It’s HERE! My favorite time of the year. SxSW!!!

Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again…

Every time I prepare for a trip this song plays in my head. I don’t know, something about humming ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ makes the excitement of travel multiply three-fold. I’ve been struggling with what to share this week because all I can think about is how I’m leaving for Austin, Texas, in 24 hours. All my bags are packed I’m ready to go…

For those of you that know me, just skip through all this. You’ve heard it all before, and likely more than once. South by Southwest is my absolute favorite time of year. It’s better than Christmas and my birthday put together. (To be fair, I don’t really like Christmas. Save your judgement. I’m just not festive.) BUT – I do love my birthday. And not just because it’s my very own holiday, but because it’s at the end of May, landing on or near Memorial Day weekend. It’s just a beautiful time to celebrate. I would give up my birthday AND Christmas and maybe even the 4th of July (my favorite holiday) if I could be in Austin every year for SxSW. It IS my happy place.

It’s been established that I am a music junkie, and live music is a special kind of heaven for me, but I don’t typically like music festivals. (The horror!) I like a small venue, with good sound. I want to see the band. I want to hear the band. I don’t want the sun beating down on my neck. I don’t want to be body-to-body with a bunch of screaming fans. To be clear, I’ve been to some crazy good festivals. It’s just not my preferred way of taking in a show. That being said, SxSW is the exception. The majority of shows are indoors. They are in small venues and bars. A few churches in Austin even open their doors to host musicians… and the acoustics in these churches — sublime. It’s really quite the experience.

SxSW is more than music, though. It’s about sharing what I love with like-minded people who LOVE what I love. Each year I meet up with some of my favorite music-art-life appreciating friends and each year we make new friends. In a nutshell, SxSW is a love fest. A warm-fuzzy-eye-opening-mind-blowing-heart-expanding love fest (the very best kind).

Here, maybe I can give you a glimpse of the magic  —  SxSW 2010 and 2011.

So, yes. SxSW 2012. This year is going to be a little different. Part of the magic is reuniting with long-time loves, and a handful of musicians that I adore and bank on seeing in Austin every year aren’t making the trek this time around. 😦 I know we’ll survive. There is always good music in abundance. But still, Austin will feel a little lonely without them.

Here are some of the acts I’m looking forward to catching – there are waay too many to list them all. I will limit myself to ten. These are in no particular order. (Well, except for maybe the first one. :-))

Ben Howard – website/ facebook
[More on Ben HERE and HERE]

Madi Diaz – website/ facebook

Daughter – soundcloud/ facebook

Amanda Shires – website/ facebook
Read more about Amanda HERE

Snowmine – bandcamp/ facebook

Gun Lake – websitefacebook

The Lumineers – websitefacebook

Clock Opera – website/ facebook
[More on Clock Opera HERE and HERE <– scroll to the bottom]

Andrew Belle – websitefacebook

Levi Weaver – website/ facebook
[More on Levi HERE]

Pickwick – website/ facebook

Maybe I’ll see you in Austin? And if not this year maybe next!!

Psst. I snuck in 11 bands. I couldn’t help myself.


2 comments on “It’s HERE! My favorite time of the year. SxSW!!!

  1. Glad I didn’t skip through this just because I “know you”… tisk tisk Amberlina, don’t give people such an easy “out.” Somehow, I had totally forgotten about Levi Weaver— will remedy that asap. And, I wasn’t familiar with either Snowmine or Gun Lake, which is official proof that we are in fact two different people with 2 different music collections (sometimes i have my doubts).
    I second your frustration about the slacking attendance from LA staples— it will not be the same without the Hotel Cafe / One2One transplant, and it feels weird not to have a home base venue. Seems like those folks are congregating at the Deseo Centro Lounge on Friday, if you can make it.

  2. OOOOH you lucky….:) …can’t wait to hear all about it!! You’ve got such great music taste, I’ve assigned you my favorite personal music spotter! 🙂 I’m gonna check out all of these videos and I already know I will love it all! About music festivals, I agree with you, I also come for the music and I want to be comfortable and not disturbed, hate it when people jump into you and totally wreck the moment! You would LOVE the Swedish music festival Way Out West in Gothenburg!!! It’s held in a small park in the city center and with just 4-5 stages you can just walk in-between and catch all the great shows, chill out in the garden and eat all kinds of free things. They have awesome line-ups every year and this year when I saw that the Black Keys were coming….I bought my ticket in a flash! 🙂 Here’s pics and texts from my two visits:


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