Lucid Routes SXSW Survival 2016

My SX-Partner-in-Crime, the Fabulous Miss Katie of Lucid Routes, knows what the F is up when it comes to surviving the craziness every 2nd and 3rd week of March in Austin, TX.  I can talk about fashion and pedialyte all day, but Lucid Routes knows the ins and outs of surviving the streets of SXSW every single year… which is why I tether her to my purse.

As the SXSW madness approaches us, a festival of this magnitude can be quite overwhelming. Whether
you are a first time attendee or a SXSW veteran, here are some of the items we packed in our
#SXSurvival2016 guide:
THE BASICS:
It goes without saying that SXSW is a marathon, and no matter how much you pace yourself,
keeping your energy up is a definite must. We suggest a regimen of Vitamin C, caffeine and lots of water.
Keeping something such as Advil on hand is also not a bad idea. Dressing smart is clutch. The weather in
Austin this time of year can change very quickly from sunny and 85 degrees to cold and rainy.  Regardless
of how hot it is outside, the rooms inside the Convention Center can be chilly. So make sure to dress smart.
Have a sweater or jacket on hand (preferably water resistant), and make sure to wear comfortable shoes.
We suggest Toms, Converse, Havaiana Flip Flops or even a pair of comfortable, light weight boots, that
have been broken in, of course. SXSW is the worst time to break in a pair of new shoes.
STAYING ORGANIZED:
Between your necessities, and all the random cool SWAG that will be thrown at you this week, it’s very
easy to accidentally set something down or lose something important in the process. The key is to keep
those hands as empty as possible so that you can consume as much of the complimentary food and
libations SXSW has to offer. The Solution: We suggest The Q Card Case, created by Austin based
company, CM4.
KNOW YOUR A,B,Cs of SXSW: ALWAYS BE CHARGING:
With more smart phones, iPads, and other crazy internet gadgets per capita, it’s not a surprise that the
networks get overloaded and there can be trouble connecting at times. However, this is also a huge strain
on your battery, and can leave you incommunicado. We suggest one of these two portable chargers.
However, remember to plug in your external charger every night.  They take a several hours to
charge. You should also consider bringing a 3 way outlet splitter.  That way you can use any outlet
by sharing with people who are already using it.  Another solution, is to purchase a cheap couple buck
extension cord from Amazon or any store with an electronics department, so you aren’t tethered next to the
outlet the entire time.
SXSW PARTIES:
Know where the parties are, and get on the list for the ones that require RSVPs. A great article to check out
on how to tackle this beast is “5 ways to find the best SXSW parties and RSVP,” By Music writer and
guru Greg Ackerman.  For all the Eventbrite Parties, we suggest you go paperless and download the
Eventbrite App. Don’t have time to RSVP? for $40, RSVPster will make sure you’re on the list to 100s of
unofficial parties and events during SXSW, saving you the stress and hassle of filling all those of RSVP
forms.  Planning an event during SXSW?  Check out ATX EventSpace. Helmed by native Austinites, the
site is designed specifically for anyone coming into the city looking to book a last-minute party for the
festival. ATX EventSpace features a collection of some of the best bars, restaurants and event spaces
available near downtown, with more being added on a daily basis.
SXSW MUSIC:
Not sure what to check out? We suggest you check out our friends over at Hippohonk. These kids have
listened to hundreds artists and rated them in a concise, easy to understand list. Additionally, Unofficial
SXSW Guide offers a great, comprehensive list of  FREE Music Events & Parties!  Are you a musician still
looking for SX gigs?  GigTown is sponsoring a huge party at Shiner’s Saloon and they are opening up the
headlining spot to new GigTown artists.  That means the slot is only eligible for artists that signed up
between February 1st – March 1st. Not only is this a great gig with a crapload of people getting weird, but
you’re also going to get paid $500 for your hard work.  Our friends at the Eye in the Sky Collective, the
lovely folks that bring you Float Fest & Austin Music Video Fest,will help judge & make the decision on
who gets to headline the 6th Annual Future of Music Showcase – So be ready!!
NETWORK YOURSELF:
Contrary to popular belief, SXSW is actually a conference and can be a great way to network. If you
don’t already have business cards, we suggest going through the official printing sponsor for our Open 
Door Showcase, Post Net.  They print everything from business cards to banners, signs, promotional items
(like apparel, pens, koozies, cups, and a ton of other SWAG items).  Out of Austin? Not to worry, they ship
as well
WHERE IS THAT SECRET PARTY POPPING UP?
We frequently receive questions about who are the best Twitter accounts to follow for SXSW — Twitter is
the fastest way to keep in the know regarding the fest. RSVPster previously listed a must-follow Twitter
accounts here, but thought the list could use an update. Consider this list one massive Follow Friday and
be sure to follow @RSVPster for the latest party information, rumors, RSVPs and more. If you think this
list is missing a must-follow account? Tweet RSVPster to let them know.
Official:
@sxsw
Unofficial SX-news/updates/party RSVPs/rumors:
@RSVPster
@CameronatSXSW
@SXSWhoa
@atxhipsters
@sxswparty
@do512
@unofficialsxsw
@SouthbyFreeNoms
@SXSWCoOp
@SXSWPARTYGIRLS
@SXSWISLIFE
@sxswpartylist
@SXSWtweet
@FreeatSXSW
@SXSWhine
@austinmusicppl
@SXSWunderaged
Party Sponsors/Blogs/Music/Entertainment websites:
@chronsxsw
@chronevents
@austinchronicle
@austin360
@austin360music
@360sxsw
@culturemapatx
@austintownhall
@pastemagazine
@musicawardsSXSW
@bvSXSW
@TheFader
@IFCsxsw
@sonicbids
@AUSXSW
@mischiefonline
@THEILLMORE
@VICE
@hypem
@mxdwn
@EITSCollective
@Urbanedesign
@MidtownIndependenceTitle
@javelinabar
@leasebuddies
Venues (there are many more bars to list, but here’s a few of our favorites):
@MohawkAustin
@CheerUpCharlies
@HotelVegasATX
@WhiteHorseATX
@ShangriLaAustin
@EmpireATX
Additionally, there are a few twitter handles that we at Lucid Routes suggest you follow:
@lucidroutes
@atxeventspace
@unofficialsxsw
@g_ack
@jacobstetson
@visitaustinTX
@SXSWMF
@festisocialclub
If you keep these things in mind, you will be sure to prevent being a #SXSWFAIL

