Okay Austin, Texas… you have our undivided attention. Also, you’ll be
seeing hearing us annually, especially after 2am next year, when the bar doors are bolted shut and every out-of-towner with one-to-many event wrist bands is desperately roaming the streets, trying to keep the night alive.
Let’s backtrack to March 11th when I first arrived in Austin from Los Angeles with two sexy carry-ons (Thumpers) during SXSW’s transition from interactive to music. Fellow founder David Preiss flew in from Atlanta and met me with two more Thumpers (that’s 4 Thumpers total, but who’s counting?). My lifelong homie from Hawaii and fellow Manhattan nightlife assassin, Silver Medallion aka Young Unicorn (verified), has an extra pad in Austin, and with our crew from New York joining forces for SXSW there was only one way to go: down the rabbit hole.
March 12th was a red Google calendar day -- PR queen Marni Eth, was planning events for us to disturb the peace, Ginger Riot was on his film game, and David and I were going to meet more people than I’ve made phone calls to in the past month.
First we visited my pal and notable serial entrepreneur Nadeem Kassam, who was speaking at the Sheraton with Kai Huang, founder of Guitar Hero, about entrepreneurship and the future of wearable devices via gaming. After their informative and motivating talk I had to say wdup to Nadeem in the lobby (where he met me with extreme exuberance).
Let’s backtrack again. Nadeem’s been working on a project called BioBeats. BioBeats essentially hacks an iPhone’s camera, transforming it into an algorithmic sensor that detects your heartbeat when you place your index finger on the camera. It uses the heartbeat data to play back music that matches your mood. Yea… check it for yourself.
Now, imagine creating music (based on your mood) using your fingertip through your iPhone’s camera sensor and having the sound wirelessly tickle your eardrum via bluetooth through, ahem… our Thumpers? Well imagine no more, Nadeem and I discussed using the Thumpers at the Feed event for the Tokimonsta & Flying Lotus show where BioBeats was being showcased downstairs. David and I jumped in their ride, dropped off three Thumpers, ingratiated ourselves with their crew, and hopped back to 2nd street to meet the homies for the private Macallan SXSW Yacht party that Silver Medallion was DJn.
We packed over 25 people in the private bus ride and set sail to drink some whiskeys while preparing for Silver Medallion to drop the trap hammer.
After eating more appetizers than total entrée’s available on the Cheesecake Factory menu, David and I jumped on a pedicab and blasted some XNX mixes out the Thumper to the Feed / BioBeats event. This is what we rolled up to.
Marshall Jones, the poetic champion himself, entertained the eager SXSW’ers and demoed the BioBeats application outside with camera crews catching each moment. Here’s a look inside:
The next morning, I met up with the homie Sam Salisbury, advisor to every tech company west of the Mississippi, and friends from the Olive Tree Network. We hit the Rocnation Party with Tribe Called Quest from the Thumper serenading the streets, and every person who passed by bopped their heads with immediate approval.
And of course, how could we not leave our mark on Austin’s wall?
A few hours later, David and I hit 6th street near closing time. The bars were emptying out and the streets were full of unsatisfied, hungry ears. So I turned on the Thumper. The cops tried to shut it down, but that’s like putting a leash on the wind.
On the 15th we hit the W for the Nylon Magazine event and chopped it up with Jabari and crew (good people).
I saved up my appetite for a few whiskeys, met up with Marni & Ginger Riot to hit the Silver Medallion show at the Haven.
A few hours later we galvanized the crew and hit the Electric Blue party where they were handing out free electric Blu cigarettes to destroy every person’s former “I quit smoking” habit. Thanks… Thankfully, the trap hammer was dropped, whiskey was flowing, and the crew had one last toast to SXSW. See ya next year!