COPING WITH SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST: A STUCK IN NEW YORKER’S GUIDE

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Perhaps you’ve noticed a tumbleweed or two roll through the vast wasteland of this week’s New York showlistings. Maybe all of your friends are out of town until next Sunday. Probably you’re there right now, taking a selfie at Whataburger.

If you’re not at South By, this is likely a trying time for you. You’ve spent weeks listening to people planning their itineraries in bodega lines and coffee shops. You’ve had friends excitedly tell you their work was sending them there. You’ve had those same friends detail their future Whataburger orders in explicit detail.

Other people here will tell you that South By is a whole bunch of corporate bullshit and this is of course 100% the truth. After all, we’re talking about a festival where homeless people were once sent to wander around as Wi-Fi “hotspots.” This year boasts not only the particularly loathsome hashtag #SXSubway, but an appearance from Jared himself, a man who has been photographed in a giant pair of khaki pants for more than a decade. He’s pitching some pizza-like abomination called the Flatizza, and if you were there you’d probably eat a free sample of it.

But you’re not totally convinced, and you know enough people to get Facebook invites to all of the good shows being thrown far away from the corporate hellscape of S. Congress. Plus, Whataburger. So, in the effort to quell your pain, I’ve outlined some ways for you to make the best of your week in New York.

MAKE IT A HEALTH WEEK

If New York is the city that’s always trying to maybe give up drinking for a week, Austin is unabashedly the one that hands you a Lone Star and, why-the-hell-not-it’s-practically-free, another Lone Star. So, while your friends are making Lone-Star-can tin men at the #SXSubway Fresh Tent (time is a Flatizza), you can start a juice cleanse or at least splurge on that 10 dollar probiotic beverage you’ve always been curious about. When your friends return bleary-eyed and beer-bloated, muttering “Whataburger” in hushed tones while clutching their abdomens, you can float over them and brag about your impressive bowel movements.

AVOID MUSIC SITES

Does the rampant sexism, homophobia and racism on BrooklynVegan’s comment boards bum you out? Do you read that stuff anyway because you wanted to check out showlistings and you’re here anyway so…

Just don’t. Because most music sites are out of town, paying zero attention to the goings on here, you can spend some time away from the internet. Start a hobby. Write a short story. Crochet a scarf for your cat. Whatever.

AND NOW THAT I THINK OF IT SOUTH BY IS A BUNCH OF BULLSHIT

Lady Gaga, a giant Doritos vending machine and, like, a million other hashtags probably worse than #SXSubway, so…

GET PLANE TICKETS TO AUSTIN NOT DURING SOUTH BY

It’s better, and cheaper, I promise. If you like music festivals so much, chances are pretty good you’ll be there for one anyway. It’s stupid how many festivals Austin has. Hell, go for the 90’s nostalgia nonsense of Fun Fun Fun Fest, which inches ever closer each year to just being a live performance of the Judgment Night Soundtrack. Doesn’t that sound fun?

AND THERE ARE STILL A COUPLE GOOD SHOWS HERE

Off the top of my head, Chris Brokaw at Death By Audio. As well as a couple stellar lineups at Shea Stadium.

Plus, they sell Whataburger Spicy Ketchup by the bottle in Austin. Just have your friends bring some back for you.

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One comment

  1. Reblogged this on sxswmovie.

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