We are Rachel, Vivian, and Gina, three close friends who like to call our friend-force “the Trifecta”. In 2011, we commemorated a collectively cathartic year with a zine entitled We Will Outlive Our Current Concerns., filled with highlight reels from our very womanly Google chats. That year and the chats themselves were largely centered around astrology, metaphysical thoughts, pop culture, and relationships — but for 2013, we’re bringing SXSW coverage into our personal lives. Rather than writing up simple show reviews, we hope to present to you an uncensored portrait of our exceptional 3-way mind-meld, as we navigate through the chaos that is SXSW in our own manic, sarcastic, and profound ways. Mostly, we talk about food, document idiosyncrasies, review music… and bring it all home with more talk about food.
Rachel, Vivian, and Gina
Rachel: People in Austin are so nice! I’d almost forgotten from living in New York for so long.
Gina: Portland’s spoiled us; I don’t think I can live anywhere where people aren’t nice.
Vivian: I don’t think people in New York are that bad…
Gina: Yeah, we’ve had some good convos there.
Vivian: It’s just all kinds.
2 “$3 coconut cube cake” aka an Australian Lamington; National Lamington Day is July 20th
3 Nookies from Torchy’s Tacos
Rachel: I feel like food and air were the highlight of the whole trip for me. Michoacan had pupusas for $1.69 Gina of course also had a flan.1
Vivian: I certainly do wish Portland had more Mexi-markets. My do I love FIESTA in Austin… LOVE THAT FIESTA. Hate that Mexican sweetbread though. Don’t get it.
Rachel: Hahahaha. Ate that. Funny ultimate food highs and lows.
Gina: I tried to save my flan for later. Had it in my backpack to eat between bands at the day party.
Rachel: Gross!!! Was it gross?
Gina: It was a little gross. Definitely starting to sweat.
Vivian: I thought you wrote, “Had it in my backpack to eat with hands at the day party” — which is way better.
Gina: Haha, I totes ate it anyway. But as it happens, flan and guac are about on par in terms of bad foods to tote in the heat.
Rachel: Yeah… but guac is non-dairy….
Gina: Oh true.
Rachel: I always bring food with me like a weirdo hobo fool. I brought like oatmeal and grapefruits.
Gina: We are just resourceful! All that’s downtown are artisan hybrid tacos.
Rachel: That made me feel crazy. $3 coconut cube cake.2
Vivian: Whuteva dude, mighta been the best thing ever.
Gina: Hahaha it’s true we’ll never KNOW!
Rachel: Stop making me regret my life!
Vivian: Could have known for $1 each, but noooo.
Rachel: You’ll never forgive us.
Gina: It’s okay we can learn!: http://www.joyofbaking.com/Lamingtons.html
Vivian: No, I will because you bought some deep-fried cookies at Torchy’s, but that’s the only reason.3 Mmmmmmmmmmm.
Gina: Oh yeah, those were amazing. Deep-fried cookie dough balls disguised as “cookies”. Called “nookies”.
Rachel: I had two more tacoments after you guys left. Sooooo goood.
Gina: Omigod there’s Lamingtons in Portland; we’re saved!
Rachel: FUCK YOU GUYS. That’s what I meant to write earlier when you told me you were having your meeting at an ice cream place.
Gina: Hahaha we got thwarted! We’re just at a coffee shop now. It started hailing which I deemed ice cream — prohibitive. Not without some debate, though.
Vivian: Alright so basically we went to Austin for food. Don’t know what that SXSW thing is.
Rachel: Yes! And weather.
RE: DAY PARTIES
6 Charli XCX
Rachel: Wait, what else did we do Thursday?
Gina: We went to the Vans day party at Mohawk.4
Rachel: I just remember spending Wednesday in a sweater puddle while electronic music played and people around me either got their pictures taken, or pointed at people having their pictures taken.
Rachel: That was Thursday. Ahhh. Got it.
Vivian: How was the show?
Gina: The show was cool. Disclosure was amazing.5 Such a good party. Adorable blonde brothers. sweet, nerdy, generally killin’ it. If I found it profound at 3pm, I bet at night in a danceclub it would be transcendent!!
Gina: Drumpads forever.
