a Tweet?) or "meeting so many great contacts this week!" So, to everyone stuck at home, feeling the weight of the online gloating: if you wish to avoid murdering your friends when they get home, just do like it's 2003, act like Facebook and Twitter don't even exist, and just go back to MySpace. Nothing of note happens in there anymore. It's a safe zone, people. A safe zone.

• Take comfort in other people's mistakes
People at SXSW are, for the most part, very, very drunk. This means they are easily overwhelmed by the multitude of musical options laid out in front of them and, hell, they screw up. Take comfort, as you sit at home tonight with a six-pack (on MySpace), in the knowledge that at least a handful of wasted people just got confused and ended up at the Bad Veins show when they actually wanted to see Bad Brains. Allow yourself to smile about the fact that another herd of drunkards just went to the Run DMT show thinking it was Run DMC, and glory in the fact that a ton of people are going to go and see Madness thinking it's the classic UK ska band, only to find that it's actually Madness (US). End your evening with a villainous cackle as you ponder all of the above.

• Enjoy the fact that you're not in the same town as anyone from Gn'R
You're safe and sound in San Francisco, thousands of miles away from Duff McKagan's Loaded. Let that be a comfort to you all.

Duff McKagan's Loaded: not a problem here
  • Duff McKagan's Loaded: not a problem here

• Re-create SXSW sleeping arrangements
Tomorrow night, get together with six of your friends and get an overpriced hotel room with twin beds in it. All go out to different venues, get waaasted, and each go back to the hotel room at various points in the early hours of the morning. As you wake each other up repeatedly, fight over floor space and sleeping bags and nasty hotel chair cushions and figure out who brought home the drunk, puking guy in the bathroom -- and then take comfort in the fact that, actually, you can go home right now. To your own bed. And sleep. Because if there's one thing people at SXSW aren't doing, it's sleeping. And actually, sleep deprivation sucks.

• Do vaguely comedic re-creations of whatever shows you're missing
Get creative, people. If you wanted to see J Mascis, just put a friend in a Gandalf wig, lower the lights, and put on Dinosaur Jr's back catalog (it's better than his solo stuff, anyway). Sad to be missing Bright Eyes? Embrace it -- it's what Conor Oberst would want. Invite your most depressed friends over en masse, open a box (yes, an entire box) of two-buck Chuck, put on Lifted, or The Story Is In The Soil, Keep Your Ear To The Ground, and cry until all that black mascara runs down your sad, pretty emo faces. If you're bummed that you don't get to reminisce about 2003 at the Har Mar Superstar show, just invite one of your chubby friends over and have him parade around in American Apparel undies while waving around copies of Vice Magazine and grinding on your female friends. Job done. You get the idea.

• Remember where you live
This is the Bay Area, baby! It's not like we're struggling for bands to pass through town. We'll see them all eventually anyway, right? ...Right? (If The Bangles don't come here, we're gonna be pissed).

• Look at your bank balance

Because even if it's low, think about how much lower it would be after roundtrip flights to Austin, hotel rooms, and eating out for the week. Buy yourself something nice as a treat for saving all that money!

• Start making plans to go next year
So you don't have to suffer like this in 2012.


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