March 13, 2013


Austin's rich queso tradition in full bloom.

SXSW is about to pop off once more. Old friends come into town. Bros become bros. Sweating your gotdamn perm out. Bands come here with the intent of being "discovered," despite that the bands who are scheduled for all the right parties win the battle before stepping on the field. Assholes moving here from other parts of the country who have the audacity to tell other assholes not to move here (FYI, Van hails from Waco, Andy from Galveston. They have the authority to deny.). Booze, while plentiful, gets more expensive. There are parties with free hooch, but that's so people can spend more money on coke. Coke makes people chatty -- too chatty. They'll blather if this is the year SXSW finally goes past "the tipping point." At the line for Tacodeli, they'll think out loud "What is mole?" Pedicab-on-pedicab aggression skyrockets. Yellow Cab's line is busy for a seemingly perpetual week. And that dude who used to drum for Nirvana is gonna be in town (we can't get you in, don't even ask, FOAD)? When will the madness end?

This is all just some grand experiment to see if man can live solely off of street sausage, Lone Star, and impromptu brass units, isn't it?

With all the incoming heat, it's hard to look right at you, baby. But here's our SXSW guide. Read it, maybe?

Part 1 covers Wednesday, Thursday, and the food you need to nom on. Our guide to Friday and Saturday will come later today.


SXSW does not start things off lightly. Show No Mercy's day party on Wednesday at the Mohawk (912 Red River St.) isn't about to buck that. Our boy Brandon Stosuy pulled it off. He got Little Rock's legends-in-the-making Pallbearer, industrial doomers Batillus, set-throwers Power Trip, mischief wizards Trash Talk, Virginia war-bringers Inter Arma, NY black metallers (but not THOSE NY black metallers) Mutilation Rites, power crooners Royal Thunder, Fort Worth synth-and-drum duo Pinkish Black, one-day TOMS endorsers Vattnet Viskar, and local degenerates Wet Lungs. Andy will DJ this event along with Handmade Birds' R. Loren, Kim "Thug Mistress" Kelly, and Fred "Mr. Bitches" Pessaro. Expect him to drop Flocka on these hoes.

After the Show no Mercy party comes the official Vans showcase, also at the Mohawk, with one very important band: IGGY AND THE MOTHERFUCKING STOOGES. We'll be the first to tell you, their new track, "Burn," isn't setting us on fire. BUT, this is the band that made Raw Power. The Stooges, in their first reunion with original Ron Asheton (R.I.P.), packed 'em in at Stubb's, which is quite a bit larger than the Mohawk. If you can get in, this may be the apex of SXSW. Metal-wise, there's also the Metal Wreckage showcase at Six Lounge (319 Colorado St.), featuring Boulder bangers Call of the Void, shoegazey Junius, Power Trip, Pinkish Black, and A Life Once Lost...who we'll bring up later.


Andy O'Connor here, the internet's laziest music nerd. While Thursday is pretty barren for metal, there's other cool stuff going on. For one, there's the Terroreyes/The Needle Drop day party (RSVP at Terroreyes for the address). Aside from the opportunity to schmooze with Anthony Fantano, there's a few good reasons to attend this. Chief amongst the acts playing is San Jose rapper Antwon, who we feel is gonna blow up after this fest. Seriously, go listen to his Dark Denim and End of Earth mixtapes. Also of note are electronic jazz weirdos Badbadnotgood. They do a really good version of My Bloody Valentine's "You Made Me Realize," but not shoegazey at all. Shave ya heads and get ya glasses on!

At night, Finland's Hexvessel will be the band to beat. They'll be at the Hideout (617 Congress Ave.) Folky, psychy, weird and awesome, they'll be the talk of the town for true warriors and dabblers alike. If their "Plant Trees, Worship Sagan" slogan can't win you over, you best leave the hall. You may see us (well, Andy) at The Spits show at Beerland (711 Red River St.) too.


Austin's constantly changing, and there's more food options than ever.

While most of listings from the 2011 edition still stand, we gotta emphasize one of them again: SMITTY'S MARKET (208 S. Commerce St., Lockhart). Pay no mind to simps and basic bitches who tell you to go to The Salt Lick. Those people should not be in your life -- you should not give them love, care, weed money, alimony, child support, royalties, your Hulu Plus password, NOTHING. When you walk into Smitty's, you'll see and feel the fire that's giving the meat life with smoke. That bitch is raging every day Smitty's is open -- brutal 40-degree winters, mild 100-degree summers, and everywhere in between. The pork ribs are unrivaled, the sausage is so good it might kill you with its fat, the prime rib is worth ballin' without a budget for, and the brisket ain't bad either.

Inka Chicken (1707 Wells Branch Pkwy.) is on the north side of town, but it's more than worth the drive. Their roasted chicken is succulent, almost making up for the fact that has no decent local fried chicken options. The sides, though, are where Inka really shines. Yucca fries make a great change of pace from the everyday potato. Black beans and rice are on point. Their fried plantains, though. HOLY SHIT. They are the side of all sides. You say no to fried plantains, Crustcake cain't. We'll make sure you cain't say no either.

Just need a fucking sandwich? There are Thundercloud locations all across town, but if you want to be where it's at, slide on over to Fricano's Deli (2405 Nueces St.). It's everything you want in a sammich, done better. Their Rocket Sauce will blast you off. Yellow Jacket Social Club (1704 E. 5th St.) also has one of the best Ham and Cheese sandwiches in town.

Tamale House (5003 Airport Blvd.) does not make tamales anymore, but they prove you can have breakfast tacos good, cheap, AND fast. They only take, and they close in the afternoon, but their tacos are hangover eliminators. Tacodeli (3 locations in Austin), who we mentioned earlier, is kind of a bougie place, to be honest. It's also pretty damn delicious. If they have the Delibelly, don't even slack. Torchy's (various locations) is also not the most, erm, "hardened" place, but damn if their queso isn't straight fire.

No fries are better than Casino El Camino's (517 E. 6th St.) Verde Chili Fries. Don't let the fact that Guy Fieri went there fool you. Every out-of-towner we've taken can't stop raving about them. Casino's burgers aren't half-bad either. If you want to go YOLO with your burger, Gordough's Public House (2700 S. Lamar Blvd.) will satisfy your dreams of encasing a burger in donuts. This festival is so goddamn gluttonous, you may as well be too. Gordough's other donut fares, from the Flying Pig (bacon and maple icing) to Nutty Valentine (Nutella, cinnamon, sugar, and strawberries) are worth saying fuck you to your nutritionist.

Got friends from Philly coming in? You want a delicious Philly Cheesesteak, but without the racism and blind cop worship of Geno's? Way South Philly (1104 E. 6th St.) is your new best friend. Side note: if food trucks aren't you thing, but you still want a great cheesesteak, Hoody's Subs (1205 Round Rock Ave., Round Rock) is the place to be. Via 313 (1111 E. 6th St.) is Austin's first, only, and best vendor of Detroit-style pizza. Thick crust, sauce on top, nothing but flavor. Best of all? They have Detroit's official soda, FAYGO! Have a little Gathering with your SXSW.

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