Tuesday marked the first full day that Rocks Off was on the ground for this year's South By Southwest in Austin, and it was also the last day of the interactive and film portions of the ten-day festival. This made for some fun culture-clash, as the typically tech-driven and nerdier hordes were slowly replaced by their gruffer, smokier, and drunker musical counterparts. To tell you the awful truth, they are all starting to look the same anyway, and both typically carry the same bravado. But don't be fooled by the official start of the music portion of SXSW not beginning until Wednesday afternoon. There was plenty of music on Tuesday, afternoon and evening. The only things of note seemed to be the surprise, not surprise, Foo Fighters gig at Stubb's, Kylesa and locals The Roller at Klub Krucial, No Age at Red 7, and the Michael Cera-assisted Mr. Heavenly.
We spent most of the day getting acclimated to the festival surroundings, plus picking up credentials for the week's special events. Taking in rumors, with some still in question, like a huge name coming in for Lost Highway's Friday night showcase, to one that confirmed later in the evening, Kanye West at the Austin Power Plant on Saturday night.
We did make our first celebrity connection of the week (unless you count hugging Roky Moon on Monday night) at the Hilton hotel downtown Tuesday evening, finding Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows sitting across from us in the lobby for five minutes before even realizing it. The dreadlocks are real folks, and he seemed nice enough while were trying to get our blurry TMZ on. Wonder what he's doing in town...
Another big development this year we noticed along our travels was the QR codes all over town, those black and white pixely squares that can be scanned with the proper smart phone app to enter you into contests, or just sell you something.
We saw them last year too, but as the Droid gains on the iPhone, expect to see these more as their respective technologies catch up to each other. You can snap a scan of a QR code from a low-lying billboard and it will still work. No need to be up close. Now we just sound like senior citizens.
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As creepy as it may seem to us, spending the past week listening to Alex Jones podcasts, these codes are kind of cool, and their applications in regards to bands being able to post direct links to music on a flyer on a street corner are interesting.
Stand by all this week for even more SXSW coverage and insight on all the highs and lows that this year's festival has in store for the Rocks Off team. Hell, we may even wake up before noon.