Death by Sexy Does SXSW

So I’m still daydreaming (ok drooling) over the Death by Sexy styles from last month’s #SipStyleSocialize but NOW I’m even more pumped for their fun Spring numbers that I’m getting ready to rock for SXSW 2015!! Think edgy, chic, and of course sexy.  As per usual Miss Andi has to force me out of my comfort zone when it comes to the “sexy” pieces, but given that I’ve trusted her opinion for three years now I know she’ll do me right. I’m pretty much in love with everything at the downtown DxS HQ at the moment but these little numbers caught my eye…


That “Sofia” Tribal dress is insane and you really can’t ever go wrong with pugs so, there’s that. The “Anastasia” Festival Dress is everything – practically perfect in every way. 

Perfect example of the DxS influence on my style – rompers. Love them on everyone else (seriously everyone looks so cute in rompers besides me what the heck?!?); hate them on me. In the last 30 days of life though the DxS ladies have made it their duty to make rompers work for me. We’ll see how this plays out but if Andi can make this fiery piece work for me, I’m confident she’ll get rompers to happen. 

At first look I thought there was NO chance I could rock this (waayyy out of my comfort zone) but once Andi styled & jeweled me up… and ok yes after a couple cocktails… I felt transformed into this whole new sexified biotch that could walk that runway just as fab as the models could.  In reality it’d be more like SJP’s runway walk circa 2001 on SATC’s “The Real Me” but like I said, cocktails were a-flowin so que the imagination. (…Fast forward 3 hours I’m back in my fuzzy socks and sports bra but that’s neither here nor there…) 

Needless to say regardless of the event my go-to is always Death by Sexy because I can always find the perfect piece and without fail, every.single.time I get the “I LOOOVE your boots (top…dress…necklace)!!! WHERE did you get it?!?” — oh this? DxS dahling. 😉

Some of my favs:

 

There’s still time to get your SXstyle on with the DxS ladies! Schedule a style appointment or just order online at deathxsexy.com – use promo code “SQstyle10” for an extra 10% off and YES you’ll get it by SX. Tag me on Instagram or Twitter (@SocialQuencher) to let me know what you pick!!! 😉

SQ💋

Leah Chyma All Over | Inspire. Change. Repeat.

