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John Vanderslice, Moon Duo, Zion I and Thee Oh Sees On What To Do, See & Eat in Austin for SXSW

For all you San Franciscans making the trek to this year's whirlwind SXSW, we asked local musicians who know the streets of Austin to give you their tips on where to go for food, bands and relaxation to make it through the madness.

Ripley Johnson of Moon Duo

How many times have you performed at SXSW, separately or together?
Moon Duo has been once, last year. I've been two other times with Wooden Shjips.

What are you most excited about hitting up in Austin?
Whenever I go to Austin I end up leaving with a really nice western shirt. I don't even go out of my way. I'll just stumble into a street sale or vintage shop by accident.

What's your favorite joint to stop at while you're there?
This may be a touristy answer, but I love Guero's for their queso dip and margaritas. I have to go there at least once per visit. Late night: Hoek's Death Metal Pizza.

Favorite venue to play at?
I don't think I've ever played the same venue twice. The Chain Drive was great. Supposedly a gay biker bar. I couldn't tell. Also Beerland is just a nice, no-frills rock bar.

Best place to relax or escape from SXSW madness?
You can do that? Seriously, it's hard to escape the madness. A hotel
room. Or the airport.

Bands you're most excited to see?
I'd like to catch Times New Viking, Kurt Vile and the Violators, The
Fresh & Onlys. To be honest, I don't really know who all is playing. Planning doesn't work anyway. Best to just wander around and see who you see. Caught Dam-Funk that way last year and it was the highlight.

John Vanderslice

How many times have you performed at SXSW?
I think six? I haven't done it in a few years, I'm really excited to go back.

What are you most excited about hitting up in Austin?
I have a deep and profound respect for Austin's Tex-Mex and BBQ. I think we'll eat very well.

What's your favorite joint to stop by while you're there?
Once, my friend drove me out to the Salt Lick in Driftwood. That was pretty phenomenal.

Best place to relax or escape from SXSW madness?
We're playing seven shows in three days so I would have to say my hotel room.

Band you're most excited to see?
Well, I'll only get to see bands I'm playing with, so I would say I really want to see Tune Yards, Dodos, Okkervil River, and Cave Singers.

Are there any slices of the Bay Area in Austin? Where are they?
Yes, other Bay Area bands! It's amazing how many friends you run into walking the streets of Austin.

MC Zumbi of Zion I & The Grouch

How many times have both of you performed at SXSW?
Zumbi: I've performed at SXSW about 5-6 times.

Grouch: I think this will be my 4th or 5th time at SXSW. I've only done one show there before as Zion I & The Grouch. This is our first time going to specifically showcase Zion I & The Grouch as a group.

What are you most excited about hitting up in Austin?
Zumbi: I enjoy discovering new bands, and seeing groups perform that I've only heard about. 

Grouch: There's a lot of good up and coming Hip Hop names on The Agency Group showcase that we're a part of. I'm looking forward to that.

Best place to relax or escape from SXSW madness?
Zumbi: The flight back home.

Grouch: Madness is what it's all about. When I want to escape, I go home.

Band you're most excited to see?

Grouch: If I can finally catch Little Dragon I'll be good.

Are there any slices of the Bay Area in Austin? Where are they?
Zumbi: It's all in the music...the Bay and Cali in general always represent real heavy at SXSW.

John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees

How many times have you performed at SXSW?
I think this is my 12th year?

What are you most excited about hitting up in Austin?
Barton Springs, Tamale House #3 where I once fell for a lady pretty hard. Jaime's (whch I just found out is now boarded up, very sad) beerland and our great friends Kim Canton, Nick and their little dog Henry.

What's your favorite joint to stop by while you're there?
Well it was Jaime's chicken mole enchiladas, but I guess now it would be the hangover soaker-upper potato and bacon tacos at Tamale House #3 on Airport Avenue. Careful when you park, it's a zoo.

Favorite venue to play at?
Beerland.

Bands you're most excited to see?
Wounded Lion. Dead Milkmen. The Skin Rabblers.

Are there any slices of the Bay Area in Austin? Where are they?
Nope, just pure, thick Texas.