SXSW ’08: A ‘White’ Wednesday; On The Vegan Hunt; And It’s Already Too Hot

Every year it’s the same here on the gastronomical front: I don’t do the proper research into vegan places in Austin, and I spend the week either eating salad, breaking my diet and eating some cheese, or … eating at P.F. Chang’s. I mean, I love it and all — it’s cool and they have some killer tofu dishes, but four times in four days …

Anyway my production manager (and former P.F. Chang’s employee, no lie) Damian Vaca and I were in a bit of a hurry today, so for lunch it was off to P.F.’s again.


Whatever, we may be deep in the heart of Texas but it’s also a massive college town and I know there are plenty of veg-friendly spots here, I just need to do the homework. No Age are big vegans. Note to self: Ask them tomorrow where I should eat.

So who do I run into in the lobby of our hotel when we were gathering for our morning meeting on day one of SXSW but Ohioan-turned-Brooklynite programming prince Joe Williams — the “Williams” behind last year’s breakout synth-pop trio White Williams. Make that now synth-pop quartet White Williams. With the addition of their first real live drummer, WW are sounding like a real rock band, as I discovered later in the day at the Peacock, where the guys played a short afternoon set.

And at about 3:45 p.m. today it officially got TOO HOT in Austin. I mean, earlier it was like, “this is nice, 70 and not a cloud in the sky.” Then it was 80 and flat-out hot. But I might as well put a sock in the bitching. They’re saying it will be 90 or higher by Friday. Oh well. On tap for tonight: Lightspeed Champion, Yeasayer, Times New Viking, Simian Mobile Disco, my friend Chris’s band Tiny Animals make their SXSW debut (go Chris!), and a little band called R.E.M. at Stubb’s. Later, pardner.

For more of Norris' adventures in Austin, watch some "John TV." Plus check back with the Newsroom blog throughout SXSW for more highlights, and be sure to visit our sister blog You R Here for concert reviews, photos and more.