Tag Archives: Kerbey Lane Cafe

SXSW 2013: Austin. TX. Music. Beer. Bacon. sat·is·fac·tion.


I LOVE travel; but, when you can’t travel for whatever reason (time, fear of clowns, money, stuck cooking a rack of lamb), the most satisfying remedy is a “staycation”. Call it snobbery. Call it a blessing. Call it lucky. Call it True (or False?). Call it whatever you want; BUT… I’m calling Austin, Texas one of my Top 10 Favorite Cities in the World! And, if you haven’t already guessed by the title of this blog (Austin GlobeTrekker), I live here and I’m LOVING every minute of it! By the way… is “snobbery” a real word? Or did I just make that up? Well, it’s a word now.

Austin, TX - City Skyline from Mt Bonnell
Austin, TX – City skyline from Mt Bonnell

The funny thing about Austin, is that you rarely actually meet somebody who was born and raised here. When you do… trust me, they’ll proudly let you know. And why not? The rest of us got here and stayed. My parents moved to Austin in 1991 while I was in college. I moved here in 2000. I think that gives me the right to call Austin my “home town”. You see, there are levels of “PRIDE”. Level 1 – PROUD to be an American. Level 2 – Proud to be from Texas. And then there’s Level 3 – Mach 5 with your hair on fire yelling and screaming while jumping out of an airplane strapped to the back of a great white shark – PROUD to live in Austin, TX!

T E X A S  2 0 1 3
T E X A S 2 0 1 3

I’ve recently discovered (thanks to Lesley CarterThe Most Interesting Travel Woman in the World!) that there are a LOT of people around the globe probably reading my blog for the 1st time who may (or may not) know anything about Austin, TX. For those of you who dare to venture deep into the heart of Texas – Austin Photo Book answers that ever looming question… Why do people LOVE Austin so much? (photography by my friend Peter Tsai @supertsai).

Austin Photo Book - photography by Peter Tsai
Austin Photo Book – photography by Peter Tsai

Last year, I wrote a blog called SXSW 2012: I LOVE Austin, TX! (Please… don’t move here!). And to steal some sentences from myself (well, I guess it’s not plagiarizing if I wrote them) I especially love Austin during the month of March, when Spring Break comes to town, and South by Southwest (SXSW) showcases the best in indie film, music and interactive from around the world. Last year’s highlight was spending time with my friend Kate (aka Cinnamon, aka K-Bone) and discovering artists like – Of Monsters and Men (Iceland), Team Me (Norway) and Ed Sheeran (England). Did I mention I also saw Jay-Z at Austin City Limits Moody Theater earlier that same week? But, I digress. The fact of the matter, it was GREAT to be in Austin, Texas! I remember thinking… I’m really happy I live here. If my memory serves me well, I think the night I dropped Kate off at her house, she turned from her front porch and yelled towards the car “Hey! Same time next year?”. Oh hail to the yeah! The only question was… How are we going to top 2012? That’s the beauty of Austin, Texas. You just never know!

SXSW 2013: Breakfast @KerbeyLane with Kate - The "tradition" begins!
SXSW 2013: Breakfast @KerbeyLane with Kate – The “tradition” begins!
Kerbey Lane Cafe - Austin, Texas USA. When you've just gotta have a good breakfast!
Kerbey Lane Cafe – Austin, Texas USA

I’m not sure if doing something for 2 years in a row is considered a “tradition”; but, for argument’s sake, let’s say that Kate and I have started a “tradition” because our 2013 Friday SXSW Experience began the same as our 2012 Friday SXSW Experience, with breakfast at an Austin culinary staple – the original Kerbey Lane Cafe on Kerbey Lane. Now don’t be fooled. There are other Kerbey Lane cafe’s; but, they’re not actually ON Kerbey Lane, so in my book… you’re not really at Kerbey Lane. Ok, that’s enough Shameless Free Advertising about Kerbey Lane. Go to the original. You’ll thank me later. I highly recommend the french toast with bacon. Cuz everything’s better with bacon. In the movie business, that would be called a “teaser”.

