Write your fears down on a piece of paper. Fold it into a pirate hat, put it on your head. There, now you're a pirate [with] no fear.

Buy your badge now!!! | Interactive: March 11-15, 2016 | Film: March 11-19, 2016 | Music: 15-20, 2016 | Austin Weather

Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category

SXSW Baby’s ‘Thirty Days To Go’ Checklist

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

Assuming you’ve singed up to one of the many SXSW mailing lists, you’ll know that it’s ‘Thirty Days To go’ until we all descend on Austin and the residents boost their pension funds with some strategic AirBNB listing. So here’s The Baby’s thirty day checklist.

  • SXSW Badge purchased, flights book, hotel confirmed?
    You might as well make sure of the basics, otherwise it will be quite embarrassing when March comes round.
  • Valid passport? Visas and ESTAs up to date?
    The international traveller needs to navigate the border, so check the paperwork is in order.
  • Break in your boots.
    There’s a lot of walking at SXSW and if you’ve bought a nice new pair of shoes, can we suggest you start breaking them in now to prevent blisters once the SXSW fun gets under way. And if you’re stuck behind a desk, start doing some endurance training.
  • Buy your earplugs.
    Because much as you all love music, your ears have to last you a lifetime.
  • Business cards, stickers, and any other tat.
    Even if you’re going to SXSW on your own, you’ll soon realise business cards rule. Get to the printers now and stock up before the rush order pricing takes hold.

What else have we missed? Have you got something you always do ahead of time that you never forget?

Talk to the Baby, because we can’t find everybody!

Monday, February 8th, 2016

It goes without saying, but a lot of the fun of SXSW is meeting new people, finding out new ideas, discovering the hidden gem of a band or a beautiful slice of film. BUt it’s the people and the connections that really drive SXSW. With that in mind, if you’ve got news for us here at SXSW Baby, want to show us something in Austin over coffee, or want to be interviewed on the podcast/radio show we run in March…

you need to get in touch with us!

It’s that time of year… check your visa!

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

By our count it’s fifty-one days until SXSW Interactive kicks off, and no doubt there are tens of thousands of Southby attendees coming from overseas. Take a little bit of time out of your day to check you’ll still be allowed into America!

There have been a number of changes to the US Visa Waiver program that could make you ineligible to travel, even if your country has an agreement with the US. Check carefully that you are still eligible, and make sure you have a valid ESTA application in place before you travel.

And oif you have to apply for a visa, you;ve (just about) got enough time left if you start the process now.

Wherefore Art Thou SXSW Film?

Friday, March 20th, 2015

This is my tenth year attending SXSW Film. I have always loved it. Some years I only had time to see a few films, other times I saw upwards of 30. I have always loved the Documentaries most, the stories being told and the beauty with which they were being told. I accept that I am not a film buff, I cannot speak to aspect ratios, cinematographic effects, and the like. I freely admit that I don’t know squat about how films are made, and I flat out do not have the attention span to sit through a bad movie as do the people who screen films for festivals.

That being said……

I stood in the line to see the ‘Super Secret Screening’ at the Alamo Ritz this year. There was a lot of energetic discussion on what the film could be: Was it ‘Entourage’? Was it a rough cut of ‘Star Wars Episode VII‘? Was it even “something zombie related?” We were all very excited, recalling other Secret Screenings, including ‘A Scanner Darkly’ and  ’Hunger Games’.

Three hours later, we were admitted. Jarod Neece of SXSW Film took the stage and announced the film was ‘Roar’, a re-release of a 1981 film that took 10 years to make and during which 70 crew members were injured working with untrained lions. I actually thought he was joking.

Then he brought up Tim League, who continued the joke.

Then the film started.

What were they thinking? I actual flagged the server, paid my bill with a healthy tip, and bailed as soon as I could. I cannot believe that SXSW would deem such poor filmmaking to be worthy of addition to the Festival, let alone the Secret Screening, Its inclusion really is a slap in the face of all the filmmakers whose work was not admitted to the festival. I’ve heard the saying “It’s so bad, it’s good”… Er, no.

Now, so as to not seem too one-sided in my venom for this decision here are a few random quotes from Twitter on the ordeal: (Twitter Handles removed to protect the innocent, feel free to take ownership of these in the comments)

@drafthouse uses elite secret showcase to promote their distro deal of 1981′s Roar. A campy film for afternoon viewing. Not #SXSW caliber.”

“Mystery Movie was “Roar”.One of the worst films ever made.#SXSW #SXSWFilm

“Thanks #sxsw for wasting 5 hours of my life #roar #roarmovie #garbagemovie #imadeatwitterforthis

“Cool of #SXSW to let people wait hours in line for a Drafthouse commercial. ROAR has freakshow appeal but little else.”

