I had a much better time at South By Southwest than I expected. I had always feared the big crowds and long lines, but since I was in town for work, I thought I’d give it a shot. The key is to not have your mind set on anything. There’s a ton of great music in Austin this time of year, so forget about seeing a band you love and check out some random bands (with smaller crowds) instead.
I’ll share a list of great bands below, but first I wanted to talk about a few of my personal highlights from South By Southwest.
I stumbled into a Dr. Octagon reunion show with Dan The Automator, Kool Keith, and QBert. Afterwards I got a chance to hang out with Q-Bert and he told me that he got some early inspiration for his scratches by watching yo-yoers. That blew my mind since a bunch of us yo-yoers got inspiration from hip hop, scratching, and QBert in particular. I even had a trick named “Galactic Butthair”, the name of the QBert’s record label.
Sometimes I get bored while waiting for Christine to come home. So I make Fernet and charcuterie traps for her.
When a friend asked where I bought my shoes I told them it was the result of an RSS search on eBay. Looking closer, I realized my entire outfit (from head to toe) was the result of RSS searches.
Like many of you, I buy most of my clothes online. The only difference is that I used RSS feeds to find most of the clothes I bought in the last 5 years. Typically this means I’ll do a search for something on eBay or craigslist, and if they don’t have what I want, I add that search to my RSS reader so I’ll get notified whenever that item appears. Then I just forget about it and start watching cute animal videos on youtube.
From time to time an item appears in my RSS feed and I check to see if the Buy It Now is within my price range. If not, I come up with a low (but reasonable price) and use Auction Sniper to place my auction bid in the final seconds of a listing. Typically, I lose, but that’s a good thing because the item sold for more than I was willing to pay. The whole system is set up for me not to constantly check eBay for an item, then get into a bidding war on that item (that I don’t really NEED, but kind of want). As much as I love getting clothes for cheap, I also get competitive with other buyers and used to spend way too much, so this set-it and forget-it mentality really works for people like me that may be willing to have a search going for years before they score the perfect item for an insanely low price.
My RSS Outfit
Like I mentioned before, my entire outfit (except for the underwear) was found via RSS feeds. So we decided to do a fashion shoot documenting the hat, jacket, shirt, shoes, pants, and even socks. Huge thanks to my Emma Zwirko for taking these photos (and not making me feel super silly while doing it). You can see more of her fashion photos on Instagram.
Last month I flew up to Chicago for a 3 day un-conference called ORDcamp. I had a fantastic time and really appreciated all the extra touches they put into it. For instance, each attendee had their portrait taken by Pete Tsai, a Chicago based photographer. Pete had a 95yo Deardorff 8×10 camera set up, with a DSLR behind it. He’d have us pose in front of the Deardorff camera (with the shutter wide open, so you could see right through it), then he’d use the DSLR to take a photo of the camera with you behind it. Here’s the result:
Despite being invited in 2008 and 2009, this was the first year I was ever actually able to afford the airfare and lodging for ORDcamp. Disposable income FTW! I’m so glad they invited me again, because it was an amazing experience. You know those people who go to Burning Man for the first time, then spend the next few months talking about it? That’s how my friends must have felt when I came back from ORDcamp this year.
Here are a few more of Pete’s portraits: