With heavily band-aided feet, skinny black zipperd-leg pants, and an airy tunic top (because it gets hot) SXSW Day 2 began with breakfast at an historic 1886 Austin landmark - The Driskill Hotel. Perusing the menu with an eye towards continually soaking up TX culture, I selected the Texas waffle with pecans, blackberries, and bananas. What makes a waffle a "Texas" waffle you ask - Perhaps BBQ maple syrup or maybe served with a side of ribs? NO - It's simply in the shape of the good ol' state of Texas! I could use a waffle iron in the shape of a Z...
So I dispensed with restaurant meals in favor of quick, portable, and plentiful Austin street food. Whether you fancy tacos, hot dogs (even vegan and brats), pizza, kebabs, sliders, paninis, or bbq sandwiches - it's all here - in trucks, carts, stands, and "hole in the wall" spots. With Guy Fiere's spirit pumping through me, I polled folks for their favs in Austin street foods.
Winner for best Pizza: Hoek's Death Metal Pizza - A 6th St. spot that rocks out all night long heavy metal style. After a lot of running around, an 11 PM slice of pepperoni and sausage really hit the spot. And a bit of grease dripped on my shoe (no napkin dabbing here) which made the whole experience even more mouth-watering.
A couple hours later, circa 2 AM after the "Surfer Blood" show, I was hungry again. I decided on sliders with fries at "Slammin Sliders" - a little food shack off 6th. Although a difficult decision, I decided on the BBQ Cheese Bacon sliders and they were indeed tasty. The fries were unique - sweet potato sprinked with sugar as well as salt - sort of like the kettle corn version of french fries.
And because I must have the luck of the Irish, a green haired gent wearing a kilt joined my table for the 8 minutes it took me to scarf down my sliders.
And now the shows - Below are the highights!
Hanson: I know what you are thinking - "I havent heard of those bros since MMM- BOP". Hanson is back and all grown up! Zach shreds on the drums, Taylor rips it up on keys, and Isaac rocks out big time on the guitar. At the SXSW NARAS party, Hanson played songs off their new album "Shout it Out" as well as a great cover of "Hold On I'm Coming" (because they are admittedly old souls at heart despite their age). Hands down - these guys are talented - if you ever loved MMM-Bop, check out "Thinkin About Something" - it's a 'feel-good, dance-alicious, full of brotherly love' video (wait for the power high 5 at the end).
Foster the People: What an awesome show! Mark Foster, young front-man of the LA-based rock group, Foster the People, is truly a multi-talented dude. One second he is on the keys, then he whirls around and pick up drum sticks and starts going to town on the floor drum, and then he throws down the drums sticks, and straps on a guitar. Althought their current big song "Pumped Up Kicks" is fairly mellow (and quite dark) - FTP cannot be neatly placed in a genre because no two songs are the same - they have a ton of range and the show was incredibly high energy. I was impressed. Their first album "Torches" is expected to drop late Spring. Get it. And because I can't get enough "Pumped Up Kicks" - official video below.
Portugal. The Man: Very interesting experimental rock group from Alaska that everyone's talking about... PTM is cool becayse they do both experimental rock and more traditional rock. The experimental stuff is great for a chill house party and the other stuff is just good anytime. Their current big song "People Say" has been getting some serious radio airplay and has been rolling around my head for days- perhaps you've heard it... see below.
That's a wrap for Day 2! Stay tuned for the 3rd and final day of Z's SXSW 2011 food and music adventure.