I'm heading down to Austin, Texas for the SXSW music festival this week. Except I'm not attending the official festival. My colleagues at Sound Opinions and 848 music critic Althea Legaspi will be at the official showcases and industry panels, but I'm focusing exclusively on the free parties and concerts that dwarf the official offerings. It'll be my first time going to Austin, so I'm hoping to depict the scene with fresh eyes. Althea Legaspi, on the other hand, will be blogging here from the veteran's perspective- she'll have full access to the exclusive panels and performances. My motto for the next week will be to never wait in line. I've already RSVP'd to countless events up and down 6th Street. Hopefully I'll stumble across a great band in the act of being discovered. That's what SXSW is all about- here's The Vivian Girls talking about their first experience at SXSW on Sound Opinions.