SXSW 07 ended Sunday. The barricades are down in Austin, the swarms of international press have left, most of the bands have returned home, a few stayed behind, and the general tone and tenor of life has returned to Austin's entertainment district.
One thing that hasn't left is a persistent hacking cough that seems to have impacted Clint Gilders, at least one of the SXSW official photographers, and me. I'm still exhausted and ill, having seen my doctor twice and blown about $400 on meds since Monday. This afternoon I started to finally feel a little better, though, so maybe there's still hope. If not, I wish to have my ashes scattered throughout Austin's entertainment district, with a little left over for where the Dillo used to be. I'm sure we aren't the only ones still feeling, or reeling from, the after effects of SXSW 07.
The Zico Chain pose with Austin's infamous Leslie photo by jeff barringer - staff photographer
I talked to Chris Zico on the phone today. He and the band are somewhere in Arizona, trapped in an SUV with a couple of NME guys, watching for snakes on the highway, and heading off to some gigs in L.A. they landed while at SXSW. Wish I felt well enough to jump on a plane to catch them, but I'll send a few friends their way. I talked to a label today that may send an AOR guy to check them out, and I may send a bunch of reptile heads to their set as well.
Paul Collins and his band The Beat made it back to Spain after some nasty weather-related delays, and it appears Hugh Cornwell made it back to the U.K safely as well. I've already posted Hugh's video interview, and am finishing the edits on Paul and the Beat, as well as the Zico Chain interview. I should be posting those tonight. I'm very happy with how most of the videos have turned out so far; it looks like we have most of our technology issues finally ironed out.
photo by clint gilders - staff photographer
A super big thank you to Gabriel and Matt over at B & H Photo, they were lifesavers. After the guys at the Sony booth recommended I try to trade in my brand new 3 CCD Sony camcorder for a new one that was just released with XLR inputs that cost $2000 more (DOH!), Matt came to my rescue with a third party add-on designed to do the same for about $400. Not only that, he got in touch with his audio guys and set me up with just the right microphone combos. Over the last year, I've bought a lot of gear from a lot of different camera companies, and this is the first time I didn't feel like I was dealing with someone just wanting to "sell" me something - and this from a camera company based in New York! Matt set up the deal and Gabriel got it delivered to their hotel room, and by Thursday morning we had the hook-up. B & H has basically scored us as a corporate customer for life. Maybe we can talk them into working with us on our photo contests.
Speaking of the photo contest, we must have handed out close to 1000 business cards or flyers to photographers we saw at the trade show or at gigs. It should make for a much more interesting contest this year, but as of yet we haven't had a huge influx of photos for this month's contest. At the moment this would be the easiest month to have a chance to win something, but that could change tomorrow if everyone starts posting. Tom Zinn did post a few SXSW pics to our galleries, including a nice Pete Townsend performance shot. Anyone participating in the contest may request their photo gallery space be bumped up to 100Mb of storage, rather than the standard 10Mb we give everyone; just let us know when you need it.
SXSW, illness aside, was a blast for all of us and we will definitely return again next year. I want to thank everyone who helped make SXSW so special for us this year, including Christie Keith for working in the booth, doing all that live blogging, and the interviews and reviews, Christie's mom for taking care of her dogs, Clint Gilders for coming all the way from the great white north to shoot all those great pictures and videos, his wife Andrea and their kids for allowing him to be away for 9 days, Therese Kopiwada for doing the toughest job of all, just working that trade show booth, John Rucker for coming up from Houston to work the booth and reviewing some shows for us, my sister Susan for working at the booth, and making emergency runs with supplies when we ran out, my brother Jim and his wife for printing our flyers on short notice, and my parents, who took care of my large and varied menagerie (four tortoises, two hundred-pound dogs, two aquariums, and an African Grey parrot who would make Joe Pesci blush) for ten days.
A huge thank you to the staff of our PetHobbyist web communities for keeping the regular business going while we were all away, and the users of those communities for choosing not to start the revolution at that moment. I would also like to thank our winners of last year's photo contest, Jay West and Gary Miller, for showing up at the booth every 30 minutes and making us all jealous with who they just shot. Also a big thank you to Bob and Sherry Ashley over at ECO for helping us get all the "My Snake Is Bigger Than Your Snake" shirts in time, and to Brian Potter whose attempts to hook us up last minute with our ever elusive Slash interview were most appreciated, but in the end proved futile. We tried, buddy, maybe next time.
Finally, I would like to thank all the great bands and artists we saw, met and interviewed, especially Hugh Cornwell, Chris, Paul, and Ollie of the Zico Chain, Paul Collins and his band The Beat, Miles Winter Roberts, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Troy Campbell, Roky and Sumner Erickson and The Explosives and the 1300 odd other bands and artists that made SXSW so special.
Now... who's ready for ACL Fest?
where did you guys get those cool matching t-shirts? - photo by clint gilders - staff photographer