“Phantograms, also known as Phantaglyphs, Op-Ups, free-standing anaglyphs, levitated images, and book anaglyphs, are a form of optical illusion. Phantograms use perspectival anamorphosis to produce a 2D image that is distorted in a particular way so as to appear, to a viewer at a particular vantage point, three-dimensional, standing above or recessed into a flat surface.”
In my 7+ years in Austin, I have never fully immersed myself in SXSW. Since I have been trying to live more and be more outgoing like I used to be, I decided to pick up a music wristband and spend every day after work downtown trying to catch shows from known and unknown artists.
After work, I was able to catch the Metro Rapid bus downtown to pick up my wristband (my UT ID still works!). As the shows I wanted to see were later in the week, Tuesday would be spent trying to get into free shows and trying new food places. Meeting up with Gloria and Anita, first up was the Korean Komfort food truck. I need to try it one more time to make a final judgement.
On Anita’s recommendation, we waited in line for free Shake Shack, a well-known and popular burger and shake place from New York coming to Austin in 2014. We were joined by Gloria’s old roommate, Jasmine. It was definitely well worth the wait, and far superior to In-N-Out (which is overhyped, in my opinion).
The plan for this day was to see Earl Sweatshirt at Red Bull Sound Select. I was in line for over 2 hours…
…but eventually I got in! The people in line were actually pretty friendly, and I helped Savannah, also in line to see the show, charge her phone. Fun fact: I nearly always have a phone charger handy, as you never know when you’ll need it. I was joined by Mike and Donah. It was quite a wild show, as expected.
First up was Thurz. It was a different kind of hip-hop, which I did enjoy, but next up was Denitia and Sene. The music was very relaxing, and I was an instant fan. I strongly encourage you to check out Cassanova, or their SoundCloud.
I was not a big fan of the next act, Lil Herb, but it’s not my usual style of music. While waiting for Earl to come out, Taco flipped into the crowd, and the show got started! A lot of Odd Future members were present, and the crowd got quite rowdy.
Tyler, the Creator, encouraged the crowd to head over to The Mohawk to catch his show after midnight, but we decided to go home as we all had work the next day. Unfortunately, this was also around the time of a horrible tragedy from a selfish and reckless choice at that location. My heart goes out to all of those impacted by the hit and run that cost the lives of some and injured many others.
Working on little sleep, I was able to make get my tasks done at work and still make it downtown for another set of shows. My plan for the day was to see Swedish band Little Dragon, but my roommate Uchenna, Donah, and others were at the Complex house on the edge of downtown to see Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q. I made my way over, and thanks to my wristband, I was able to skip the long line and get in before capacity was reached. This makes the three members of TDE I was able to see, as I saw Kendrick Lamar last year.
Blurry and far cell phone pic:
After the show, Uchenna and I stopped by the Chi’Lantro food truck for a quick meal, and made our way to see Little Dragon. Unfortunately, we were too late, and the venue reached capacity just as we arrived. Uchenna’s coworkers joined us, and we ended up going to a free show with a DJ I hadn’t heard of, and The Mohawk opened back up, where we saw YG, Paul Wall, and A$AP Mob, before the fire marshall and police shut down the venue due to being over capacity. It was good while it lasted.
Running on fumes, I pushed myself through work and one more night out before a proper night’s sleep. Next time, it might be best to just take a day or two off for SXSW. Anyways, this was to be a big show with Nas, Flying Lotus, A$AP Mob, and others in one venue. After another very long 2 hour line, badges and wristbands were allowed entry. Not knowing this venue had strict rules on professional cameras (any camera with a removable lens), I was not allowed entry unless I found a place to put my camera. I ended up running to Trifecta across the street. The manager was incredibly friendly, and promised he would hold my camera. When I asked him if he would remember me or if I should leave a paper with my name on it, he promised me that it would be fine, as his best friend is named Aaron. Interestingly enough, his name is Matt, and gave me a rare odd moment of happiness and peace (R.I.P. Matthew Aaron Floyd). However, because of the strict camera rules, I have no pictures of this event. My legs completely gave out, and around 10:15, Uchenna and I had to call it quits. The only bus running dropped us off 8 blocks from the apartment, where Mike and Donah saved us from suffering by picking us up and taking us back to our apartment. I immediately crashed for the first full night of sleep for the entire week.
For me, this was the final day of SXSW shenanigans. After some time at the apartment, I headed downtown with my sister, and just walked around downtown and 6th street. This is where we met up with Donah, and saw Heaven Beat Box. He is incredibly talented, and put on a free show for everyone outside in the middle of 6th street. He made a lot of money from tips, and I made sure to pitch in.
I then got my sister back to the bus to my apartment with my key, and met up with Donah, Mike, and Alex to see The Cool Kids and Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover. I briefly ran into Danny and Beth here, which I need to properly catch up with them.
My time here was cut short, as to end it big, I planned to see Phantogram and Snoop Dogg at the Guitar Center Sessions show, and the line was already growing huge. I left with Alex and got in line, with Uchenna and some of his coworkers joining us. I got to chat with my coworker, Jim, who was also in line for the performances. This was a big event that was badge and wristband only, and to be televised live. It was easily the best show of the entire week for me. I thoroughly enjoyed Snoop Dogg, but I came for Phantogram, and enjoyed their music so much, that I bought the album immediately after getting back home. The even had custom printed t-shirts.
Suddenly, all of my frustration with the crowds, my fatigue, and the pain in my legs hit me, so I had to leave. After finally getting my apartment key from my sister, I took a long ride on a Capitol Metro bus, and was kindly taken back home by bus driver James Frank. It was quite an eventful week!
To finish it all off, I joined Anita, Rochelle, Rasy, and others at North by Northwest for a brunch. I’m surprised I hadn’t been here before, as the brunch was a very good one. I went with the Brewer’s Breakfast, which was an 8 oz. sirloin with two eggs and potatoes.
Song of the post: Phantogram – Fall In Love. This song is excellent, so enjoy!