The madness of the past week is over, and I have survived. Barely. Yesterday I was all but comatose, and today was a long slow climb back to reality in which even getting dressed was a struggle. I am, I admit, too old to be at bars until hours of the night, multiple days in a row. My partner-in-crime Kristin Ross seems to have survived better than I, or perhaps it’s just that she whines less. Either way, we are both of us way behind on our write-up coverage for Pop Damage, but never fear, there are more articles coming.
If you’d asked me a year ago, when I was down here visiting, if I’d ever attend or write about the SXSW conference, I probably would have laughed and said “never”. For me, music is not something I experience passively. When I am sitting around my house writing, or even goofing off online, I rarely if ever play music in the background. As a result, my knowledge of current bands, especially “up and coming” artists, is virtually nil. When the position to cover the conference for Pop Damage was offered to me, I first looked at the line-up and said “how am I ever going to do this, I don’t even listen to music!” Immediately, I emailed Kristin, wanting to know what her schedule looked like, hoping to take inspiration and direction from her choices.
And yet, for all my fears that I didn’t have the background knowledge to handle a music conference of this magnitude, once I started thinking about my musical interests certain things started to emerge as “must see” events. I asked my friends in Flaming Tusk for metal recommendations, and ended up with a whole list of bands I had never heard of, but now love forever. I discovered that one of my high school classmates had put together and was performing at a Detroit hip-hop showcase just down the street from my house. I saw a chiptunes artist from Japan that, although I have loved him for years, I never would have anticipated getting to see him perform in my state. (More on all of these performances in the Pop Damage reviews! Stay tuned.)
I also got my first view of Austin as more than a highway and strip mall built on top of a shanty town. Add to that the fact that this week we started apartment hunting, as well as being in charge of showing off the city to someone who’d never visited before, and I feel like this past week’s been a crash course in a side of Austin I hadn’t experienced in the previous two months that I’ve been here. For the first time I’m beginning to feel at home. I’m beginning to feel like I might enjoy it here, and more than just my internal artistic life within my own room. I’m beginning to feel like there’s places I want to go, things I want to do, even now that SXSW is over for the year.
But first, I need a nap.