LCAO-PorcelainScream

There are people that you come across that are always full of positive energy, but at the same time have a calming effect on the people around them.  Those would be the first words I’d use to describe Miss Leah Chyma of Leah Chyma All Over.  Not to mention creative, fun, and inspiring.

I met Leah last summer and have been lucky enough to have shared a number of experiences with her – everything…

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Leah Chyma All Over | Inspire. Change. Repeat.

There are people that you come across that are always full of positive energy, but at the same time have a calming effect on the people around them.  Those would be the first words I’d use to describe Miss Leah Chyma of Leah Chyma All Over.  Not to mention creative, fun, and inspiring.

I met Leah last summer and have been lucky enough to have shared a number of experiences with her – everything from her Camp Gladiator bootcamps, to co-working, snuggle puddles, concerts, lady chats… and of course brunch.  I first learned about Leah’s passion for art last fall.  Since then I’ve been inspired by her determination to shake away from the comfort of a steady paycheck in order to pursue her true love – Leah Chyma All Over.  I had heard our mutual friends bragging about their LCAO piece; once I saw her work with my own eyes though I was immediately drawn in.  The first painting of Leah’s that I laid eyes on was Sunbeam Prison – the layering of the paint on the canvas paired with masking tape and acrylic make the image pop in a 3D affect that made my eyes completely curious about every layer.   That canvas had it goin on.   Of course when I learned what this piece represented – “The overcoming of something awful… you can overcome a dark past and start a new positive path” – I was immediately hooked.

I wanted to hear more about where it all started.  Leah and I decided on Blue Dahlia Bistro for a lady date so that I could pick her brain.  (Enter delish wine.)  I listened as she described her first pieces of “artwork” – the everyday doodles of a young student distracted in class.  While Leah was simply trying to make the minutes pass faster like any normal kid, she was innocently creating her first pieces of artwork – pieces that would catch the eye of a teacher that saw her scribbles as much more than that.  Leah’s teacher recognized her potential and encouraged her to explore her imagination on paper even more.  That inspiration, along with years in other creative spaces – ceramics, the art of learning how to read music, and especially the inheritance of her parents’ vinyl collection – is what lead Leah’s path to the University of Iowa and later, a degree in Art and Creative Writing.  And eventually, lucky for us, to Austin, Texas.

With Leah’s focus centered on her artwork more than ever this past year she’s really made strides in Austin’s art community.  She’s featured in coffee shops and waiting rooms in and around the city and has had her art shown in some pretty fabulous happenings around town recently including Art Show at the Speed Shop, which took place last month at Pure Austin Fitness, and also in the well-known East Austin Studio Tour (aka EAST), where Leah’s art was hung alongside fellow artist Katy Hirschfeld of Collage Garage.  Not only that.  Leah is part of an awesome-ness initiative here in Austin – #besomebody.  If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen them around yet, #besomebody – The World’s Platform for Passion – helps people turn what they love to do into what they’re paid to do.  They live off of the belief that your personal passion is by far your most valuable asset.  How does it work?  Well you download the iPhone app obviously (if you haven’t already done this you’re late to the party), select what you’re passionate about (for me – running, writing, fashion, entrepreneurship, dogs… I could have probably kept going…), and you’re off!  The app automatically connects you to remarkable people in your area for one-on-one experiences with them, the experts.  I especially like that I can learn how to create my own acrylic layered canvas and I don’t have to bring anything but myself for a super affordable price, all while supporting Leah, who’s just doing what she loves.  Pretty cool, right?  I think so.

Leah’s art will be shown TONIGHT at the December ArTXplosion by  Mindzai Creative ATX.  From what I hear they’ll have complimentary drinks and screen printing, and of course local artists – my favorite combination.  If you can’t make it tonight be sure to “Like” LCAO’s Facebook page in order to stay in-the-know of her upcoming shows.  Leah’s available for commissions as well – if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for on her site fill out her Q&A form and she’ll make amazingness happen.  Trust me…  I’ve seen it. 

