SXSW 2012 Wrap Up from DJ Anthony Valadez

Written by
Fiona Apple by Anthony Valadez

I always go into SXSW in warrior mode.

I park my rental on 8th and Trinity armed with a laptop, a Nikon, a hand towel and power chords to charge my iPhone.  I sit in the Austin Convention Center and map out my day.  From panels to live showcases and tweets that indicate non-official SXSW events, little by little I form an understanding of what my day might look like. And then I float.

Explaining this to people is important because they have no clue as to how I catch so many bands in such a short amount of time.

Being able to meet a few of the artists who I have been playing on the radio and sharing a meal with them has to be one of the best memories.

Miles Bonny by Anthony Valadez (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

If I can avoid small talk by any means, I will. So I enjoy getting out of the loud environment and just interacting with some these brilliant artists such as Miles Bonny, J Boogie, Electric Wire Hustle, Sonnymoon, The Stepkids, Alice Russell and just talking about life, sound and the creation process. I love hearing these amazing artists talk about their new music, moving to a new city and raising little ones.  It’s the human side of SXSW that I enjoy.

The highlight of course came on my final night of SXSW. After close to a week of running around Austin, loud music, unleashing sweat at gigs, I decided to wait in a 4-hour line to catch Fiona Apple.

There was something about my SXSW 2012 experience coming to an end and just taking it all in with peace and tranquility in the shade outside of a Church that felt right. Once I was able to get in (3rd row might I add), I felt rested and watched Fiona kick ass song after song.

Jeremy Sole and Anthony Valadez (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Later that night, Jeremy Sole and I DJ’d at a venue on the East Side which was a nice contrast to the Downtown Austin Spring break aesthetic.

The venue (The Sahara Lounge) was full of locals who just appreciated good music.  In front of the venue was a BBQ shack and across the street were folks lounging on porches on a warm March night in Austin. Mosquitos could be seen hovering inside across the pool tables. This was the Austin I had been in searched of.

This was the Austin I did not want to leave.