Another SXSW in the books and BOY HOWDY what a week. So much great music everywhere — bars, restaurants, coffee shops, bike shops, pizza shops, pharmacies, parking lots, gravel pits…

It’s hard to write a coherent piece about the festival, so what follows instead are a bunch of vignettes from Austin.

But first, a few favorite women / women-fronted bands from the week. Be sure to check them out:



Half Waif

The Paranoyds


Chastity Belt


Sara Watkins


A newborn is wearing a Metallica t-shirt and noise-cancelling headphones at a girl-punk show. No fair – what a head start.

“Poor Paul, he keeps bleeding, he has the biggest blisters on his thumb.” The drummer winces a smile, the crowd keeps talking over. Touring must be hard.

There are some very Texas things about being in Texas, but ride-sharing in a Tesla with a driver from Manchester is not one of them.

“This is our book tree. It’s, like, drum pads made out of books. One, two, three, four.”

I was really excited about seeing Alvvays but realized after watching a different band set up that the lineup I based my schedule around was actually SXSW 2015. A friend, on his way with false information, texted to see if he could make it in time. I said they already played.

A man, wearing a loincloth, holding two carrots and offering hugs. I think I recognize him from the internet….?

“More vocals in the monitor. More vocals. More guitar too.” Vigorous pointing upwards.

My friend let me stay at his place, in an apartment complex named Su Casa. He was very hospitable but he’s probably tired of making the obvious joke.

My other friend who lives here is thinking about running for city council, which seems really responsible compared to what’s happening on 6th street.

Tech in sound booth: “Hey, they were dicks earlier so fuck em.”

I also learned who Walton Goggins is and felt foolish for not knowing his name, he’s so good in Justified.

Most of the young bands are female fronted. Most of the old tired washed up bands are male fronted. Not going to name any names though.

Talib Kweli seems really nice.

Standing in line, really needing to pee, and all I can think about is my physics teacher Mr Honeycutt whose bathroom pass was a picture of the astronomer Tycho Brahe and wonder how close I was to my own demise. (Yes, I had to google “guy who died from not peeing” to remember his name).

Standing in other lines we had a lot of time to think of good band names. The best one was definitely Dwayne “The Swamp” Johnson. Watch out, SXSW 2018.

“That’s all we got, thank you all, you’ve been great. But on a related note, I’m single now — so holla atcha boy.”

[Waiter steps in a hole on a wooden deck covered by a piece of cardboard]. “There’s a hole there. It’s my first week.”

“Hey how are yall. My names Jubal. Middle name Lee. Here check out my license.”

“Oh ten minutes? OK I guess we’re not doing those then. Umm. We’re Palm thanks for listening.”