No Press Badge? No Problem: An Unadulterated Mini-Tour through SXSW 2015

Downtown Boys

Downtown Boys

Well, we tried.  After hitting up a yearly cavalcade of free parties, in-stores, shows, and events at SXSW here in Austin for the last decade and a half, we (your fine friends at Joup) thought we would try to get actual credentials, to get in the middle of things, to groove, and to get me square up the ass of this annual Texas music festival/circus/shit-storm.  I was ready to cozy up to corporate sponsors.  I was ready to meet and interview all the rocking kids out there that make me feel old.  I was ready to drink.  I was ready to schmooze.  Well, we tried.

Endless Loop: Aneurysm

nirvanaHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Aneurysm” by Nirvana

Endless Loop: Powder Blue

elbowHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Powder Blue” by Elbow

Thee Comic Column #123: Meeting Amelia Cole

Amelia_Cole_04.inddIf you read this column regularly you will no doubt have heard my mantra, born of both practicality and frustration: You can’t read everything.

You’ll also know I commonly follow that up with, “But you can try!”

That said, whenever we book a guest for Drinking with Comics whose work I am unfamiliar with I dig in and familiarize myself. This was especially true when my co-host Mike Wellman booked writer D.J. Kirkbride for this coming Monday, March 23rd. I’d read or heard about Mr. Kirkbride’s work for some time, yet up until last week had remained largely unfamiliar with it. Mike helped me out of that one.

The Joup Friday Album: Grouper – Dragging a Dead Deer up a Hill

grouperI imagine that at this moment, I’m knee deep in some sort of SXSW mayhem, my body and mind awash in music, free beers, breakfast tacos, and corporate swag.  I’m probably tired.  I’m probably thinking about when I need to cut myself off so that I can drive to go pick up my son.  I’m probably wondering where to go to next.  (I’m writing this a few days before now, so maybe I’m not doing any of those things.)  SXSW can be a blast, but it can also be an endurance test, so let’s all mellow out a little bit with Grouper’s 2008 album Dragging a Dead Deer up a Hill.  It’s time to come down.

Los Angeles to Austin: Austin to Los Angeles

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I moved to Los Angeles almost a decade ago, fresh out of my 20s and still basically a newlywed. I was coming from Chicago, where I’d met my husband, Shawn. He had lived his entire life in Chicago, specifically in the south suburbs. Meeting Shawn and his tight-knit group of friends was like being thrust into the pages of an Andrew Greeley novel. Irish, middle-class, witty, fatalistic … it was something I found hard to relate to at first, since my own experiences were so different. But Shawn was only informed by his past; he was also his future. So when I got an offer out here for a job, he put our persnickety feline, two computers and an aluminum softball bat “just in case we run into trouble,” into his car and we set off.

Los Angeles to Austin: The Follow Up

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I think I am probably “wanted” in West Texas, although God knows where exactly.

The problem started east of El Paso.

  • The first 100 miles: This is so beautiful!! I’m so inspired! So spartan and gorgeous, and unique! I wish I could paint!
  • The second 100 miles: Hmm, interesting. A border control checkpoint. “Yes, sir, I’m a citizen of the USA.” I wonder about the effectiveness of this operation. It’s broad daylight on the main road. Do you think anyone ever says, “No, I am from Cartagena, and I have 50 kilos of coke in the trunk.”? 
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