Waking Fable | Rock, Soul, and a Saxophone

While I sit down at Royal Blue and listen to the lyrics and sounds of every single one of Waking Fable’s songs off their EP Leave the Moon On, I realize how lucky I am that I not only got the chance to interview them, but also made some new friends.  I feel like I should be sitting in a dark underground bar, dirty martini in hand, yellin “yeahhhhhh get ittt!!” because the words they sing just hit you that much.

Isn’t that the point though?

“You’ve seen me naked with my clothes on.  You’ve seen me cry without a tear.

A bare chested lion.  Used to be sincere.

You used to be sincere.

I polished off the bottle, there’s nothing for the flies.

Love drunk addition, to all of your lies.

And I’ll wonder, whats my number in your cabinet full of hearts..

Is it lonely, one and only… or am I just the start…”

I wonder if it’s recent events in my own life that’s making me fall in love with their lyrics, or if it’s because I’m just so excited for what’s to come for them in the near future.  I feel like a 10th grade cheerleader all over again wanting to jump up and down. Clearly I will not be doing that in Royal Blue tonight; I’ll save that for their upcoming gigs.

Now when I say “them”, I’m referring to Matt MacDonald (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar), Dan Cohen (Vocals, Saxophone), Vinnie Fallico (Lead Guitar), Moses Elias (Bass), and Jeff Edwards (Drums).  From what I learned during our conversation, each of us seated around the backyard tree stump at The Blackheart, is that they all “kind of sing.”  And DO they!  They harmonize the shit out of those lyrics and, while I’m no pro in the vocals department myself, I can 100% appreciate an appealing harmony that makes you wish you had their talent.

I learned a lot about Matt, Dan, and Vinnie in the 2ish hours that we spent together.  Reason #1 that I connected with them immediately was that the two original members, Matt and Dan, are from NY – Long Island and Poughkeepsie, respectively.  I feel that any time I meet someone from NY we have an instant bond – a bond that only people living in Texas that are from NY could understand.

The band started with Matt and Dan meeting in a field up at SUNY Binghamton.  Sorry – a “sexy field of butterflies” according to the guys… and why wouldn’t it be?! The fact that they know all about where I’m from, and that they met while listening to Drive by Incubus, also increased my obsession for them simply because that song warms my heart with memories of my freshman year at SUNY Brockport.

So the story goes… after graduating Binghamton Matt had a 3 month stint in L.A., performing on the streets of Santa Monica all while staying on a buddy’s couch.  After quickly being turned off by the vibe, not to mention the expenses, he and Dan both realized that it was time to give Austin, TX a try.  They had no idea that Austin was the Live Music Capital of the World.  Instead, a simple tip from Dan’s brother made it all happen.  And like most of us that have found ourselves here, it all started with something like, “Alright, well lets go to Austin!”

From day one these guys started hustling and it has absolutely paid off.  What began as open mic performances 4-5 nights out of the week has morphed into hosting their own open mic every week at the popular House Wine of East Austin.  And from what I hear, that place is packed on Mondays!  Super cool.  I’ll obviously be going now.

Enter Vinnie.  Originally from Colorado he had tried the Portland thing; thought about the NYC and L.A. thing; considered the Nashville thing.  Thankfully he ended up in the ATX shortly after Matt and Dan and, like many of us, only knew one person here.  Luckily it was his brother Geno and, lucky for all of us, Geno is the one who invited me to meet these guys.  These guys – Waking Fable – have such respect for one another.  Such camaraderie.  Each one of them respects the others talent and, as it was explained to me, they just knew it was the right fit.  Once they heard what Vinnie was capable of, what they were all capable of, it was an “immediate good feeling”.

In my opinion, any feeling at all that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside (think hot-tea-and-fuzzy-socks kind of a feeling) is naturally a good thing… and good is always something to “just go with”.

And thankfully Waking Fable did just that.  And the rest is history.

Decked out in suits, bringing that whole profesh look to the stage – not to mention the sax… the full band… the damn good lyrics… the voices… the everything – Waking Fable performs throughout Austin and is available to play at events in the area as well.  Personally, I’ll be checking out their open mic at House Wine as many Mondays as possible.  For all of their performance dates check out the Waking Fable Facebook Page, or the band’s website.

And when you’re there, go say hi!  Introduce yoself!  They’re pretty awesome, even if they didn’t take my clarinet skillz offer.