SXSW here I come or: how I learned to stop working and love the music

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M. Ward is worth the price of admission for the entire SXSW festival. Who needs a big arena when you have a church sanctuary?
M. Ward is worth the price of admission for the entire SXSW festival. Who needs a big arena when you have a church sanctuary?
Updated: 3/15/2012 3:49 am Published: 3/15/2012 3:14 am

In case you didn't know, the title of this blog is a reference to the movie Dr. Strangelove. That movie has nothing to do with this blog. I just thought I would go ahead and clear that up right away. Everybody on the same page?

So, I'm on vacation. But when it comes to blogging, I'm always on the clock, baby! And by always, I mean every so often.

On my vacation, I headed south of the Red River down to Austin, home of South by Southwest (or SXSW, for those of you who like to type efficiently). If you know what SXSW is, you might be jealous of me. Or you might think I'm wasting my time or money. To each his own. If you don't know what SXSW is, I'll tell you. It's basically a movie/web/music festival that lasts a week and a half. People from all around the world come to perform and watch. It's kind of a big deal.

I'm here for the music part. My friends Phillip and Fiawna are playing a show down here at SXSW. So I tagged along. (Fiawna Forte is the name of the band. They're from Tulsa, and they're wonderful. Look them up. Buy a CD. Buy 10 CDs.)

Tonight was night one for us to partake in the SXSW fun. Our first experience: waiting in line for 45 minutes to see Fiona Apple (no relation to Fiawna Forte) at an outdoor venue. We never got anywhere close to getting in. We did hear the muffled singing and piano playing of Ms. Apple. Actually seeing her would have been better. That's the negative of SXSW. There are TONS of people, and sometimes way too many of them want to go to the same show at the same time, even though there are dozens and dozens of other shows going on at any given time.

Here's the positive of SXSW: unique and wonderful performances by famous and not so famous musicians. We wanted to watch M. Ward play. If you don't know him, you should get to know him. In order not to have a repeat of the Fiona Apple mishap, we went early ... very early. I'm talking 9:15 pm for an 11 pm show early. Good thing. We were lucky to see two very good musicians we had never even heard of while waiting for M. Ward. One is called Tristen. She/the band is from Nashville. I bought a CD. The other guy was from Ireland or some such far away land. I don't even know his name, but he had the whole church singing along with his music. Oh ya, did I mention that the venue for the rock and roll shows was an active church in downtown Austin? That adds a little something too it, doesn't it?

So after those two performances came M. Ward. He didn't disappoint. He started off the show with just him and a guitar. And then him and a keyboard. A guitar player then came on stage ... and a drummer ... eventually a full band. It was an amazing show. Probably less than 300 people watching one of the best musicians around performing a lights out show in a downtown church at 11 o'clock at night. Yup, that's the positive of SXSW.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

ktkant33 - 3/15/2012 12:29 PM
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I saw this healine and thought my husband wrote the article - he's also enjoying "working" (and loving musio) at SXSW! While you're there go to Lucy's Retired Surfer Bar on Fri. (6 & 11) to see some great bands from Buffalo. Ny - The Albrights ROCK!
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