Every year I get into Austin at the tail end of the Interactive portion of the SXSW conference, which means I get to watch a city flooded with tech folks turn into what some people call rock ‘n’ roll Spring Break. The transformation happens almost overnight and its a blast to witness. You start to hear rumblings about which big bands are playing secret shows (I hear a big English rock trio is playing Stubbs on Friday) and which smaller bands are the ones to watch (so far — Broken Bells, Surfer Blood, Fitz and the Tantrums, Washed Out, Real Estate, Besnard Lakes, The Middle East, Strange Boys, Theophilus London). Right now, I’m enjoying copious amounts of Mexican food (why don’t we have good queso in LA??) and sitting down whenever I can. I’ll be standing for most of the rest of the week. Can’t wait to report back with some new favorite bands!