Robin’s SXSW Recap + Music Recommendations

I love, LOVE Austin, “the music capital of the world!”

As you know, I attended SXSW for the second year in a row and had an amazing time. My best friend Elliot and I flew out to AUS for another week of live music in the heart of Texas. By the end of the trip my hamstrings were tight and the bottoms of my feet were black from walking around in sandals. I took home a bunch of swag, a killer new JanSport backpack, and most importantly new music! See my recommendations below at the end of this post.

swagtastic

The week started off on a good food note. Monday night we had sushi at Uchi, one of the best sushi restaurants I’ve ever eaten at. At 4.5 stars on Yelp, this place lived up to our expectations. Following dinner, we cruised over to Speakeasy to catch Wallpaper., one of my favorite performers out of Oakland, California. Read more about Wallpaper. in a recent article from The Huffington Post.

Tuesday night I discovered my new favorite band, The Lumineers from Denver, Colorado. The party was sponsored by DYN and featured an excellent lineup of bands in their outdoor venue.

the lumineers band

After the party we had a dance session at Malaia (which I have continued to call Malaria since I never remember the name). The San Francisco dubstep DJ, Noah D, totally looked like Jessie Pinkman from afar and I couldn’t get over it. Even had to tweet it.

For the last two years of SXSW, El and I stop by The Driskill for the last night of Interactive. This is the place where everyone goes to recharge, hang out and mingle. This year we made some friends from Billboard, met one of their VJs and got schooled about Downtown Julie Brown. We also got VIP access to the following night’s Billboard Showcase with Lionel Richie at the ACL Live venue.

After The Driskill, El and I had a late night pit stop at Turf N’ Surf Po Boy taco truck and had their delicious catfish tacos. My mouth is literally watering as I type this. OMG I want one right now!

catfish tacos

On Wednesday I had the best superfood smoothie ever from JuiceLand. Way better than Jamba Juice! I ordered a smoothie that was out of my comfort zone, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the Kaleibrator (coconut water • banana • durian • kale • spirulina • pecan butter • hemp seeds • coconut oil).

pictures from sxsw 2012 by robinwithani

Billboard Showcase

Wednesday night we went to the Billboard showcase featuring Wallpaper., Polica, The-Dream, and headliner Lionel Richie.

El and I enjoyed cupcakes, drinks and VIP views at the concert and got to see someone neither of us thought we’d ever see live: Lionel Richie. Video below.

elliot robin billboard party at sxsw 2012

On a side note: Thanks to Chevy for providing free car rides around Austin for the Catch A Chevy campaign. Elliot and I took advantage of this service on multiple occasions and our feet truly thanked us.

On Thursday we hung out at the registrants lounge (theme: Sounds From Spain), drank sangria and caught a few songs from Bigott. He was dancing around, arms flailing — he was so much fun to watch. After Bigott, we caught a ride (thanks again Chevy!) to the Fader Fort – I wasn’t completely impressed. I hear it’s pretty awesome at night so maybe that was our mistake for going too early in the day. There was a place to print screen a t-shirt but the line was too long. We did recharge our phones in the Nokia blue lounge. At the Fader Fort entrance visitors scribbled messages on the walls with sharpies so of course I had to leave my trademark @RobinWithAnI. Later on we hung out at the mtvU Woodie Awards Festival for a bit and saw Wallpaper. again.

We hit up Hopdoddy for dinner, another one of my favorite restaurants (and Elliot’s old work). The burgers and chili cheese fries are to DIE FOR. If you’re ever in Austin – and you better bring me along too – you must grab a bite to eat at Hopdoddy. We caught a show at the IFC Crossroads House and jumped in their photo booth.

The gal tweeting for IFC met up with us and gave us each a Portlandia poster and IFC yoga bag. Her shirt: Walter White‘s face. So awesome.

Friday was our last full day in Austin and we started our morning off at the Sonicbids party at Maggie Mae’s, sponsored by JanSport. Apparently JanSport’s HQ is in San Francisco and they are hosting a free Bonfire Session (“Bands and a bonfire under the big sky”) this summer in SF or Marin. JanSport holds Bonfire Sessions across the U.S. so visit their Facebook page for dates near you.

robin elliot jansport

We checked out the Dortitos party (see that huge vending machine in my photo collage above) but were disappointed by the lack of things to do. Most of the venue was roped off for VIP and you had to pay for everything (except bags of chips) so we left. Snoop Dogg actually performed there but we were 12 hours too early. The Made in Israel Tel Aviv Beach Party looked fun so we hung out there for a while, sat on a giant blue lifeguard tower and watched the guests arrive below us.

Later that night we waited in line for over an hour to see 50 Cent and Eminem at the Austin Music Hall. I hoped to see more of Eminem but his appearance was brief. Videos below:

p.s. I now know I should take videos on my iPhone horizontally. #annoying

Following the show, we cruised over to catch the last two songs by Citizen Cope (one of my favorites) at the IFC Crossroads House.

