Thursday, March 03, 2005

Memories of SXSW: 1989

If it seems like my posts have been a bit pinched lately, it's because they have. I'm spending almost all of my waking, non-day jobbing hours doing SXSW writing. Tons of 75-word blurbs about just a few of the 1,200 musical acts coming to town in less than two weeks. It's not the ideal way to listen to music, but there's so much to hear.

I've been "doing" SXSW in some fashion every year since 1989. Back then, Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper were the big draw. The conference was still small enough to fit in the Marriott on 11th Street and I worked as a security volunteer there in exchange for a badge. As a scrawny college junior, I wasn't exactly bouncer material, but no one was likely to bum-rush the Robert Christgau keynote. It was the perfect set-up because my volunteer shift ended well before the bands started playing.

At some point, Mojo himself walked up to me and said, "Howdy there! Keepin' out the riff-raff?" That was just about the coolest thing ever, and I knew then I'd never be spending Spring Break at South Padre.

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