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SXSW 2013, This Time With Children.

March 22, 2013

So the hubby played 3 shows at SXSW this year and one of them was at a restaurant/bar, so we decided to take the kids because WHY NOT.  Why not indeed?  SXSW has become quite a hot mess these last few years, I must say.  I mean, wasn’t the original idea a music showcase to help indie bands get record deals?  This year, the headliners were Prince, Green Day and Justin Timberlake.  Yeah, I think they have the record deal COVERED.


But there is a lot more than that going on.  Of course the thing that is NOT going on, and is NEVER going on in Austin is traffic that actually moves.  It took us almost two hours to get from our rented cottage on Lake Austin (more on that later) to 6th Street.  Austin also has the WORST freaking drivers on Planet Earth.  Each time we ventured onto Mopac, the entire family had to bring a change of pants.  True story.


Anyway, the Mullens played three shows, and although they were vastly different, each venue was pure Austin.  Let’s just rate them in terms of “Expect To See These Guys There.”


Venue #1:  The Counter Culture Vegan Restaurant/Bar





This place was a little gem!  I’m not much into the hippie scene, but who doesn’t enjoy being served raw veggies by white girls with tattoos?  And a word of advice, tiny waitress: a bandana is NOT a shirt.  I think that’s in the Bible.  But the sun was shining, booze was flowing and all was right in Slacker City, USA.  So bands played all afternoon on the patio where kids, dogs and weirdos of all stripes were welcome.  I asked hubby to get a pineapple juice for Tiny C and this is what showed up:



She and I had exactly the same reaction.


lu and el


Needless to say, it was not consumed.  There was nothing wrong with the beer, though.  Not a damn thing.




Anyway, the Mullens of course rocked the patio, although there were some patrons who were a little confused by the lack of sitars and paisley.  Tiny C and I joined some of the revelers (who looked as though they had been stoned since the Reagan administration) and danced the afternoon away!



WHAT?  Do I look like some sad, surgically enhanced mom who is more interested in capturing the hearts and pants of every guy in the place than dancing with my kid?  No I do not.  It was much more like this:



Rating:  Expect To See These Guys There!

hippie couple


Venue #2:  The Legendary White Swan



Saturday afternoon, and the streets are packed.  Now this is more up my alley!  I love dive bars with vintage vinyl booths, no-nonsense bartenders and patrons who are ready to rock and roll.  Hubby says this was by far the Mullens’ best set, because the energy from the crowd was unreal.  These kids may live at the corner of Misunderstood and I Hate Myself, but they come to play.

Rating:  Expect To See These Guys There!



Venue #3:  The Parish Underground



The Get Hip Record Label showcase!  Saturday night and the gig sold out in no time.  Finally, we are playing to Our People.  Well, maybe not.  The Parish Underground is a great venue despite the criminally small stage, but it’s pretty upscale for our cheap selves.  I mean, when you ask for a beer and the first thing the bartender says is “Imported?”  That’s just a) pretentious and b) kind of a shitty way to pull rank.  Maybe I like American beer!  Ok, maybe not but I’m on a budget here!  It was still a great show and a fantastic send off to SXSW 2013 to have a full crowd (and a line out the door, no less) begging for some real rock and roll.


Rating:  Expect To See These Guys There!



So, the cottage.  Yes, we threw down some bank this year and rented a cottage on Lake Austin.  It was well worth it.  We even entertained the notion of having a few friends and bandmates over for some chili and beer, but we decided to wait until a time when our kids are not completely batshit.  Which of course will be approximately never.




Back at ya, kid.

Anyway, it was wonderful to get away from the madness that is SXSW (and Austin in general, really) and see some sky, water and enjoy the quiet.  We also ate at a couple of great places.





One, the take out BBQ at Smokey J’s on the lake is out of the world.  Even if the staff is contractually obligated to insult you for ordering two minutes after closing.  Which we did because they kept us waiting while they insulted the people in front of us.  But I digress.  It was awesome.  We got some tortillas and made soft beef tacos and the masses rejoiced.





We also went to the Iguana Grill on Lake Travis.  The food was amazing, the patio was hopping and hubby even reconnected with an old friend from Dallas.  It was a lovely lunch and a wonderful afternoon.

And then we took our broke asses home.  Later, Austin!  Much, much later!


3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2013 2:52 pm

    Thanks for the hilarious lowdown–sounds like fun!

  2. March 23, 2013 3:47 pm

    It was a blast and a half! So glad we coughed up the extra cash for the cottage. Being alone with my kids in a hotel room for 2 days is my own special hell. Also, the weather was wonderful. I’ll send you a pic of me and C shaking our biscuits down at the Counter Culture! That place was a riot, but green pineapple juice? WTF, hipsters?

  3. March 23, 2013 7:14 pm

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