SXS…Wet

Of course, I appreciate the need for rain – but c’mon. Luckily I had my vehicle, so I was able to make it to various crosstown venues for the various SXSW seminars, as well as a couple of local spots that were on my must see list.

If you love outsider & folk art – this is the spot. On South Congress, Yard Dog Gallery not only carries the masters of the art (Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Burgess Delaney, Howard Finster) as well as the “newer” creators (Jon Langford, who happens to be a founding member of the Mekons.)

Right next door to Yard Dog is Uncommon Objects – a flea market collector’s mecca. It is full of everything good – taxidermied animals heads, old silver, souvenir travel plates, and a damn cute Chihuahua named Myrna.

Threadgill’s World Headquarters is home to a great neon sign collection, music memorabilia, and mighty fine chicken fried steak.

“In matter of music and food, we represent a time before disco and microwaves.” – Eddie Wilson, owner.

When bootlegger and country music lover Kenneth Threadgill opened his Gulf filling station just north of the Austin city limits in 1933, he had stood in line all night to be the first person to own a beer license in the county. And soon after, his joint would become a favorite for traveling musicians interested in grabbing a drink after their gigs.

In 1996, Threadgill’s World Headquarters was opened in south Austin, right beside the residence of the Armadillo Headquarters. Their south location celebrates the history of the Armadillo and its salad days of the 1970’s. The memorabilia of the Headquarters represents the hey-day of this era from the juke box which contains many of the artists who played the Armadillo, to the piano that hangs from the ceiling which has been played by artists as diverse as Jerry Lee Lewis to Captain Beefheart.

As the throngs of wet geek humanity pack the Austin Convention Center – I was struck by the promo tactics for various movies, software, and apps.

(Happy not to have this job.)

Loved the charging stations. Like a bus depot locker, you open the cubby, plug in your phone, close, lock and walk away. When you can’t take being separated from your mobile device for one more minute – go back and grab it’s fully charged goodness.

At the Nokia tent, a gentleman from Japan plays ping pong on a round table (4 players, multiple balls) all while dresses as a geisha and holding an iPad – all to promote his new app. I ran into KCPTer, and SXSW panelist, Angee Simmons, and we chatted up the crowd.

The Nokia tent also featured a “Sauna Confessional” in which people were invited to come in and talk to the camera about what we would tell have told ourselves as high school students. Next thing you know I am spilling the beans about days of yore with 2 developers (and former total strangers.) It was such a hoot, that the Nokia folks asked us to stay in a little longer and talk a bit more.

After all that talking and walking, we headed over to Lambert’s Downtown BBQ. Ridiculously crowded, with a 3 hour wait, we opted for standing in the bar to eat at the small table that held newspapers, chatting with a fellow SXSWer and eating Q that Texas Monthly Magazine named as one of the tops in the Lone Star state. And it was pretty darn good. The collard greens were AMAZING!