Ambreen Razaq is one of Billboard.biz's 2012 SXSW diarists and an agency associate at the Windish Agency. This year she has fifteen artists playing the fest including Purity Ring, Friends,Tycho and Com Truise. This is her third SXSW.
Ambreen Razaq at the Chevy Sound Garage
Two days down, three more to go... and still so much to do!
I arrived on Tuesday afternoon from LA (on a flight of 90% SXSW goers, of course) and made the most of it. A couple friends and I decided to hit up a music tech mixer at The Belmont in the early evening to kick things off. I met some SXSW Interactive attendees... they're pretty different than music people, but I dig them and I really want to attend Interactive next year too.
After a bit of mingling, I left to go pick up my wristband at the Convention Center, which was a bit of a mess. By 8:30pm, I was incredibly cranky from spending almost two hours in line and having eaten only free plane pretzels all day... soooo I hit Iron Works! Last year I never made it there so I took advantage of a hungry and unscheduled moment and got my BBQ fix. It was oh so delicious!
Tycho, one of the fifteen bands Ambreen Razaq is working with during SXSW, performing at Red 7. (Photo: Ambreen Razaq)
From there I moved on to the Pitchfork Interactive Showcase at Mohawk and stayed there the whole night. I saw Trust, Tycho, Schoolboy Q, Bear in Heaven, and ran into at least a dozen industry folks I hadn't seen since last SXSW. It seems like every year more and people are arriving on Tuesday, which is great because it's still not nearly as chaotic and you can start getting face time in with all the people you want to see.
On to Wednesday! Let me preface this by saying that I'm a total scheduler. I nerd out on excel and make crazy grids and color code my personal schedule until it looks like Crayola threw up on my computer. People might make fun of me but it's kind of necessary, especially when you and your boss have 15 artists at SXSW, you have additional 10 bands you want to see, and of course a bunch of people you want to meet up with because you wonder if they actually exist or are just email robots.
SXSW Survival Elixir: The Fader Fort this year offered Stumptown's Cold Brew coffee backstage.
(Photo: Ambreen Razaq)
Yesterday's schedule included: Forcefield PR and Terrorbird Media's Party at Red 7, Fader Fort, Echo and Echoplex Throwdown at Shangri-La, a meeting at the Hilton Starbucks that was originally scheduled to be at the W and upon arriving there and trying to find the person I was meeting I learned that they went to the wrong place (such is the nature of SXSW though, isn't it?), running to my hotel because I forgot my cell phone charger, waiting in the lobby for my friend because I also forgot a room key, speed walking to Frank's for a hot dog because all I'd eaten was a taco at noon (it was then 9pm... I need to get better at this eating thing), meeting up with people and "hydrating" at 508 House, going to the Chevy Sound Garage for a few hours, and then ending the night back at 508 House.
My favorite bands so far are Nick Waterhouse, Prince Rama, Kindness, and Purity Ring. Nick Waterhouse was high on my bands to see list and they did not disappoint. I'm not sure how to describe it other than it sounds like something people on Mad Men would listen to -- old school vibes! My favorite moment so far was seeing everyone from the Chicago and NY Windish Agency offices. I work in a satellite office in LA and while I love everyone in my office, it can get a little lonely sometimes. It was so much fun to just hang-out and catch up with everyone else.
That's the trip so far... am I allowed to be tired on the Thursday of SXSW? Because I am tired... but that won't stop me!
Prince Rama at the Chevy Sound Garage. (Photo: Ambreen Razaq)
Nick Waterhouse Shangri-La. (Photo: Ambreen Razaq)