I ate breakfast in Beaumont at the Early Bird Cafe on Washington Boulevard, and then I drove west to Houston, stopping at Black Dog Records when I got there, but I didn’t buy anything because everything was so expensive. The book store next door had a couple of books that I bought, and then I drove around to Cactus Records and browsed there for a minute. After noon, I headed out Highway 290 toward Austin, stopping for a coffee at Nestle’s Toll House Cafe.
Between Houston and Austin were fields of bluebonnets in bloom, with families stopping to take pictures among them, but the drive seemed to take forever. It was nearly 4 PM when I arrived in Austin, and I went straight downtown to the Convention Center to get registered for the South By Southwest Conference, but I had to wait for Mike, Al Kapone’s road manager to get there so I could register.
Afterwards, I walked around the downtown area and over to 6th Street, where most of the clubs and crowds were located. As the afternoon progressed, I walked down 6th Street past a number of clubs and cafes with bands playing, and over to Waterloo Records, where there was a Leonard Cohen tribute in progress. I bought some classical CDs there, and then stopped by the Amy’s Ice Cream next door for refreshment before I started walking back toward the convention center.
After I checked into my hotel room at the Springhill Suites by Marriott, I drove down to the Pappadeaux’s on I-35 and ate dinner, and then headed back downtown to a club on Neches Street called Fuze, where there was a hip-hop showcase in progress. I ran into the Dallas rapper Money Waters, and some of the people from Swisha House records, and then, as it got later, I walked back to my car and headed back out to the hotel. (March 18, 2009)