Meeting Bill Murray was the coolest celebrity encounter I've ever had. While in Austin, TX for South By Southwest, some friends and I drove our van to the Lady Bird Lake Trail bridge because we heard there were some live bands playing. We saw My Pet Saddle play there and they were so good live. The cops came and tried to break things up and told My Pet Saddle that if they played again, they'd give them all tickets. Presently they walked away and that's when another band started playing. I unfortunately don't remember their name but they were good too. Around this time, we started hearing murmurings that Bill Murray was in attendance and hanging out nearby. Hearing that he had walked away down the south end of the bridge my friend bolted after him. He ended up hunting Mr. Murray down in a bathroom stall in a Mexican restaurant. According to my friend Josh, who asked, "How are the acoustics in there?" Mr. Murray immediately began singing as a reply. Some old show-tune type of song. Josh came running back up the bridge to tell us his story. After a while we thought he had left for good, but soon enough I spotted him again. That's when I took this picture.
Saturday was our final day in Austin for SXSW and we were very busy. The day included seeing Vivian Girls, Karen Elson and Best Coast. It was a pretty incredible experience, especially getting to meet the Vivian Girls and we even helped them carry their equipment a mile or two back to their van. Then we all went to see Best Coast together. Apparently, they are friends with each other (when I recently saw Best Coast at Schuba's in Chicago the Vivian Girls' drummer Ali Koehler was filling in). It turned out to be a great day and a fitting end to our South By Southwest adventure.
The highlight of these images (and perhaps the whole day) was seeing The Woods at the French Ligation Museum, though I also had a great time getting up early and getting in line at the pop-up Third Man Records (Jack White's record label) and buying some exclusive vinyl including a limited edition tri-color pressing of Karen Elson's first single.
I saw some other bands play that night at a big festival thing, but unfortunately my camera wasn't able to get any good shots because I wasn't close enough to the stage. I have plenty of more fun pictures that were taken with my point and shoot camera, but those will be posted on my Facebook Page at a later date. So please add yourself as a friend there so you can be updated when they come online.
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Part II of my images from Austin, TX are finally here. It was a beautiful day so we got to enjoy the spring weather as we explored Austin. We had brunch at the Eastside Cafe, which was really wonderful. You can see a couple shots of our food below. Afterwards, we just wandered around downtown and explored. We wound up at the French Ligation Museum (quite possibly my favorite venue in Austin to relax and listen to music) where we heard The XX. Unfortunately, we were pretty far back in the crowd, just at the back of the tent. But they sounded great and we all enjoyed hearing them immensely. Enjoy the pictures and there will be more to come tomorrow. I will be posting a lot of the outtake images that aren't quite so wonderful on my Facebook Page, so keep your eyes peeled there for more.
Five friends and I took a road trip down south to Austin, Texas to experience SXSW firsthand. This is the first in a series of blog posts that will highlight my favorite photographs and events from our journey to the lone star state.
Our trip began on Tuesday, March 16th 2010. We left blustery Chicago at approximately 10:30 P.M. After starting off in the wrong direction we finally found our way onto I-55 S. I took the first position in the driver seat. I kept driving until 4 A.M. We had some crazy conversations in the car in the middle of the night. Have you ever played "How Much Does Someone Have to Pay You to Do...?" Crazy weirdness ensued. I highly recommend it.
Despite my terrifying nightmares of the car sliding off the road and us crashing to our deaths, I managed to get a few hours of fitful sleep. Then the sun was up and we were in Arkansas. We stopped at an IHOP and had a well deserved breakfast. Our waiter had the most peculiar southern hospitality vibe and seemed like all he wanted out of life was to make our lives easier. He even offered to split the bill six ways for us! In Chicago, you'd really have to pull some strings to make something like that fly. (Take note restaurants of Chicago, Arkansas has you beat!)
You can check out some iPhone pictures from that IHOP in my SXSW iPhone Gallery on Facebook. It should be public for all to view.
What follows are the images I snapped on our daylight ride through Arkansas and Texas on our way to Austin. If you become a Fan of my Facebook Page, you will see more unedited pictures from the trip down. These are my favorites.