Thursday, March 21, 2013

sxsw volunteer experience 2013

How was your sxsw experience??

My friend Cody referred me to his roommate's useful guide on how to navigate South by this year. I was pretty excited to finally be immersed in the whole sxsw experience.

So far, my legs and feet feel like they are about to fall off from all the standing and walking about in the Austin Convention Center. My volunteering began Friday 3/8 with the goal to come out with a music badge, but its been so hectic I have yet to plan my daily showcase schedules and adventures....

Day 1: Friday- Consisted of receiving my volunteer shirts, bandana, crew, and room assignments. I was not expecting to be working along side as many familiar faces as I did. Nevertheless, making new friends is always a plus especially fast friends! Never underestimate the power of being stuck and spending numerous of hours with the same few people for a week in the same area. During lunch we treked in the heavy humid drizzle to another hotel for lunch. Mooched for some Oreos at the end of the shift at their display by 'sweet'talkin the volunteer to sympathize with me...(i kind of realize now that rules are easy to get by if you have the balls to do something about them).

Day 2-3: Saturday and Sunday- Sore feet and sleep deprivation or so it seemed. It was really interesting seeing all the international people coming through the different panels. One of my hobbies was definitely people watching! Not much happened besides building closer friendships with my volunteer crew. The highlights over the weekend was finally getting to try East Side King for the first time!

After our shifts, the crew and I went across the street to check out Viceland, which had an open bar and some of the props used in Tom Cruise's new movie "Oblivion" It was a shame I couldn't stay later that night because I saw pictures of Jeremy Lin!!

Day 4: Monday- I finally could receive my badge, it was a exciting moment! During my lunch break I went exploring the Sonos Studios venue and it was magical~ they had an area where people could build their own speakers out of little cardboard boxes and another area where someone was giving free haircuts. I loved the fact that I got to play on a Theremin, its the coolest electronic instrument! I have no idea how it works when you move your hands over it.

There was another area that was labelled the Sonos Playground. It was a little barn blasting awesome dance music and lighting that made it seem like you were in a underground tunnel. I decided when I buy my own place that I will have a designated shed that converts into a discotheque like this barn! 

After my shift, I was invited to be my friend's +1 to the Korean Indie bands showcase "Geeks of Gangnam." They basically teamed up with some of the Korean start-ups that were going to be at the trade show and promoted the new technologies alongside the bands. The food there was super fancy for being free. It was located in the back of Moonshiners. The highlight band was Galaxy Express!

Day 5: Tuesday- Dealing with lines and crowd control was pretty insane. This was the first day where the panels pertained to music and interactive crowds. Everyone wanted to see Nick Cave that morning; the line went all the way down to the otherside of the convention center! I felt bad for having to leave early because the last panel of the day was for deadmaus and the room was barely big enough for 1/4 of the line since people started lining up 1.5 hours early! I had to leave to make it to my first job with MTV, they had an event at the Empire Control Room. I was on duty at the front door, putting wristbands on guests and honestly I felt like a "BOUNCER LADY" :) as some people called me.

 I had a new found appreciation for people with production careers, putting on concerts and events is not easy! I also really appreciated the role of security. I did not get home until 4:30am, but there were other people working overnight til probably 8am! Note to self: find some shoes that are good to stand in for hours and hours on end.

Day 6: Wednesday- I had a later morning, which I appreciated since I barely got into bed until 5:25am. I got to finally explore the music trade show because I volunteered for the Texas Music Office to table for them. During the trade show, I got to listen to Peter Chung. Last SXSW was when I heard him for the first time and I kind of fell in love with his voice and music. This year, he was sitting in a mini studio and across from him were benches where people would sit and listen to him through headphones. His voice was so smooth and beautiful.

Later on, the Texas Music Office hosted their own event at Scholtz Garden for state employees, representatives, and others. I was honored when the director of TMO asked me to sing the National Anthem in front of these esteemed guests, I believe it was over 600 people who attended. I believe even Governor Rick Perry heard me.

