Person of Interest: Jesse Elliott
With SXSW officially starting up today (and us scrambling to pack our bags), we figured it'd be the perfect time to get a little inside scoop on the great city of Austin. We decided to hit up our good friend and Austinite, Jesse Elliott, to find out the best places to eat, drink and catch some free shows. —Katie
Hey Jesse! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Yo. I program electronic music showcases for SXSW and FLOORED, a radio show on SXSWfm.
How long have you lived in Austin?
Off and on since 2006 or so with a few years in Berlin.
How many years have you been going to SXSW?
My friends and I first got our feet wet around 2006 while in college without any credentials, mostly hopping around free shows and late night house parties. We didn’t have a clue what we were doing.
Any tips for someone who is going for the first time?
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Throw your plan out the window and go with the flow. You’re the raddest, not those kids at that place you’re not at. Enjoy da present.
Where is the best place to check out shows?
Cheer Up Charlies is primed with their fresh space on Red River, and I’m excited about my shows in Vulcan Gas Company on 6th – proper club vibes with a new Funktion-One sound system.
Is there any secret way to get into totally packed shows?
For day parties and stuff? Smile, say thank you, don’t get knocked out and maybe you’ll see the way in. For official nighttime showcases? It’s badge/wristband or bust because we roll future tense on punters – ain’t nobody here got time for that.
What have been some of your favorite shows over the years?
The first two shows coming to mind are Deerhunter at the old Club deVille (shit was emotional) and rolling ten deep to Cut Copy during their Bright Like Neon Love days.
Who are you looking forward to seeing this year?
Amsterdam Dance Event is a huge deal for me this year. Rush Hour x Rwina Records are knocking this one out at The Madison on 3/13. There's also the Soulection crew at the Okayplayer showcase at Vulcan on 3/14, and if time allows I’m gonna try and catch Isaiah Rashad, Paul Woolford, and my beautiful friend Rosie's band BALLET SCHOOL outta Berlin.
What are some of your favorite restaurants/places to eat in Austin?
My favorite trailers are Tony’s Jamaica, Thai Thani, Kebabalicious, Chi’Lantro, Tacos Veracruz, and 313 Detroit Pizza. Favorite sit-downs are Las Casuelas for cheap Mexican, La Condesa for sexy Mexican, Sway for Thai, Casino El Camino for burgers, and Daruma Ramen for ramen (or Ramen Tatsu-ya if you have a car).
Favorite place to get a drink?
YJSC, ze Grackle, and then Dry Creek (when empty) is as good as it gets.
Favorite place to hang when you’re out all night?
Probably wherever Kari Rosenfeld is going.
Are any of the super popular tourist spots actually worth hitting up?
The Blanton is cool, and Mount Bonnell is worth a trip. My suggestion though would be to rent a car and cruise out west of Austin for a day.
Any weird local legends you’d like to share?
There’s a one-eyed pug named Spanky who lives on the Eastside and lives off of Cold One’s popsicles (@coldonespops on Twitter).
Any great vintage or antique stores that you would recommend?
Sam Hill for dudes and Prototype Vintage on South Congress for dudes and you ladies out there.
Where do you like to go when you’re hanging outdoors?
Some friends get real with it and have a group called “State Park Sundays” and have since covered every spot within a three hour radius of Austin. I tag along every few weeks or hit the greenbelt nearby with my brother and his pup, Grizzly. Lots of secret gems out there as well, but I’d get shot listing them here.