SXROI 2015

This past March I got to experience my first SXSW in Austin, TX as part of a delegation with the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation’s ROI community.  As the live music capital of the world, and being my Dad’s alma-mater, Austin has long been on my list of places to check out, and frankly, still is. A few highlights from my trip:

    Performing - Had the really beautiful opportunity to perform in Soul Spark, an unofficial SXSW Jewish Songwriters Showcase at Genuine Joe’s Coffeehouse.  The place was packed and though I didn’t get a count, I’m pretty sure a couple hundred people showed up.  Part of the fun was getting  time (and Pizza!) with other talented Jewish performers including Robbi Sherwin, Mikey Pauker, Happie Hoffman, Sammy Rosenbaum, Joe Buchanan, and getting to meet Eric Hunker, Zale, and Kosha Dillz.

    Food - Those who know me, know that the path to my heart is through my stomach.  I could write a whole blog about just the food trucks but memorable spots included Kerbey Lane (24 hr diner), Nice N Ful Vegetarian Soul Food truck (went twice, right by ROI house), Kebabalicious Food Truck (late night…noticing a theme here?), East Side Pies (Pizza with the Jewish music crew!), and fellow ROIer Eli Winkelman’s French toast truck outside her craft spot, creatively called “Craft”.

    Performances - If you look up SXSW in the dictionary you will find the definition “FOMO” - Fear Of Missing Out.  You just have to understand that there is too much to try and do/see so you pick and choose.  Here’s a list of the people I managed to fit into the schedule: Skyroads (awesome new Israeli band), Gangsta Boo (that’s not a typo), Grace Webber (featuring my old pal and drummer James Williams), Dreams in Static, Brandi Carlisle, Tove Lo (and I met her too!), C0m1x, Misterwives, Big Data, Ibeyi, Della Mae, Socalled…who am I forgetting?  Was hoping to get to Butch Walker, Incubus, Edward Sharpe, etc.  Also got to have a private mentor session with Tim Palmer who mixed Pearl Jam's "Ten" and met president of AES Andres Mayo.

    ROI House - Thanks to ROI I had a bed to lay my head and a community to welcome me and get me up to speed (or down as the case may be…TX is much slower than NY).  Had the opportunity to meet some really neat fellow Jewish innovators including Hannah Janal, Jeremy Hulsch, Lionel Mitelpunkt, Uri Aviv, Gal Friedman, Guy Hajaj and others.  Also, thank god for the lifetime supply of ear plugs and that I remembered my sleep mask.     

    Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - The best movie theatre in America gets a highlight all to itself.  Amazing “antique” pre-feature advertisements, food and drinks delivered right to your seat, and getting to meet the director of “Mania Days” Paul Dalio right after watching it thanks to new friend and fellow ROIer Hannah Janal.  Thanks also to Liz Nord for her pre-conference recommendations including this gem.

    Hanging - Part of what was so enticing about heading to SXSW was the chance to spend time and collaborate with other Jewish musicians.  I feel like I’m often just passing my colleagues in the night, and I would love to find regular opportunities to collaborate with them.  At SXSW, I got to spend a lot of great time with Mikey Pauker, Sammy Rosenbaum, Happie Hoffman, and Eric Hunker.  Loved getting to hang with you all!

Leave a comment

Add comment