Oh, sure. I could go to South by Southwest. Have my mind blown by an onslaught of bleeding-edge web development, films, music, and awesome people. I could, but then I’d have to give up the charms of Northern England in March. I’d have to leave exciting York (“Hey, there’s a Minster! And, erm… it’s big! Did you know that Constantine became Emperor of Rome while in York?”). I’d have to give up my ascetic life, and my beloved dissertation. Yeah, right.
Actually, there’s a bit of a funny story about the Minster. In the Nineteenth Century, a young man named Jonathan Martin tried to burn the thing to the ground. It seems that God told him to do it. Oddly enough, that’s my name. Hm. Dear future employers: Please be thorough in your Googling of my name, and move beyond the words “Jonathan Martin,” “York,” and “Arsonist.” Thanks.
But for some of you, this year’s SXSW is a perfectly pleasant alternative to day jobs and real life. Sort of a Pleasure Island for hipsters. Well, if you, like me, want to experience some of this excitement vicariously – and, more importantly, from the safety of your own, rain-drenched houses – then I’ve got you covered! Let’s start with music. An awesome, enterprising fellow has gathered up tracks from all of the artists playing this year’s SXSW. They’re all public domain, and you can find the formidable five gigs of torrents here. Definitely something to keep you busy for the duration of the festival! In addition, NPR is giving away 11 tracks via iTunes. You can get the code, and the details, here. There’s tracks from Spoon, The Walkmen, and more!
As for video, I’d suggest hitting the SXSW page over on YouTube. You can get film trailers, musical performances, talks, and stuff from previous years.
And that’s pretty much all. In all seriousness, I’m so immensely jealous of the folks that are in Austin, and the ones that are on the way.
Have a great time…jerks. 😉