SXSW 2013: Tumblr + Gap's SXSW FILTER On Rainey Showcase [Friday, March 15, 2013]
SXSW 2013: Tumblr + Gap’s SXSW FILTER On Rainey Showcase [Friday, March 15, 2013]
Tumblr + Gap's SXSW FILTER On Rainey Showcase
Tumblr + Gap’s SXSW FILTER On Rainey Showcase

We really only had one requirement for SXSW 2013. Get to Rainey Street and enjoy the day of live music with our friends from Filter Magazine Showcase. They served us well last year, so keeping with tradition, that was our assignment. Mission Accomplished. I’m not sure what time it is socially acceptable to consume alcohol; but, let’s just say that when we hit our 1st venue on Rainey Street, we were the only souls at Craft Pride that didn’t actually work at Craft Pride. So what is this place? Well, the name says it all. Craft Pride is a local Austin bar that proudly (and exclusively) serves craft beers made and brewed in the State of Texas. I think “made” and “brewed” is the same thing; but, let’s just leave it alone. One of the coolest aspects of Craft Pride is that 90% of the interior’s wood was reclaimed after knocking down the previous establishment. I was feeling that Texas Pride!

Craft Pride - SXSW 2013 in Austin, TX
Craft Pride – SXSW 2013 in Austin, TX

Beer Flight @Craft Pride - Austin, TX [SXSW 2913]
Beer Flight @Craft Pride – Austin, TX [SXSW 2913]
Craft Pride # 61 Rainey Street in Austin, TX [SXSW 2013]
Craft Pride # 61 Rainey Street in Austin, TX [SXSW 2013]
I’m absolutely God awful about picking out wine, and unless I use Google, I couldn’t tell you a merlot from a pinot, or chardonnay. I thought I knew beer. Boy, was I wrong! Craft Pride has 50+ Texas brewed beers on tap. Stouts, lager, Scottish Ale, and my favorite… IPAs. The thing I loved most… as soon as time permitted for us to legally be served, they took the time and courtesy to truly educate us on their selections. You can’t help but fall in love with delectable talents of a well made beer. I would highly recommend 667 Neighbor of the Beast IPA, Deep Ellum Brewing IPA, Thirsty Goat Amber, and Jester King’s Wytchmayker  IPA. Sister Kate tasted a few; but, I think she was a fan of Texas Honey Ale, and of course 667 Neighbor of the Beast and Devil’s Backbone Brewery.We started out the day the right way! So, if you’re ever in Austin, TX head on down to Craft Pride at the Southernmost end of Austin’s historic Rainey Street, ask for Russell, and tell him Cookie sent ya!

 Russell @Craft Pride - Austin, TX [SXSW 2913]
Russell @Craft Pride – Austin, TX [SXSW 2913]
Mmmmmm.... Beer! Craft Pride - Austin, TX [SXSW 2013]
Mmmmmm…. Beer! Craft Pride – Austin, TX [SXSW 2013]
What's on Tap? @Craft Pride - 61 Rainey Street [Austin, TX - SXSW 2013]
What’s on Tap? @Craft Pride – 61 Rainey Street [Austin, TX – SXSW 2013]
While we were at Craft Pride, we met a couple from Boston. Low and behold, they were “just visiting” Austin (because they heard it was a cool city) and had no idea it also happened to be SXSW until they arrived. Once again, I love travelers who take the time to ask for the “local recommendation”, so I helped where I could. Grab a cone at Amy’s Ice Cream; spend Sunday afternoon at Ginny’s Little Longhorn for Chicken Shit Bingo (or any of the dive bars on Burnet Road – La La’s, Buddy’s, C-Hunt’s, Poodle Dog Lounge); 2am Breakfast at Magnolia Cafe where the sign says “Sorry We’re Open”; stand under the rotunda at the State Capitol Building; check out the shops, bars, restaurants and food trucks on South Congress; Get a good view of Lake Austin and the city skyline from the top of Mt Bonnell; eat some real genuine Texas BBQ at the original Salt Lick in Driftwood, TX; take a short road trip for Sunday Jazz Brunch at Nutty Brown Cafe (Dripping Springs, TX); but, first and foremost, you’re already doing the #1 best thing you can do in Austin, TX… experiencing SXSW in the Live Music Capital of the World!

