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Blogger declares best and worst attractions of SXSW

By Jill Menze


Phew! What a week! I’m running on a five-day hangover of too much loud music, booze, sun and everything else imaginable, and I gotta say, it was one of the best weeks ever. Here are my top highlights from the week:

BEST SHOW: Jane’s Addiction @ Playboy’s Rock the Rabbit. What business did Jane’s Addiction have playing SXSW, who cares, cause this show killed. I get that this award is supposed to go to some up-and-comer waiting to be discovered, but screw it, Farrell and Navarro deserve it.

BEST SHOWCASE: Tie: SPIN Magazine @ Stubb’s BBQ/Village Voice @ La Zona Rosa. I’m sure there were a few showcases that could compete for this award line-up-wise, but my time spent at Stubb’s was enjoyable, despite how crowded it became for Echo & the Bunnymen. Stubb’s is a top-notch outdoor venue. Village Voice is up there, too, for the free Mexican food, as well as the lineup, which I unfortunately only caught half of (saw: Crystal Antlers and Cursive; missed: Gomez and M. Ward).

BEST VENUE: French Legation Museum. This outdoor space was absolutely lovely – big, green lawn (have a peek here for the best lawn care service), trees, WAVVES beating a pinata. I didn’t have time to catch much live there, but the time I spent just hanging out felt perfect. Someone also shared with me the history of what the French Legation Museum actually is.

BEST MEAL: Brisket sandwich at some off-the-beaten-path BBQ joint near our house. I have no idea what the name of this place was, and I have never in my life had such unreasonably slow service, but oh well, it was worth it.

Overall Best-Of @ SXSW ’09: I’d love to say that this was hanging with my best buds from New York, spending quality time with good friends from out of town and meeting tons of new people, or any one of the many nutty situations I found myself in, but in all honesty, it was having my wallet returned. Thank you, Austin Police Department, for all your help and understanding.

And now, the worst …

Worst Show: As I think back on all the shows I caught this week, none stick out to me as particularly “bad,” but there was one singer/songwriter wailing off-key from a rooftop downtown that immediately made me wish he would shut up. And the fact that it’s STILL vivid in my memory must say something.

Worst Venue: iheartcomix/Jelly NYC showcase: This event was a ways from downtown (in a strip mall? I think?), in what had to be the worst setup at the fest. After hopping in a cab just to get out there, the line stretched for blocks, and after running into some friends on their way out, they said it was 20 times worse inside and infested with teenagers. So without even bothering to check it out myself, I’m declaring this the worst of the week.

Worst Meal: Rachael Ray.

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