Rachel: Instead of cargo-shorted dudes with neon DTF hats looking around for something to do. I liked Charli.6
Gina: She was good, too; Charli XCX played as well. She was dressed like a Spice Girl; it was amazing. She had a neon green sports bra and like, big pajama pants on.
Rachel: You saw Disclosure and Charli XCX, and I stared into the abyss and the security guard guarding the super wet-noodle VIP.
Gina: Yeah, that was the least interesting VIP section ever.
Vivian: How so?
Gina: Everyone just seemed bored? You know how sometimes convenience is a curse? I think about this a lot — how with Festivals, some amount of suffering is necessary and even good. It’s this intense environment where you just sacrifice all bodily comforts in the name of maximizing your own exposure to this thing you’re obsessed with. It’s an insane but interesting pace! BUT when you’re in the cush VIP — or even on the guest list at a show, say — you can just waltz in and out in this very disconnected way. Always sheltered by a tent and kinda removed.
Vivian: Hrm makes sense maybe, but then if you’re used to the VIP thing you’re just expectant of that from then on. I feel like sometimes musicians or whoever will opt to stay backstage in the VIP area rather than going out into the heart of the festival just because they’re used to it, even though the sound back there sucks or you might see better from the front, etc. It’s kinda weird.
Gina: Yeah, definitely. I certainly don’t blame them. But i think the emotional lows (and therefore highs) are so much less pronounced. Hence a lot of blase VIP hangs.
Rachel: Uhh… also it was the VANS VIP. Everyone’s wanting to make a VIP out of nothing.
Gina: Hahaha so true.
Rachel: It sucks when you work hard and that’s what happens.
Gina: He’s just pretty nerdy and celebratory, so it seems to be an excuse to hate on the guy. Aw!
Rachel: Mohawk is awesome; you can see everything from the top level. I wanted to take a picture of some girls…
Gina: The seapunk princesses?7 Oh my god, they were so good.
Rachel: Like Monster High dolls! They had faded purple and pink hair, six-inch heels. One of them had a tight dress on and then this flowy robe, and a gold purse with an alligator on it.
Rachel: They both were the same, so they always had to be together.
Gina: They had these little floral crowns that were so good.
Vivian: They probably feel weird when they’re by themselves.
Gina: That’s what we were saying! They can never be apart, and yeah, one of them was wearing a see-through jumpsuit. I was the most envious ever. It was so good. Gigantic velvet platforms and yeah, this little crown, and this faint purple mermaid hair, and I was like, “I just want to be you…”
Vivian: By yourself, it’s not as cool…
Gina: And it’s also like, “What can you do on a day-to-day basis?” You couldn’t do any actual activities in that outfit besides standing around and looking awesome, so you basically need a job that involves that.
Rachel: Later they let us down by just being Forever 21 hoes with pink and purple hair.
Gina: Yeah, it’s true. The outfits made it. Transparent floral jumpsuit!!! I was agonizing with jealousy!
Rachel: Uh, I wasn’t but it was cool!
Rachel: Wait, also is this a thing in anyone’s mind? so many hoes! Weird spring break barf on sixth street.
Gina: Oh yeah, totally.
Rachel: By Saturday, we were seeing so many nipples and so many neon hats.
Gina: The party bus had many a tube dress in various degrees of malfunction!
Rachel: We rode the bus with a chubby man that had an overly groomed goatee and a “slut” hat.
Gina: Oh, I hated him! Almost enough to say! There was one dude who had set up shop with all the neon horrors. DTF and SLUT trucker hats.
Vivian: Yeah gotta wonder who that guy is. Gina and I recently saw a cup that said “Vagina” in Coca-Cola font, and I saw a “Tide” shirt that said TITS. People still wear trucker hats?8,9
Rachel: People that wear sparkly beads do.
RE: CORPORATE SPONSORSHIPS
11Fall Out Boy @ The Twix Shed
Rachel: Some guy was hitting on us on the party bus, and he gave us a pass that just says, “All access to the Twix shed,” and he kept going, “I mean, you girls know the Yeah Yeah Yeahs??”
Vivian: Yeah Yeah Yeahs with a question mark on the end?
Gina: Yeah. He was a tidy Korean man, and he just kept sort of touching Rachel’s arm and then reaching around to put his arm around me at the same time.
