Here’s what you haven’t read about my trip to Austin, TX for SXSW so far…
Last week, I had the pleasure of spending seven days in Austin, Texas. Not only was it great being in Austin, but it was also a pretty popular time to be there. South by Southwest (or SXSW) is the interactive, film, music, and comedy festival that completely takes over the city for almost two full weeks. As part of the completion of my interdisciplinary degree at Columbia College, I was able to attend the festival as part of the AEMMP Digital Distribution & Promotions Practicum course. For my project in class, I was able to incorporate something I was planning on doing down there, anyway. I got to write about all of the bands (good and bad) that I was able to catch, and it was published over on Atwood Magazine. If you’re interested in the music portion of my experience, click on the day-header for those ramblings. This post will serve more in the nitty-gritty of the trip, and what you won’t find on a publication. Thus, “What You Didn’t Read about SXSW Already”
I broke down the year overall already – now let’s dig into the tunes behind it
According to my Spotify Year in Review, I listened to well over 130,000 minutes of music. That doesn’t include the hours I spent listening to records, or the radio, or podcasts. I take in a lot of media, but I didn’t think it was nearly that much. I figured since I clocked in so many hours of streaming, I should probably put my two cents out there in what the year looked like musically. I shared with Atwood what I thought the album of the year was — but you’ll have to check that out to see what I thought. I’ll link it here when that gets published. Here, though, we’ll break it down by month, and what struck me as big for that period of time.
Hamilton — Original Cast Recording
The past few years over the few days it takes to ring in the New Year, I spend the time with one of my closest and oldest drum corps friends, Kayla. The last two years, she’s introduced me to new musicals I end up being obsessed with for the year. Last year, it was In The Heights. This year, it was the musical that’s taken the world by storm, Hamilton. This bad boy has been on repeat periodically throughout the year, but mostly during January. Easily.
Galway Girl — Steve Earle Since I spent most of the month traveling, and much of that in Ireland, this was a song that we’d listen to as we got ready for the day or a night out and want to channel our inner “Irish bar music.” “Galway Girl” will forever remind me of the craziness that happened over those two weeks abroad this year.
Wow, what a freakin year. As I went through pictures this time around, I found an astonishing amount of goofy selfies and embarrassing snapchat screenshots of my friends, so the fact that I was able to pull as many “normal” pictures as I’ve got in here is nothing short of a miracle. As I was writing this blog post last year, I knew there’d be a lot to talk about… but I never imagined to have the year shake out like it did. Anyway, here’s 2016 in somewhere around 6,000 words. Stay with us.
A concept that I’ve found myself thinking a lot about as I’m undergoing the final weeks in my Junior Year at Columbia are what’s shaped me as a person up to this point. How have these things affected my values? My goals? How much have I really changed since starting high school? How about college? In the past year? How about this semester? Am I progressing towards my personal and career goals? What am I doing to make myself a better person than the day before?
It’s a lot to grapple with — and those are questions I need to answer within the next five days, since that’s when our Leadership Profiles are due for the semester. One aspect of this assignment is a project we had to do earlier in the semester; and that’s a Journey Map. I had a love/hate relationship with this project, because although I’ve done a handful of different things that has shaped who I am today, it was hard to decide the few things that have had the biggest impact. (But honestly, probably my favorite part of this assignment has been hearing my classmate’s journeys. Man, I go to school with some awesome people).
Well, I narrowed it down to 12 things. Not too bad, considering I filled up a page originally. So in order to fill my blog with more content, and to prove that I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of writing this semester and I’m not just neglecting y’all, I figured I’d double-dip.
January 6th. Even though I’m about a week late to have a “new year new me” post, I finally thought of a few resolutions that are better than “sit up straight” and “don’t suck.” After talking to some friends about their hopes for the year and how they want to make themselves better, I finally started to think about what I want to do to make my “Year in Review 2016” post the best one yet. Anyway, here’s the goals for this year:
Although Riot Fest is happening this weekend in the southwest side of Chicago, and Zac Brown Band was playing at Wrigley Field on the north side; the place to be on Friday night was even further north of Wrigley. In a family’s backyard in Rogers Park, Jeremy Messersmith had his “Supper Club Tour” Chicago stop. Messersmith‘s Supper Club Tour is unlike any other tour you may have heard of before, he describes it as eating great food, hanging out with cool people, and hearing him test-drive some new music. Which, in a nutshell, is exactly what happened. The food was great, the people were definitely cool, and the music (which is our focus here), was actually spectacular.
The attention was drawn from the conversation and the food to Messersmith with one sentence: “My name is Jeremy, thanks for bringing me dinner,” he said, before launching into “Dillinger Eyes.” Since the show took place in a backyard with limited space and power, Messersmith played solo accompanied only by his own acoustic guitar. He continued to warm the crowd with the opening track from his latest record Heart Murmurs, “It’s Only Dancing.”
The year is 1973. Rock ’n’ roll is changing, drugs seem to be everywhere, and sex isn’t a big deal. “Almost Famous” covers it all. Directed by Cameron Crowe (“Vanilla Sky”), this is a film based on Crowe’s teenage life. 15-year-old William Miller (Patrick Fugit, “Gone Girl”), ends up landing a gig writing an article for Rolling Stone magazine about the fictitious band Stillwater. The plot follows William through his adventure on the road with the band and their Band Aids — who “are there for the music.” If you enjoy story-heavy films as well as good music, “Almost Famous” fits the bill, and you can thank Penny Lane (Kate Hudson, “Bride Wars”), the soundtrack, and the character of William Miller for that.