SXSW Day 4: Reflecting at Breakfast on a Night of Tragedy

Bands, entertainment, events, music, Music Conferences


My homeboy Travis McFetridge, owner of Great South Bay Music, had invited me to join him for a brunch at the Driskill Hotel which was being sponsored by SESAC on Thursday morning, so I agreed to meet him there, and until I did, I wasn’t even aware that there had been an incident on Red River Street the night before in which two South By Southwest attendees had been killed. Apparently a man who was driving drunk was being pulled over by Austin police at 10th and Red River, and deciding that he didn’t want to go to jail, the driver crashed through a barricade and careened down Red River Street running over pedestrians. Two were killed instantly, and 14 others severely injured, including some who lost limbs. It’s not the sort of thing that one expects at a music conference and festival, and there was something of an appalled silence among people on Thursday morning. There were even those who called for festival events or showcases to be called off, but fortunately, South By Southwest declined to cancel events that were not directly impacted by the incident and where it occurred. Even so, I was shocked. I had just been at Cheer Up Charlie’s earlier in the afternoon, and could have very easily been on Red River Street when the tragedy unfolded.

SXSW Day 3: The Hypnotic Sounds of @PaintedPalms at Cheer Up Charlie’s

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The band that lured me into Cheer Up Charlie’s was extremely ethereal and melodic, and proved to be called Painted Palms. I had not heard of them before, but they were just the kind of indie band that I like, with plenty of harmonies and recognizable melody, and little angst or anger. The majority of Cheer Up Charlie’s is an outdoor enclosure, with an outdoor stage backed by a white stone cliff. I stayed for the remainder of the band’s set and then walked back out to the street. As it turns out, Painted Palms has released a new album this year called Forever.

SXSW Day 3: Walking Around The Fader Fort and Up Red River Street

Bands, entertainment, events, music, Music Conferences


When I left the hip-hop showcase, I walked down to the Fader Fort, but things really weren’t happening there yet, and I had no way to get in anyway. The Memphis rapper Cartier Hugo was performing over at some place on Red River Street, so I began to head over that way, but his performance was over before I got there, so I walked on up the street to see what else was going on, and ended up going inside Cheer Up Charlie’s because I liked the sound of the band I heard playing there.

Cheer Up Charlie’s (@CheerUpCharlies) By Night in East Austin @SXSW 2013

entertainment, events, music, Music Conferences

190 Cheer Up Charlies By Night The festive atmosphere continued all along 6th Street, even over on the east side of I-35, where bright lights hung from trees, and from the roofs of businesses. The Via 313 Pizza was still open, fortunately, and I was able to grab a slice of pepperoni to sit and enjoy at the picnic table out in front. Then I slowly walked back up the hill to my car, which I had parked on Navasota above 11th. It was midnight, and most of the showcases were beginning to wind down. After I got my car, I rolled past the H & H Lounge and several other showcase spots, but everything had largely come to an end, and so South By Southwest, that most amazing of all American music festivals had suddenly and quietly come to an end for another year.