This is my fourth time coming to Austin, Texas for a lengthy amount of time, but my first not for SXSW. Even though, I've been here three times before, I've never felt like I had the chance to really get to know this city. So, my mission for this trip is to tackle the real Austin through some of my favourite Austinites, who also happen to make amazing music.
On our first day of shooting, I met up with Brooklyn's Yeasayer (Ira previously lived in Austin for 10 months) and we went to Jo's Coffee for a hungover lunch (they threw a party the night before at Lambert's where they busted out the best 90's hits). I'm so happy for them and the positive feedback they're getting for their new album Odd Blood (they were in Austin to play two back-to-back sold out shows at La Zona Rosa). We chatted about all the changes that have happened since the last time we talked, which was for their album All Hour Cymbals- the album that no one cared about except for MTV Canada, Ira joked. The boys are still as fun as the first time I met them, constantly bringing out the comedy.
Afterwards, we drove to meet up with Ramesh Srivastava from Voxtrot, who's working on a really amazing project that I can't talk about yet. Funny enough, Ramesh and I had planned to do a night life piece, not realizing that we were going to see each other the previous night at the Vampire Weekend show and subsequently do some premature boozage. I asked Ramesh to play me a song first before we ventured out again. Hearing him play acoustic is such a beautiful thing.
After showing me around his spotless apartment, we went to the Red House for a drink, and then to the Highball to see Octopus Project play. At the Highball, which is a concert venue, karaoke bar, bowling alley, and restaurant, we met up with some of Ramesh's friends and we crashed a karaoke party, played some skeet ball, and I got my fortune read... you know, your average night.
To end the night, we went to Yeasayer's second sold out show at La Zona Rosa.
Day 1 was definitely a success. Met up with some old buds and got to see what the night life is like outside of the downtown core. I'm staying at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Centre, right by the University of Texas.
When I arrived in Austin the night before, the lovely Beth Krauss from the Austin CVB picked us up and took us to this fabulous restaurant called Parkside. We ordered up some po boys, crab fritters, oysters, beet salad, and this cinnamon-sugar doughnut with brandy-citrus mascarpone, saffron caramel, and honey ice cream.
After that, I went to see Vampire Weekend at my favorite outdoor venue, Stubb's, where I had a pretty sweet balcony spot.