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Letters 4/3 - 4/11 

SXSW IS AUSTIN

A drunken trip to SXSW that results in a self-indulgent story is not the same as actually being in Austin. SXSW is 300,000 people descending on Austin to hear a bunch of bands that come from somewhere else. It's an expensive mob scene that sane Austinites and smart visitors stay far away from.

If you don't venture south of Auditorium Shores, you really aren't visiting Austin. If you don't see Jimmy Vaughn at the Continental Club Gallery, or Alejandro Escovedo at the Continental Club downstairs, if you don't go to one of the many outstanding NotSXSW shows at the G&S Lounge, you are faking it.

If you don't eat a Guero's enchilada or one of Torchy's tacos, well, you really aren't in Austin but just at some big old drunken block party with the rest of the touristas. Probably just as well, 'cause the folks south of the river actually listen to and respect the music made by great local musicians, know what good BBQ is all about and rarely lose their shoes. And they know that SXSW is just a temporary illusion designed to fleece gullible marks.

Michael Funke

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