Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Mar 13th 2013 12:10PM by Natasha Young
Ben Sollee (left, by Magnus Linqvist) and Lukas Nelson (by Rick Diamond, Getty Images)
Read on to find out everything you need to know from two musicians who know the SXSW grind well.
What are the best-kept secrets about SXSW and Austin in general?
LN: First of all, you have to eat at La Condessa and also a great restaurant called Sway. Both are owned by a guy named Jesse Herman, a real food connoisseur and a good friend. He's got a great ear for music as well, so ask him what he's planning to see at the festival this year because I guarantee his recommendations will be good.
There's going to be a screening of the movie "When Angels Sing." It's a fun movie that stars Willie Nelson and Harry Connick Jr., among others. And if you have time, Austin is a great city for wildlife. There are some great trails and hikes nearby and most folks are friendly enough to show you around. I would encourage everyone to go experience some nature during the day and then experience the city and bands as the day gets later.
Any favorite Austin restaurants to hit up during SXSW?
BS: The Austin taco scene is top on my list! I'm looking forward to investing -- with my wallet and appetite. I'm craving a Dirty Sanchez from Torchy's. I'd also like to have a good meal and an Old Fashioned at Clark's Oyster Bar.
Who do you most want to see perform at the SXSW this year?
BS: It's always a challenge to sift through the happenings of SXSW to actually just see a show. I'm looking forward to seeing Billy Bragg and Jim James, but I'd also like to catch Toro Y Moi and Ra Ra Riot. The magic of SXSW is that you encounter young-blooded, hungry and sincere bands and musicians who are giving it all they got. They are really putting it all on the line for everyone ... and also no one in particular.
LN: Personally, I would just walk around aimlessly until I heard something that sounded good on 6th Street, or until someone yells out, "you have to catch so and so!" and then try and figure out where they are playing and check it out.
A band that you should check out is called Guards. A friend of mine introduced them to me and they are great people. There are also whole ton of bands and showcases, so just grab a schedule and figure out if you can recognize any band names, if any sound just clever, zany, introspective or enlightening enough for you to dip your proverbial listening-pole in.
What's your favorite music venue in Austin to catch a great show amidst the chaos?
BS: This is tricky, because there are so many pop-up venues at SXSW that are unique and fun. Some of my past favorite experiences at the festival have taken place at The Parish and St. David's. Keep your ear to the ground, grab a map, embrace your inner pirate, and find that special experience that only exists at SXSW.
Preferred mode of transportation during the festival?
LN: It's a festival, so walking around is probably your best bet.
BS: The best way to get around is to walk and always travel light. I bring my backpack, always make sure I have a reusable water bottle so I can fill up on water throughout the day and comfortable shoes are a must. I'll take a pedi-cab if it's needed. Otherwise, you have to deal with parking and the cost... yuck! I will say that having your own bike is helpful, but PLEASE don't try to ride if you're planning on enjoying all the different kinds of booze.
Got any valuable must-haves or survival tips?
LN: All in all, I'd say just have a great time and try not to get too messed up. Keep the vibes intense but controlled. Drink a lot of water. Bring a reusable bottle for water, because Brita is providing Hydration Stations around the festival so you can fill up with free water during the day so that you can keep rocking without getting sloppy on everybody. Plus, you can be environmentally conscious and keep waste at a minimum. As my dad always says, "Keep your nose clean and your legs crossed and stay out of the trees."
BS: A notebook and pen for taking notes... there's just so much going on. And a reusable water bottle, like my Nalgene, to fill up at all the Brita water stations set up around town. It cuts waste and Brita's Hydration Stations supplies everyone with filtered water.
Lukas Nelson and Ben Sollee will be performing Wednesday 3/13 from 3-5 PM at the Green Music Stage Presented by Brita at the IFC Crossroads House (302 E. 6th Street). The show is open to all music credential holders, but capacity is limited.
Ben Sollee and Lukas Nelson are also finalist in Brita's Bottle Free Band contest. Each is competing via online voting that opens on March 12 for a comprehensive Green Tour from Brita and Reverb worth an estimated $30,000. The prize will include carbon off-sets, locally sourced catering, biofuel for the tour bus or van -- as well as 2,000 branded reusable Brita Nalgene water bottles to sell as a merchandise item to help fans reduce their bottled water waste. Visit www.britabottlefreebands.com to vote today!
What's the Spinner team doing at SXSW? Check out our Rebelmouse page for non-stop live day or night updates.