festivals

Another SXSW has come and gone

By Tiffany Young

As many of you already know, I’m a big fan of music, and more specifically, music festivals, which works out great with me living in a place like Austin, Texas. Here there are three main music festivals, in my opinion: ACL Music Festival, SXSW Music and Fun Fun Fun Fest.

The coordinators of SXSW are smart in that they have coordinated the festival dates around UT’s spring break, which local schools generally are based around as well. This means, not only can all the college students attend, but also professors and teachers. And it’s not unheard of for students from nearby colleges to come into town for the occasion. That being said, it’s been a long time since I was in high school or college, but I do work in education, so this was the first year I got the entire week off to celebrate SXSW ( I mean spring?).

Even though going, going, going can, indeed be exhausting, as many are apt to complain about, I find this week also to be rejuvenating. Just the sheer amount of creativity going on in Austin during the week is amazing. There is also a film festival and interactive festival going on. It’s hard to imagine the amount of genius that surrounds all this activity.

Instead of telling you about my whole week (which to be quite frank—I could not recall everything anyway), I will be highlighting a few things from my week, and then, if Flickr cooperates, I will add more photos later.

1. Probably THE most inspiring act at SXSW was Rich Aucoin. I had seen him before, but this year I saw him a whopping three times. If you’re not familiar with him (and it’s unlikely you are) he’s a Canadian, who produces dance parties at will. Think: screaming “Let it go – o – o -o!” playing with giant parachutes and confetti flying in the air mixed in with YouTube videos. I know.. it’s hard to imagine. But If you get the chance, try it out. I think Rich’s genius is that he’s just a guy who’s bringing fun and stress relief to a generation who sometimes forgets about fun in the need to succeed.

This show is all about letting loose and having a good time en mass with a bunch of strangers, who you’ll share a bond with by the time all is said and done. If you’re just looking for the best musician at the festival, this might not be your cup of tea, but if you’re looking for a heartfelt party, this is it.

2. July Talk came in at a close second for me. This duo is insanely passionate onstage. It’s hard to describe the crazy rock feel, but I’ll try. The guy part of the duo, Jeremy Dreimanis, reminds me of a crazed Johnny Cash. In contrast, the sweet gal, Leah Fay, has a sweet Betty Boop-ish voice. They banter with one another while toying with the audience. Leah not only was drinking honey from the bottle onstage, but offered it up to many an audience memb

er. By the end of it all, you’ll be slightly scared of Jeremy (from yelling at the audience to wake up, while slapping his own face) and enamored of Leah, who’s flirty and sexy and seemingly sweet. If you’re looking for an energetic show, that plays around with teasing and has a sense of the unexpected, this is where it’s at. The band is solid and the energy is catching.

3. Other bands of note: Loved Wonder Villians (seriously poppy, reminds me of Cindy Lauper); Loved MISUN (Cheerleader moves, gorgeous indie-rock voice combined with hipster clothes); Austin’s own The Gents (Rockabilly Indie Music, if that were a thing with a lead singer that has bounds of energy–they are playing a free show Tuesday in Austin with RSVP); And of course, there were lots, lots more that I truly enjoyed–these just left a really lasting impression.

4. Food: We’re still a food blog, so I guess I’d be remiss to not

mention the food I ate. I finally got to try Café Crepe, which was delish. I also ate  falafel from a food truck–can’t remember the name, but it wasn’t Kebabalicious. Shout out to Nespresso, who served up yummy coffee during interactive (’cause clearly Austin needed to be a little more wired than usual that week). Other than that, I was usually on the go and didn’t grab pictures or just grabbed Roppollo’s pizza, while I was on my way to another show. There was a party at Maggie Mae’s serving poutine.

If I can get my other photos uploaded, I may share more of my week later, but for now, that’s all the South By news. Until next year!

Food Abundant at ACL Food Trucks

By Tiffany Young

It’s festival season in Austin right now and we’d be remiss not to mention the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Although it may not be my very favorite music festival in this great city, it *is* still a pretty good one, if you don’t mind crowds, port-a-potties and being really sweaty. But, hey, it’s not in September anymore!

This year’s lineup was pretty amazing. But the question is: What kind of food matches these artists?

Fun./Jimmy Eats World/Vampire Weekend/The Nationals/Ms Mr/Passion Pit/Noah & the Whale/Phoneix and many more …

So glad you asked. While this year I focused mainly on staying hydrated (lemonade, lemonade and more lemonade from various vendors as well as Sweet Leaf Tea), a girl gets a little hungry when they’re dancing so much.

lemonade

This year, I ate:

Franks Veggie dog with cole slaw—Pretty amazing. I wanted chili, but it had meat in it.