The trip ended Saturday but not before a few (green) beers at Docs with live music by Black Taxi (below). We took the 17th somewhat easy and walked around South Congress and shopped before catching our ride to the airport.

The (Mild) Lowlights:

  • GirlTalk performed one of the nights but the line was blocks long and required an RSVP. We tried sweet-talking the security guard but they were not having it.
  • The fried pickles from BD Riley’s Irish Pub were outrageously salty. They were so bad that if I had popped my fried pickles cherry there, I would’ve never recovered.
  • I did not make it to Torchy’s for tacos 🙁 Unfortunately there just wasn’t enough time to make the trek over to that taco stand.
  • We missed what was probably one of the best nights at SXSW: the final night, also St. Patrick’s Day! We spent most of the booze holiday in airports and on planes. By the time we got back to California it was after 11pm and we were pooped. Next time we have to stay for the final day of showcases.

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My SXSW Music Picks

RobinWithAnI SXSW Buzzworthy Bands 2012

Band Profiles:

Bigott

(Heads up: This video might be NSFW, depending on where you work. There are boobs.)

Website     |     Facebook     |     Twitter

Where I saw Bigott: The SXSW Sounds of Spain party.
What’s cool about them: How quirky and funny they are. Watch THIS video for proof.
Location: Zaragoza, Spain

The Lumineers

Website     |     Facebook     |     Twitter

Where I saw The Lumineers: The DYN party.
What’s cool about them: They encourage audience participation!
Location: Denver, CO

Black Taxi

Website     |     Facebook     |     Twitter

Where I saw Black Taxi: Doc’s patio on St. Patrick’s Day.
What’s cool about them: They’re really good live, but aren’t as well known so the chances of seeing them in a small venue are likely. Check them out before they get too big (because they will).
Location: New York

Back Pocket Memory

Website     |     Facebook     |     Twitter

Where I saw Back Pocket Memory: Lead singer Chris Pennington was singing, hanging in and out of Agave’s front window as we were walking by.
What’s cool about them: They made a great first impression on me. Plus, they were highly recommended by my friend BarbRocks.
Location: Burbank, CA

Go Back To The Zoo

Website     |     Facebook     |     Twitter

Where I saw Go Back To The Zoo: The Sonicbids day party at Maggie Mae’s.
What’s cool about them: Besides the fact they are good-looking foreigners, their music makes me dance.
Location: Amsterdam

POLIÇA

Website     |     Facebook     |     Twitter

Where I saw POLIÇA: This band was one of the opening acts for Lionel Richie at the Billboard sponsored showcase at the ACL Live venue.
What’s cool about them: Frontwoman Channy Leaneagh’s unique style with accompanied band including two live drummers. The band released their debut album last month. Also featured on NPR.
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Vanaprasta

Website     |     Facebook     |     Twitter

Where I saw Vanaprasta: Rusty’s.
What’s cool about them: Reminds me of Kings of Leon, but edgier. Great performance with a lot of energy. Amazing vocals.
Location: Los Angeles, CA

I suppose all good things must come to an end. It’s been a week since I’ve been home and while I miss the non-stop live music and spontaneous lifestyle, it feels great to sleep in my bed on a mattress with clean feet!

But I gotta ask: Who’s up for SXSW 2013??

Alt Design Summit: A Mecca For The Creative – Part 2

Besides meeting a fabulous group of new friends, Alt provided a central place for like-minded people to get creative and feed off of each other, though not in the vampire-y, post-apocalyptic-way. It isn’t often you get 500 awesome designers, fashionistas, crafters, stylists, decorators, social media smarties, artists, photographers and bloggers all in one location at your disposal.

Read more

Alt Design Summit: A Mecca For The Creative – Part I

The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah for Alt Design Summit(The Grand America Hotel, where Alt Design Summit was held)

I’m still recovering from my silly sinus cold. I am also still digging through the piles of business cards and searching for pictures from the conference. However I must say, the Alt Design Summit was the best conference I’ve ever been to. Ever. The setting couldn’t any be better — snowy Utah in January was just beautiful. The snow on the mountains made a perfect backdrop and the Grand America Hotel had plenty of outlets and fairly reliable internet – a must for us social media folk.

Everyone at the conference had their own unique style and really shinned as individuals. I was lucky enough to go on behalf of Clever Girls and not only meet new bloggers, but also grow personally and professionally. I had several goals going into the conference and I met them all. For the last few months I haven’t felt very inspired. Maybe it’s just the holiday season can be so overwhelming and busy that looking for inspiration was last on my list. Attending Alt was the spark to my creative engine. Inspiration found me.

