Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Where I'm Not

Here. It's called SXSW, and it's the biggest music/film/arts festival in the world, and it goes on, all over the city of Austin, Texas, throughout this week.

Every year I think I ought to go. 1,600 bands/musicians go. Some 13,000 music industry types go. I've received roughly, oh, 2,000 email messages (I'm not kidding) from various music publicists telling me about their bands who will be performing at SXSW, and where and at what times they will be performing, and inviting me down for free beer and barbeque. Some of them have even sent me the handy badges that I would need to enter their exclusive, industry-only-type tents where various bands play and where they serve the free beer and barbeque.

Now, I like music. A lot. And I suppose you could probably slot "free beer and barbeque" into the "Favorably Disposed Toward" category as well. So SXSW basically strikes me as an opportunity to catch lots of great music with people who love great music, to schmooze, and well, to eat barbeque and drink beer. I can think of worse fates.

But once again I am not there. This is because I have a job in corporate America, which graciously provides me with ten vacation days per year. And this year just about all ten of those vacation days are already slotted for speaking engagements at various music and arts festivals and college campuses.

I'm not complaining. Oh hell, yes I am. I could be on spring break with the music world in Austin, Texas. Instead I'm sitting in my cubicle on the 16th floor, looking out over a city covered by almost two feet of snow, and writing about database capacity planning.

I'll get over it. Even in the midst of my despair, I know that my life isn't so bad. I have, for example, access to free staples, and I don't even need to leave Columbus to get them. Life is great. I'll keep telling myself that.


africanviolet said...

Yeah, 10 days of vacation per year just doesn't seem like enough. I get about the same, but nevertheless I always schedule a trip to Anaheim, Ca every January for the NAMM show. I just look at it as something I do for myself to maintain my mental and emotion health (I also work in IT). My boss doesn't like it, but I also request a few days off without pay attached to my regular vacation time... the time off, even if unpaid, is very much worth the sacrifice for me.

Scott Meek said...

Hey Andy,
I would be more than willing to go down to Austin in your place! I mean, completely as a service to you. I would even be open to only seeing the bands that you would want to hear and give you a full report. I'm sure that all that free beer and barbecue could cause me to gain a couple pounds, but hey, I'm willing to make that sacrifice.

Zena and Joshua said...

those staples ain't free, andy. they ain't free.


just scott said...

Ah...come on Andy, there's only like 3 inches of snow left :)

axegrinder said...

I stood in line for 2 1/2 hours and was on my feet for 8 hours tonight in order to see the Black Keys at SXSW.

I waited thru 5 other bands: 1 great, 1 good and three not-so-good to hear them.

The Black Keys played for no more than 40 minutes. It took them as long to set up and sound check as to actually play their set.

If you send me those badges (this year or next), I promise to put them to good use.

Anonymous said...

andy, sxsw is overrated. you don't need an iphone either.

Trip McClatchy said...

Just back from sxsw... it might be over-rated, but god damn it sure is fun. Free shows, free beer, free bar-b-q - and that's just the daytime. At night, stay away from the mega buzz shows (REM, Vampire Weekend, Black Keys, etc) and you'll have the time of your life.

Music industry poeple do tend to suck, though, like the dude who called me a douche for getting into the cab we had called ahead for - because he was in a hurry. Jovita's rocks.