Great idea! Play a festival... on #SXSW week / by Emily Holmes

So, as I've written a few million times, it's tough keeping up musical appearances while raising a toddler. I know no one expects it. In fact, I'm pretty sure a lot of folks just wrote me off as having "fallen into the black hole of parenthood." But as a lifelong artist, or at least dedicated--perhaps obsessively--worker in the craft, I feel it. At this time of year, mid March, I feel it most. It's not St. Patrick's Day that I miss, but that crazy week in Austin, TX--South By Southwest.

You see, I've gone down to the festival many times over the years. My band Sexfresh played the festival (officially--which these days isn't even a big deal because most people play day parties anyway) in 2001 at a shot bar that has since changed hands probably 3 times. We had a great time. We met folks, drank cheap beer, walked away grabbing corporate schwag, stickered and flyered the conference show lobby and even got a recommended showcase time in the Austin Weekly's SXSW Festival coverage. Not bad for a tiny banjo-trance band from San Francisco...

Well, from that year forward, I was hooked. Austin, in general, had me. I even toyed with moving there and tried for a few months but found myself adrift in the mellower that my comfort levels tide of the town. Despite not kicking my New York City habit, I would return to Austin every year to play the festival, visit friends and breathe in its easy feel.

So in honor of the festival and city that holds a piece of my heart, I offer up a live performance for another festival that I learned about just last week called Couch By Couchwest. Turns out there's other folks like me who are not there and maybe missing it just a bit. It's a virtual festival where artists record versions of songs (the more out there and wacky, the better, according to the web site) and email them in along with a short submission form. The organizers then post the live videos. The range of videos and artist level is diverse and that's what makes it great! Thanks Eliot Wagner for turning me onto them in the first place.