Two days of FYF is pretty manageable when you live 15 minutes away and doors don’t open until two. I got to sleep late, have brunch with my family, and still roll in early enough to find free Sunday street parking and order one of the best ice coffees ever while walking through Chinatown. Seriously, the helper at Hill Street Cafe & Cigar brewed and poured fresh espresso, spooned in some condensed milk, added ice, topped it off, sealed it in a boba cup, and then shook it by hand. I love FYF but that probably wasn’t going to happen in one of the food trucks, and definitely not for 3 bucks.
Jonathan Richman kicked of the day with a set that reminded us that music is made by humans for humans. The ex-Modern Lover who appeared in There’s Something About Mary not only chooses to surround himself with people rather than watch TV and have conversations in person rather than with a cell phone, but doesn’t even use monitors when playing with his buddy Tommy onstage. It’s that immediacy, integrity, and honesty that makes him a hero to punks and all music that stems from it.
No, it isn’t necessary to make the pilgrimage/business trip to SXSW to dig new sounds or catch up with old faves. Here are some recent releases that I love–all with some sort of connection to Giant Robot. On Saturday, for example, I was exposed to the music of Julia Holter when she came over to my house for a video shoot by my longtime friend Naomi (of Damon & Naomi, Galaxie 500, and GR mag). The publication as I knew it is no longer, but the culture lives on and grows.