Rachel: He got a little too much of the idea that it was a party bus…
Rachel: … his partner that he made the film with was a girl, and she kept coming up and trying to talk to him, and he kept saying, “You don’t even realize how selfish you’re being right now.”
Vivian: Ahhhh haha!
Rachel: Like he had any chance by giving us a Twix pass.
Gina: Totally, like the Twix pass was the secret.
Rachel: I wouldn’t mind going to it if he gave me an actual Twix.
Vivian: But imagine the Twixes they have at the Twix Lounge!
Gina: They probably…! Oh wait!
Rachel: Gina had a good point that “shed” is the least exciting stage term. Fort, stage, even yard but yeah. Did not excite us.
Gina: As opposed to “fort” which sounds cool and secret and like some sort of club HQ. Honestly though, it hadn’t crossed out minds that it might just be a shed FULL OF TWIX.
Rachel: Or MADE OF TWIX…
Vivian: At least it wasn’t shack? Was it shack or shed?
Rachel: Shed. Shack implies dwelling, shed implies junk. Or alpacas. Overflow bands storage.
Vivian: Next year: alpaca shed sponsored by the Native farmer’s association of Peru. Sorry, I am on the alpaca brain tip since you mentioned them. (Inserting picture of adorably shaved alpacas.)10
Gina: So cuuuuute. Uh-oh we fucked up! Coulda just frolicked in a pile of Twix w/ Fall Out Boy!11
Rachel: They seem frolicky.
Vivian: Wow, Fall Out Boy are still a thing?
Vivian: Why haven’t I seen more chocolate sponsors?
Rachel: Well, Sandy and I got this chocolate that’s like, caffeinated chocolate that describes how it fucks up your brain on the back. But this guy had a huge box of it, and he was kind of hoarding it, and he was like, “Somebody just gave this to me!” So somebody had a job passing them out and just gave him the whole box.
Vivian: Whoa. What kinda chocolate is it? Did you try it? Did it fuck up your brain?
Rachel: Nope, because when I’m already drunk, I do have the sense to not eat chocolate that is caffeinated.
Vivian: It’s like those Pringles that tell you you’ll poop yourself.
Gina: Wait… what?
Vivian: They’re like fat-free Pringles with this thing called Olestra that makes you have a leaky bottom.
Gina: Ohhh no… ewrghhhh. Worst potential side effect ever.
Rachel: That’s when I laugh at the idea that, “I’m really skinny, but I might shit myself.” Not really worth it.
Vivian: Apparently it’s not even shit, it’s just like a puddle of oil… it probably smells like shit, though…
Gina: Oh no! I… I hate that… that last three seconds was pretty rough. Oh no. Eeheeehee.
Rachel: I don’t know if this is going to be useful to our…
Gina: Could put that in there…
Vivian: This is SXSW.
Gina: Yeah, that was pretty amazing. So yeah, maybe we should go to the shed sometime for some Twix.
Vivian: Where is it?
Gina: It’s by Stubb’s; in or near. We were kinda looking at it so perplexed, thinking it was fake, but we walked right by it today, and we were like, “That’s our shed!”
Vivian: Pop in there.
Gina: It is Fuse and Twix, but hopefully Twix is involved in a producty way.
Vivian: What other way would they be involved?!
Gina: I mean, maybe they just wanna put their logo everywhere. There are all of these Redbox pedi-cabs, for example, and they have no movies! There are no movies there!
Vivian: That would be cool.
Gina: That would be pretty cool. Rent a movie while riding home.
Vivian: That would be the ultimate. Rent Redbox movies to drunk people who are only in town for SXSW and have no idea where they can go to return the movies. They’d make a fortune!
RE: KATE BUSH & BOUNCE MUSIC
13 Lots of ass… a lot…
14 Big Freedia
15 Lady can’t really shake her ass :(
16 Fat Tony and SNACKS
Gina: I had a great time at the Hounds of Love Haus Show!12 It just felt like a Portland house show and I had a home away from home feeling, seeing buddies in a backyard.
Vivian: I liked when everyone was crowded around an industrial construction lamp thing as though it was a bonfire.
Gina: Oh yeah! I remember that! It was like a Portland party, except instead of everyone clustered around a fire pit outside, there were just these weird shop lights set up in this dead dirt yard? But everyone still circled around the light like moths.
Rachel: I think Kate Bush as house music in between sets is a bad move. You’re just begging to be upstaged. I mean, I liked it. But it made me just want to listen to Kate Bush.
Gina: Hehe true. Although Weyes Blood was pretty KB-realm.
Vivian: IT’S CALLED THE HOUNDS OF LOVE HAUS PARTY, RACHEL. They just listened to that record on repeat. Are we over that record? Though we used it as the intro to our zine? Over it?!!
Rachel: Hahahahah! Only like house and bounce now!!!!!!!
Never over anything EVERERRRR. But no longer see it as a guiding totem all the fucking time.
Gina: Hahaha it’s true, KB was our main beacon goddess!
KB and MJ over and over for me.
Rachel: Why can’t Vockah Redu be our new beacon of life guiding goodness? Just like “Y’all can hate me now, but I won’t stop now”13
Gina: Not a bad idea!
Rachel: And “do it up hup hup”, etc.
Gina: Very life-affirming! Also THEEsatisfaction. 2013 should be the year of fierceness!
Vivian: Man, I needa see a bounce show, still haven’t
Gina: Oh man, remembering our first Big Freedia experience!14
Rachel: Yes!!! Why did we take Chris the second time? He was soooooo not into it. Two times!! I would be in any cult she had.
Gina: She said she wanted us all to have our hands on the ground. So it was just a sea of butts in the air!!
Rachel: I would learn to go on my head and shake my ass. Yes! Then she asked who got more head! And everyone was screaming!!!
Vivian: I think I used to practice bounce-type butt shaking when I was a kid. Ahead of the curve. Shoulda known there was a career in that somewhere.
Gina: Hehe I’m so immature about it still! Maybe that’s the point. Nothing more amusing than shaking one’s own butt around.
Rachel: Dude, everyone should love to shake their own butt!
Vivian: Oh man, Van recently showed us this video where this lady was trying to do the bounce ass-shaking thing, and she had such amazing background dancers, but she herself did not know how to do it at all. It is most amazing.15
Rachel: I wish you guys could have seen!!! It was that and a bunch of punk bands. So good. Also saw this dude. His producer was called Tom Cruz. This video rules. PEOPLE MADE OF SNACKS!!!!!16
Vivian: Sweeet. Weird.
Rachel: And then his other songs were like shouting out very specific shitty Brooklyn neighborhoods. Only thing that could get my spirits up. Then he went into this long thing about women not letting men beat them and I was like, “Yeah okay, dude, I can get down with not beating women; I WILL wave my hands”. Though I don’t know where drunk ended and sick and hungover began.
RE: FRIDAY’S FAILURES
Vivian: Do we want to talk about Friday’s failures?
Gina: That was rough. Eternal wait for a day party to see Poolside and Youth Lagoon.
Vivian: WASN’T EVEN THAT LONG!
Rachel: OKAY okay. I just take door people at their word!
Gina: We were falsely told that we needed a Spotify app for entrance and gave up when we were close!
Vivian: Stupid distractions from naysaying people about RSVPs and random guy who was hanging out and wanted to go to Viceland! I woulda gladly waited forever! That’s what I get! And of course Jake said that Poolside was the best band he saw all day and got in ten minutes after we left. Sonsa bitchez.
Gina: I knowwwww.
Rachel: Dude, I totally thought we weren’t going to get in.
Gina: I was just believing the official-looking girl about the app thing.
Rachel: Me too!
Gina: Yeah. I didn’t mind the wait.
Vivian: It sucks cause my personal plan was to wait another 15 minutes because they always let more people in when a band is changing over, and that is totally what happened. Failure!
Gina: Yeah, there were several “if I could go back in time” moments, and that was definitely one.
Vivian: Because we then walked around aimlessly, wondered about a Doritos-sponsored stage, and then foolishly tried to get into Toro Y Moi after his set had already started — of course impossible! I was so frustrated that day since I had only seen one band at SXSW by late Friday afternoon. Grumps. And then we saw Small Black who suck shit. Mostly cause the singer was going all U2.
Rachel: Yeah, the music was pretty okay; it was the singer that killed me. And the worse he got, the more awesome he felt. A common frontman trait. Or vice versa.
Rachel: I hate that “Yeah, I’m killin it” face. Makes me want to kill. But I was still glad to be in the shade, in a weird cool bar. Didn’t care. Also I saw Toro Y Moi later, so suck that.