Texas State Capitol - Austin, Texas USA
Texas State Capitol – Austin, Texas USA
Texas State Capitol Bldg in Austin - "Don't Mess With Texas!"
Texas State Capitol Bldg in Austin – “Don’t Mess With Texas!”
Amy's Ice Cream - Austin, Texas - "A True Frozen Dessert Experience!"
Amy’s Ice Cream – Austin, Texas – “A True Frozen Dessert Experience!”
Magnolia Cafe - Austin, Texas - "Sorry, We're Open" - late night pancakes with my friends Robyn and Jaime
Magnolia Cafe – Austin, Texas – “Sorry, We’re Open”

I can’t remember the rest of the conversation with the Bostonians, because Kate came running back into the bar to tell me “You’ve GOT to check this out. They’ve got a BACON food truck on the back patio!”. She had me at BACON.

BACON Food Truck at Craft Pride on Rainey Street - March 15, 2013 [Austin, TX]
BACON Food Truck at Craft Pride on Rainey Street – March 15, 2013 [Austin, TX]
SXSW 2013: Javelina - 69 Rainey Street [Austin, TX]
SXSW 2013: Javelina – 69 Rainey Street [Austin, TX]
The day continued with us walking aimlessly northward on Rainey Street. As mentioned previously, our intent… attending the Filter Magazine Showcase on Rainey Street (presented by Tumblr + GAP). The afternoon at Clive Bar was filled with music by Vacationer, Ducktails, Peace, Shout Out Louds, and Ra Ra Riot. I can tell you that before that day… I had never heard of ANY of these bands; but, there’s just something special and cool about chilling with friends and music lovers from all over the world in your home town. I couldn’t of been happier. And then it happened…

SXSW 2013: See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil
SXSW 2013: See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil
SXSW 2013: Chillin' with the LA crew on Rainey Street [Austin, TX]
SXSW 2013: Chillin’ with the LA crew on Rainey Street [Austin, TX]
SXSW 2013: Without ME it's just AWESO
SXSW 2013: Without ME it’s just AWESO
SXSW 2013: Live Music in Austin, TX
SXSW 2013: Live Music in Austin, TX
SXSW 2013: Tumblr + GAP - Filter Showcase on Rainey Street
SXSW 2013: Tumblr + GAP – Filter Showcase on Rainey Street
KATE! SXSW 2013!
KATE! SXSW 2013!

I was talking with my friends, snapping pictures (like I always do), laughing and joking around with a group of folks from Los Angeles. I put the camera in my bag and slung it over my shoulder whilst turning to take my beer back from my friend Marie. During the process, I accidentally bumped into the guy behind me. I sincerely apologized with an “Oh man, I’m so sorry bro.” He said, “No worries, it’s cool”. I started making small talk with him, and then my friend Marie says to me “Errr… Jason. You know this is Usher, right?”. To the surprise of many, black people blush. Well, at least I did! I was just having a conversation with him like it was nobody’s business. He laughed, we shook hands, and then did that brotherly hug thing. He was beyond cool, calm and collected. Just enjoying Austin, Texas and listening to some live music at SXSW. It was like meeting 007. Just cool.

SXSW 2013: It's good to be the King! (or Queen)
SXSW 2013: It’s good to be the King! (or Queen)
SXSW 2013: Enjoying life w/new friends from LA
SXSW 2013: Enjoying life w/new friends from LA
SXSW 2013: The crowd is hopping!
SXSW 2013: The crowd is hopping!
SXSW 2013: Enoying the music....
SXSW 2013: Enoying the music….

We talked for maybe 5mins longer, and then he was discovered. I politely told him it was a pleasure hanging with him. Then I realized WAIT… this is Usher! Nobody will believe me! So, I asked. Can we get a picture? Because nobody will believe me. In typical Usher fashion, he said “Of course!”. Now… the problem with handing over your Nikon D7000 DSLR camera for people to take a picture of you and Usher… there’s ZERO time to give them a crash course in using the camera. Needless to say, I took what I could get which is Photo 1 with Usher blinking. Photo 2 with my head almost getting cut out of the picture; but, between the 2 photos… you get the idea. So for my “Are You Kidding Me?” award, the recipient is none other than Usher. Buy his albums, name your kid Usher, watch The Voice. I don’t care. Whatever you have to do… support that guy, because he is truly a class act and I’ll forever be a fan.

