Editor’s Note: As we weren’t inclined toward extensive festival coverage at South by Southwest this year, it made sense to send a frantic last-minute inquiry for a guest contribution from a Bay Area musician. Our willing mobile-uploader is the quirky talent Julie Baezinger, also known as (Sea of Bees), who below shares photos and words about her first trip to SXSW. She and her five-piece, Sacramento-based band had an impressively packed schedule — including sets at Noise Pop, Tape Op, NPR and Brooklyn Vegan shows. Enjoy a brief recollection of time spent with friends and fairies, as told by Jules, with select photos to explain what that means, exactly.
SXSW was a clusterfuck! But, at the same time there was so much going on your eyes would be so entertained by all the crowds and chaotic music. I didnâ€™t know it would be so overstimulating. The best parts were when we finished our four sets in a day, weâ€™d go back to the house we were staying at and cook dinner and sit on the porch.
We all arrived differently. The Amber and I flew in from London and met Johno at the airport and then we went to Johnâ€™s friend Lauraâ€™s house where we were staying. Her husband Harris plays guitar and helped us make a pedalboard. Bryce and James drove and we all met up.
There were some great moments: for example, the night when we did our showcase at the Central Presbyterian Church, Vetiver played in the church right across the street. We played four shows that day and we were so tired but we were so happy to end the night with sweet songs from Vetiver. Andyâ€™s new songs are incredible. Another great moment was when Robin and Bob from NPR came out to our show on a drunken rooftop bar, but then the sun started to set and the wind was blowing in our hair. John and Robin said it was like the Beatles in Let it Be.
Another great night was pizza with Laura and the band at The Backspace. Pizza is big in Texas. We waited an hour but it was worth it. Laura knows how to have a good time and sheâ€™s good company. Another pizza moment was at Homeslice. I was pissed that we couldnâ€™t use our electric guitars but it wasnâ€™t their fault, and they made us feel so comfortable and were such good hosts and loaned us a big red acoustic guitar. It was a real Texas guitar, spicy and bold. Our friends Sarah Lee and Johnny came to see us play too. We ended the week with another pizza show at The Red House Pizza with the Music for Listeners guys, they were so happy to have us, we were tired but we felt really welcomed. It was a good way to end it. The Amber took a pizza back and ate the whole thing in the car.
-Jules The Bee, Sea of Bees
(Hover over images for Jules’ captions)