Vivian: I dunno I just felt mid-Small Black’s set and its bad vocals that this indie dance music shit is getting so homogeneously boring it’s crazy. I was also thinking about how bands like Gardens & Villa do similar things but don’t suck and what it is that is different really, cause it’s hard to really discern… I mean other than that their vocalist doesn’t suck.
Rachel: Sometimes though, a live performance just hits you the wrong way at the wrong time. Like, we deserved so much after waiting so long! Or maybe its the other way. Maybe suffering makes it sweeter.
Vivian: So actually small black was even worse? Hahahaha.
Gina: It’s really just what content you put in… like with Small Black, when it’s only about a “chill vibe”, chillwave’s downfall in general, there’s just nothing there to fall in love with. You can be enamored by or occasionally infatuated with a vibe or aesthetic, but it can’t hurt so good or inform the way you live your life!
Vivian: Meh and the vibe and aesthetic of chillwave are just so vanilla.
Gina: Versus say Gardens & Villa, where they are white dudes making funk-pop but they have angelic William Blake metaphysicial visions.
Rachel: But the vibe in that place was nuts! Flamingo dirt bar; the place was giving its all. Blahahaha.
Vivian: There was a very very very dirty giant flamingo and a ceiling that looked like it was sprayed with flame retardant but was actually covered with giant balls of crust-dust…
Gina: Oh yeah! It looked like an abandoned courtyard. Just layers of grime on the rafters.
Rachel: I just want to talk to these people sometimes. You give everyone the benefit of transcendence. Which makes me look at them with this critical “You’re probably dumb” eye.
Vivian: Eh, we have talked to G&V and there are transcendent ideas there. Haven’t talked to Small Black; maybe there are transcendent ideas but that might be a bummer.
Rachel: Hahahahahah. Forget Small Black. What else did we do? Is that ALL WE DID?
Gina: Boxed water! From their Virgin house which was to be our sanctuary.
18 Blue Hawaii
19 Jessie Ware
Vivian: YeahhhhH! We also saw The Flaming Lips playing to thousands of people on a jukebox-wattaged speaker system….17
Rachel: Oh fuck! That’s right we did. That’s only characterized by bathroom lines and having my chips and guacamole feed a fat security guard.
Vivian: …much to the chagrin of all who have heard tales of their live performance magnificence.
Rachel: Like, “He’s holding a baby”. That’s cool. I can’t really hear them. He’s still holding a baby, but yeah.
Vivian: Holding a baby is just not long-lasting enough of a gimmick, especially when he takes like 5 minutes in front of everyone to awkwardly don the baby-attached tentacle-suit.
Rachel: Hahahha. Yeah. I think babies are, in general, anti-climactic. And it was just a straight up baby doll. Didn’t do anything. And he kept kissing it and talking to it like, “Do you think they’re into this baby? I still love you.”
Gina: And then brought that guest vocalist onstage and grabbed her hair from the roots while she sang, with both of them frozen like that. That was disconcerting.
Vivian: That was actually the most interesting part IMHO. Girl from Phantogram.
Rachel: Would have ruled if it was SUPER LOUD.
Gina: It was interesting but creepy!
Rachel: But since it was like mid-level, it was just like watching your neighbor’s house party break down or something
Gina: Yeah, I expected him to be floating atop the crowd in a giant bubble or something with this manic energy going. I’ve just heard larger-than-life things about them.
Vivian: Probably with better sound, it woulda been more awesome. The songs were cool… the new single is rad.
Rachel: Yeah!!! It was also really beautiful to be in a park.
Rachel: You saw something else, right?
Vivian: Oh, I saw Blue Hawaii.18 They were cool… lady from Braids doing shit with vocal loops and effects and guy doing beats… their live show’s better than their record which is kinda low-key and samey. The live show covers more electronic ground and harder beats and stuff rather than just simple cut and paste electronics.
Rachel: I think that’s the most special. When something’s just a performance.
Vivian: Yeah, defo.
Gina: I wish Jessie Ware had been there! Current favorite thing.19
Vivian: Is there a song I should check out?
Gina: The indie world smiles on the pop star.
Rachel: Thought it was okay… didn’t get pumped. Maybe would be more into it live, though.