From Frank's
From Frank’s

Vegetarian Kimchi Fries—Delicious. Wouldn’t change a thing.

Kim chi fries

Avocado Jalapeno Bahn Mi—Eh. This needed a little less peanuts for my taste and the sweet vinegary sauce I’m accustomed to, but it did the job.

avacodo jalepeno bahn mi

A Falafel—Not bad, but I definitely prefer Kebabalicious if given the choice.

falafel

There were a lot of trailers I wanted to eat from, but there’s only so many meals you should eat in a three-day time period. Next up: Fun Fun Fun Fest. I hope to see everyone at the November festival! Until then: listen to great music, eat great food and create community.

Fun Fun Fun Food 2011 Day 3


What a way to end the festival. Here are a few items that we learned about at the fest this year.

  1. Most large entree items run about $7
  2. Snacks run about $4
  3. Fun Fun Fun Fest serves mixed mixed mixed drinks!
  4. Don’t try and sneak in your own liquor if Slayer is playing. You are going to get the pat-down!
  5. Slayer inspires people to create: Slayer dog by Frank and Progress Coffee roasted and packaged bean to the sweet tunes of Slayer
  6. Don’t mock the Slayer dog! [More on that soon enough]

At the same time, we got to see some great bands, such as Hum, Del the Funky Homosapian, Baths and Tiffany’s new favorite, Austra!

Tiffany: “Not Austra! My favorites were Lykke Li and Passion Pit!”

And nothing goes better at a festival than new food.

I began the day by taking a wager on Blue Ribbon BBQ. Although I hadn’t realized it at the time, I have had their BBQ before. Blue Ribbon has a store front on 4th Street, at the base of the Frost Tower. Sadly, the sandwich never looks as good as it does on the picture. At first glance, I was disappointed with my selection. The presentation was sub-par but what could I expect, I am at a festival.

After my first bite, my mind quickly changed. 3 generations of BBQ purveyors had done me right. The brisket BBQ sandwich made my taste buds dance.

Tiffany here! I ate my first meal of the day at home, but while Antonio was waiting for his Slayer dog, I stopped over at Snowie for the sweet potato and black bean quesadilla. I loved the flavors of black beans and mashed sweet potato, but I must admit I couldn’t really find the cheese it spoke of. It came with a red pepper sauce to dip it in, which also complemented the flavors nicely.

Next time, I want to try what they call the Neptune—sauteed zucchini, squash, black beans and cheese. I am a big squash and zucchini fan—yay, fall! Snowie primarily sells snow cones and fair food, but I guess they figured out the secret to success—have something for the veggie-tarians!

 

Blue Ribbon BBQ
120 E 4th St, Austin, TX 78701 
(512) 369-3119

 

 

Festivals Galore

The Gypsy Picnic has its own festival trailer at the entrance.

This weekend has been filled with festivals for Austin, Texas. The Austin Film Festival, the Texas Book Festival, the Cedar Park Fall Festival (where Antonio and his band Dear Science played!), and, of course, the second annual Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival at Auditorium Shores.

We lined up a mere 45 minutes early—just to be sure we got all the best stuff. My mom kept trying to sneak in; I’m pretty sure that was her favorite part of the day.

By the time 11 a.m. rolled around there was quite the crowd gathered. Trying to be a bit too much like ACL, they played the “Star Wars” theme song as they opened the lines. But that’s where the cheesiness ended and the fun began.

While everyone stayed to the left of the park, I headed across the field, rogue-style making a quick stop at Tenderland for a portabello sandwich, followed by The ZubikHouse for a caprese kolache and then to Holy Cacao for a frozen hot chocolate. Yum yum.

The ZubikHouse's kolaches are made of sweet bread.

Tenderland’s portabello sandwich was good, but not great. It was a good call adding grilled onions, cheese and some sort of sauce, but it could definitely use a little something else for pizzazz—tomato slices? Basil? green chiles? I also think they would make a better impression with homemade buns. That being said, I appreciate their vegetarian option and it was good sized for the price.

The ZubikHouse’s caprese kolache was very yummy, with a very sweet bread, topped with cheese, basil and tomato.

Holy Cacao's frozen hot chocolate is scrumdiddlyumptious!

But the winner of the three from my point of view was the frozen hot chocolate by Holy Cacao. ‘Holy Cacao!’ is right! This drink has all the tastings of hot cocoa except for the temperature. We were all blown away and dear Antonio drank about half of mine, even though I was really just trying to share a sip with him.

Tips for next year:
• Get there early
• Map your route
• Don’t dilly dally
• Grab a few things at once