“Glad I wasted four hours to watch the most niche bullshit movie. Worst. Commercial. Ever. #SXSW #Roar @drafthouse

And in the interest of fairness here are some positive quotes about the film: (Twitter handles NOT removed)

“Roar was amazing. Thanks @timalamo and @drafthouse for putting it on! #drafthouseflims #sxsw #drafthouse” – @_brian_s

ROAR was fantastic and one of the highlights at #sxsw. What a crazy movie! Thanks @timalamo, @drafthousefilms, and @sxsw for showing it!” – @tomzimmermann

“I am thrilled that Roar is a surprise #sxsw screening. Mainly because it’s amazing but also because I’ve already seen it. #selfish” – @scottEweinberg

In my ten years attending SXSW there has always been a ‘best friends’ relationship between SXSW Film and the Alamo, indeed the Alamo locations are my favorite places to see screenings at the Festival. Now it seems as if that relationship has been abused, does SXSW feel it can’t say no to Tim League? Did they drink the Kool-Aid too? I can find no reason why this film was screened other than momentary lapse of reason on someone’s part.

There are other move venues and festivals to promote this. Not at SXSW. Not at my SXSW.

2015 Must See Films: 24 Beats Per Second

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

If you enjoyed last year’s Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, then you will certainly enjoy Danny Says. Who is Danny Fields and how did he help build some of the biggest acts in music?  Go find out.


Wednesday, March 18
4:15PM – 5:59PM Vimeo Theater

Thursday, March 19
2:30PM – 4:14PM  Satellite Venue: Marchesa

Saturday, March 21
12:00PM – 1:44PM  Alamo Lamar B

I did not get a chance to preview Landfill Harmonic, but I am intrigued. Follow and learn the story of the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical group that plays instruments made entirely out of garbage. Music and recycling? How can you go wrong?


Wednesday, March 18
1:45PM – 3:09PM Alamo Ritz

Friday, March 20
4:15PM – 5:39PM  Alamo Lamar B

Saturday, March 21
11:00AM – 12:24PM  Alamo Ritz

Are you tired of listening to the same old thing? Check out Y/Our Music and add a whole new genre (or several) to your playlists! Expand your mind while watching the lush country of Thailand and her people. A treat for the eyes and ears. I am particularly fond of the Khaen and old style pin.


Hint-That’s a Khaen!

Tuesday, March 17
1:30PM – 2:51PM Alamo Lamar A

Wednesday, March 18
6:30PM – 7:51PM  Rollins Theatre at The Long Center

Thursday, March 19
7:45PM – 9:06PM  Satellite Venue: Marchesa


2015 Must See Films: Visions

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Maybe you are a young girl. Maybe you know a young girl. Honeytrap is the story of a young girl becoming a woman who does not yet grasp what feminine power can be and do. Director Rebecca Johnson captures the pitfalls of growing up. Go see it!


Friday, March 13

6:45PM – 8:18PM Violet Crown Cinema

Saturday, March 14

12:00PM – 1:33PM  Alamo Lamar CWednesday, March 18

11:00AM – 12:33PM  Rollins Theatre at The Long Center

Petting Zoo is also the story of a young woman. Set in San Antonio, love, sex and teen pregnancy are the consuming thoughts of our protagonist.


Saturday, March 14
10:15PM – 11:45PM Violet Crown Cinema

Sunday, March 15
3:00PM – 4:30PM  Alamo Lamar C

Thursday, March 19
1:15PM – 2:45PM  Topfer Theatre at ZACH


Barge follows the lives of the men who work the barges of the Mississippi River, 28 days at a time. Get to know a convict, a veteran barge man and a newbie. This is their life.


Saturday, March 14
3:00PM – 4:11PM Alamo Lamar C

⋆ Sunday, March 15
6:30PM – 7:41PM  Satellite Venue: Marchesa

⋆ Tuesday, March 17
12:00PM – 1:11PM  Satellite Venue: Alamo Slaughter

⋆ Friday, March 20
1:30PM – 2:41PM  Stateside Theatre


2015 Must See Films: Midnights

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

I confess, I am ridiculously excited for He Never Died!!! I do like Henry Rollins as an actor. Check it  out!



Tuesday, March 17
11:45PM – 1:22AM Stateside Theatre

 Wednesday, March 18
11:30PM – 1:07AM Alamo Lamar A

Friday, March 20
7:00PM – 8:37PM Alamo Lamar B

Excess Flesh is a movie I want to see more than once. It is a multilayered film that challenges viewers to think-and that is lovely and rare, especially in the “horror” genre. I liked it the first time I saw it. I think I may love it the seciond time.


Friday, March 13
11:45PM – 1:28AM Alamo Ritz

Saturday, March 14
11:59PM – 1:42AM  Alamo Lamar C

Friday, March 20
4:45PM – 6:28PM  Alamo Lamar C

We Are Still Here
Director/Screenwriter Ted Geoghegan sends up a love letter to HP Lovecraft and giallo films. If you are a fan, keep your eyes and ears peeled for little inside jokes. If you are not, prepare to become one. In a small town in New England there is a house that needs a family. Go see why.

Sunday, March 15
11:45PM – 1:09AM Stateside Theatre

Monday, March 16
11:30PM – 12:54AM  Alamo Lamar A

Thursday, March 19
2:30PM – 3:54PM  Alamo Lamar B