Back From South By: Things I Love, Hate or WTF


This is my second annual recap of SXSW. Read last year’s here.

I love that I stayed a few days after Interactive to see some live music and a film.

I hate that I didn’t see Smokey Robinson’s keynote.

I love that the Cupcake Social was a success and the weather was great.

I love speaking at TechMunch Austin.

I love the Next New Networks T-shirt that I got. It is so soft.

I love meeting Adria Richards, Ashley Hunter, Kira Tiana.

I love dancing to Eclectic Method with Twanna and Molly.

I hate the ATM fees. Next year, I am bringing an extra stash of cash.

I love the IFC Crossroads House.

I love meeting Tony Hsieh of Zappos.

I WTF the complaining about douchebags. It is naive to think that SXSW would be douchebag-free, so it’s pointless to complain about it.

Food Blogger Bash At Cedar Door

jose and nichelle

On March 15, Austin 360 and Clear sponsored a Food Blogger Bash. This was second year of the event, and it was fun! We ate tacos, drank margaritas and champagne. Addie Broyles organized the event and I met some cool people including Matt Timms (the king of all the foodie competitions) and The FoodSpotting team. Also in attendance were Cathy Erway, Charles Hope, JD from Citizen Taco, Stephanie Klein, Emily Farris, James Boo from Ice Cream Man, Luis from SXSWFreeNoms, and Amanda from Retro Bizarro.

Clear was one the sponsors, and I talked to one of the representative.  Clear is exciting to me and I can’t for it to come to New York. What is Clear? Clear is 4G wireless network and it is $30/month.

Here’s another picture of me from the party.

Music at SXSW: Big Sam’s Funky Nation

Big Sam’s Funky Nation from Nichelle Stephens on Vimeo.

Imagine a horn section that danced like Morris Day and Jerome Benton of The Time with New Orleans flavor. That’s what Big Sam’s Funky Nation sounds like. They are a party band that will make you dance.

Only In New York Happened In Austin

The Beatards
With tonight being my last night here at SXSW, I wanted to go see some bands.  First, I checked on Foursquare and Twitter to see where some of my friends were at, but my gut told me to strike out on my own in the hopes of something supercool. I did an IRL “StumbleUpon” when I read on a flyer that Miz Metro would be playing at midnight at the place called Club 115.  I saw Miz Metro speak last fall at a 140Conf Meetup. At the Meetup, she talked about how she is using twitter to grow her fan base as a artist.

So I was there catching Miz Metro performance when two of my friends showed up. Let me preface this by saying that I didn’t check in on Foursquare, so this was complete serendipity. Chris Sullivan (AKA Shockwave) and Jen Dunlap (AKA Funlap) walked in. I met their friend DJO. who also makes kimchi and he knows Cathy Erway who is a friend of mine. We were on a panel together on Saturday for TechMunch Austin.[It’s a freaking small world!]  DJO is the dj for The Beatards. They are bringing back the Brooklyn Old Skool hip hop energy with new school lyrics and beats.  They are like the Beastie Boys for this century.  Tonight was the first time I heard them and I love it! Shockwave get onstage and did a little something.

I had a fun time partying with friends that I don’t see that often in NYC.  It was the perfect button to this week here in Austin.

One Day Of SXSW Music and Film

On  East 6th Street

SXSW Music is like Mardi Gras without the parades and beads. All the bars have live music and several blocks of East 6th Street are blocked off to car traffic. The crowd for SXSW music is more international than the interactive.  Today, I saw two Canadian bands play, Born Ruffians and Plants and Animals.  I really dug Born Ruffians immediately after hearing the first song.

To me, they sound like Echo and The Bunnymen with a little bit of rockabilly and Celtic. Coincidentally,  the film I saw today that featured another Canadian band, Broken Social Scene. I went to see “This Movie is Broken“. It was a great film.  If you liked “Before Sunrise” or the more recent “Medicine for Melancholy“, then you will like this movie. I am not familiar with Broken Social Scene’s music other than one song I heard on a episode of “Grey’s Anatomy”, so it was cool to get a taste of the band and watch a love story unravel.

MacGruber Panel at SXSW


Today, I went to my first film panel since I have spent most of my time here at interactive panels. The MacGruber panel was so much fun and well worth the wait. It started about twenty minutes. The stars of the new movie Will Forte, Val Kilmer, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillipe were on the panel. Akiva Shaffer was the moderator and director Jorma Taccone and writer John Solomon were also on the panel. Seth Myers was in the audience and briefly came on stage to tell a funny story about the filming of the movie.

Quick Facts:

  • MacGruber will open May 21st
  • MacGruber was shot in Albuquerque last  year in 28 days
  • MacGruber’s budget was 10 million dollars.
  • Will Forte’s mom has a cameo in the movie
  • Will Forte is tweeting as MacGruber. Follow @grubes69

During the Q &A, someone asked Ryan Phillipe is he will play “Captain America”. He said that his son would love it if he did, and to check the web if it happens.  Sounds like Ryan knows that news like that will break on the internets first.

Sidenote: I must rent “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”.  I think Val Kilmer is about to make a big comeback!

Saturday at SXSW: Frontalot and Eclectic Method

mc frontalot

Saturday night, I went to the Tumblr party and the i09 party. At the Tumblr party, I danced my butt off to the Eclectic Method. DJ/multimedia experience. It was so fun. Then I went to the Pure Volume House for the i09 party. I was excited to see MC Frontalot perform. Last year, I attended a screening of the documentary, Nerdcore Rising, which features Frontalot and his band as they tour around the country.

Day 2 at SXSW: Panels and People

First, I want to thank everyone who came out to my panel, The Broke Diaries. It did not go as smoothly as I had planned, but I think we presented some useful information. Here’s the link to the presentation of SlideRocket.

Austin 360’s Digital Savant wrote a nice recap of The Broke Diaries.

At Black Blogging Rockstars, it was a family reunion of sorts. It was so good to see so many people I met last year. Check out the video that I made panning the audience.


In the evening, I spoke at the Blacks in Tech panel. I met Toni Tipton Martin who writes this very cool food blog, The Jemima Code.