Usher & Me (Austin GlobeTrekker) - Tumblr + GAP - Filter Showcase on Rainey Street
Usher & Me (Austin GlobeTrekker) – Tumblr + GAP – Filter Showcase on Rainey Street
Usher - SXSW 2013: Austin, TX
Usher – SXSW 2013: Austin, TX

The afternoon turned to evening, and the music progressed, as did the capacity of the crowds. After a fun-filled day of excursions on Rainey Street at places like Clive Bar, Icenhauer’s, and The Bungalow, it only made sense that we venture back to where it all began at Craft Pride. It was time for a Deep Ellum IPA and a BACON sandwich (which just so happened to have a piece of grilled chicken on it).

SXSW 2013: Craft Pride - 61 Rainey Street [Austin, TX]
SXSW 2013: Craft Pride – 61 Rainey Street [Austin, TX]
Taps at Craft Beer
Taps at Craft Beer

sat·is·fac·tion (s t s-f k sh n). As we made our way out of the downtown scene, reflecting on the unlikely series of events our day unfolded, my olfactory senses were on fire with the carnival smell of funnel cakes doused with powdered sugar. My partner-in-crime launched herself from the vehicle as I sat patiently awaiting her return. As Kate jumped back into the car with a white paper plate bursting with funnel cake, we smiled (actually giggled) and I could only think of 2 words to sum up SXSW 2013. bad. ass.

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SXSW 2012: I LOVE Austin, TX! (Please… don’t move here!)


Most of my friends, family, co-workers (and that dude with the sarcastic personality I see in the mirror every morning) will tell you that I complain about a LOT of things… but, living in Austin, Texas is certainly NOT one of them. I LOVE Austin, TX! (Please… don’t move here!). I especially love Austin during the month of March, when Spring Break comes to town, and South by Southwest (SXSW) showcases the best in indie film, music and interactive from around the world. In my humble opinion, this is the time of year that Austin more than lives up to its rightfully earned title of the Live Music Capital of The World. What? Don’t believe me? Come and listen for yourself.

SXSW 2012 - Of Monsters and Men - Filter Magazine's Showdown at Cedar Street - Austin, TX USA

When I got back to work on Monday morning, a co-worker asked me a simple question… “What was your favorite part of SXSW 2012?”. Then he shoved a microphone in front of my face and told me “Smile! You’re on national television.” Then I yelled out “I LOVE BACON!” and ran screaming from the building. OK, I made that part up; but, I truly had to think about it. If you’re anything like me (if so… I’m sorry!) then your answer would be “… it depends”. Kind of like asking somebody “What is your favorite travel destination?”. I’m not good with statistics; but, probably 8 out of 10 times, you’re going to get a different answer. In case you were wondering… my favorite travel destination is New Zealand (so far). I’ll get to my favorite part of SXSW 2012 before I finish the blog. Promise.

SXSW 2012 - Frost Bank Bldg - Downtown Austin, Texas USA

I have a LOT of friends who live in Austin and say point blank “I don’t do SXSW”. I also have a LOT of friends who live in Austin, do ALL the research, know everything about every band, party, event, and can tell you when, where, why and how to be an intricate part of SXSW Culture. I am neither of these people. I don’t despise SXSW. And I don’t eat, sleep, and breathe SXSW either; But, oh mama! I do like to EXPERIENCE SXSW.

The Lone Star Flag
The Lone Star Flag - Welcome to Texas!

This year, my SXSW 2012 Experience happened by accident. My wife and I were planning a 24hr overnight break from our boys (ages 4 and 2). Hopefully, no explanation necessary; but, if you need one… sometimes folks gotta get away! Even if it’s just for 24hrs. I think you understand. Anyway, I digress. March 17th. That was the day of reckoning. Marked it on the calendar, and then came up with a GENIUS idea to take Friday, March 16th off work. Why? Because, it just seemed like the right thing to do the day before I was going out of town. I’m telling you… I REALLY need to come out from under that rock more often, because I  I quickly realized that the week of March 12-16th was Spring Break here in Austin, TX. Wait a second… the music portion of SXSW starts during this week!  Good thing I accidentally took off work for Friday, March 16th! And Oh snap! March 17th is St Patrick’s Day and I’ll be at La Cantera Resort in the San Antonio – Texas Hill Country with my wife (Anna)! Woo! Hoo!

