South by Southwest Travel Diary, Entry 6:

Started the day with a stacked pork enchilada at Iron Cactus

stacked pork enchilada

…which has a very nice rooftop patio, and yesterday’s weather was perfect for it.

iron cactus rooftop

I then went to the convention center, where I helped out a little at the Windows Phone booth. I noticed that the Kinect lounge was quiet and neglected, so I fired up Dance Central and got the crowd going.

windows phone booth

My efforts did not go unnoticed…

kinect tweet

Even better, an unexpected treat. My friends Kate Melville and David Halls are here for their first SxSW! They decided to come at the last minute in order to look for backing for their film Twenty Questions. So far, things seem to be going well; while the Canadian film industry has been responding to them with excuses for why it can’t be done, the Americans have been looking for reasons why it can.

kate and twenty questions

I caught Jane McGonigal’s presentation on how games can make for better people and a better world. I’ll post my notes from it later.

reality is broken

Best poster of the conference:

i like boobies

And yes, I do like ‘em too.

You couldn’t miss these posters for tomorrow’s Internet Explorer 9 launch event – it features Yeasayer, The Head and the Heart and Fences. If you’re not familiar with YeaSayer, check out the video for their best-known track at the moment, Ambling Alp.


Later that evening, I ended up at The HighBall (Austin’s big cocktail lounge / bowling alley, straight out of Mad Men) for the Fandango / Alamo Drafthouse Cinema party…

the highball

…which featured Karaoke Apocalypse, a karaoke competition where singers are backed by a live band:

karaoke apocalypse

I made it into the finals with an accordion-backed rendition of the Ramones’ I Wanna Be Sedated…

joey at fandango party

Three finalists were picked, and I was one of them. For my finals number, I did AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, and in the end, we were ranked by audience applause. I won second place!

The first place prize was a year’s worth of movie tickets courtesy of Fandango. As much as I would’ve liked this prize, they’re no go to me in Canada. So I’ll have to make do with the second-place prize:


…and iPad! The original version, not the 2.0 (I don’t mind, free cool tech is still free cool tech), 16GB wifi model. Not bad for eight minutes’ work!

4 replies on “South by Southwest Travel Diary, Entry 6:”

Man oh man, I have managed to miss SXSW yet again. I really should stop reading blogs at this time of year because posts like this just make me sad. Next year for sure.

Hey! Glad you made it to Karaoke Apocalypse. I told you about them that afternoon, but I didn’t find out they were playing until I read about it the next day. I was hoping you made it. Hope you enjoyed Austin!

[this is good]

[…] he found out that I was attending the 2011 South by Southwest conference, he sought me out and we had a wonderfully boozy brunch on the rooftop patio of the Iron Cactus in Austin, on the start of…. We caught up again later during that trip at the Yeasayer concert at Austin City Limits. It was a […]

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