Tuesday, March 10, 2015


So last year I made a wish list for SXSW 2014 already having the idea that I wouldn't catch as much as I wanted since I strictly went during the tail-end end of it (aka when SXSW is filled to the brim with humans and every venue is at capacity.) What I ended up with was a completely different experience that wasn't disappointing, but felt "just right" for the situation. Although I didn't consume as many tacos as I had dreamed of, I discovered a love for acts such as Tacocat, Royal Blood, Cashmere Cat, and many others (that unfortunately didn't have the word cat in their band name) through random showcases that I stumbled into until it eventually became a Lonestar infused blur. (If you're not a fan of Lonestar or Tito's vodka, prepare for a rude awakening.)
This year I'm expecting to make a repeat of my first year, and catch as many acts as possible (or at least attempt to) until I fall apart. 

A couple words of advice from a somewhat veteran:
If you don't have a wristband or a badge, your chances of getting into official showcases are as difficult as herding cats, so don't be shy! Ask around or take the dive to purchase one. Believe, me, it's worth the $$.
Wear comfortable clothes/shoes, seriously. This isn't the kind of festival that you can run back to your campsite when it gets too hot, because you're most likely staying in an AirBnB that's outside of Austin. Also, as much as you want to hop around to see all of the different artists/bands on your lists, sometimes the best bet is to just keep it simple and stay for the entire showcase that you've miraculously made it into. Who knows, you could find your next favorite act by doing just that. 
If you don't have a bicycle or live in the vicinity of downtown, have cash on you at all times because who knows how many petty-cabs you'll end up riding in, (and they don't come cheap so pay attention.) 
Tacos is a lifestyle. 
Pace yourself, because both official & unofficial showcases most likely go on until the wee hours of the morning. Don't make the same mistake that I did two years ago and miss Merchandise perform on a bridge in the middle of the night, ughh. 
Rally. Rally. Rally. 
Now it's time to unveil who I'm rooting for, and I kept it simple - 18 acts in alphabetical order. Each artist/band has a specific style or set of characteristics that draw me to them significantly, so definitely give this playlist a good solid listen or seven. My top 5? Definitely Meg Mac, Summer Heart, Torres, James Bay, and a certain someone I'll mention later on in the mix, but let's be real - you can't go wrong with any of the acts below.  
Hope to see you there! 

LYED Wish List 2015: 

If I'm extra lucky: I'll be seeing Laura Marling at SXSW this year. She's playing a total of 3 (official) showcases, and to give you a wee bit of personal background history: when I first moved to Texas, I was informed all about SXSW & one of the stories involved Laura Marling herself. A fellow co-worker of mine had randomly caught a performance of her during SXSW 2009, and one of her backing band members was Marcus Mumford (who at the time was practically a stranger) which is crazy to consider his current status. Yes they were dating around that time, but the coincidence of the experience is pretty f*cking awesome from an attendee's view don't you think? She's talented as hell for just barely striking 25, and it's nothing but a confident ride to the top from here on out. 

 If you're not familiar with this Brit, prepare to be impressed. Last summer while I was sitting at one of my favorite restaurants in Santa Barbara, my friend had mentioned that she wished her hair was as blonde as the female who had just walked in the door. As soon as I turned around I immediately had an internal freakout because it was Laura Marling herself. Let's just say for the remainder of my dinner - I didn't have much to say and did my best to keep calm but I was sure as hell nervous from the small. She's a bonafide legend in my book, and I am looking forward to catching her in the SXSW atmosphere this year. 

Now that you're aware of who's on the LYED wish list,
 stay tuned for Round 2: Acts I've Already Seen Live (that will be at SXSW 2015), but Will Never Say No To.

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