Texas State Capitol - Austin, Texas USA

It’s unfortunate that I was too stupid to actually take the whole week off work. Nevertheless, I knew my 2012 SXSW Experience was going to be good. I just didn’t know HOW good. After exchanging texts and emails on Facebook with my friend Paul in New York the previous week, he informed me that he and the Dos Equis Team would be in Austin for SXSW interactive. They live in New York. A 20-25min drive downtown was a no brainer for me to spend time with them (again).

Amy's Ice Cream - Austin, Texas - "A True Frozen Dessert Experience!"

I was a little bit overwhelmed by the annihilation of what used to be downtown Austin, Texas; but, I have NEVER had a bad time with my friend Paul, so I put on my big boy SXSW boots and saddled up ready for the rodeo. Not literally. Just figuratively. I was ready to go with the flow and take on whatever the night had in store for us. He calmly says “well… we can grab a drink, bite to eat, walk around, or try to catch some live music somewhere.” You know me! Well… the 7 of you reading this blog really don’t know me; but, I was game for whatever. Then he nonchalantly says… “Oh wait, I forgot… we got tickets to see Jay-Z [at Austin City Limits (ACL) Moody Theater]”. I think I may have dropped a few four letter words at this point.

AMEX Synch Show Presents Jay-Z LIVE from SXSW 2012 in Austin, TX
Jay-Z LIVE at Austin City Limits (ACL) Moody Theater for SXSW 2012

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it maybe 15 or 16 times… “The greatest surprises in life are the adventures never expected”. That’s my sarcastic way of saying “It ain’t a surprise if you already know what’s gonna happen!”, and this was certainly unexpected and definitely a great surprise. Sincere Thanks to my friends Paul, Greg, Stephen and the rest of the crew from Dos Equis for their kindness and generosity. Also, to American Express – AMEX Synch Show for bringing one of (if not THE) greatest hip-hop artists to Austin City Limits (ACL) Moody Theater. I would show you my horrible attempt to capture part of the show; but, what’s the point? AMEX put together a rebroadcast of the show which is definitely worth exploring. Song after song after song. I forgot just how many hits Jay-Z has. Heart of the City, Izzo, 99 Problems, Hard Knock Life, Where I’m From, and Public Service Announcement (just to name a few). THIS is why Jay-Z is such a great artist and global phenomenon.

As if the night couldn’t get any better (or more surprising) we eventually made our way to the infamous 6th Street for a little adrenaline rush with Dada Life – Stockholm, Sweden. You know you’re in for an adventure when a musician’s motto is… “Destroy dance music and have fun. Don’t look back in the past. Always go forward. Don’t think too much. Always follow the money. Do the Dada.” Probably one of the craziest shows I’ve ever seen in my life. Granted, I really don’t get out from under that rock a whole lot; But, when a bunch of people get on stage in banana outfits and jump around while the crowd is going bananas with glow sticks all juiced up on one too many red bull’s, it was clear that at 41… I was too old for this $@#%! But, FUN FUN FUN FUN. Dada Life was a great SXSW Experience. After all, I got to partake in my favorite pastime… PEOPLE WATCHING!

Might I remind you that this was all on a MONDAY night? Lucky for me, I had to be at work on Tuesday morning, so at almost 1am CST, I said goodbye to the Dos Equis Crew on W. 6th Street, thanked them for a wonderful time at SXSW, and called it a night. That gave me Tues, Wed, and Thurs to rest up for my Friday SXSW Experience. Knowing my wife (Anna) is Numero Uno on my list for fun and adventure, I knew she was working all day and could not partake of the festivities. Rats! That meant I had to recruit a “partner in crime”. Insert my good friend Kathryn aka Kate, aka K-Bone, aka “Cinnamon”. Fun, cool, great attitude, fellow music lover, fun, and awesome friend. Did I mention FUN? What’s not to love about Kate?

