This year’s SXSW marked my second visit to Texas, and my first to Austin. Upon landing at the airport on Tuesday, I found myself comfortably amused at the strangeness of the city. The range of styles of the people on the street was as broad as the colors of paint on the late-80s-styled homes. Throughout the week I met quite an array of characters, from Peelander Yellow to Vermin Supreme, and heard some weird bands, like Deerhoof, Of Montreal, and Zechs Marquise.

I also made some valuable connections throughout the week, but the most worthwhile part was developing bonds with my fellow Epitonic editors, BrooklynVegan staff, and AEMMP Records peers. I spent three days at BrooklynVegan's Hotel Vegas lugging gear and doing odd jobs, which was warmly nostalgic to my days in an active band (or maybe that was just the bass amp overheating). On Friday I helped run a day party with Columbia College Chicago's AEMMP Records, with excellent performances by Jip Jop, Gypsyblood, Minor Characters, Dusted, and more. That was easily the most rewarding day that I've had in years, and I got to finish it off by spending the rest of the night with the other Epitonic editors at the excellent Sargent House showcase, which I had been looking forward to most out of anything in Austin.

I was part of many inevitable conversations about wanting to live in Austin, and though I loved my time there, I definitely couldn't do it. Not yet, at least. A place that bizarre and incredible has to be cherished, and while I take joy in and seek weirdness in my every day life, I feel like living in Austin would make it tiresome. I'd rather maintain the charm and make my wacky pilgrimage once a year (or maybe twice if I end up at Fun Fun Fun Fest).

Read more about Epitonic's experiences in Austin in Part One of the SXSW 2012 Recap.