(Kina Grannis, one of .biz's SXSW diarists, got her start, like so many musicians these days, by posting her videos on the web. But what launched her career was entering and winning a contest that got her song "Message From Your Heart" played during the Super Bowl. Now the 25-year-old, who has 60 million video views, is playing her very first SXSW. Her album "Stairwells" (One Haven Music) will have its physical release on April 5th.)
Thursday, March 17th. Late o'clock.
And so the first day of my first SXSW comes to a close. I've only experienced a handful of hours of it at this point, but it has definitely lived up to the hype. In short: it is insane. And insanely awesome.
Even before arriving in Austin, things got exciting. After settling in at my gate at LAX, I decided to check twitter to see what was going on in the world. Excellent news-one of my favorite shows ever, "Community," is getting a third season! Or so tweeted [the show's actor] Danny Pudi, who I had the pleasure of meeting last week on set. Moments later, I look up to see none other than Danny Pudi himself no more than 15 feet away from me… huh?! He was, of course, on his was to Austin for SXSW. Our plane ended up being a good 35 minutes late so I had some time to chat with him. Awesome awesome person. Best delayed flight ever.
I got into Austin around 9PM, rented a car, checked into my hotel, and headed out to 6th street to meet up with my manager Jon. After a good 20 minutes of sitting in a car and either not moving, or moving only in directions I really didn't want to go in, I finally found myself in a completely full parking lot. Luckily someone left right as I pulled in. I set off into a sea of hip looking people in an attempt to find Jon. Ten minutes later, there was Jon, along with my good friend DeStorm, whom he had just ran into on the street.
Together we made our way through the masses, people watching all the way, until we got to Stubb's BBQ. We experienced some seriously rocking sets by Charles Bradley and TV On The Radio.
One of my favorite parts of tonight was turning around and looking at all the people watching the show. There were so many really different and really interesting looking people, standing around, dancing, chatting, and just seeming really happy to be there.
I stepped out to get some fresh air only to bump into Danny Pudi AGAIN, this time with Donald Glover [also on "Community"]. Weird! The universe decided to have some fun tonight. After this, more music and people-watching was enjoyed by all, and then at one point around 1:30 a.m. I realized O never ate dinner. Jon and i took a stroll down 6th street in search of good food trucks and eventually found some tasty sliders somewhere. Food tasted really good.
Kim Grannis' SXSW Community: From Left: Danny Pudi, Donald Glover
All in all, the night was way more exciting and entertaining then I could've expected. It's just amazing to me to see so many people come together for music. I can't even picture what tomorrow holds. Tomorrow I will be the one on a stage… only minus a giant rock band. It will be interesting to see what the acoustic side of SXSW looks like. Well, only time will tell. And speaking of time, i am quickly approaching the hour that i'll need to wake up at… so goodnight.
P.S. I'll leave you with this: a picture of me and the elephant i made on the flight to Austin before going to bed.