Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hey, SXSW Guys!

Hey, hi there, you SXSW-types! Welcome to Austin!

Please spend a lot of money here; while the economy here isn't as bad as most other places, we could still use it. We have incredibly fine and cheap Mexican food, and most of us are happy to point out the local favorites. (I, myself, had to have a come-to-Jesus conversation with some young French psychedelic country musicians the other night, who were extolling the virtues of the fabulous Mexican dinner they had just had at...BABY ACAPULCO'S. "Friends from across the pond," says I, "please let me direct you to Juan in a Million. And Taqueria Arandas. Joe's Bakery, Cisco's, and even Nuevo Leon. And that's just for breakfast.")

However, there are some ground rules, which I, over the course of the past few days of gadding about the film festival, have seen broken. So, let's have a brief rundown, mmkay?

1. You there. Yeah, you, with the hip eyewear and the pegged black jeans? No, not you, the other guy. NO, behind him. Yes, YOU.

OK, you see that cigarette? The one that you were smoking right in front of me in line, and that I was gracious enough to not even shoot you a dirty look about? Which you then THREW ON THE GROUND, still lit?

We don't do that here. That is littering, Bryton or Braden or Aidan or whatever your name is. Did you not hear that you are not supposed to mess with Texas? And methinks it will not help you get lucky from hip little Austin girls that you are tweeting or twitting. (Twatting?) So pick up your damn butt and we will all have a much better time.

2. When one is in a crowded movie theater, and one decides to eat a Five Guys hamburger, it everyone around you smell nothing but onions for two hours. And it is incredibly distracting, even from a completely OUTSTANDING documentary about a local family's journey to, literally, outer Mongolia, in search of a cure for their autistic son. Run, don't walk, to see this, especially if autism has touched you in any way. Magnificent and goose-bump inducing.

But still, about the onions. Really, try to hold off until afterward.

3. You really should have a cheeseburger at Casino El Camino. I just had one, for the first time, even though that club's been around for like 10 years. Frig, it was fantastic. I recommend the blue cheese with buffalo sauce.

Great vibe, too. It is undeniably the kind of place I would have hung out at in college. Edgy but still friendly, decent beer on tap, and hand-cut french fries. Nice.

4. If one puts forth even a modicum of effort, one can drink for free every single day of SXSW, and can see some completely kickass music without dropping a dime. Just a tip. A visit over to Bob Noxious's site, or the Austinist, or Done Waiting, will probably get you started.

5. Go see some films while you're in town. If you come to Austin without a visit to an Alamo Drafthouse, you are missing a huge part of the experience. There is a reason that Entertainment Weekly named it the best movie theater in the country; trust me on this. And, when better than South By, when all the Drafthouses are full of some super-good docs that you may never get to see again?

Yeah, yeah, there are features, too. Honestly, they are rarely that good. I share Mick's philosophy that if a feature film is worth it, it will make it to wide release, but the docs almost never do. Seriously, some of the best docs ever were premiered here...like "Spellbound," "Crawford," and "Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns," just to name a few off the top of my head.

And, that brings me to:

6. Your texting, while you are sitting next to me, in movies, is nearly as distracting as you talking on your cell phone. STOP IT. Play with your iPhone when you get out. You are not that important, and nobody NEEDS to know exactly where you are for the next hour and a half.


Now, back off to downtown. My mother, happily, is caretaking for the children this week, effectively giving me license to throw down hard. (I got into the free Decemberists show tonight at Pangaea, one of the rare clubs in Austin that have a dress code and a velvet rope. I am intimidated. But, as there is also an open - FREE - bar, I feel relatively assured I can mitigate this anxiety forthwith.)

I will check in later with more rules as they occur to me.

You're welcome.


St. Murse said...

You got in to the Decemberists show?! I missed getting a ticket by about 20 minutes on Monday and now I seethe with jealousy. Though I did get to see Passing Strange (with Spike Lee in attendance) on the big screen with lovely sound.

Also, it's downright shameful that you've never been to Casino until now. OK, to sleep now but we need to meet up. Thursday noon for Humpday at the Paramount?

Karla May said...

You're a funny lady, Ms. Margaret. A funny, very spot-on lady.

Stacey said...

Indeed! I could give some people a good finger wagging too, such as the people who planned a late night death-metal showcase outside my house when I'm trying to get two tots to bed.
I think that movie was Professor Neff's son wasn't it? I took her course in college. She married an English guy about the same time I did, so we talked about that a lot. I can't wait to see that movie. Is it still playing?

Anonymous said...

please do not take my son's name in vain ;-)