Adventures in Austin – SxSW 2012

Here it is: my official South by Southwest update in it’s entirety. 🙂 After this I will stop talking about my favorite time of the year until it nears this time next year. Deal?

The most difficult thing when planning the annual trip to Austin is coordinating the band schedule. Who makes the cut? As an avid music lover there aren’t enough hours in the day to see shows. When we go to Austin we go knowing we may not eat, we definitely won’t sleep, and we’ll walk as much as ten miles a day. And it’s heavenly.

This year I was only there for three days. I usually go for five. I also had some dear friends come in from out of town. It was their first SxSW experience and I was more than happy to play host. I cherish any opportunity to share what I love with the people I love. I got to do that this year.

BUT – the shorter trip, combined with taking it easier to spend some quality time with my friends, made figuring out who to see even more difficult than usual. You always miss someone that you really wanted to see and it’s always a little heart breaking. “There’s always next year” are the only words that offer comfort and hopefully the band you missed plays the following year. This year we vowed to mostly see the bands that don’t tour the states with regularity. We skipped some favorites knowing we’d have the opportunity to see them again soon. And this year we ate a few sit down meals and we had plenty of good conversation. It was a different year, but it was wonderful. I wish I’d been able to stay through Saturday, but I had responsibilities that called me home. (Missing a full day means missing ten to twenty bands depending on how dedicated you are. It hurts.)

Here are the bands we did see. Although, it’s possible I forgot a few… It’s a long list (though not nearly as long as I would’ve liked). Listen at your leisure and come back if needed. It’s a good list, I promise.

There’s always a “favorite find” – a band you stumble on that you didn’t know about before. Last year it was Clock Opera, this year it’s *drum roll* Tall Heights. I’m madly crushing on this band. I can’t wait to hear more from them. Their energy live is riveting! Go buy their EP. Really. Do. →  Tall Heights Bandcamp
Tall Heights

Milo Greene

{Yes, TWO videos are necessary.}

The Staves


Ben Howard

Matt Corby

Mansions on the Moon

Clock Opera

Treetop Flyers

Levi Weaver

Willy Mason

Marcus Foster

Bear’s Den

Folk Family Revival

The Apache Relay

Blitzen Trapper

Great Lake Swimmers

Allen Stone

Michael Kiwanuka

Andrew Belle

I beg your forgiveness, I know I should share an original of his. I adore his music, and know all of his stuff inside out – but I just found this and I looove it!! If you want to listen to more of his stuff check out, In My Veins” and “Static Waves”

Tyrone Wells

Rosi Golan

Amanda Shires


Charli XCX

I know I’ve already given you a plethora of music (maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t see as many bands as I had planned), but there is always at least one band that you continually KICK yourself for missing. For me this year, that band was “Of Monsters and Men”. The timing and location of their sets just didn’t work out with the other shows we had planned. But if I could do it over I would try harder.

Of Monsters and Men


5 comments on “Adventures in Austin – SxSW 2012

  1. So much fun, and sad I missed it! I didn’t know that you caught Tyrone. Glad you did, he’s great. There’s still a couple of these I don’t know about. I’ll check those out.

    I have “Of Monsters and Men” playing in the background as I type this.

  2. Amber, it was absolutely glorious seeing you there. I wish you could have stayed Saturday, but I hope that your young ‘appointment’ did very well.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Ben Howard at the Troubadour and Levi Weaver at a house concert.

    My list was something like:
    Rosi Golan
    Andrew Belle x 2
    Tyrone Wells x 2
    Tall Heights
    Meiko x 2
    Jake Newton
    Barr Brothers
    Lera Lynn
    Mariah McManus
    So & So
    Haroula Rose
    Keaton Simons
    Kyler England
    Michael Kiwanuka
    Rachael Yamagata
    The Lumineers x 2
    The Milk Carton Kids
    Elizabeth & The Catapult
    Erin McLaughlin
    Ximena Sariñana
    Cary Brothers
    Harper Blynn
    My Name Is You
    Madi Diaz
    Jesse Thomas

    • GREAT list, Peter. You saw so many of MY favorites. Namely Buddy and The Milk Carton Kids. I really wanted to see My Name Is You, as well. Glad I at least got to hug Brandon! And I saw Joey and Kenneth at the church for Ben Howard. I offended Joey by telling him BH was my favorite. Whoops. 🙂 And I MISSED The Lumineers. *sigh* Next year.

      I’m gonna try to work some magic and make it out to LA for “The Ultimate Bearhug’s” Album Release. Maybe I will see you soon!!

    • Oh and Peter? So THRILLED you are going to see Levi! Give him and Sam my love. ♥

  3. […] Yep. Not going 100% SUCKS. But here’s the thing, I am a grown-up. I have major life responsibilities outside of being a quirky bleeding-heart-diary-scrawling-concert-going music blogger. And this year, one such major responsibility is co-existing with the week of SxSW. Therefore, I made the very difficult decision to “do the right thing”. I’m not going. I’m wrecked about it, but it’s just one year. Can I just go ahead and say that it doesn’t help that I’m starting to get emails from people asking me what the must see shows this year are? Where are we staying? Who all is going? Etc. etc. I am the party planner, the social calendar coordinator, the bringer together of people. It’s what I’m good at. But I’m sitting this year out and yes, it hurts me more than it hurts you. All of last year’s excitement can be found  HERE, HERE, and HERE. […]

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