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“Wait,” then a deep breath. “How are you going to afford SXSW?”
“Isn’t everything free?”

Sort of.

I went to SXSW with the same amount of money I always have: none.  Thanks to some fancy footwork and swell generosity, I was able to make the trip there happen (thanks Madeline and Dmitri!).  Thereafter, I was given a brief word of wisdom: when the sun is out, all is free; when the sun is down, everything costs.

When we arrived, it was a straight shot to the British Music Embassy.  Free cocktails alongside an open buffet of fish & chips assuaged my red eye pangs quite nicely.  Before dropping everything off at home, I had a full belly and had double-fisted a bloody mary with a margarita.  Pure luxury.

Bleached

I walked all around downtown later in the afternoon trying to locate the Chase to borrow some money from the penny vending machine.  The CVS was all out of pennies, but the Chase-brand Chase was not.  A Texas Chase-brand Chase is not like a New York one. I had to walk all around a large floor of the bank, getting offered by several bankers to sit down for various reasons, before I finally found the ATM (in the back, and clearly not open 24 hours).  I ended up with a bit of money and somehow made it to Club Deville to catch Bleached, but I had missed Trust across town.

Gary Clark, Jr.

The Pure Volume House was way too crowded so we went east over to Fader Fort (presented by Converse) to see Gary Clark, Jr. followed by Teengirl Fantasy.  We drank down some complimentary Buds and Bushmills Honey lemonade, and I tried to take note of the crowd.  I wrote “girls wearing cutoff vintage Jordache jeans, guys wearing backsnaps and unfitted jeans.”  There was nothing remarkable save the depths of the unremarkable, of course matched by Teengirl’s own baggy cargo-stylings.

Tired, so tired.  We tried to revive ourselves with a nice sit-down dinner at a Mexican restaurant up on Red River.  Cheap good food (but still, there goes my first $10) and pricey margaritas served (overbudget!).  I convinced myself to stay up, to persevere, for the love of SXSW.  I went over to Boysnoize Records/Badblood/IHeartComix party at Beauty Bar to scope Com Truise. The set was great, and then I got cranky and, without help of public transportation, finally crawled into bed.

Com Truise

Friday: So much yawning, I cranked out some write-ups and ate some delicious breakfast tacos Dmitri prepared.  We went back to the British Music Embassy for our morning planning and drinking session.  I wandered around looking for the promised shuttle to “On Boat with the Germans,” a nice little cruise along Lady Bird Lake, with complimentary booze galore.  Fenster, the final act, continued playing until long after we had anchored, so I ended up missing the bus back and got some more cardio, eventually meeting up with the team at the Fader Fort where everyone waited patiently to see Black Hippy (I was hoping to see Rick Ross, not realizing his set was the next day).

Fenster

We meandered around East Austin and sat for some dinner and drinks with our pals, White Ring, and finally caught our breath enough to do the final shows of the evening.  Dmitri went to see A$AP Rocky while Madeline and I went to go visit her friend Amen Dunes, who had a kickass performance across the street from the Fader.

Amen Dunes (Lo-Fi Photo Exclusive)

I ducked out just after snapping a couple shots to go see Juicy J (presented by Mtn Dew) at the intimate Club Deville.  The little back patio was not nearly as crowded as it could have been, but I still got knocked around more than was pleasant.  Still, it was great to release some tension and was probably the safest place one could imagine seeing Juicy J (scope that gif!).  After, I thought I was going to die.  I tried my damndest to scrape up the energy for an hour walk home to get back on budget, but eventually crawled into a cab and spent another $10 getting home.

Juicy J