Special Events

Brother Can You Spare Some Art?

A local recants her disdain for SXSW by diving into the FREE festivities and offers a few hints for doing the same.

So, I’m broke, which is pretty f$@king typical. That’s why this year for SXSW I decided to branch out and do the unthinkable as a local: ENJOY SXSW. But, you might ask, how is that possible without donating bodily fluids? Well, the truth is that there’s a TON of free stuff to do on the fringes of the festivities. I’ve ignored that fact for, say, 34 years. Not this time.

It turns out that the easiest place to start on the pauper's party mission is do512.com, which has a hefty list of free parties all linked together by an RSVP tab guaranteeing entry. These parties are replete with bands, films, comedy, free booze, and the occasional complimentary meal of tacos, crawfish, etc.

As an experiment, this past Saturday beginning at 4 pm, I incredulously set out for the elusive ‘FREE’ fun at SXSW.  A fairly hazy me awoke on Sunday to discover that I’d had a freaking blast and spent a grand total of $10...and that only on tips.

With this in mind, for the upcoming week, there are a few things that I’d like to highlight:

Get your prescription to the RxSM film Expo on East Riverside! Though it is technically unaffiliated, RxSM maintains the artistic pace of SX without the misfortune of being flooded with pretense and interminable lines or impossible parking. Having RSVP’d to the first three days of the Expo, I was fortunate enough to see over ten short indie films, ranging from a Horror film about an elderly man who falls in love with a lobster to a black-and-white short about a grandmother who works for a phone-sex line. The owner of the venue, Anthony Pedone, is a welcoming and fantastically unassuming MC who is as familiar with the films’ content as he is with the filmmakers - many of whom are on site to participate in Q & A sessions after each showing. The film festival also offers an OPEN BAR and will continue showing back-to-back shorts until Thursday. For the art-house experience without all of the bulls&!t, RxSM is the place and Mr. Pedone is your man.

For a taste of music off the badge-beaten path, The Testerossas, a Hip-Hop crew based in California, is gracing our presence and will be performing on Wednesday 3/13 with The Pharcyde. In addition to this paid show, their crew is performing sporadically around town and just this Sunday put up some phenomenal pieces of graffiti at The Foundation for ReCREATE ATX during the Silent Disco. The Testerossas’ DJ MEZ will be playing a free show at Plush beginning at 7 pm on 3/11, where he will premiere a whole set catered to soothe the weary, beat-laden soul. Tell me you can think of a better way to spend your Monday, because I sure as hell can’t.

That’s only a taste of what’s to come. Whether you’re a broke local, such as myself, or a SXSW afficionado toting the fancy badge, the free events are an ideal way to see the city, get to know local artists, and participate in the essence of SX: Free music and Free art for Free thinkers and Free drinkers.



Tags: SXSW, Hip-Hop, Indie Films, Free

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