I’m back to pinning future DIY projects, thinking about topics to blog and vlog about, and gathering ideas of what to paint next. One of my closest friends gave me an easel for Christmas and sitting on it is a half-started painting of Santa Barbara’s West Beach. It’s been collecting dust for over three weeks and before Alt, I had no desire to finish it anytime soon. I do now.

Surrounding yourself with creative people is so important and I think I forgot that. I love my non-creatives but I forget there needs to be balance. I thrive on other people’s energy and am really thankful I met so man  awesome people at Alt. The outfits alone were inspiring! Gosh, even the business cards were inspiring (see below). Alt is truly a mecca for the creative.

Looking for inspiration? Follow the attendees on Twitter (subscribe to all the Alt 2012 attendees lists created by these gals: @amandagenther, @CrowandCanary, @Lesliedf, @pmaelee, @melaniebiehle, @the818, @CompartmentLife, @Mom101, and @DesertRavenArt). Read their blogs. Check out their Etsy sites. Follow their pins. These people are the cream of the crop.

 Creative business cards from Alt Design Summit 2012

(Some very creative business cards and gifts from Alt Design Summit 2012 attendees)
Row 1:
Brianna, Collected Blog
Kal, artist and Link With Love
Alison, The Alison Show

Kelly, Biblio-Files.com
Row 2:
Chelsey, The Paper Mama
Jenean, JeneanMorrison.com
Susan, Freshly Picked
Row 3:
Ginny, Ginny Branch Styling and Designs
Alma & Mike, almaloveland.com and mikeloveland.com
Michelle, MichelleEdgemont.com
Row 4:
Taylor, Totally Tay
Amanda, AmandaGenther.com
Jess, IROCKSOWHAT 

 

Photos from Wednesday Night’s Dinner With:

Bay Leaf Bar and Grub in Salt Lake City, Utah
(Wednesday Night Dinner With… at Bayleaf Bar & Grub)
Bayleaf Bar & Grub in Salt Lake City, Utah
(Pool tables = my kind of place)

Alt Summit Wednesday Dinner dining with Mica May of MayBooks.com

(Sat next to Mica May of May Books. Her books were featured on Good Morning America!)
Gift from Design Mom, Smock Paper goodies(A set of adorable cards from Smock, a gift from Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom, our dinner host — and one of the founders of Alt Summit and Kirtsy!!!)

Alt Design Summit 2012 RobinWithAnI The Paper Mama IROCKSOWHAT

(My beautiful roomies, Jess from IROCKSOWHAT and Chelsey from The Paper Mama at Squatters for drinks after our dinners)

More pictures and stories coming this week. Happy Humpday!

Searching for a job is never easy, but here’s a few tips

A friend of mine recently sent me a message that she needed help finding a new job. Sadly, this friend is getting a pink slip later this month and has exhausted herself scouring Craigslist. I’d like to share the suggestions I gave her.

  • If you’re graduating college soon, make sure you know the ins and outs of your school’s career center. Check the job board daily for new positions.
  • Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for a job.
  • Update your LinkedIn account. If you don’t have one, stop right now and make one!
  • Sign up for job email alerts from various job searching sites using key words from your field. For example, I signed up for job alerts with the following keywords: public relations + social media + marketing + entry level + communications… etc.
  • Job Resources: to name a few LocalHires, Indeed, Simply Hired, CalOpps, Experience. I steered clear of Monster and Career Builder just because there tended to be a lot of b***s*** jobs that claim to be in the field I was looking in, but were mainly sales and telemarketer jobs.

Networking events are a fantastic way to meet other people in your shoes who might have helpful tips and suggestions for maneuvering the job market. The following groups have upcoming networking opportunities in the Bay Area.

Pink Slip Mixers – you’re not alone in this big, scary job market.
Down-sized? Unemployed? Want to find a new career and have fun! Pink Slip Mixer events are fun, interactive and FREE to job seekers! When you come in the door, you’ll be given a color-coded bracelet that identifies you as a job seeker of a specific industry or a recruiter or admissions representative so you can network with the people that matter to you!

Silicon Valley Tweetup – network while raising money for a local charity.
Silicon Valley Tweetups connects people who are engaging in social media and want to give back to the community.

Silicon Valley Young Professionals – a networking group.
The Silicon Valley Young Professionals are a group of young community and business leaders dedicated to improving our community by connecting and developing young professionals. SVYP is a program of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce focused on promoting the growth and development of the next generation of business and community leaders.

Social Media Club – like social media? So do these guys.
Social Media Club’s mission is to connect media makers from around the world to advance media literacy, promote industry standards, encourage ethical behaviour and share the lessons they have learned. With many chapters worldwide, finding one near you is easy. I am a part of Social Media Club Silicon Valley, where innovators from around the Bay Area will meet for monthly events to share, engage and collaborate with the community on the issues of social media and technology.

Do you have any suggestions for job seekers?