Me and My SXSW 2012 "Partner in Crime" Kate - Austin, TX

Breakfast is supposed to be the best meal of the day; therefore, Kate and I started out our Friday SXSW Experience at an Austin culinary staple – the original Kerbey Lane Cafe on Kerbey Lane. Go figure. I guess that’s why it’s the original, because the one by my house is on Highway 183. You know you’re at SXSW when a group walks in for breakfast with a film crew entourage. I have no idea who the heck they were, or why the were being filmed. Irrelevant. Besides, nobody except Kate (or maybe Beyonce) was going to distract me from eating my blackberry pancakes and bacon that morning. Dee-licious!

SXSW 2012 - Kerbey Lane Cafe - Austin, Texas USA.
When you've just gotta have a good breakfast!

When I travel and/or go to music festivities, I typically have something in mind that I MUST see/do. Everything outside of that… I’m game. For the Friday SXSW Experience, I wanted to see Iceland’s “Of Monsters and Men” at Filter Magazine’s Showdown at Cedar Street (1pm CST). That pretty much left the whole day open. We arrived just after 11am, and decided to show our love and support for my friends from Dos Equis, by paying homage with a cold and frosty Dos Equis cerveza! Yeah, I know it was only 11am; but, it was happy hour somewhere in the world. Why not Austin, Texas? Right?

SXSW 2012 - Dos Equis - "I don't always drink beer. But when I do..."

For the 7 of you who actually read my blog, you may recall that my wife (Anna) and I are planning a trip to Fjord Norway this year (2012). Ranks right up there with Patagonia (Argentina/Chile), Machu Piccu, Tibet/Nepal, Switzerland, South Pacific (Bora Bora, Fiji) and Africa (Tanzania, Mozambique, S. Africa, Kenya, Botswana) on my 1000 places to see before I die list.  So who the heck knew that I would be watching a Norwegian band on a Friday morning in Austin, Texas while drinking a Mexican beer? Not me. Enter “Team Me” from Norway.

SXSW 2012: "Team Me" from Norway

Unknown to the US… OK, that’s really not fair. Unknown to ME… They won the Norwegian Grammys for best pop group 2011, for their debut album “To the Treetops!”  My day was shaping up nicely, and for the past 3 days now, “Show Me” by “Team Me” has been occupying space on my iPod Playlist as a recurring favorite song. There’s a reason why they are a SXSW 2012 Showcasing Artist.

A pure delight to hear them play LIVE. Great sound. As if my opinion of “Team Me” couldn’t get any better… we somehow ended up talking to the drummer, Bjarne. Just a fantastic person, and true representation of how taking timeout to say hello and have a conversation with a couple of new fans at SXSW in Austin, Texas gains you some supporters for life. I’ve been telling everybody about them. Bjarne probably won’t remember me to save his life; but, I told him I was already planning a trip to Fjord Norway, so would look them up and try to catch a show when we come through Oslo this year (2012). I already said it earlier in the blog; but, I’ll say it again… “The greatest surprises in life are the adventures never expected”. You heard it here… TEAM ME. BRILLIANT!

SXSW 2012 - "TEAM ME" from Norway in Austin, TX

If you’re still reading this blog, about 2hrs ago, I mentioned that my co-worker asked me a simple question… “What was your favorite part of SXSW 2012?”. Without question… listening to the Icelandic indie folk band Of Monsters and Men LIVE at Filter Magazine’s Showdown at Cedar Street. They were beyond great. There’s something to be said when you’ve watched YouTube videos of a band, and listened to live in studio recordings of them, as well as heard a few songs on iTunes, and it STILL doesn’t do them as much justice as seeing them LIVE in Austin, Texas.

"Of Monsters and Men" - Indie Folk band from Reykjavik, Iceland

They surpassed my expectations, and for that, Of Monsters and Men from Reykjavik, Iceland are my favorite part of SXSW 2012. Who would have guessed? If you don’t know them… you WILL know them soon enough.

Yelling “HEY!” with the crowd on songs like “Little Talks” and “Dirty Paws” in an electrifying LIVE setting was fantastic. I also enjoyed the melodic sounds on songs like “Lakehouse” and “King and Lionheart”. Awesome.  Although “Little Talks” is probably their most notable song, I can’t help bursting out a hearty “la-la-laaaa… la-la-la-laaaa!” while singing “Dirty Paws” numerous times throughout the day.