After that party I then treked down to watch the Korean indie bands for a second time. It was a lot of fun to see Galaxy Express in full out madness~ The lead guitarist flung his guitar all around and even started playing with his front teeth...etc.. I also enjoyed meeting No Brain, and listening to 3rd Line Butterfly which had a female drummer! yay! After that show, I went over to Haven to find my ride and she was checking out Flight Facilities which were DJs, their music vibe was ambient and chill.

Day 7: Thursday: This was my second day of working with MTV, for the Woodies Awards! This was another long day of wristbanding people and crowd controlling. I wasn't home until around 3am. It was definitely more enjoyable than the first event because it was a bigger space and I could actually enjoy the music. I enjoyed Tegan and Sarah, Macklemore, and DJ Zedd the most! Apparently T-Pain was a surprise guest on stage, unfortunately I was at the front gates so I couldn't really see. It was fun greeting a ton of familiar faces coming through the gates to watch the show.

By the end of the night, all of my close turned gray because of all the wind and dusty dirt blowing every which way. I went home with a lot of nice souvenirs such as a woodies pillow, powerstick charger, free food and free sobe/gatorade.  I was definitely relieved that I did not have any more obligations and could finally just enjoy music!

Day 8: Friday- My first full day of freedom to plan my schedule the way I wanted. It began with
Iron and Wine which was beautiful~
I then attended a panel regarding Asian Music influence and increasing exposure in other markets. I recognized many of the Korean indie band's crew members there. It was wonderful to network with Carl Choi located in Los Angeles, CA. He managed MC Jin as well as Joseph Vincent. I hope that in the near future I will get to go intern for his company. It was also great to talk to Orbis Wen who was responsible for bringing the Taiwanese indie bands to SXSW this year.

Cool story: I received a Twitter notification that my beloved beatboxing American Idol finalist Blake Lewis was performing later in the day but was doing a sound check, so after the panel I hurried over to see if I could catch him. Turned out the sound check was over, but it was an awesome London double decker bus..anyways just as I was leaving I spotted Timothydelaghetto! It was so strange having only seen him on Youtube, but then really interacting with him on the street... in my town...and in real life! He was lost, looking for the Spotify house, so I gave him directions and he was really down to Earth and cool!

Other shows I got to see that night were::

Hey Marseilles, which I literally only heard about a week before sxsw! They were really unique and fun! Each band member had an instrument as well as a percussion instrument and their performance was really intricate.

Blake Lewis, who I have followed and loved since American Idol! I wanna learn how to beat box like him. I am looking forward to his new album.

MC JIN, Hong Kong superstar himself. In the earlier panel I met his manager, who told me about the actual performance date, time, and location. I would not have gotten to seen Jin otherwise, because the sxsw schedule printed that his show was Saturday! Jin was really popular while I was in middle school, he was the first bigtime Asian rappers. He then moved to Hong Kong and had a successful career there. Finally he has returned to America with a new Christian rap album. It was a very touching and inspiring showcase of Christian Rappers from all over the nation.

After the Christian Rap Showcase, I met up with a bestie and we went to Vice to "see":

Matt Nathanson: Handsome guy, reminded me of Teddy Geiger. Beautiful voice! I am so glad that I did not miss the song he is most well known for! "Come on, get higher"

New Politics: First time hearing this band, what an energetic and fun performance! They combined pop/punk with rap. During the middle of their set the lead singer yells at the crowd to make a circle and "give him space or he'll kick someone in the face" because he began to breakdance in the middle of the audience! It was super awesome, clearly very talented band! Later he also stood up on an upper railing to tower over the audience and sing to us from there which was exciting and unique.

Fall Out Boy: Talk about a trip down middle/high school memory lane! They are about to drop a new album in April! It was so much fun to sing along to their biggest hits! Everyone was packed in the venue like sardines and yet despite the lacking of a personal bubble people were still rocking out and jumping up and down. First time witnessing crowdsurfing and mosh pitting.... Insanity!!

Unfortunately it was so insanely packed and crowded, I could barely snap and good photos or see any of the artists. There were also a group of guys who were over 6 feet tall standing smack dab front and center....Rude boys.

