Dan Oko, 2:00 p.m.:
As in Las Vegas, at SXSW day and night swirl together as the ever-strong throngs dive in and out of showcases all day and and all night. The gamble is whether you will hit the jackpot by sticking around, or crap out by leaving a day party/showcase early to chase a band that has not bothered to turn up (sometimes literally, often figuratively).
"But the startling thing is how often you muster a guess and find yourself rewarded with something stellar and professional: Twice, significantly, in my first 24 hours: Broken Bells last night at Stubb's, with its Dangermouse-Shins pedigree, and the appearance of Austin homegirl Kat Edmondson as I waited for Smokey Robinson to give his keynote. "I'm an optimist," Smokey offered, a gracious raconteur. "So the glass is always half-full to me. And I let the valleys be a lesson." Good advice if you can take it."