Total sensory overload. Austin's legendary 6th Street is all it's cracked up to be--and I the real SXSW festivities haven't even begun. The biggest problem that I face is that there are too many bands and not enough time. I've seen some fabulous guitar players. You can see that Stevie Ray Vaughn really imprinted on his hometown.
Jon Campbell, drummer of Beijing-based blues outfit Black Cat Bone and another experimental band, was on the same flight as me and we hit the town together last night. We both observed that the clubs,though numerous, weren't all that much different from some of the places we play in Beijing: equipment that's roughly on par, the same sort of no-soundcheck, slapdash set-up, rush-you-on-and-off kind of thing that musicians in Beijing experience.
Had the best meal I've ever eaten off a paper plate last night: chopped beef barbeque at a place called The Iron Works, just a five minute walk from the hotel. Too many people have recommended a place called Salt Lick for me not to try it. This morning, I had what were without a doubt the best Huevos Rancheros I've ever eaten, at a place called Jo's on 2nd Street.
Heading over to the conference now, which (wisely) starts in the afternoon: the assumption is of course that everyone's out 'til the wee hours taking in music and libation.