Day 9: Saturday- Everything was sore and tired about myself, but this was the final day of sxsw so I had to make the most of it! I got to check out the interview of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Then I headed back to campus to watch some Taiwanese Indie Bands which my friend got to host and be their tour guide during their time in Austin, followthe link to check out his experience!

I fell in love with Cosmos People and their album! It is some of the best indie music I have heard coming from Taiwan. The other bands that performed were WonFu and Peggy Hsu which both have a big following back in Taiwan. I was really surprised with the number of people that showed up for the concert because probably 2/3 of the audience was not from UT. I predict many drove up from out of town. During the middle of WonFu's set, they had their music manager come out on the microphone and propose to his girlfriend~ It was so sweet and the audience pressured them into kissing in public which was adorable. Then the new groom followed by singing with WonFu with their next song, dedicating it to his fiancee. cutee~!!

The final show of the night was at Antone's featuring:

Kris Allen: Another one of my favorites from American Idol! His album and voice are super catchy and romantic~

Carousel: Everybody needs to check this band out! I am addicted..I had never previously heard their music before but after hearing it live it was so feel good and something I want to listen to everyday!

Joshua James: Rocked out to this musician he looked super grungy and country, which does not represent his music at all. I made some new girl friends because one of the girls drove down from Dallas just for this one show and we all started talking about new music. 
She recommended Book on Tape worm a band with a cello in it... if anyone wants to check it out~ 

The following are some of my prized photos I snapped::

Kris Allen
 MC Jin
 Cosmos People

These ladies had some kickass shoes and I just wanted to capture their look! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Zach Balch

Last night, I attended the Grammy Recording Academy' s annual Christmas party called "Texas Rocks On". It was very intimidating to socialize and network with people who seem successful and well-versed in the music industry.

There was delicious food and an open bar but my favorite was the dessert bar from SugaPlump! Some of the highlights of the night included live music from a Blue October, they performed "Hate Me", "Into the Ocean" and another new one that I did not recognize. Paul Wall was there too with his shiny "Grillz" which he later performed.. I ran into my bosses from this past Summer when I interned at the Texas Music Office which is always a good time. :) During my internship this Summer, I had discovered a couple of new local artists that I found really talented! They showed up at the party last night and I instantly recognized them. Go check out Karyna Micaela and Zach Balch! I had my own little fangirl moment after meeting them :) I hope they come back to Austin soon to play some shows.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Sometimes stereotypical things just don't work out as we intend.

Whenever I know I am about to travel back to Taiwan, where my family is from, I try very hard and do extensive research on the latest pop culture and music and movies just so I might get to have relatable conversations with my cousins and fit in.

Usually what I imagine in my mind about how I am acting does not resemble the actual reality.  >_<|||

Saturday, June 23, 2012


This day has been just frustrating and unsatisfactory honestly for no reason. I know what my birthday present is and it is definitely a dream come true. -secret- Yet, I am just fuming and glum. That was me for the past 4 hours....while researching for my Gov paper and trying to be a rebel teen. the thing that turned my mood around was my ingenious idea to translate some song lyrics. Recognize it? oye! acabo de encontrarte y este es loco pero aqui es mi numero de telefono entonces tal vez llamame ...

Friday, June 22, 2012

ain't no sunshine

I spent my whole day plugged in the online network. It was like inception. just kidding....I was very productive to some extent. I made and edited 4 videos today! 2 were related to a makeup giveaway that I wanted to try to win put together by Fawninc which is beauty guru Michelle Phan's youtube network of youtube beauty specialists.

I am posting pictures of all the products that I used in my video here:

Please check out my youtube channel:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

+ - Ed Sheeran

Ed has finally released his album to the US!! It is by far my favorite album this summer. Something about the combination of his talent, voice, seeing him perform live at SXSW and live streamed via Youtube London Live concert.. I am absolutely mesmerized by him. I predict that this will be the soundtrack of summer fer sure :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I am a new fan of this artist and her comics!