Of Monsters and Men. Just a REALLY great band. And Yes, I’ve already pre-ordered the US debut album “My Head Is an Animal” on iTunes (Expected Release Date Apr 3, 2012). Do yourself a favor… check them out!

SXSW 2012 - "Of Monsters and Men" from Iceland in Austin, TX

I could very well have gone home and been 100% happy with my Friday SXSW Experience; however, Kate set the expectations high by telling me about a one man band from England called Ed Sheeran. Then she described him. Small red haired white guy who can rap and play a guitar like a banshee. I really have no idea what a banshee is… but, somewhere in the world banshees are proud, because Ed Sheeran is the REAL deal.

He was pretty much amazing. Yet another surprise for my SXSW Experience. This was starting to become a habit. A good one.

SXSW 2012: Ed Sheeran @Cedar Street
SXSW 2012: Filter Magazine's Showdown @Cedar Street w/Ed Sheeran

I may have forgotten to mention that our friends Jeannie, Jeff, and Amy joined us at Cedar Street. After a great day (so far) of “Team Me” (Norway), “Of Monsters and Men” (Iceland) and “Ed Sheeran” (England), why stop there? Jeff really wanted to see a North Carolina band “Lost in the Trees”, so we took our happy smiles to Speakeasy on 4th and Congress for some more live SXSW music. I’m not even sure how to describe their sound other than “beautiful”. Something you would hear on Grey’s Anatomy, or as part of a movie soundtrack. Hopefully I won’t offend them by saying I could drink a cup of coffee and read a good book while listening to them. Very different than the Scandinavian filled live show we had just left at Cedar Street.

SXSW 2012 - Amy, Jeannie and Kate - Filter Magazine's Showdown @Cedar Street

Before “Lost in Trees” came on, we were ever so lucky to catch Irish folk singer and Academy Award Winner Glen Hansard (The Swell Season) alongside Jake Clemons on the stage at Speakeasy. A perfect St Patty’s Day Eve treat. “Low Rising” was awesome. As was “The Parting Glass” sung accapella at the end of his set. BRILLIANT! And once again… another great surprise for my Friday SXSW Experience. Seriously… next year I’m takin’ the whole week off. Geez! I’m an idiot!

I could go on for hours writing about how we watched a couple of bands on a parking garage rooftop of an advertising agency in downtown Austin. Along with free bratwurst from The Best Wurst in Austin, Texas and Shiner Bock beer; but, it’s all just too much to put in a single blog. I lost track of all the live music we heard at 96 Bar, Lustre Pearl, and Icenhauers. Nevertheless, by the time the evening made it’s way to a close, Kate and I found ourselves saying goodbye to my friends CHILL and Dina at Blackheart Bar on Rainey Street.

SXSW 2012: Bratwurst, Beer, Bands and Rooftops - Gotta Love it!
SXSW 2012 w/CHILL, Dina & Me on Rainey Street - Austin, TX

As we made the vicious hike across downtown towards my car, it was like an unspoken language of smiles across our faces that silently said… “GREAT DAY! GREAT DAY!”. That thought didn’t last long, because inevitably, how can you end a great day without great food? You can’t. We bee-lined for Austin’s finest food trucks at 3rd & Congress Ave. This wasn’t fast food. It was great food – made quickly. “I’ll have the blackened gulf red snapper poboy… and a bottle of ice cold water… Please!”. Kate had the pulled pork tacos. Dee-lish! As we humbly sat there on our cheap white plastic lawn furniture overlooking downtown Austin, Texas, it was the perfect way to end our Friday SXSW Experience.  All I could think was… SXSW 2012: I LOVE Austin, TX! (Please… don’t move here!). Bring on SXSW 2013! I’m ready!

TRAVEL | EXPLORE | DREAM | DISCOVER

SXSW - Food Trucks on Congress Ave - Austin, TX
"I'll have the blackened gulf red snapper poboy... Please!"
If you're visiting Austin, TX for SXSW (or any other reason) ...Read this sign!