Vivian: I saw a glimpse of lady wearing a dress in a field and quit that music video ~_~’
Rachel: Hahahhaha. I wanna be that lady!
Vivian: Like Yes?
RE: FEEL YOU, OUR UNOFFICIAL PARTY
21 Psychic Twin
Rachel: Party ruled. Especially since I didn’t have to truck all the beer. How did you truck all the beer? Did they help you load it? Holy hell.
Vivian: I rented a U-Haul. They helped load, but Mark and I moved them all out of the car and into the basement. Definitely a workout. All 1,250 beers.20
Vivian: What were some of our favorites of the day? Psychic Twin were surprisingly my favorite act of the day, though that was super early.21
Rachel: Which were they?
Vivian: Lady with vocal loops, two dudes on either side with drum pads, playing outside.
Gina: Same here! They were so good!
Vivian: Also, the nicest dudes. They were like helping later bands with sound and getting them water and shit. Blew my mind!
Gina: It’s true! And thanked us profusely for having them
Vivian: That’s my favorite thing about doing parties like this. Community in a weird non-community-oriented SXSW.
Rachel: Yeah. People are so into the house vibe. And I loved Grigor, that housemate ecstatically dancing barefoot in a skirt the entire night, then begging for it not to end!
Vivian: Oh yeah Grigor is the best.
Gina: So sweet!
Vivian: I also liked the two goth guys who were present for Darktown Strutters. One was wearing a miniature hair veil and told me he didn’t need help opening a Dos Equis because he was Mexican. The other had an amazing purse with brass knuckles as the handle; he said his mom gave it to him, too. So rad. I love how every year we have the really devoted weirdos.
Gina: It’s true!
Rachel: I liked watching Delicate Steve on the roof. Watching stars come out.22
Gina: That was the best!
Vivian: His show seemed really epic. I was tending bar and missed!
Gina: They invited the crowd “onstage” but it’s just a yard, so it kinda meant everyone enveloping them from every direction
so that it was just this huge cluster of people grinning.
Vivian: Sweet. Remember our first year’s party when Casiokids did that?23 Afterwards, they totally said, “We thought the party would be whack, but it turned out to be one of our best shows.” I was also a big fan of the gentlemanly crust-punks who kept picking up spare bottles and returning them to us. And Rachel’s effective beer-bottle-return-threatening ways.
Gina: Hehehe so awesome. Yeah, Rachel was slanging beers pretty hard!
Vivian: She drilled into their heads that they could only get beers if they returned a bottle. “The one rule to getting unlimited free beers is that you have to bring us back your empties!”
Gina: So rad! I would try to open them for people and like, one out of four would take me 2+ tries! Lacked the dexterity for that one.
Vivian: Rachel said you also almost fell off the roof ladder :X
Gina: Did not! Hehe. Well… chose bad foot placement. But Gian boosted me up.
Rachel: She totally would have fallen. I almost screamed
Muscly dude and I saved it.
Gina: Ahhhhh. Worth it when we got up there though. The warm evening… and we had that LED projector that made water-textures, projected onto the trees like they were dancing!
Vivian: Yeah, that projector was awesome. I can’t believe we followed up our party with being force-fed a hot dog in a bun. I’m glad though I was stoned as he –ll thanks to the guy who gave an edible for tips! — I still had the good sense not to eat a freaking hot dog at 1am.
Gina: Oh, I was so stoned! That glazed doughnut just WAS the embodiment of perfection at that moment.
Vivian: Double-donut-did, right?
Gina: Yeah. Did a choco sprinkle. It looked better than it was, though.
Rachel: UgHhh. Still can’t believe I ate that cheese-oozing hot dog thing. Colachi?
Vivian: Oh yeah, it had cheese in it… Is that what it’s called!? I was trying to figure it out. Bummer. Well, don’t get a freaking sour cream donut either… boring.
Gina: Glazed was the jam!
Vivian: Hm, kolachi seems like something else…
Rachel: Nope. None of these are tiny hot dogs pumped with CHEEZ cheese with a z style cheese.
Gina: Kolaches! http://www.thedailymeal.com/kolaches-breakfast-hot-dogs-texas-style. I think they just have a “local” definition of them.
Gina: Shuddering at the term “unique weiner presentation”.
Gina: OMG, we’re so snacky! Snacks take the lead every time.